Podcasts to Listen To

Over a year ago my friend, Brenda Wong, invited me to be a guest on her podcast, Quarter Life Crisis, to talk about photography and the creative process. This was my first real introduction to a podcast show. I was familiar of the platform beforehand, but never really got into them. I just assumed that they were a low-quality online radio thing that would take forever to buffer and in the end would sound like an old AM radio desperate to receive airwaves from the side of a mountain.

Well I was wrong and now I’m obsessed with them! I’m constantly finding myself running a podcast show in the background (especially while I’m driving through LA traffic) on a regular basis. These shows have become a terrific way to pass time during long, monotonous commutes by filling the void of my never-ending desire for knowledge and storytelling. If you’re thirsty like me here are some of my favorite podcasts that I recommend you give a listen to. To break it down into categories the podcasts that I enjoy listening to are interviews, storytelling ones, and discussions.

Interviews

Shop Talk Radio with Nick Onken

shoptalk

Nick Onken is a bad ass photographer that I’ve been following since I was in college. Originally he had an amazing blog where he’d share his experience with photography and the creative lifestyle (frankly this was a big inspiration for my blog here.) About a year ago Nick started interviewing other amazing people who are finding ways to turn their passions into a full-blown creative lifestyle.

 

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School of Greatness

schoolofgreatness“Lewis Howes former athlete turned lifestyle entrepreneur!” That’s how he usually opens every episode of his show. Each episode Lewis invites a guest ranging from high profiled celebrities to business entrepreneurs to share their personal, inspirational story. What I like about School of Greatness is that it simultaneously feeds my ambition to grow and my humility. Every single guest on the show has had to overcome some adversity in order to arrive at their current high-leveled position and none of them have ever become arrogant, condescending human beings.

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The Art of Charm

artofcharmDon’t let its titled fool you, Art of Charm is not a podcast about pickup or dating (…well sometimes it is.) The podcast has moved into the direction of providing self-motivated individuals resources and information on how to take your life to the next level. “next level” is a bit vague, but I feel that it’s an appropriate all-encompassing word to describe wanting to improve yourself –in all aspects of life. Each episode features an incredible guest from a range of backgrounds including productivity experts, best-selling authors, teachers, fitness gurus, creatives, etc.

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WTF with Marc Maron

wtfThe constant question of today is WTF?! Marc Maron is a stand-up comedian who hosts a show in a tricked-out room at his home (I think.) His show is a little different from the previous ones listed above. Unlike the others WTF feels a lot less produced –and not in a bad way. Marc has the most amazing comedic minds as guests on his show and the way they converse feels very raw and candid. Nothing feels rehearsed and as listener you feel like you’re sitting right there in the room with them. Granted you can’t say anything and you’ll probably here a swear word or two.

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Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin

HerethethingIf I could I’d hire Alec Baldwin to narrate my emails to me. His podcast voice is soothing, relaxing, and very pleasant to listen to. Given who he is and his legacy as a host Alec is able to bypass the typical PR-ish interviews and really get his guests to open up and have a real conversation.

 

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Storytelling

Radio Lab

radiolabRadio Lab is show that is so beautifully produced –it makes me want to cry.  Each month the show focuses on a particular theme and dives deeper into it by deconstructing it and then rebuilding it with music, sound effects, and personal narratives. The one thing this show consistently gets right is that it able to tell stories of human nature in the most poetic form of radio.

 

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Invisibilia

invisibilia

Invisibilia is a relatively new show from the people at NPR. Like Radio Lab, the podcast is amazingly produced. Every episode is like ear candy that investigates the intangible forces that shape human behavior. Invisible topics such as ideas, beliefs, emotions, and assumptions makes the Latin word of “all the invisible things” a fitting name for the podcast. The show is hosted by Lulu Miller and Alix Spiegel, incorporates personal accounts, a gentle music score, and is well written. Although there’s only about 8 full episodes currently available, so far every thing has sounded great. At the end of each episode I’ve left feeling more intellectually stimulated and curious. A thing that this “smart” podcast does well is present a set of thoughts and ideas to listeners without making them feel dumb for not having any of the presented thoughts beforehand.

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Serial

serial
No podcast list would be complete without the mention of WBEZ’s Serial, hosted by Sarah Koenig. If you haven’t at least heard about this podcast then you’ve probably been living under a rock of ignorance –or you just don’t have access to wi-fi or internet and for that I didn’t mean to insult you! Each season of the show follows one story and looks at it from all angles and perspectives. Season 1, released Fall 2014, follows the case of Adnan Syed who was found guilty for murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee in 1999.

Listen to Season One: serialpodcast.org

Discussions

Cracked

crackedI’ve been a long time reader of Cracked.com. This podcast is an extension of their editorial content. Nothing here is off-limits. In each show co-hosts Jack O’Brien and Michael Swaim obsessively find ways to merge comedy with an overflow of information. Like I said before nothing is off-limits. Topics they cover ranges from current pop culture to debunking myths. My current favorites topics from this show are the ones that highlight some crucial flaw in our human nature.

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Scriptnotes Podcast

SciptnotesScreenwriters John August and Craig Mazin host the Scriptnotes podcast where they discuss pretty much everything related to the film and television industry. Although most of their contented is dedicated towards screenwriting, as a fellow creative I’m constantly finding myself learning new things about the process of storytelling and then finding ways to translate it into my own craft. Occasionally the guys will also go into complicated legal matters such as contracts, copyright, intellectual property, etc.  

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Stuff Mom Never Told You

stuffmomnevertoldyou

This one is for my lady readers. I grew up in a first generation Asian American household. The day-to-day focus was academics and trying to become some form of successful professional (doctor, lawyer, etc.) regardless of what my gender was. It’s safe to say then topics such as feminism, beauty, women’s health, and gender inequality never came up in conversation between my mother and I. Through the show’s hosts, Cristen Conger and Caroline Ervin, I’m finally getting to explore what it means to be a “woman” for every angle possible.

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I’m always open for suggestions. Is there anything else that I should be listening to?

Leave your answer in the comment section. 

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