Five on Friday: Favourite Podcasts

Now that I have my own car again and drive about 25 minutes to and from work every day, I’ve been adding more and more podcasts to my playlist. I go through the featured page in the Podcasts app at least once a week, exploring new and different ones to listen to. Just like books, I try not to pigeonhole myself into listening to only one type of podcast, so my list of favourite podcasts is a bit eclectic. As I was drawing up this list, I also thought about how often I’m subscribing and unsubscribing to new podcasts. The following five have become standards for me and I don’t see unsubscribing to any of them anytime soon, but it did lead me to think I may have to do an updated favourite podcasts post sooner rather than later as I discover more!

Favourite Podcasts | kathleenhelen

The hosts of Stuff You Missed in History Class, Tracy and Holly, discuss a wide variety of different historical events from small obscure topics you’ve likely never heard of to topics you’ve undoubtedly heard of but might not know a whole lot about. I’ve actually found that I’ve recognized most of the topics, but usually lack a thorough understanding of the material. Tracy and Holly give so much detailed information, yet manage to keep everything entertaining and fun (appropriately for the topics of course). I’ve managed to learn something from every single episode I’ve listened to, even the ones I felt like I knew well to begin with. If you’re interested in history at all, or in learning new things, this is definitely a top recommendation of mine.

Fat Mascara is a beauty podcast hosted by Jessica Maitland and Jennifer Goldstein, who both work as beauty editors when not podcasting. The weekly podcast consists of some short segments and one lengthier interview. The segments are usually along the lines of quick updates about the things going on in the hosts’ personal lives, especially updates related to beauty (like new treatments or products tried, new haircuts) and their weekly “raise a wand” recommendations. Interviews, which are more like friendly chats, are always with well-known beauty experts, like the recent episode with Jean Godfrey-June, aka the beauty director of Goop, who absolutely know their stuff. If you’re a product junkie, you should definitely check this podcast out.

Productivity Paradox by Inkwell Press discusses a variety of ways to manage and organize your time for peak productivity. Feel like you have no time to complete the things you want to get done? Listen to this and discover an entirely new way to think about time. Every week I get some kind of new tip in organizing my time and structuring my days and weeks and it’s perfect. If nothing else, I get a reminder to plan out my time and make an effort to make myself accountable for being productive. My favourite tip for productivity? Forgetting about 24 hours in a day and thinking about time as 168 hours in a week.

This podcast is hosted by actress Anna Faris and her long-time friend Sim Sarna. Each episode contains an interview of sorts with other celebrities and then Anna, Sim, and the celebrity guest of the week, call listeners to offer their unqualified advice on a variety of different problems. The show is lively, fun, and often hilarious. I think because Anna is a celebrity herself, the guests who come on the show feel more comfortable than they would in another setting and it usually feels more like eavesdropping on their conversation than anything else. Plus, the advice given is generally pretty great and often applicable to life in general and not just unique to those who have called in. This is definitely a celebrity podcast, but if you’re interested in celebrity culture and seeing them more for the people they actually are, this is a really fun listen.

Sydney McElroy is a doctor. Her husband, Justin, is not. Together they explore the history of medicine, looking at all the crazy things people have done throughout the years in the name of health. While this is definitely a history podcast, it’s a little different in that neither Sydney nor Justin are historians in any manner. It’s clear from listening that they do not have any formal experience in researching historical events. This allows for a fun, quirky take on history, but it does require taking this podcast in stride. They do become very dismissive of much of the reasoning behind the medical techniques they discuss and of the people they talk about. They mostly miss the why on the majority of the topics they cover, which I think is a huge and unfortunate oversight, but the podcast is still very enlightening and enjoyable for this history of science nerd.  

If you’re also addicted to podcasts, please let me know your favourites in the comments below. I love adding new ones to my playlist!

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My Favourite Podcasts | kathleenhelen

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