In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a fan of podcasts. They inform and entertain me as I travel for business, work on my house, and train for a half marathon.
There’s no doubt that podcasts can shape who you are and what you believe.
I think there’s a time and a place for the entertaining ones and the ones that help me form my beliefs and causes. Several of you have asked about my favorite podcasts, so I thought I’d share them. Disclaimer: I don’t always agree with what the hosts and guests say. But I guarantee that they’ll make you think and they’ll make you laugh.
Shout out to my podcast partner, Ashley I., from our Almost Famous Podcast, and shout out to my good friend Naz Perez. These lovely ladies make me laugh and bring a female perspective to a lot of millennial issues. They’re frank, they’re fun, and they won’t sugarcoat any subject.
Okay, so this is probably the most well–known podcast in the country, but that doesn’t make it any less cool. This American Life provides snapshots of people and situations and what they’re going through. It never fails to surprise me and broaden my perspective about what it means to be an imperfect person in the modern world. Episode themes range from pirates to following rules (or disobeying them), and all of them will give you unique perspectives of, you guessed it, American life.
First of all, Malcolm Gladwell is an awesome man. He’s inspired so many people to rethink their lives through his many well-researched books, which prove that you don’t need to be famous or possess a supernatural skill to make a difference in the world. In his podcasts, Malcolm reinterprets historic events, and it is absolutely fascinating. I really enjoyed the one on underhand free throws, and I purposely avoided his podcast on golf (I don’t want my love for the sport to change).
Similar to Revisionist History, this podcast challenges me to think deeply about things I don’t necessarily want to rethink. Rob Bell brings a down-to-earth perspective about spirituality and just doing life with others. He challenges a lot of ideals, and he always comes from a place of grace and love.
This is where I go for all things sports. I’ve been a Bill Simmons fan for a long time — despite his huge bias for the New England Patriots and the fact that he said my Mom was hot on his Bachelor-related podcast. You can find more podcasts on Simmons’ site, The Ringer, with content related to everything from the NBA and NFL to The Bachelor and a hilarious one on eating. My new life goal is to receive an invitation to be on House of Carbs and talk about the delicious food between the East and West coasts.
If you’re a fan of CSI, mystery novels, and all things crime, then you must give Up & Vanished a listen. A film director, Payne Lindsey, decided to give podcasting a try as he explored the intriguing cold case of Tara Grinstead, a teacher and beauty queen who disappeared in 2005. This podcast is not for the faint of heart — and we refuse to give you any spoilers — but you will not be able to stop listening as Payne interviews her friends and family and takes a closer look at the circumstances that caused a tiny town in Georgia, where everyone knows each other’s business, to go completely quiet about such a terrible mystery.
Red Rocks Church is my home church in Denver. This isn’t exactly a podcast, but with my travels for work, I don’t make it to church every Sunday. When I miss a week, I try and listen. It’s definitely worth checking out.
By Ben Higgins with contributions from his crew
What makes you stop and listen? What podcasts do you recommend?
Photo by NAZpicture