14 Podcasts to Make Your Morning Commute More Interesting
Much like colouring and counting our steps, listening to stories is one of those things we enjoyed as a kid that's so back in fashion. For me (like almost everyone else) it started with Serial, and it really did change my world.
I love to multi-task — sometimes that's just procrastinating in numerous ways — writing an email while watching The Bachelorette while talking on the phone to my mum. The traditional way of making the most out of your commute is reading, but when you only spend eight minutes of a 40 minute commute sitting down or a position you could reasonably manage a Kindle, it's not that satisfying. Which is why having a story told to me while I power-walked to the train station felt like I had discovered the best thing ever.
Now, putting on my headphones and pressing play on the next episode of a podcast is the last thing I do before I leave my apartment each morning — that and double-checking I have my keys, wallet and Opal card! From that moment, I'm thoroughly entertained until I get to my desk. And once I'm there, I'm in a great mood because I've spent time doing something I really enjoy — all before 8 a.m.
Not only am I then a delight to be around (too far?) but it's made me smarter. The thing I like the most about the podcasts I listen to is that I learn about things I'd never think to Google. What it means to win the American visa lottery when you're an African refugee, that Mirror Touch Synesthesia is actually a (crazy) thing, and the story behind Gay Talese's 1966 Esquire article, Frank Sinatra Has a Cold, are all things I found out about this week!
Unsurprisingly, it's also made my conversation more interesting. Especially when mingling with new people — something my job involves a lot of — or when topics come up that I previously didn't have much to contribute to. Case in point: of my six girlfriends from high school, I'm the only one who didn't become (or is studying to become) a teacher, so I didn't have much to say when the new Kindergarten curriculum came up. But now I can talk about something I heard on a new school integration program the US is trying out, or the development of empathy in a five-year-old's brain, and recommend an episode they might find interesting or helpful.
The more I listen the more I learn, and the more ideas I have for articles, projects and the world in general — plus I'm no longer a traffic hazard because I've quit trying to play Candy Crush Saga while crossing the road. Which is good for everyone, really. Here are the seven podcasts I owe for making me a happier, more knowledgeable morning person.