I am OBSESSED with podcasts. Though fairly late to the game, my newly developed podcast addiction is real and has progressed to the point that I no longer listen to the radio and even feel off if I walk the dogs without headphones in. So many podcasts, so little time. The reason this type of content is especially great is because it can be consumed in so many settings, more so than a book or video.
Since March is #TryPod month, I've put together a list of podcasts I think you should try in 2017. There's a bonus at the end for a good audiobook and actual book that I've managed to squeeze in recently.
#1 Pod Save America
The former hosts of the podcast Keepin' it 1600 and aides in the Obama administration get the gang back together, or keep the gang together and rebrand if we're being technical, for a twice weekly show about political happenings. As part of their new venture Crooked Media, Favreau, Lovett, and Vietor position Pod Save America as a "no bullshit conversation about politics." And while there is a good amount of bullshitting, it's not in the way that politicians are known for. My favorite part of the show (aside from the cleverly weaved sponsorship bits of course) is their honesty about being human. They know their views can be biased and they acknowledge they may be wrong. But the hosts are hilarious and talk about things in a way that makes you feel like you are, well, a friend of the pod *t-shirt requests taken here.
#2 Pod Save the World
Think Pod Save America only with a broader, policy driven twist. Pod Save the World delivers a "no bullshit conversation about foreign policy," with Tommy Vietor, former Obama National Security Spokesman, at the lead. He talks foreign policy with key influencers in a way that even I can understand. New episodes are posted every other week, so it makes the weeks that new episodes of both Crooked Media shows are posted extra sweet.
WRONGFUL CONVICTIONS | CRIME
After reading a dozen or more raving reviews online last year, I took the plunge and downloaded my first ever podcast, Serial. It's an investigative series that dedicates each season to a single story. I consumed the entire first season in just a matter of 3 or 4 days, even opting to skip sleep one night during a long two-day drive home. Season 1 tells the story of Adnan Syed, a man convicted for murdering his girlfriend in 1999, though evidence suggests it may be a wrongful conviction. A judge granted a new trial last year, so I'm hopeful for updates to the case soon. Season 2 is just as good as it tells the story of Bowe Bergdahl, the US Army Sergeant that went missing in Afghanistan in 2009. To say Serial is a gripping series is an understatement.
Undisclosed is a must listen to for those interested in the law and those with lawyerly tendencies. The hosts of the show are attorneys, so they provide an especially interesting and in-depth look at criminal proceedings in wrongful convictions. It made me regret not pursuing law school. This series also recounts the Adnan Syed story, though it offers a different analysis, more evidence, and gives updates on the new trial as they became available.
BUSINESS | ENTREPRENEURSHIP | MARKETING
#5 How I Built This
For the entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs in training, How I Built This ought to be at the top of your list. The host interviews founders of companies like Lyft and Zappos each week, digging into the inspiration behind the idea, things that worked and things that didn't, and wisdom gained through the process. It offers both motivation and a sigh of relief knowing that even the runaway successes started out crawling.
#6 StartUp Podcast
StartUp Podcast caught my eye because of a 7 part series in season 4. The show unfolds the interesting and scandalous story of the founder and CEO of American Apparel, a company I've grown to love over the last few years. It's crazy to hear about some of the things that went on within company walls before the founding CEO was forced out, which makes it an especially excellent listen.
#7 Social Media Marketing
Marketers - come one, come all! Social Media Marketing is about exactly that - social media marketing. The show covers topics like Facebook ads, Instagram stories, copyrighting and so many helpful topics for businesses and entrepreneurs. Episodes are approximately 45 minutes, so they cover a lot of ground while providing key details. This podcast even has show notes for each episode so that you can quickly reference resources or other bits of information you might need.
#8 Marketing School with Neil Patel and Eric Siu
Marketing School is the go-to pod for marketers that will keep you coming back for more. Every day, Neil and Eric share resources, personal experiences, and truly actionable marketing insights and tips in less than 10 minutes. And because the episodes are so short, it's easy to rewind to that part you missed or listen to the whole show over again.
#9 Death, Sex, and Money
This show quickly became one of my favorites and covers the uncomfortable topics that are hard for some to discuss openly, honestly, and in coherent sentences. Death, Sex, and Money has the hard conversations with guests in a very raw and hilarious way. Even if the topic isn't something you can personally relate to, it's definitely entertaining.
#10 Freakonomics Radio
Let your inner freak shine through with this weekly show hosted by the guys behind the Freakonomics empire. Freakonomics Radio share a new story each week about ideas and concepts from our everyday life, telling them from interesting and unique angles. I walk away feeling like I've learned something, or at the very least understand something a little better. The pod delivers on their promise to share the hidden side of everything.
#11 Stuff You Should Know
The death tax, polar bears, and solitary confinement. What do they all have in common? You guessed it - all stuff we should know. The guys from HowStuffWorks.com use the podcast as a platform to break down the why and how behind things you didn't even realize you wanted to know. Stuff You Should Know does the background research for you and is sure to boost your Jeopardy skills.
#12 TED Radio Hour
If you love TED Talks like I love TED Talks, this is a no brainer. TED Radio Hour builds each episode around a central theme, blending together interviews of past speakers with clips of TED talks for a fresh take on some really fascinating ideas. Even if you think you've heard every talk under the TED sun, this show has something for you.
#13 This American life
Following the theme-based blueprint, each episode of This American Life is broken down into several acts that tell different, yet related stories through essays, journalist pieces, and more. The show expresses on their website that it's hard to fully explain what the podcast is all about and I have to agree. Just trust me on this one.
#14 Modern Love
Based on the New York Times column, this podcast features essays about love in all of the messy and beautiful forms it exists. The essays are read by popular personalities (think actors and related talent) on the podcast version, but they are actually written by anyone who is brave enough to tell their story and is accepted to the NYT column. Not only is the concept of Modern Love pretty cool, it's comforting to know that whatever your experience in love, you're not alone.
BONUS - BOOKS
Technically I didn’t read this one, but rather listened to it as an audiobook. It's a pretty quick listen at less than 5 hours, but it's packed full of tactics and philosophies Sophia Amoruso used to grow NastyGal from an eBay store to a million dollar company in less than 6 years. I feel I should mention the company recently filed for bankruptcy and was bought by a UK based company last month. This doesn't change the lessons of the book, in my opinion. Thanks for the recommendation, Mark!
This is one of those books that I pull out on a regular basis for one thing or another as it relates to sales. I recommend it whether you’re in a sales role, interested in a sales role, or just want to improve the way you market and sell yourself or ideas in any capacity. It's available on Amazon or on the Selling ASAP website. Thanks, Dr. Eli Jones!
What are some of your favorite podcasts?
Because I tend to live my life by running to-do lists, I thought it was only appropriate (and about time) I share a few lists with you. These are the things I’m currently using, loving, and recommending as it relates to work.
This one was recommended to me by a friend after I made a comment about how many random notes I keep on my phone in the Notes app. The problem I had is that for one reason or another, I couldn’t consistently sync the notes between my phone, iPad, and laptop so information was everywhere and nowhere. Aside from causing me to constantly have to change passwords and routinely forgetting something at the grocery store, it was really just a hassle to go between devices for information and text or email myself notes to manually merge them. Evernote solved all of that for the amazing price of free. A basic account offers free access and lets you protect your notes with a passcode, share your lists with other people, and quickly search if you need to hunt down something specific. Thanks, Jay!