Bored on your commute? Have you thought about tuning into a podcast? Maybe you’re taking a walk, or cooking, or just sitting in bed…it doesn’t matter when or where you want to listen, these podcasts are free to download and enjoy. There’s a massive range to suit all tastes and every mood. Never do a mundane activity without entertainment again!
The Myths and Legends Podcast
This is an absolute favourite of mine; if you love mythology, insights into different cultural traditions and weird and wonderful stories about jealous gods, heroic royals and turtle con-merchants then this is the podcast for you. Each episode covers a different myth or legend from across the globe, as well as a fantastical creature of the week; it’s fun, educational and some of these stories are downright bonkers. The podcast creator and host, Jason Weiser, is excellent; his voice is both compelling and strangely soothing; I like to listen when I’m walking or just before bed. The myths are told with just the right level of self-awareness and contemporary reflection, which only adds to the experience (in all fairness, it’s hard to talk about a cloak of beards with complete seriousness). The podcast has covered popular favourites such as Jason and the Argonauts, Arthurian legend and Norse mythology with Thor and Loki, as well as some more obscure stories from Latin American, West African and Japanese folklores, amongst others.
Two Brown Girls Talk Back
This is a fantastic podcast with a very informal, relaxed feel, a forum for discussion and comment by Eartha and Dorothy, two actor/writers of colour who discuss the entertainment industry, popular culture and feminism in a very down to earth way. I like that it feels like you’re with a bunch of friends, listening to two of your smart, worldly besties hold forth on Hollywood, warts and all, reminding you that there are plenty of other creatives in the world that haven’t quite made it yet, but are out there trying their very best in this tough industry. I also love that they’re not afraid to get angry at some of the crap the media tries to pull off, and that these podcasts are so frank, impassioned and honest.
Welcome to Night Vale
This one is for fans of the weird, cult and absurd. A surreal narrative horror-comedy fusion delivered in the deadpan style of a fictitious radio news show, Welcome to Night Vale has garnered quite a following, despite being a very niche style of alternative black comedy. For those who enjoyed the likes of The Mighty Boosh, this is not really anything like that, but shares the same mix of the bizarre accepted as mundane. The radio show host talks of the local sports team, Carlos the handsome scientist, and the Mighty Glow Cloud. (We must not mention, or even think about, the hooded figures in the dog park.) It is strangely enthralling to gather clues and build up details about the town, the characters and the strange world of Night Vale. Is it a portal to hell? A conspiracy? A normal town? Who can say? Just be sure not to listen before bed…
Hay Festival Podcasts
The Hay Festival is a massive literature and culture festival that involves some of the world’s foremost writers and thinkers. It does a podcast series so even if you can’t attend the festival itself you can still enjoy talks and think pieces from some of your favourite authors with ease with a touch of your computer, tablet or phone. They have talks dating back well into the 1990s from the likes of Ted Hughes and Margaret Atwood, as well as contemporary interviews. One of my favourites is author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie talking about novels as a catalyst for social change; it’s a super inspiring listen for anyone in the creative industry. If you appreciate TED talks (also available in podcast form and great to listen to!) then you should enjoy the Hay Festival Podcasts, which are similar but with a focus on literature and creative culture.
What are you waiting for? Get listening now!