I know, I’m a rather late arrival to this whole podcast craze, but I honestly just started listening to podcasts regularly around October. As usual with the things I’m interested in, it went from zero to 100 very, very quickly. Now I regularly listen to several podcasts and I have my eyes on a couple of new ones as well.
How It Started
This summer, I finally got a Spotify Premium account. Contrary to popular belief, I was completely fine without it as well, but it turned out to be extremely useful for podcasts! The second thing pushing me to podcasts was that I moved to Spain and accidentally left my e-book back in Hungary. It’s quite pricy to get English books in Granada (although Book Depository delivers everywhere in Europe for free) and I read so fast that costs would stack up very quickly, even if I found a cost-effective option. Instead of doing the logical thing and signing up to the library, I accidentally found podcasting!
Chris Burkard is one of my favorite photographers and I think he is a very inspiring and entertaining person. I saw in one of his Instagram stories that he did an interview for a podcast, so I downloaded it and listened to it during a bus ride on my way to a hiking trip. It was perfectly timed: I was listening to my favorite photographer dishing out a bunch of inspiration, just as I was going up to take photos of the mountains. Yes, I was literally taking notes! And it wasn’t even about taking photos, it was about his philosophy, how he built his career and how he handles being on the road so much while having a family.
The Stokecast E14 with Chris Burkard, that’s where it all started! I would definitely recommend it. After that, I quickly downloaded a bunch of episodes from various podcasts that I was interested in. I listen mainly to two types of podcasts, although there is plenty of overlap! The first type is self-improvement or motivation-related content. I’m trying to always gather inspiration for my work, build better habits, get more fit and become more organized. The second type are the podcasts which I listen to for the personality and the stories of the hosts, although these too have a lot of elements of the previous category. Here are some of my favorites!
The Tim Ferriss Show
I’ll start with this: Tim Ferriss is not exactly everyone’s cup of tea. I have read a bunch of his books in the last year or two and not only did I learn a lot, but I found them highly entertaining. His books, Tools of Titans and the newer one Tribe of Mentors (which I haven’t read yet) are based on the interviews that he did on his podcast. He has over 350 episodes, and has some absolutely insane names come on his podcast on a regular basis. While it is not my absolute favorite podcast, I regularly return to it if I am interested in the guests on the show. Just a small example: Arnold Schwarzenegger… That’s the next episode I’ll listen to.
Some of the episodes can go on for over two hours, but it can be really worth it! The episode with Brandon Stanton, the man behind Humans of New York was probably my all-time favorite from this show. Tim is a fascinating and weird human, doing insane experiments on himself and has equally interesting guests. However, the show does have a few drawbacks. Tim’s personality is definitely not for everyone and while I generally really like him, he can be a bit too prescriptive (for lack of a better word) with his advice, which can feel a little pretentious. There is also a huge amount of advertising going on at the start and end of each episode, but you can jump through that pretty easily.
The Millenials & Reroot
Okay, now this is a completely different topic! The Matneys and Eamon & Bec are two YouTube channels I have been following for quite a while now. Both are about couples in their 20s, travelling around in their Sprinter vans, living the #vanlife. I like watching their YouTube videos, because they have very entertaining personalities and it’s fun to follow their journey. Both couples started their podcasts last fall and I’ve listened to every single episode of both of them! Okay, listening to every single episode is not so difficult when they only have like 10-20 of them…
Eamon & Bec started their podcast called Reroot with Eamon & Bec. Over half of it so far is about just them discussing various topics, from travels, to running their small business and YouTube. The other episodes are interviews with interesting people, like Matt & Danielle, from the huge YouTube channel, Exploring Alternatives (which I really like!), Eamon’s dad who went vegan and moved into a van at 65, and a bunch of other creatives and business people. It felt like the last few episodes ran out of steam a bit because they were so busy with other stuff, but I hope they will be back with more energy soon!
The Matneys’ podcast is called The Millenials. It’s so funny, because every time I listen to them I have to remind myself that they are literally my age. Actually, Christian is like a year younger than me and Aubrey is about my age… They have done so many cool things, and me? But anyway, I’ll leave all the self-deprecating jokes for another time. Some of my favorite episodes from this are when they discuss their religious journey, coming from very strict religious families (like literally the no sex before marriage type… no wonder they got married so quickly!) and how they became disillusioned by that. They discuss social media and anxiety a lot and they also have a few interviews with fellow youtubers.
The Ground Up Show
This is hands down my favorite podcast right now. It is a show run by filmmaker Matt D’Avella and every episode is recorded in his dining room. That means that there is no crappy, through-the-phone recordings and all the equipment is run super professionally, giving all the podcasts a very polished finish and great audio. But why do I like this show? I started listening to it because it was giving a similar type of content to Tim Ferriss, but in a less pretentious manner. He interviews fellow filmmakers, creatives, entrepreneurs and authors about their journey and their work. I have never heard about most of the guests – don’t get me wrong, I’m saying this in a positive way! A lot of the guests are a big deal in their respective fields and it’s just great to be exposed to so many inspiring people this way.
Just like the previous two podcasts, I found this through YouTube. Matt’s channel focuses on minimalism, which is a returning theme in the podcast as well and it is something that I currently like to think about. I’m almost 20 episodes in, although there are almost 100 in total, so that means plenty more to go! One of my favorite episodes was E083 with James Clear, author of the book Atomic Habits. It’s (unsurprisingly) about the psychology of habit-building and I found the episode so interesting that I read the book soon after!
There are a few other podcasts that I want to try. The Stokecast, which started it all, is definitely one, since I only listened to the one episode with Chris Burkard, but I really liked the hosts. My girlfriend recommended me to check out E208 of The Becoming SuperHuman Podcast, which is an interview with FBI hostage negotiator-turned-businessman, Chris Voss. It gave interesting insight into high-stakes negotiation tactics and human psychology in general, so I might check out some more episodes of that show as well. There are two more podcasts which I have heard good things about: How I Built It and Inside The Adventure. I will eventually get to those too!
Podcasts didn’t replace reading, they complement it. My e-book reader is back, but podcasts are still what I choose while cooking, working out, editing photos in Lightroom, sometimes when travelling or just relaxing. Some simply entertain, while others help me grow as a creative. Across these podcasts, I’ve listened to over 50 episodes. While I don’t feel like there is a massive, overarching lesson or takeaway that I’ve learned from all of this, I do think that there have been a million small things that have stuck. Better ways of building habits, being more productive, ideas for creative projects and businesses, cooking and health tips and just hearing the journeys of people who have taken interesting creative careers, like photographers, bloggers, vloggers, filmmakers, authors and serial entrepreneurs — just a few reasons why I enjoy these podcasts.
With at least some of the “New Year New Me” resolutions still going strong at the end of January, maybe you should check some of these out and if you listen to some podcasts already, I’d love to hear your recommendations!