With the nights closing in and the temperature dropping, winter is decidedly on its way. With no Christmas markets or mulled wine in Seoul, I’ve had to rethink how I deal with winter! It is unimaginably cold here, at least compared to a childhood in the mild climates of England! Books are always a great option, but this year I’ve been addicted to podcasts!
My go-to thing on cosy nights is reading a good book. My reading speed has dramatically increased living in Seoul, partly because I don’t own a television. While I used to read on average 10 books a year, it is now closer to 25. Often, I just can’t be bothered to stream.
I currently live alone and have come to hate silence. I often listen to music but sometimes you just want to hear some nice chitchat. If you live alone, I’m sure you can sympathise. I have recently really got into podcasts. When I listen to them I feel productive, but can also get stuff done which I can’t when I’m reading.
I tend to opt for historical podcasts, although I am trying to branch out a bit, so I apologise for the academic tone of this list. I’ve tried to spice it up a bit! Probably rather too unsuccessfully!
This is a relatively new podcast and I’m already HOOKED! So far there are only 8/ episodes but each one has been fantastic. I am currently loving the new season of American Horror Story (if you haven’t watched it, go and do that now!) and wanted to do some background research on cults. This podcast came up when I searched and I instantly found myself sitting doing nothing, totally transfixed.
The general format is 2 episodes per cult. This means they can include a decent amount of detail. They cover both the history and psychological motivation behind its members and leaders. Obviously it can be a little dark at times, so I wouldn’t advise the young or sensitive to listen to it.
So far, they have dealt with the Manson Family, Jonestown and other famous cults. If you are also watching American Horror Story, you will immediately see some parallels. I have always found the concept of cults facsinating, so this podcast is perfect!
THE HISTORY OF ENGLAND
Your interest in this podcast will most likely depend on where you are from. I appreciate English history won’t excite most of the world! However, I am loving it. As podcast, it isn’t the most exciting thing out there but bloody interesting.
I was having a conversation with somebody recently and realised I don’t remember anything about the Battle of Hastings. Pretty embarrassing for an English girl!
So, when The History of England podcast came up on the suggestion list, it seemed perfect. Be warned, it is LONG! I have been listening to it for a couple of weeks and have made it to episode 25 out of over 250! AND it’s still going!
Presented by David Crowther, each episode focuses on a few years and the level of detail is incredible. Crowther clearly did a ridiculous amount of research and is passionate about history. He explains some complicated events and issues in easy to follow terms, with a much needed injection of humour. I am thoroughly enjoying it, although it is so rich with information I feel like I need to listen to it twice to fully understand it.
THE GUILTY FEMINIST
Don’t judge this by the title, which makes it sound a little militant. It is anything but. Presented by the comedian Deborah Frances-White, she is joined by various guests to discuss everyday feminism. As you would imagine with a comedian presenter, it is funny!
I am an advocate of feminism, having studied it extensively at university. But if you aren’t, this is a great and accessible way to learn about it. Frances-White uses real life, familiar situations to explain how we should all fight for women’s rights. I put it on in the background and ended up listening to the whole thing transfixed!
Even if you don’t have any interest in feminism (but you should!), this is worth a listen for its comedic element. I found myself laughing out loud frequently.
STUFF YOU SHOULD KNOW
I have long been a fan of this podcast. It’s been going for a while and has a load of episodes. It is one of the more famous podcasts so chances are you’ve heard of it.
If you haven’t, it is presented by two men, Josh and Chuck, and each episode discusses a different issue. They then discuss a complicated topic, explaining it in easy-to-understand terms. The broad scope of topics means you will most likely find something to interest you. Topics such as giraffes, champagne, poetry, and rabies, there is something for everyone.
There are a number of spin-offs from this popular podcast. These include: Stuff You Missed in History Class, Stuff to Blow Your Mind, and Stuff They Don’t Want You to Know. Each has a different style and presenters, all great food for thought!
HOW TO CURATE YOUR LIFE
For anybody who want to work for themselves doing anything vaguely creative, this podcast is a must. This is another fairly new podcast. Presented by Lizzie Evans, she is joined by a different guest each week. They then have a conversation for just over an hour, discussing various aspects of their working lives, and sometimes social.
The guests are all incredibly interesting and varied. Each has a different speciality of field, which makes this a relevant podcast for a number of people. She speaks to bloggers, shop owners and other creative individuals.
What makes this podcast for me is the relaxed style. Lizzie clearly makes her guests feel at home, often interviewing her friends in their homes. When I play this, I feel like I’m back in England hanging out in a coffee shop with friends! Something any expat wants to from time to time!
If you are hiding from the cold, or trying to save money (or both!), podcasts are a great way to occupy your mind and time. Once you start exploring the world of podcasts, you’ll never be able to stop!
What podcasts are you loving right now?