How podcasts make not-so-fun tasks better

It took me until late 2016 to even consider listening to a podcast in my lifetime. I had previously considered them to be boring, thinking that I’d much rather listen to music.

It turns out, I was just listening to the wrong ones.

I was turned on to Serial over the summer when Sean and I started traveling together. In 2016, we listened to the story of Adnan Syed, arrested for the murder of high school senior Hae Min Lin, who disappeared one day after school. Syed was sentenced to life in prison, and Serial explores his case and the possible alternatives to it.

Recommended on Spotify for Serial listeners is also Up and Vanished, with a similar format, that explores the case of beauty-pageant queen and Georgia sweetheart Tara Grinstead. Payne Lindsey, its host, examines old case evidence and interviews a number of people related to the case.

Another podcast that I just recently started listening to is the first season of Happier by Gretchen Rubin. Happier is one of many of Rubin’s resources that offer tips for making yourself happier with every day, simple tasks. And I mean simple: Yesterday, I listened to her and her co-host and sister, Elizabeth Craft, talk about how making your bed in the morning can make you feel better about the day.

Interestingly enough, Rubin launched a new podcast project just Monday, The Onward Project. According to its website, The Onward Project is a collection of podcasts full of concrete, actionable ideas for how you can make your life happier, healthier, more productive, and more creative.

Here are some perfect times to try listening to podcasts:

While traveling

We all love traveling, but most of us love the destination more than the trip there. Listening to a podcast is a great way to pass the time, and, if you’re not traveling alone, leaves room for great conversation after each episode.

At the gym

Honestly, I just tried this for the first time today. Now that it’s 2017 and we’re all (I know you are) trying to commit to our gym resolutions, I hit the gym and listened to two episodes of Happier while I worked out.

While cleaning

When you start listening to a podcast while cleaning, you almost look forward to cleaning. That time can become your time to tune into a new episode while you’re getting tasks accomplished.


If you’re looking for some podcast inspiration, here are the top 10 podcasts on iTunes right now:

  • This American Life
  • 2TED Radio Hour
  • 3Crimetown
  • 4Stuff You Should Know
  • 5The Tim Ferriss Show
  • 6How I Built This
  • 7Radiolab
  • 8Modern Love
  • 9Fresh Air
  • 10The Minimalists Podcast

Note, I tend to use Spotify as an Android user. Most of these podcasts are available on both services.

What are some of your favorites?



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  1. Couldn’t agree more with you on this – I love podcasts! Will have to check some of these out!

  2. Ailey

    Podcasts get me through the workday. I love anything True Crime (big fan of Serial and Generation Why) but My Favorite Murder is still my go-to!

  3. I love listening to podcasts while I clean or drive. Chalene Johnson and Gary Vaynerchuk are my two favorites.

  4. I don’t know what’s wrong with me! I have a bunch of podcasts downloaded and never listen to them! I really need to make some time (or use my time wisely!!) and listen to some podcasts. Thanks for the resources and reminder!

  5. I want to start listening to Happier! I haven’t listened to any podcasts before, but my boyfriend and I are going on a road trip next week so maybe I can pick one out for us both to listen to while driving!

    Kayla |

  6. My husband and I love listening to Podcasts on road trips! It makes time go by so much faster. And it’s the only thing we cna agree on since we like different music when driving haha. Have you ever listened to the Criminal podcasts?! They are individual episodes so each one is a different story about a specific crime that occurred. They are so good!

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