Podcasts: Been Listening

I think I’ve talked about podcasts before, but not in great detail, which leads me here this afternoon. I thought I’d share my five favourite podcasts with you campers.

1/ Happy Writing with Vivien Reis

I’m subscribed to Vivien Reis’ channel on YouTube (linked above), so when I discovered she also has a podcast I was thrilled. Her podcast episodes are usually between 15-20 mins long, and every episode has a takeaway challenge for the week.

Her YouTube videos are typically set out as how-to’s, lists, and goals, which is why I appreciate the format of her podcast. Her podcast is unscripted, just sharing her thoughts on how she makes the writing process ‘happier’ for her. I like the relaxed style and how she incorporates her own experience. The episodes are encouraging and inspiring, and easy to apply to your own writing process.

My favourite episode: ‘Expanding your Comfort Zone’

What I appreciate about every episode is how the advice is aimed at writing but can actually be applied to many aspects of life. ‘Expanding your Comfort Zone’ was all about how we hold ourselves back from believing something is possible, and how we stop ourselves from trying. This advice is good for writing and living.

2/ The Next Right Thing by Emily P. Freeman

I have a book by Emily P. Freeman on the connection between creativity and God, and I enjoy reading her blog from time to time (linked above). The episodes I’ve been listening to (I’ve only recently subscribed) have a different format to her old episodes, so that’s what I’ll be talking about.

What I like about this podcast is that the episodes aren’t too long but get to the point. She reads out a Bible verse, inviting you to just listen and take it in, and then she’ll ask a few reflection questions. Quick and to the point, I like listening to this podcast before I read my own Bible, and sometimes instead of reading my own Bible. Even though there are only a few reflection questions, I find them good starters to a prayer/journal entry because they open up doors we might have closed off to God.

It’s a fresh way of looking at the Bible and immersing yourself with God’s word; it helps me visualise what’s happening and helps me really understand a passage rather than skimming over it.

My favourite episode: ‘Receive Healing’

This episode goes for eight minutes. She reads out John 5:1-9, which is the story of the pool that is stirred up by an angel, and the first person to step into the water is healed. A man who has been sick for 38 years keeps missing out because he doesn’t have anyone to help him into the water.

Jesus meets the man and tells him to get up and walk. The sick man is made well.

What I liked about this episode is after Emily P. Freeman’s read the passage out, she asks you where you are in the story, which is a great opening to a time of prayer time.

3/ Beautiful Anonymous

I’m sure I’ve talked about Beautiful Anonymous before. The premise is this; a comedian, Chris Gethard, gets put on the line with a random caller and he has to stay on the line for an hour. He’s not allowed to hang up first, which means the caller is able to talk about whatever they want for up to an hour. The caller isn’t allowed to say their name or any specific details about where they live.

This is the most interesting podcast. It does go for a while, so you need a fair chunk of time, but I do enjoy it. Some episodes get weird and I don’t listen too far, but other episodes are full of gold. You get to hear stories of people’s lives; some are tragic, some hilarious, some boring. But you find out so much. Every episode is unique, and you never know what you’ll get. I love how many topics they can get through in the hour.

Some episodes are people talking about their life. One man wanted to open a record store and spent the whole time talking through the pros and cons about quitting his job. One girl had her first kiss ten minutes before she called. One man describes the people sitting in the train carriage with him, another describes his stroll through a supermarket.

I think because it’s anonymous people feel freer to say whatever they want to, and talk about things they might not have otherwise, like relationships or health issues or their past. People just open up, and the results are amazing. Chris Gethard is also spot on when he asks them questions.

My favourite episode: ‘I Cry when I Run’

To be honest, I haven’t listened to this episode for six months. I just remember it being my favourite, and it’s one of the few I haven’t deleted (most of the episodes I’m happy to hear once and then I delete them).

I can’t remember many specifics, but what I do remember is from the title: the caller talks about how he started to run for exercise and each time he cried (I think because it reminded him of his dad?), and other light topics, like how he used to be in a band.

4/ The Female Struggle is Real with Emma Jo Real-Davies

I’m a fan of Emma Jo Real-Davies blog (linked above), and her love of all things plants. Her podcast discusses everything women have to go through, like beauty, fitness, health. But she does it in such a fresh, fun way that’s not filled with stupid advice that belongs to women’s trashy magazines.

She interviews women who are experts in the topic of discussion (gynecologists, female bodybuilders, etc.), and often documents her own experience. For instance, she’s not good with exercise, but records herself working out with a trainer; the results are funny because she’s just a normal person who doesn’t know what she’s doing. Every episode is like this: she goes to events and situations that a lot of people would ‘struggle’ with, and she lets us know what the experience was like.

As a Christian, I don’t agree with every single thing she says, but overall I like hearing what she has to say and the way she dives into a topic.

My favourite episode: ‘International Women’s Day Special’

This episode isn’t in the typical format, as it has a lot of community input. The host asked her listeners what woman they look up to and why, so there’s a lot of one-liners in this episode from the community. The host also discusses women in our culture who hold a lot of influence and how they use that influence.

5/ What She said

This podcast focuses on women throughout history and today, exploring their stories and the impact they had on theology and society. There aren’t too many episodes, but they’ve discussed preacher and suffragist Maude Royden, Queen Elizabeth II, and several artists in today’s society.

I like that this podcast focuses on the woman’s Christian belief but also what they do and how they incorporate Jesus into their work, art, culture, etc.

My favourite episode: ‘Defender of the Faith’

This was the first episode of this podcast and remains to be my favourite. It’s all about Queen Elizabeth II; her life, her work, her friendship with Billy Graham.

I didn’t know too much about the Queen, so I just found this episode, which is an hour long, incredibly interesting. I’d never thought about her faith before, so to hear about the Queen from that perspective was super fascinating.

Well, there you have it. Some more recommendations for you to ponder.

The fourth and final installment of one of my favourite book series arrived in the mail yesterday, so I’m going to go read now. Woowoo!

Sarah xx

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