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Tania is currently the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of The Hudsucker, and Senior Editor at the Nashville, Tennessee based PopCulture.com. With past writing and editing credits with Womanista, Quietly, the International Women's Media Foundation (IWMF) and NBC Newsvine, she is currently a member of Indianapolis based, Society of Professional Journalists — one of the oldest organizations in the U.S. that promotes and represents journalists. She is an avid Indianapolis Colts, Elvis Presley and baseball fan as well as a lover of pancakes and fine cheeses, film, and music. Tania is a Hoosier at heart with a passionate wanderlust for always traveling and giving back to those in her community. She is currently studying at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Follow Tania on Twitter: @westlifebunny.

5 Podcasts to Kick Off Your Summer

{Image Credit: Getty Images}

{Image Credit: Getty Images}

The summer is one of the best times of the year to take in a podcast while lounging under that beach umbrella. Okay, so that’s not a real piece of data as it’s more or less a sentimental season to me. But you see, I heard my first ever podcast in 2009 and can remember it like yesterday. It made me laugh every week, put a smile on my face and was the epitome of comedy done well.

It was called “Sex Talk with Jimmy Stewart,” and its lead charismatic host impersonated the It’s A Wonderful Life actor most impeccably, while providing sex advice to listeners. That was the kicker—knowing that a beloved American icon like Stewart would deliver sex advice to the masses. It was a bright and hysterically crafted podcast boasting a little more than 14,000 followers and fans on its Twitter, including notable fan, Brian Baumgartner of The Office. (It was an unbelievable summer.) Of course, from that day onward, I was hooked on podcasts! The next one I heard was very different in nature and delved more into the paranormal realm. It was aptly called “My Paranormal Podcast” and was hosted by a dynamic pair of former Indiana ghost hunters by the name of Bruno and Anthony in 2010. Sadly, both podcasts today are now defunct and became ghosts much like their moniker.

While some podcasts can’t quite keep up with their success or devote time to the production, others have and most effortlessly. It’s no secret that podcasts have really taken off over the years, but evidently more so after 2008 and 2009. A Pew study reports podcast listeners have actually doubled since 2008, from nine percent to 17 percent as of January 2015. And while most of its increasing success might be owed to “Serial” exploding onto the scene in 2014, smashing iTunes download records worldwide, weekly podcasts are making a huge splash with listeners and are a beloved staple on our devices. As that itch for the next best podcast gets, well, itchier for so many of us, it’s astonishing to see the realm expand.

With summer arriving in just a few short days, it’s time to lay back and take it easy with podcasts that are not as intense but just as exciting to hear. While a captivating story that will inevitably turn into a movie later this year can be a great beach read, try to expand your narrative appetite beyond books and tune into some of the freshest podcasts the season has to offer. From comedy to cooking, empowerment to relationships, there’s a podcast for everyone. Moreover, if you didn’t know already, podcasts are an awesome source of stories from real people about real things. 

The NoSleep Podcast

This horror podcast is pretty much the equivalent of The Exorcist in that it will terrify you to the bone and leave you disturbed. Though it won’t make your head spin, its creepy nature might have you crying for your mommy. Isn’t that fun, though? I know it sounds morbid, but hear me out. Remember all those scary camp stories around that bonfire? Well, those are nothing compared to this. NoSleep is a multi-award winning anthology series of original horror stories and it’s so good. You think you heard scary, but you really haven’t. Moreover, its rich atmospheric music really enhances the frightening tales in that it’s incredibly goosebump-inducing. Dedicated to frightening fictional stories off the Reddit boards, listening in the dark is über disturbing so you’ve been warned, okay? It’s creepy ASF.

What It Takes

If you’re looking for something empowering or inspirational, this podcast is one of the most revealing. Featuring rare conversations with some of the most important people of our generation from every field like science, music, film, politics, literature, military, and more, “What It Takes,” is a candid look at what it takes to make your passion and dream come true. Recorded over the past 25 years by The Academy of Achievement, this intimate podcast offers life stories and reflections from those that have made a huge impact on our world with insight that we can apply to our own life. It’s genius and really fun to hear, especially if you’re seeking some guidance for your path.

Worst Birthday Podcast with Michael Kosta

This hysterical podcast hosted by comedian, Michael Kosta is as honest and real as it gets. Bringing an unparalleled wit and flair to a subject many of us have come to experience, Kosta and his guests share highly entertaining, yet terrible birthday stories that will have you in stitches. Take for example, the episode with stand-up comedian, Megan Gailey who would not stop vomiting on her birthday—hilarity ensues. (Is it mean to laugh? Maybe. But they want us to laugh so it’s A-OK.) What’s really charming about the podcast is how the comedian has a natural gift to make awful situations 10-times funnier too. With a diverse roster of guests, this podcast is one of the more humorous and original listens you’ll hear this summer. It’s fun, personable and a very candid conversation between two very funny people every week.

A Taste of the Past

Since I really love food, it’s only natural that a food podcast needs to be mentioned. However, this isn’t like any other podcast about food. And it’s not recipes that you have to hear while cooking blindly. This is more for the artful foodie. Sure, I love taking pictures of my food because it’s a gorgeous creation, but this one dives behind the history of food. Culinary historian, Linda Pelaccio walks listeners through the history of food and taste. It might sound a little awkward to really enjoy, but it’s a very enlightening podcast that can definitely spark a conversation. Pelaccio invites authors and scholars to wander through places and time that include food. It’s the quintessential blend between past and present, while staying engaging and relevant.

This American Life

If you still miss that Dateline sort of vibe in your podcast collection, then hear “This American Life.” The non-fiction journalistic, award-winning podcast (and parent of “Serial“) remains one of the most popular in the country and sees an increase in listeners every week. In fact, the weekly public radio show is broadcast on more than 500 radio stations to a staggering 2.2. million listeners across the country. Exploring different themes each week, this show is dedicated to investigating true stories and telling it like it is. However, it also uncovers corners of the world you never could have imagined either and that’s what makes it so engaging. The podcast has won numerous broadcasting awards and a half dozen stories from the radio show are now being considered for film development.

There’s a huge world of podcasts out there, so which ones are your favorites? Share with us in the comments below.

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  1. 5 Podcasts To Kick Off Your Summer | westlifebunny - June 16, 2016

    […] Continue reading… […]

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