Rikki Weiss

An iPhone is home to an entire digital world.  Many iPhone users take advantage of the oh-so-generous app collection included on their device including Apple Music, Calendar, Messages, Photos, and so on.   But what about the purple app that probably sits on your home screen stuck between its sparsely used neighbors?  Although you may not know it, the Podcast app is an epicenter of creativity and knowledge waiting to engage you.  But what makes this app so intriguing?

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Before we get started, let’s clarify what exactly listening to a podcast entails.  Basically, a podcast is a series of audio recorded episodes about particular topics relating to history, pop culture, music and more.  For all of you who are addicted to morning radio shows, (personally, I’m a big Elvis Duran and The Morning Show girl) podcasts are a pretty awesome way to continue listening to riveting conversations at any hour of the day.  You can find shows that discuss all of your favorite musicians and TV shows right on the app!  And if you missed last night’s episode of Game of Thrones, chances are there will be an entire podcast episode dedicated to Jon Snow’s latest whereabouts.  At this point, hopefully the word ‘podcast’ makes you feel a little less uneasy and a little more curious.  So what’s the hype?

The app is easy to use and it’s free.  

The Apple-created app is labeled ‘Podcast’ and can be found right on your iOS device’s home screen.  You can even access the app on your Apple TV or on iTunes.  The app is also super easy to navigate.  The browse tab on the bottom breaks down a few different ways to search and locate the perfect podcast.  Under ‘Featured’ and ‘Top Charts’, you can find shows that are new and trending.  If you click ‘Providers’, you can see shows from specific companies and the ‘All Categories’ tab allows you to choose between various facets, including but not nearly limited to ‘Arts’, ‘Comedy’, and ‘News & Politics.’

Once you find a show that you like, you have the choice to subscribe.  By clicking on ‘Subscribe’, new episodes will automatically begin downloading as they become available.  If you choose not to subscribe, you can still enjoy your favorite shows by streaming single episodes or downloading them to your device to enjoy when you’re not connected to WiFi.  To download an episode, all you have to do is click the image resembling a cloud with an arrow at the right side of the chosen episode.  Your favorite shows can be accessed by the tap of a finger or you can choose to have Siri play them for you hands free!

Podcasts can be good for your mental health.  

If you’re dealing with anxiety or any form of stress, sometimes it can be difficult to escape your own thoughts.  Indulging in mental stimulation about something that interests you can be helpful in filling your mind with positivity.  There are actually many podcasts that openly discuss mental health, which reminds us all that we’re not alone.  Some examples of podcasts focusing on mental health are The Savvy Psychologist, Mentally Yours, and Shrink On The Couch.  So if you’re not in the mood to talk, it can be nice to sit back, relax, and listen.

Podcasts are a good alternative to music.  

Long car rides get boring after you’ve listened to your Early 2000s Throwback playlist seventeen times.  Why not listen to that playlist ten less times, and switch in a few podcast episodes for the other seven?  My personal favorite podcast is called Happy Sad Confused.  In this series, MTV’s Josh Horowitz interviews the biggest movie stars and filmmakers in the industry.  From names like Hugh Jackman to Jane Fonda to Rachel Brosnahan, Horowitz covers all the cinematic bases.  I now get excited for my drives to work because I know I’ll be hearing what goes on behind the scenes on some of my favorite TV shows!  Since I’m a film buff, staying up to date on these things keeps me engaged and constantly thinking.  I find this to be a great alternative to music and a wonderful way to keep my mind refreshed.  

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The Podcast app is an epicenter of creativity and knowledge waiting to engage you.

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You will learn things you haven’t learned before.  

If you go to college, you probably take classes.  A lot of what you learn is not necessarily material that you’re passionate about.  You may be intrigued by mysteries and crime, but you’re studying to be a doctor.  Since your free time may be limited, what better way than to spend your walks to class listening to Hollywood & Crime?  There’s a podcast for all of your interests!  Learn about dog training or Pokéman; stay up to date on your favorite sports team, or seek business advice.

Listening (and not seeing) will force you to use your imagination.  

While you’re listening to the host(s) speak, you’re imagining everything they’re saying.  Since there’s no visual pairing to the audio, it’s all up to you!  This stimulates mental imagery and keeps you focused on the stories being told.  Hearing the human voice generates many different emotions and is likely to keep you, the listener, emotionally invested.

So why not try something new today and tune into a podcast?  I promise, there’s nothing like finding a podcast that you enjoy and actually looking forward to sitting in traffic.  Well, you may not look forward to it, but you will most likely dread it a lot less!

 

Rikki is a current student at Emory University.  There, she focuses on Creative Writing and Film Studies.  Her dream is to one day be a famous screenwriter.

 

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