Thursday, March 22, 2012

Podcasts: Your Way to a Better Life

Judd Apatow was on NPR's radio show Fresh Air in 2009 where he explained that to distract himself when falling asleep, he began listening to podcasts, in particular Fresh Air, which is simply the radio show available for download as an mp3 file on iTunes or on the NPR website. Oddly enough, I was listening to this particular episode while trying to fall asleep after a stressful day at the office, and it was reassuring to know I wasn't the only one out there who had discovered the escapism of podcasts. Oftentimes they're better than a book when trying to fall asleep because you can simply turn off the lights, close your eyes, and listen. I found this particularly helpful when studying for the Washington State bar exam, and I wish podcasts had been around when I sat for law school exams!

But podcasts aren't just great for soothing the troubled mind. They're also a fantastic way to distract yourself when you exercise and can help you learn something new.
Training for a marathon or simply trying to squeeze in a 20 minute walk and some distraction? From NPR, try Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!, This American Life, The Splendid Table. If you're a comedian-in-training, podcasts can be a goldmine with everyone from Marc Maron to Doug Benson to Riki Lindhome producing free podcasts. (Just a warning, though: comedy podcasts may contain objectionable content.)
Another pair of podcasts produced in part by the Discovery Channel have shorter, often humorous explainers to educate you in a painless way: Stuff You Should Know and Stuff You Missed in History Class.

Podcasts can also be a way to learn about a new area of law or keep up-to-date on current legal issues. Handel on the Law covers common legal issues in a newsy way, and a number of universities post law lectures on iTunes.
So the next time you're looking for a distraction, try a podcast. They're usually free and entertaining---two of my favorite qualities in a distraction.
Photo credits. Judd Apatow: and Runners: Microsoft Office Clip Art

No comments: