*This post has been edited as of 11th April 2018, roughly a year after it was originally published.*
My favourite podcasting network, Maximum Fun, is having their two week Max Fun Drive. The network is listener supported, and so once a listener pledges to donate, the network gives some very cool gifts to say thanks.
In honour of Max Fun Drive, I thought I’d write this week about how much podcasts mean to me.
It sounds very silly. I mean… Podcasts are just modern, nerdy, computer radio shows, right?
Yes… Sort of.
When I first moved to England, and was living in London, I wasn’t working a lot right away and I felt a certain amount of cultural shock. I was bored and after a bit of googling I found Stop Podcasting Yourself. It’s a show run by the hilarious Vancouver comedians, Dave and Graham. They often have a guest with them and, other than their ‘Overheard’ segment, it’s typically just them talking and being funny. Listening to SPY has been fun, and helped me keep my fill of some sweet Canadian content, even while living abroad.
After a while, I started adding more Max Fun shows to my podcast queue: Judge John Hodgman, Oh No, Ross and Carrie!, Sawbones, My Brother, My Brother and Me, and Still Buffering. I recently have also fallen in love with the Dungeons and Dragons comedy podcast The Adventure Zone.
Since last year, I’ve started listening to two new Max Fun podcasts: Reading Glasses, a show about reading, book culture, and the literary world, and Wonderful!, which is an uplifting show where a married couple simply talk about things they love.
Outside of Max Fun, I listen to The Docket, a nerdy Canadian law podcast, and Court Appointed, a very funny American law one! I also sometimes enjoy listening to Casefile, which is a true crime podcast. That one is best avoided at night.
I’ve also started listening to the Hidden Mickeys podcast, Run: A Doctor Who Fancast, The Buttpod, Our Debut Album (brought to you by the same comedians who do Stop Podcasting Yourself), and Lizard People: Comedy and Conspiracy Theories, which is a silly podcast that discusses various conspiracy theories.
Now that you know what I listen to, I’ll explain more as to why I am so grateful to podcasts.
Anyone who suffers from chronic pain knows what it’s like to be up half the night.
To toss and turn… To feel like your body is on fire and be sure that someone must be stabbing you under the sheets. And then to look at the time and realise you have hours before morning and sleep is nowhere to be found.
It is during these times when podcasts have saved my sanity. They provide a welcome distraction from the pain (especially when there is nothing else to distract you in the dead of night), and allow you to relax instead of getting more and more frustrated.
Podcasts also have helped provided hours of entertainment when I’m being sick. I’ll spare you the details, but it can help to have a hands free distraction when I am spending a long time in the bathroom vomiting.
In November, during my last hospital visit, I realised how grateful I was for podcasts. When I’m feeling really poorly, I can find it difficult to focus on reading novels. I love reading, but with my migraines, it is often hard to keep my eyes focused and to follow along properly. This isn’t an issue with an audio format.
Headphones and podcasts were also very useful to help block out all other hospital noises. Hospitals can be noisy, and boy, oh boy, I was very happy to be able to quiet some of that noise.
I enjoy that I can pop in my headphones, curl up in bed, and rest. There is no pressure and if I fall asleep, I can go back and re-listen to the episode. As someone who needs to rest a lot, I appreciate that I can enjoy some quality entertainment and look after my health.
So a big thank you to all the podcasters out there who put out such great content!