Let’s face it: You aren’t going anywhere for awhile. You’ve probably already watched more Netflix than you care to admit, cleaned your house to within an inch of its life, and plowed through your backlog of must-reads on your Kindle. What’s next? If you’re like the rest of us, you’re trying to think outside the box and come up with fresh and creative ideas to make the most of your time.
Turns out that listening to podcasts is an easy way to maximize all of that spare time—largely because it’s something that you can do while doing other things, like cleaning more or working out in the comfort of your home. We’ve rounded up a few that are perfect for helping you get through the craziness of this completely unpredictable, emotional, and often challenging time. Hopefully these will help you feel a little more grounded when you need an escape from the news.
To Help Pass the Time
Passing the time with some semblance of efficiency is something we’d all like to say we’re doing well, but odds are there’s a lot of couch-hogging and channel-hopping going on. Those, frankly, are great ways to spend the time if your normal routine finds you zapping to work early in the morning and spending the entire day stressed over meetings and deadlines. Fill those new gaps in your schedule with something that’s really gripping and worthy of an extended binge.
If you were suitably obsessed with Joe Exotic: Tiger King, then you’ll probably want to get acquainted with the podcast of the same name. For those fascinated with the story, you’ll probably be just as engrossed with this listen. If podcasts have made a true crime junkie out of you, then you’re going to be riveted by Small Town Murder. Comedians Jimmie Whisman and James Pietragallo dig into crime in quirky small towns. One episode and you’ll be hooked.
To Help You Stay Sane
Remaining quarantined for longer than you ever thought imaginable can drive you just as crazy as that morning commute. To keep some semblance of sanity through the process, consider a podcast that’s designed to truly help you get away from it all—if only for a few moments of your day.
One to try: Staying In With Emily & Kumail. Actor Kumail Nanjiani and his wife, Emily V. Gordon, are the standouts behind this heartwarming podcast that happens to serve as a Quarantine 101 guide for those of us who have no clue how to navigate it (in other words, all of us). What to do at home? How to combat cabin fever? They’ve got the scoop. Another worth a listen: Meshel Laurie’s Nitty Gritty Committee. It’s serious brain food, and Laurie delivers quite the perspective on stay-at-home life. You’ll feel less alone, and infinitely calmer.
To Help You Laugh (a Lot)
Laughter is the best medicine if you find that you spend a good majority of the time watching the news and ruminating about the future. Let’s face it—it’s really hard not to worry right now. We’re all dealing with this together, however, and that means we provide support for one another and act as cheerleaders. One way to flip the script and give yourself a small mental reset? Listen to a humorous podcast. There are countless options out there, some more hysterical than others, but all with the same well-meaning intentions.
One that’s always worth a listen is Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend. The beloved late night host welcomes a variety of celebrities to his air in the hopes of developing a bond with them. Another that’s addictive and fairly easy to become attached to is Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People with Chris Gethard. The comedian interviews a single anonymous caller in each episode, allowing the person the freedom to reveal their deepest and darkest secrets or talk about the political controversy of the moment or promote themselves. Whatever the purpose, Gethard lets them go at it without ever hanging up.
To Help You Figure Finances
That things have been disrupted is no surprise—but the fact that it happened so abruptly and brutally has been hard on so many people. It’s affected everything from the joy of everyday human connection to, most concerningly, finances and employment.
Whether you want to learn more about how you can help others or listen to how others are coping with the same situation, have a listen to A World Interrupted. The daily podcast delves deep into both global and local economic stories and the impact that COVID-19 has on issues like job loss and small business challenges. And if you’re an entrepreneur, it’s helpful to hear from those who talk money every single day. Real Money Talks is packed with valuable insight, especially during this troubling time.
To Help You Stay Centered
Finally, something we can all use more of right now: peace. It’s admittedly tough to find that when you’re caught up in worry and sadness, and it can be overwhelming to know where to begin. One that’s just a pure delight to listen to, no matter what your age, is Finding Fred. It offers a glimpse into the deep and often humbling world of Mr. Rogers. His insights, so profound back then, are even more meaningful today.
And if you’d like to use this time to learn more about the fine art of meditation and how it could benefit your mind and body, take a listen to Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris. You’ll discover what it means to practice mindfulness, and how doing so could be just what you need to get through difficult moments—long after this pandemic is over.