Want to learn more about Greek Mythology? There’s a podcast for that. Looking to learn about artificial intelligence? There’s a podcast for that too.

If you’re not familiar with them, podcasts are a pre-recorded audio/radio show published online through platforms such as iTunes and Spotify, and they have become extremely popular in recent times.

Various organisations, experts, celebrities and so on record these conversations or stories and make them available to the whole world to listen to whenever they want. If you own a smart phone there is a specific app that lets you listen to thousands of free podcasts at the touch of a button.

This modern form of entertainment is incredibly diverse and is an easy way to listen and engage with almost any topic you may be interested in, whether it is history, gardening, sport, music, crime, books… there are podcasts on just about everything!

The beauty of podcasts is that you can listen to them almost anywhere, nestled in a comfy armchair, on the bus, or out for a walk. They vary in structure and length, so you easily stop and then start up again where you left off.

Why should you listen?

You’re never too young or too old to continue learning and listening. Podcasts can also make mundane tasks more enjoyable. Whether you’re doing the ironing or getting rid of weeds in the garden, you can listen and learn about the trials and tribulations of Marie Antoinette or get the latest update on the United States presidential race.

So, what should you listen to?

Remember, you can use the search function in the podcast app (all iPhones already have this app installed) to search for just about anything! But to start you off, here are some initial suggestions:

  • Stuff You Missed in History Class (The ‘stuff’ explained in this conversational podcast is unlikely to be found in the average high school history text)
  • BBC Radio – The Essay (essays from leading writers on arts, history, philosophy, science, religion and beyond)
  • Stuff you should know (If you’ve ever wanted to know about champagne, satanism, the Stonewall Uprising, chaos theory, LSD, El Nino, true crime and Rosa Parks then look no further.
  • Two Cups of Tea (Amazing life stories of great old characters. Host Chris Heath sticks the kettle on and gets to hear the life story of an older legend in their golden years)
  • The Daily (by the New York Times – twenty minutes a day, five days a week
  • Ted Talks (audio recordings from influential videos from expert speakers on education, business, science, tech and creativity)

Three easy steps to get started:

1.       Find the podcasts app on your phone – on Apple phones this is pre-installed and on an Android phone you can find podcasts in the Google Play Music app or you can download castbox or google podcasts for free.

2.       Search for podcast topics you may be interested in –  you can then subscribe to any channels/podcasts you might like to listen to.

3.       Tap an episode to listen and away you go!

These two articles also provide some beginners guide details to podcasts and how to listen: