Three Podcasts You Should Check Out This Summer

Not to be too hipster about it, but I was definitely listening to podcasts before they were cool. In fact, I was listening to them before I even had an iPhone. In fact in fact, I was listening to them before I had an iAnything, downloading them as mp3s and burning them to CDs to listen to in my portable CD player. 

In 2006, podcasts certainly hadn't caught on yet, but with the coming release of the final Harry Potter book, I was thirsty for any form of Harry Potter conversation I could find. I religiously checked the website Mugglenet.com for news, and that's how I came across my first podcast, Mugglecast, which is actually still being produced today!

I have listened to podcasts without gap in the decade since, and I am now subscribed to ten podcasts and one podcast network.

According to a 2016 Pew Research Center study, about one-third of Americans now say they've listened to a podcast, and, while there is no publicly available count of how many podcasts exists in the world, estimates put counts in the tens of thousands. And both numbers are on the rise. 

So, are you one of the millions of Americans who listen to podcasts? Or are you a podcast newbie? Well with beaches that require lying on, grass that needs mowing and lazy Sunday afternoons that need filling, summertime is the perfect time to check out a new podcast. Here are three of my favorites that I currently listen to and recommend you check out. 

1. Stuff You Should Know (and Stuff You Missed In History Class

The website howstuffworks.com was created in 1998 with the mission of presenting easy to understand, unbiased information about, well, how stuff works. With 11 podcasts currently produced by the website, it feels like they have covered every topic imaginable, but they somehow always find more. 

Stuff You Should Know is my favorite podcast How Stuff Works creates, with episodes on how coffee is made, whether whole body cryotherapy is possible, the origins of fairytales and so much more. Listening to one of their episodes is even how I came to understand what a panic attack was...and that I had just had one two days prior. They have well-researched and easy to understand episodes on such a wide variety of topics that there really is something for everyone. 

The most important part of any podcast is the hosts. Maybe it's just the journalist in me, but I can listen to interesting people talking about interesting things for hours. As long as I like the people speaking, and feel a connection with them, I can literally listen to them talk about anything. This is certainly the case with Josh and Chuck, the Stuff You Should Know hosts. Their chemistry and banter are as much a part of the podcast as the information itself.  

I also recommend one of the other podcasts in the family, Stuff You Missed In History Class, for all of my fellow history buffs out there.

2. The Catholic Feminist Podcast

Whaaaat? Isn't that a contradictory statement? Don't all feminists champion abortion, and don't all Catholics hate women? 

Relax. 

I myself am a Catholic feminist, and Claire, the host of The Catholic Feminist Podcast, does a stellar job representing what it means to be both a feminist and a Catholic. With wide-ranging topics from ethical shopping and Fair Trade to Natural Family Planning, she doesn't run from the tough stuff, and is super relatable. 

If you are a feminist who doesn't understand Catholics, a Catholic who doesn't get feminists, or you fall somewhere in between, I highly encourage you to check out this podcast with an open mind. And if you're like me, a Catholic feminist who hasn't really found a home in either group (welcome to what it means to be Uncliqued, am I right?), listening to Claire's podcast will have you fist pumping and cheering that there are other people like you out in the world. 

3. Geek History Lesson

Calling all my nerdy little nerds out there! This is the one for you. As they say at the beginning of every weekly episode, Jason and Ashley take one character or construct from popular culture and teach you everything you need to know about them in about an hour. Let me tell you what, if you are looking to expand your comic book knowledge, this is the podcast for you. 

Jason Inman works for DC All Access and Ashley Victoria Robinson, his wife and co-podcaster, is a youtube personality. Their knowledge of pop culture is vast and deep, and you can tell that they have a real passion for what they are talking about, sharing stories from their childhood with these characters and deep dives on artists, writers and creators, that I rarely find in such an organized and concise format. 

As someone who wants to learn everything ever about DC comics, this is my go to resource. Plus, Ashley and I are kindred spirits in our love for the Teen Titans and the Robins. 

These three podcasts are just a small selection of the weekly content I devour, but I think they are a good place to start. 

So what do you think? Have you ever listened to a podcast before, or are you going to try one out for the first time? What do you think of the ones I recommended, and what are some of your favorites? Let me know!