For my first foray into the world of blogs, I’ve decided to share one of my passions – podcasts.  During my enforced sabbatical, when poor health meant I had to take time out (if you’re interested, you can read more here), podcasts were my friends, my teachers and my entertainers.  I became completely hooked.

I suspect most of you will know what a podcast is but, for the uninitiated, they’re audio shows – usually in series of episodes – which can be downloaded and listened at a place and time that suits you.  They’re great for when you’re on the move.  I usually have one blasting away when I’m out walking or in the car and they’re great company on trains and buses.  Even at home, someone is usually chatting away in the background for me – it’s like having my very own radio station.

I devour some as soon as they are released.  I just dip into others here and there.  From the list below, you can see I really enjoy a good chat!  The informality of podcast conversations often mean that they can be moving (Griefcast), fascinating (Without Fail) or hilarious (Off Menu).  Or I love getting lost in a story – either true and absorbing (Heavyweight and Strangers) or a riveting drama (The Truth and – guilty secret – The Archers!).  I dip into some health podcasts (I’m a devoted follower of Ari Whitten’s Energy Blueprint Program so often listen to his podcast), plus love insights into the therapy room (Where Do I Begin and Therapist Uncensored).

And I could never write about my love of podcasts without mentioning Elis James and John Robins – my sheer joy and truly the best friends I’ve never met.  For those in the know, I’m a PCD, a Double Retro Oner and a Live Vibe Taster!

Change From The Inside

That said, I’ve been trying to mix things up with my audio listening.  After reading a fantastic article about the benefits of music, I realised how rarely I was listening to music now – the podcasts had pushed it out of the way.

It has been scientifically shown that when we listen to, play, or sing music, physical changes take place in the brain and other structures of the body – the music changes you from the inside!  Ways it can improve your health include:

  • Changing patterns of brain activity
  • Influencing the release of neurotransmitters and other hormones
  • Increasing the number of immune-boosting cells

Sounds pretty good eh?  I really recommend having a read through Ari’s article.  It inspired me to listen to music more and I love it when I do.  I come away feeling motivated and inspired.  Plus I’ve also joined a choir to inflict my singing on the world!

The Sound of Silence

I enjoy a walk every morning and my route takes me through a small wood.  Last week, I was engrossed in the latest Griefcast when I heard a strange drumming sound coming from beyond my headphones.  I took them off and heard a woodpecker marking out his territory.  As I paused and listened, I heard a chorus of birds full of the joys of spring.  I was missing so much!  So I took the headphones off and enjoyed my surroundings.  I’m not sure if you could call it “forest bathing” but it felt great!  Forest bathing, a Japanese practice, has been scientifically proven to be good for you – you can read more here.

[P.S. Update 14 June 2019 – The Guardian ran an article about the benefits of Forest Bathing recently, plus details of interesting research about the health benefits of a 2 hour “dose” of nature.]

Mix It Up

And so I’m going to mix it up a little.  Sometimes I’ll listen to podcasts, sometimes there will be tunes and sometimes I’ll treat myself to the sound of nature and a bit of silence.

My blog about podcasts has taken a slight detour there!  But I’m still here to fly the flag for them and here is a selection of my faves.  I’m always looking for new podcast recommendations so do get in touch if you think I’m missing something special.





Interviews around a theme






True Stories