I am really getting 21st century now. First I did book reviews, then movie reviews and now…wait for it….podcast reviews. I feel so hip!
I am only two and a half years into my smart phone, but wow! Along with all the other gadgetry that comes with a smart phone, I have downloaded an app called “Podcasts” and I now subscribe and listen regularly to over 40 podcasts!
What a difference podcasts have made in my life.
I receive different benefits depending on what type of podcast I am listening to. Sometimes, I really want a laugh—research studies confirm that laughter can be medicine—so I’ll tune into some comedy or entertainment. And sometimes, I want to know the latest research on nutrition or organic agriculture because I want to make sure I am doing everything I can to thrive after cancer. Other times, I just want a bit of a vacation from thinking about cancer so I enjoy something altogether out of my realm. I suspect you have some of these same goals—having a laugh, educating yourself about the latest nutrition research, or just getting away from it all for a while.
How do I listen to so many podcasts?
Well first off, not all of them are weekly. Some podcasts have a set number of episodes per season, and then take a hiatus. Other podcasts are under 10 minutes, so I can listen to them very quickly. The rest I listen to:
- at the gym while I am working out,
- in the car (I can plug into my car’s stereo system and listen to podcasts like I was listening to the car radio),
- while I am making dinner,
- and at night while I am putting my kids to bed (my 5 year old doesn’t let me leave the room until she is asleep).
Tip: I use ear buds to listen at the gym and when sitting with my kids waiting for them to fall asleep.
I feel so smart, entertained and informed now that I have discovered podcasts. I think they are part of what helps me to live a thriving life after cancer.
Thinking about listening to some podcasts?
To get started listening on the go, you need 3 things—a smart phone, comfortable ear buds and the podcast app. Go to the App Store (or Google Play on Android) and download the podcast app, then ‘search’ for podcasts by keyword, top charts or featured. Learn more about accessing podcasts on Apple’s iTunes here. Or learn about podcasts apps for Android devices here.
If you are new to podcasts and don’t know where to start or if you are looking for some new ones, here are my Top 10 Podcasts for Cancer Thrivers. I have even included links to each so that you can go check them out right now!
Podcasts that make me laugh
As I mentioned, the adage that laughter is the best medicine has some evidence to support it. It turns out; laughter can increase the cells in your immune system. Here are my favorite podcasts when I am in the mood for a laugh.
- Vinyl Café – This podcast is hosted by Stuart McLean, a gifted storyteller. It combines stories and music and is wholesome entertainment at its best. It provides good laughs and I feel relaxed after I listen.
- Laugh out Loud – I love stand-up comedy! I would rather hear a comedian than see a band and this podcast features comedians with a low threshold for foul language. I get some really laugh-out-loud belly laughs with this one. I suspect my immune cells appreciate this too!
Podcasts that educate be about the latest nutrition and health topics
I also use podcasts to stay up to date on issues in the nutrition and health fields. These podcasts help to provide validation for the good habits I have already implemented as a cancer thriver. They also teach me about new nutrition and health topics and what changes I need to make to keep thriving.
- Nutrition Diva’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Eating Well and Feeling Fabulous – Registered Dietitian Monica Reinagel gets straight to the point in under 10 minutes. She answers popular nutrition questions with her evidence-based and common sense approach. By looking at the evidence, she can steer you though popular nutrition fads. Without her guidance, you may find yourself swept up in the enthusiasm for the latest fad only to discover down the road that the energy you spent on this was wasted.
- KOPN Food Sleuth Radio – Host Melinda Hemmelgarn is an Registered Dietitian and self-proclaimed “Investigative Nutritionist on a mission to find food truth”. I have learned so much about farming, organics, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and issues related to food by listening to Melinda. She really helps me to understand organics and genetic modification so I can feel more confident in the choices I make when food shopping. After you listen, I’m betting you will too.
- org – This is a video podcast with Dr. Michael Gregor, a medical doctor and vegan. He presents the latest evidence on the benefits of vegan lifestyle based on published literature with a dash of sarcasm in most episodes. While I am not a vegan, I find that listening to Dr. Gregor helps remind me to keep plants as the main part of my diet, which is supported by the cancer research.
- White Coat Black Art – This podcast is hosted by emergency room physician, Dr. Brian Goldman. He discusses medical issues “from his side of the gurney”. I think it is always helpful to know what is happening in the healthcare system, that way I feel better prepared should I or someone I know become a patient again.
Podcasts that provide relaxation and stress-relief
Sometimes, I just need a break from thinking about cancer and nutrition—I just want to been swept away in another world for a little while. I find listening to a good story to be a stress release.
- This American Life – Host Ira Glass introduces a new topic every week and tells 3 stories related to the topic. With the exception of two episodes on police violence (that I found too disturbing to listen to) I love listening to these compelling stories. A nice stress-relief break from the routine of my day.
- Serial – This podcast is like crack for the listener. You will get addicted to the story of a young man charged with murdering his girlfriend 15 years ago. He still maintains his innocence and investigative journalist, Sarah Koenig, tries to get to the bottom of this ‘who done it’. This podcast is a great way to be totally engrossed in a story and take your mind off of what might be troubling you.
- Invisibilia – This podcast on National Public Radio (NPR) is about the invisible forces controlling human behaviour. If nothing else, listen to the episode called “How to Become Batman”. It is amazing! Hearing about the invisible forces around us can show a cancer survivor that there are other tools available to us, including invisible ones.
- Under the Influence – This podcast, hosted by Terry O’Reilly, is a glimpse into the world of advertising and all of the industry’s boundary-pushing innovations. This podcast is so different from what I normally listening to or think about—it serves as a nice break from my daily stress and also provides some humor, which is important for thriving after cancer.
I hope this list gets you started with many hours of entertainment, education, stress-relief and empowerment. In my coming blogs, I will introduce you to my favourite podcasts that are hosted by other cancer thrivers (just like you!). Turns out you are not alone—it is great to hear how some cancer thrivers are using their cancer as a springboard to help others. Speaking of which, I have created a tool to help you too. My Thriving After Cancer Immune Boosting Quick Start Guide. To get your free copy of the Immune Boosting Quick Start Guide, CLICK HERE.
I love to hearing from you! In the comments below, tell me about your favourite podcast.