13/04/2016
Because public transport sucks.

Words by

Rebecca Russo

Mornings can be rough, especially if you’re forced to spend yours alongside a stream of people scurrying to get to work on time.

If you, like me, spend a lot of time of public transport, you’ve probably figured out the best way to entertain yourself. Do you silently judge your fellow travellers? Do you subtly try to listen in on other people’s conversations? (Guilty.) Or do you mindlessly scroll on your phone to avoid awkward eye contact with the person sitting opposite you? (Uh, guilty again.)

Hey, we’ve all been there. But have you ever tried listening to Podcasts? You know, that app that’s hidden away on your phone next to your compass and calculator?

Trust me when I say Podcasts are a pretty handy way to keep yourself occupied on the morning commute. And hey, you might even learn something without even trying! That’s the best kind of learning!

So here’s five podcasts that I promise will keep you intrigued, entertained and awake long enough on your way to work or uni.   

Gilmore Guys

Okay, so quick confession: I’m a huge Gilmore Girls nerd. I’m so damn excited about the new Netflix series that’s coming that I’ve already started planning my own viewing party that I’m calling ‘Netflix and Chilton’. So if you love all things Lorelai and Rory, Gilmore Guys is the perfect podcast companion. Hosted by Kevin T. Porter, a GG superfan, and his friend-slash-GG newcomer, Demi Adejuyigbe,these guys step into the world of Stars Hollow. Episode by episode, they dissect everything from fashion to pop culture references to the critical Dean vs Jess vs Logan debate. There are interviews with the cast, excellent guest stars and every episode ends with a glorious sing-along. I mean, could you ask for anything more? 

Best starting episode: Episode 307 – They Shoot Gilmores, Don’t They? (With Jason Mantzoukas)

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Stuff Mom Never Told You

So you may have heard of the great Stuff You Should Know Podcast, which tackles topics as diverse as ‘How gossip works’ to ‘Why do lefties exist?’. Little did you know, there’s also an excellent companion podcast to SYSK, one that focuses on “the business of being a woman, from every imaginable angle”. Cristen and Caroline host Stuff Mom Never Told You. They are two very bubbly, very cute hosts who battle through topics as diverse as fashion blogging, witchcraft, anxiousness and periods, all through the lens of gender and feminism. It’s all insanely fascinating. 

Best starting episode: Are women bigger whiners?

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The Worst Idea of All Time Podcast

If you enjoy listening to people slowly lose their minds, this one’s just for you. The Worst Idea Of All Time Podcast is hosted by comedians Tim Batt and Guy Montgomery. The premise is basically that they watch Grown Ups 2 every week, for a year, and release a 30 minute podcast after each viewing. Grown Ups 2. Every week. For a year. Just let that sink in for a minute. To make things even worse, the boys decided to pick up Sex and the City 2 as their Season Two viewing subject and spent another 52 weeks talking about it. Possibly the best part of listening to this Podcast is hearing how crazy these two become after repeated viewings. And it’s made even better because they have these adorable Kiwi accents that make everything just hilarious. Pro tip: if you haven’t seen Grown Ups 2 yet, don’t. Just let these two weirdos explain it to you as they get increasingly aggravated and exhausted over the course of a year. It’s the best. 

Best starting episode: Episode One – Difficulties

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Invisibilia

OK so full disclosure, I only found out about this one last week. But since then I’ve been hooked. It’s made by NPR (the brainiacs behind This American Life) and deals with the invisible forces that control all human behaviour, like ideas, beliefs, assumptions and emotions. Their first episode was all about the secret history of thoughts, and basically asks the question, ‘are my thoughts related to my inner wishes, and do they reveal who I really am?’ It’s a fascinating subject, as are their other episodes on fear, entanglement, technology and categories. Expect a whole lot of introspection and a few “aha!” moments too. 

Best starting episode: The Secret History of Thoughts or Fearless

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The Nerdist Podcast

If you’ve ever been fed up with celebrity interviews for being too brief, The Nerdist Podcast is the perfect antidote. Host Chris Hardwick sits down with celebrities and just, well… talks. There are no pre-prepared talk topics, which means the conversations can steer off into the weirdest directions, often with hilarious results. Guests can range from Daniel Radcliffe to Kirsten Dunst to bands like CHVRCHES and Violent Femmes – it’s pretty far reaching. If you’ve ever wanted to spend an hour geeking out with some of your favourite actors, comedians, writers and musicians, this is where to do it. 

Best starting episode: It’s up to you! There’s about 800 episodes to choose from, so pick your faves and go nuts.

Illustration by Twylamae who also makes and sells these Sad Drake tees.

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