What’s all this talk about podcasts? Don’t we have enough media in our lives? Nope! Podcasts are the radio of today…and so much better. You can find these audio programs on just about any topic under the sun and you can listen whenever you want!
The podcast phenomenon may seem rather new, but it’s actually been around for more than a decade. These days, over 100 million Americans listen to podcasts every week. Some podcasts are self-help, some are entertaining, some are all about new ideas, and some are educational and informative. You can even find a book and listen to it chapter by chapter.
Once you figure out how to “stream” and/or download a podcast, the hardest part will be choosing which one to listen to first. We’re going to help you out with both. You can stream a podcast on your computer or smartphone. Smartphones are better if you want to be able to take it with you and listen in the car.
Networks produce podcasts then put them out on different streaming services, or apps. Your phone probably came with a podcast app already installed, iPhones come with the Apple Podcast app and Android phones come with the Google podcast app. There are many other apps you can download to your phone that can stream podcasts for free as well, but some premium apps like Luminary charge a monthly fee.
Once you locate the podcast app or download one from the app store, simply open it and browse podcasts, or type a term like “football” in the search box at the top next to the magnifying glass icon. Pick the podcast you want from the search results and tap on it again, this will take you to the podcast page that has all of the episodes, with the most recent ones listed first. Tap on one to play it, or click “download” to save it to your phone and you can listen to it later. If all else fails, grab a millennial and ask them to show you how to do it.
On a computer, it’s easy listening. Just search Google for a topic plus the word “podcast,” go to its website and click on the link for each podcast you want. Once you find a podcast you like, you can “subscribe” to it so you never miss an episode. Check out our list of the best podcast for seniors below to get started.
The Better Health While Aging Podcast
Practicing geriatrics specialist Dr. Leslie Kernisan, MD, MPH, and her guests discuss common health problems that affect people over age 60 and the best way to prevent and manage those problems. ‘The Better Health While Aging Podcast’ offers practical information on improving health and wellbeing while aging. Episodes feature such topics as Medicare, long-term care, hearing loss, estate planning, and more. There are almost 100 episodes, and they are all about an hour-long or less.
Not Old – Better
The ‘Not Old – Better’ podcast is “A show for those 50+ by those 50+.” Hosted by award-winning journalist Paul Vogelzang, this weekly podcast focuses on issues and topics that the 50 and up club might find interesting. Vogelzang interviews fascinating people, from sports stars and celebrities to health experts and ordinary folks who live extraordinary lives. The premise is “it’s never too late to pursue your passions and create a life of purpose, adventure and significance.” Episode topics include eating healthy, Alzheimer’s disease, and the ‘60s.
Aging in Full Bloom
Hosted by Lisa Stockdale, this Capital Health Care Network podcast focuses on “all forms of wellness as they relate to aging.” Aging in Full Bloom is an insightful, empowering show that has really short episodes (like 5 minutes) that focus on keeping a positive mindset, memory care, hospice, nutrition, assisted living, and more.
Living to 100 Club
The Living to 100 Club is all about aging successfully. Topics include staying “positive in the face of adversity, healthy lifestyles, starting new chapters, and doing what you can’t.” Guests share their stories and give wellness advice. Episodes are about an hour long. Recent episodes include, “The Pursuit of Sexual Wellness and Rights in Later Life” and “How to Prepare for a Peaceful Death.”
Girl Talk: Women, Aging, and Sexuality
Girl Talk: Women Aging, and Sexuality is a biweekly podcast that recognizes that women over 50 are still interested in romance, love, and sex. Join host Marcia Meier and her guests for some “serious girl talk about women, aging and sexuality”. Episodes are about 20 minutes long and focus on not just sex and intimacy, but everything else related to women and aging.
Phil in the Blanks
If Dr. Phil can hop on this podcast train, then you can too! Now you can take America’s favorite no-nonsense talk show host wherever you go. The man behind 18 seasons of his eponymous show and author of nine #1 New York Times bestsellers brings his background and experience to interviews with celebrities and ordinary people in Phil in the Blanks. He also has a new series on the podcast called “Living by Design”.
Mature Prenerus Talk with Diana Todd-Banks
There is a popular human-interest podcast called ‘How I Built This’ by Guy Raz that focuses on entrepreneurs, but ‘Mature Preneurs’ focuses on older entrepreneurs. Host Diana Todd-Banks conducts 22-minute interviews with inspirational entrepreneurs in their 50s, 60s, and 70s, proving it’s never too late to start something new. Learn all about the good, the bad, and the ugly in the process of creating something from nothing, and how to do it yourself.
American Patchwork & Quilting Podcast
Are there any quilters in the house? The American Patchwork & Quilting podcast is all about fun, creativity, and connecting with fellow quilters. Sponsored by Moda Fabrics and Baby Lock, this show features tips and tricks, from choosing the best batting to how much fabric to buy.
This American Life
Over 2 million people tune in weekly to hear Ira Glass relate entertaining true stories in one of the country’s most popular podcasts, which is also a radio program on NPR. The show covers a wide variety of topics, but each episode has several stories revolving around that week’s theme. ‘This American Life’ has been on for over 20 years, so choosing an episode to start with can be daunting. Host Ira Glass recommends you start here.
Next Question with Katie Couric
The award-winning journalist asks questions like: “How did watching people play video games become a billion-dollar industry? Could CBD possibly be the key to overcoming pain and addiction? Does social media spur online radicalization? And what happens when at-home DNA tests reveal devastating family secrets?” ‘Next Question with Katie Couric’ covers the “people, movements, and issues changing our lives and redefining our world…with a little help from the most captivating personalities in news, politics, and pop culture.”
Pod Save America
Described as “a political podcast for people not yet ready to give up or go insane,” on ‘Pod Save America,’ Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett, Dan Pfeiffer, and Tommy Vietor discuss this week’s news in a “no-bullshit” style, helping “people figure out what matters and how to help.”
All the Dateline NBC episodes available in audio format! Dateline NBC also just recently released its first original podcast series, ‘The Thing About Pam,’ hosted by silver fox Keith Morrison. The “stranger-than-fiction” story follows convicted murderer Pam Hupp as she spins her web of lies.
Fans of true crime who could do without all the blood and gore will absolutely love ‘Criminal’. First of all, host Phoebe Judge’s voice is so soothing. Her story-driven show focuses on the sociological and historical aspects of crime. This podcast has been around for about five years now, so there are well over 100 episodes (30 minutes or less) to binge as the kids say, and new episodes come out twice a month on Fridays. Judge also hosts and co-created a love-themed spinoff called ‘This is Love’.
TED Radio Hour
From the creators of TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Talks and NPR, the TED Radio Hour “is a journey through fascinating ideas: astonishing inventions, fresh approaches to old problems, new ways to think and create.” Shows center on a common theme including these five episodes that explore what it’s like to be human. Host and editorial director of TED Radio Hour, Guy Raz, is the host of the aforementioned ‘How I Built This’ as well as another NPR program, ‘Wow in the World,’ which you might like to listen to with grandchildren.
Lux Radio Theatre
And finally, if all of this podcast talk has you yearning for the old days, then listen to this classic radio anthology series, now re-released in podcast form. The popular fictional drama Lux Radio Theatre aired from 1934 to 1955 and has over 900 hour-long episodic radio programs that were originally performed live before studio audiences.