(Pod)Casting Out – 9 great podcasts to blow your mind!

The summer holidays are in full swing. However, the combination of sun, ice cream and time off does tend to make our minds lazy. A great way to keep your brain as active as your beach body, is with a good podcast.

Podcasts are like little radio shows that you can download and listen to wherever you please. They’ve become really popular because of their laid-back attitude and uncensored nature.  Be warned: the views on these podcasts do not necessarily reflect unCOVered (but they are pretty cool).

The Joe Rogan Experience

 You may recognise Joe from his work as a comedian, actor, or TV personality. In this highly in-depth podcast, a huge host of topics are covered, each depending on his guest.

 Listeners can expect to be terrified by Vice.com’s Shane Smith and his warnings of super volcanoes, explore the wonders of the universe with astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson and laugh at gut-wrenching comedian Joey Diaz’s stories of acts that should never, ever be imitated. Ever.

The Nerdist

Comedians/nerd demi-gods, Chris Hardwick, Jonah Ray and Matt Mira host the most positive and heart-warming podcast in galaxy. Don’t let the name put you off, though, it’s not all tech talk and dodgy glasses. The trios’ guests are wide-ranging, from Tom Hanks to Arnold Schwarzenegger, Macklemore, Will Ferrell and many more.

The relaxed nature of the conversation often gets some great stories out of their guests too. Turns out Slash from Guns N’ Roses loves dinosaurs!

How Did This Get Made?

Ever watch a movie so bad it was the best thing you’ve ever seen and you nearly lost all of your friends because you wouldn’t shut up about it? (Thanks Sharknado). Well, HDTGM is the podcast for you!

Along with comedians, Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael and Jason Mantzoukas, you can celebrate terrible plot lines, insane action sequences and Nicolas Cage’s… uniqueness. You’d be surprised at how much fun you can get from watching something awful.

Doug Loves Movies

This audio game show is right up your street if you’ve got a thing for comedy, film trivia and Mark Wahlberg impressions. Every week people of the entertainment world convene with comedian Doug Benson to play games and win prizes for members of the live audience.

You may be sceptical at first, how does a game show work if you can’t see it? But you’ll soon find yourself enthralled and shouting out the names of Reese Witherspoon movies while a train carriage full of people looking at you like you’re a weirdo. (I’m possibly speaking from experience)

Hardcore History

Some people are fanatical learners, while others are great storytellers. Dan Carlan is both. If you’re a history buff, or just enjoy a good tale of battles and warlords, there’s no better way to learn than spending a few hours tuned in to this aural gem.

Carlan has a real talent for painting a picture using just his knowledge and passion. So whether you’re with him in the trenches of World War I, or riding with Genghis Khan, you’re sure to feel like you’ve been through it all.

Throwing Shade

Presented by the comedy juggernaut, FunnyOrDie.com, Throwing Shade sees Erin Gibson and Bryan Safi delve into the hot topics and everyday lifestyle of LBGT culture. Of course, enjoyment is not dependent on your personal orientation.

The chemistry between Erin and Bryan is undeniable as they churn out true junk food for your ears. It’s light-hearted, funny and chock full of acid-tonged banter for everyone to fall in love with.

The Moth

Everyone loves a good story, and if tales of wild nights out, running with bulls in Spain or a haunted freezer take your fancy, you’ll find them all on The Moth. Episodes contain great, real-life stories from everyday folks in front of a live audience. The show’s a treat as it highlights one of the most beautiful things about podcasts. You don’t need to know what a person looks like, or who they are, to find you can still make a connection with them.

Stuff You Should Know

Great if you’re swatting up for a pub quiz, or if you just want to expand your general knowledge. Each episode, Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant dissect a new topic and offer some great facts. For instance, did you know we’ve been consuming chocolate since 1300 BC? The hosts’ laid-back enthusiasm is a real breath of fresh air when it comes to learning. Then again, it’s a top 10 podcast on iTunes for a reason!

WTF with Marc Maron

Marc Maron’s podcast has recently gotten a lot of press as he sat down to chat with President Obama, a landmark moment for podcasting in general.

This show is the template for so many interview-style podcasts and is hard to beat. Comedian, actor, writer and producer, Marc holds nothing back in discussing his personal life and professional problems and encourages his guests to open up about their hardships as well. It all adds up to a really cathartic experience that shows us all, no matter our levels of success, fame or glory; we are all human in the end.

The podcast explosion is not ‘on the way’, or ‘the next best thing’, it’s happening right now. So, get involved and discover these and hundreds of other podcasts, all just waiting to be found and enjoyed. Where will your ears take you?