Weekly Love Letter: Podcasts

I'm really cutting it close to the end of this week, but I made it! My weekly love letter is being posted before the end of this week!

So, I bought this thing on Amazon- and you can buy it too! Just click here!

This thing I bought on Amazon (this thing that you can buy too!) is a Bluetooth shower speaker. The suction cup doesn't work (they never do) but it is completely water proof and blasts the sound over the loud shower sounds.

I bought this thing so I could listen to my podcasts while in the shower. I don't always use it when I shower, but when I do, it's because I'm feeling particularly bogged down by crazy anxious thoughts, and I need to listen to something to drown them out.

Growing up, especially when doing my homework or working on projects, I almost always had the TV on. Usually I wasn't really watching it- it was just background noise there to help me focus, there to replace the background shouting of my brain.

Now that I'm older, I have discovered podcasts, as have many others in my generation. My favorites tend to be journalistic and politically left-leaning, like "This American Life" and "Stuff Mom Never Told You" (RIP). I love podcasts about true crime, like "My Favorite Murder" and, of course, "Serial." I like my podcasts to be decently produced but not over-produced; "I Seem Fun," Jen Kirkman's podcast, for example, is too conversational and casual for my taste, while "You Must Remember This" is too carefully planned out (although I did love the Manson series). I like podcasts about weird and semi-disturbing things, like "Love+Radio", for the same reason I like Law and Order: SVU; the sheer sensationalism of these types of shows keep me actively engaged in a way few other shows can. But I also love a good, silly comedy podcast, like "Comedy Bang Bang", when I need help lightening my mood.

Keeping a podcast on in the background, in the shower, or while driving, or while cleaning, or while putting on my makeup, helps keep my thoughts from spiraling out of control. It helps me focus, it keeps me from getting bored, and on the rare occasions i feel lonely, they comfort me. It's true that listening to podcasts is a distraction from rather than a solution to the larger problem, that it's a temporary fix rather than a long-term cure. But temporary solutions are often a necessity when it comes to everyday struggles; when you just need to suck it up and get on with your day. It's helpful to draw a parallel between mental illness and physical illness: I recently experienced a minor shoulder injury, which I healed by going to physical therapy to strengthen my shoulders and help the pain in the long term. But while dealing with the injury, particularly at work, I also had to ice and take ibuprofen to relieve the pain quickly when I just needed to get through my day. Whatever helps you keep functioning, no matter how big or how small, is valid.

So this is my ode to podcasts, which often help me find peace of mind when nothing else can. #thankspodcasts

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