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Why "Binge-listening" is the new "Binge-watching" (and 5 Reasons You Should Make the Switch)

Updated on September 6, 2016
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I am not proud of the many shows I have binge-watched. Except for maybe “Lost.” That one was definitely worth binge-watching.

We live in a world addicted to Netflix, Hulu and HBO. Once upon a time we looked forward to a once-a-week movie night, but now we find ourselves engaging in a daily television marathon. This marathon is almost as endless and exhausting as a real marathon, and far less rewarding. Maybe we binge-watch at night as a temporary escape from reality and as a way to unwind and de-stress. Maybe we feel that the only way to connect to our coworkers is to watch the same shows they do in order to have something to talk about in the office. Maybe we need something to entertain us that simply does not take any physical effort on our part. (Yes, sadly, even reading a book is now often considered a herculean effort).

These are all very valid reasons to want to engage in binge-watching television. However, there is a way to satisfy all of these needs and to do so in a rewarding and much healthier way: “binge-listening” to podcasts!

Podcasts are “the next big thing,” and this is made apparent by recent statistics, showing that awareness of podcasts has more than doubled since 2006 and podcast listening grew an astounding 23% between 2015 and 2016! 21% of Americans age 12 and up have listened to a podcast in the last month, which is the same percentage of Twitter users in the US!

And why is “binge-listening” any better than “binge-watching?” While there are numerous reasons, I will focus solely on the following:

  1. Quality - With podcasts, you are not just filling your mind with violent zombie attacks, Kardashian gossip, and bored storylines. You are entertaining yourself while simultaneously enriching your mind, whether listening to savvy business advice on “TED Talks,” or re-discovering classic literature on The Front Porch People’s “Novel Conversations.”
  2. Efficiency - Multi-tasking while watching television rarely works, no matter how hard you try. But it is extremely easy to make dinner, fold laundry, work out, or walk the dog while binge-listening to your favorite podcast. You can take podcasts with you wherever you go, and they are especially popular when commuting!! These days, it is nearly impossible to jump onto the NYC subway or Washington, D.C. commuter train without seeing a dozen people prepping for their busy days by listening to podcasts.
  3. Conversation - Yes, television may give us some fun and “gossip” to share at work (“Can you believe Don Draper cheated on his wife again?!”), but podcasts stimulate real, meaningful conversation, and it is easy to get coworkers on board too (proof: the insanely popular 1st season of the “Serial” podcast that made you feel left out because you didn’t know what it was).
  4. Health - After sitting in front of a screen at the office all day, it is very beneficial to give yourself a “screen break” and occupy your time in a healthier way. Even if you are just cleaning up the kitchen while listening to a podcast, you are not sitting idle, and you are enjoying your leisure time listening to something fun!
  5. Entertainment - Most importantly, good podcasts are extremely entertaining, they don’t take any huge effort or time commitment, and they are just as de-stressing, if not more de-stressing, than any television series.

“Binge-listening” is, essentially, the guilt-free, rewarding alternative to “binge-watching,” and there is no better time than the present to jump on the bandwagon. For podcasting novices, here are a few fun, fulfilling suggestions:

  • TED Talks Radio Hour - riveting speakers offer new and innovative ways to think and create; they are uplifting and stir your curiosity
  • Pop Culture Happy Hour - an NPR roundtable discussion that talks about the latest movies, books, music, and television
  • Novel Conversations- this new podcast from The Front Porch People is perfect for the book nerd to connect or reconnect with classic works of literature
  • The Lively Show - uplifting podcasts that inspire, create positivity, and give your life intention
  • BroadMic - candid advice for the entrepreneur and woman with dreams and visions
  • The Chalene Show - awesome life motivation and great tips on online business growth, fitness and lifestyle
  • Surprisingly Awesome - this witty show from Gimlet Media makes everyday, boring things fun and interesting
  • The Moth - this collection of true stories told in front of a live audience will shock you, make you laugh, and make you cry
  • Dear Sugar Podcast - advice for “the lost, lonely, and heartsick” from bestselling Wild author Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond

I hope you get hooked on something you love! Do you have a favorite podcast? Please share in the comments below!

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