Homer's Travels: Laughter Therapy

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Laughter Therapy

A few months back I posted about finishing all my The American Life podcast episodes.  Since then I've been searching for suitable substitutes.  I listen to podcasts while I clean the house and do chores so I needed something interesting but not too interesting to distract me from my chores.  I can multi-task but, as everyone knows, multi-tasking is doing several things poorly at the same time, at least it is for me.

I ended up going to the NPR website in search of new podcasts.  I'm a fan of NPR and I thought I'd find something that would interest me and fit the bill.  I came up with the following:
  • On The Media discusses ... the media naturally.  I like the interviews and their topics interest me.  It feeds into my News-Junky tendencies.
  • Radio Lab, recommended to me by the Altar Boy, covers interesting subjects with a somewhat scientific bent.  I like Robert Krulwich's style and the subjects are interesting and their treatment is similar to This American Life.
  • Think includes interviews of authors and lecturers about various subjects.  The interviews can be a little flat and lack a little in the style department but the subject are varied and often interesting.  I don't listen to this while I'm cleaning but I do load them in my MP3 player to help cut the monotony when I'm doing city Walkabouts.  One note though, on those long walks, make sure you have spare batteries.  During my last walk the battery died three hours before I got home - D'oh!
  • This American Life is, of course, still around and I often listen to at least one new episode each week.
  • Planet Money podcast covers economic issues with a very human perspective and in an approachable way.  The podcast is too short for chores, being in the 15 to 25 minutes range, but I do listen to it when I just need a short, relaxing listen.  Yep, listening to stuff about the economy is relaxing to me.  Weird, I know.
  • Eclectic Mix and Morning Becomes Eclectic, a couple of music podcasts, which I usually listen to when I need to relax and take a nap.
  • And my guilty pleasure, and what inspired the title of this post, Car Talk.  The hosts, Tom and Ray, are a bunch of chuckle-heads and, while I really have no interest in cars, just listening to them laughing and chuckling makes me smile and lifts my spirits.  Car Talk is my laughter therapy.
If any of you have podcasts you think I'd like, pass them along in the comments.  I'll check them out if I can find the time.


  1. I tend to listen to podcasts of people reading classics. I listen while I go walking or ride the stationary bike. I haven't listened to podcasts in months though... mmm I'll have to check out some of the ones you suggested

  2. I rarely listen to podcasts. I've started taking some stuff from TED.com and putting it on the mp3 at the gym, but that's about it.

    If you're really looking to fill time, though, I'm sure there's 20 years of Prairie Home Companion audio out there somewhere on NPR's site!

  3. Miss McC: I've thought about books on MP3 but I'm afraid I'd get into the book and my chores would go to pot.

    GH: Prairie Home Companion ... kill me now. Sorry GH, can't stand the guy.

  4. Altar Boy and I really enjoy NPR's "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me"!

  5. ABW: I like that show too. The problem for me is that I rarely listen to a podcast the same week it is aired. Podcasts about current events, like WWDTM, become dated. I guess If I'm going to listen to it I'll have to change my habits and listen to it more promptly.