I don't know about you, but I started podcasting as a creative outlet. Podcasting was a means of expression, but it also improved my life in ways I never could have imagined. Yes, this post is going to be cheesier than your favorite pizza. You've been warned! And because all 3 ways that podcasting improved my life involve other people, I'm going to have a partner in change for each of these impacts. A co-pilot of change, so to speak.
Podcasting Emotionally Healed Me
What I Needed to Improve
A few months before I accidentally started my first podcast, I moved to China to emotionally and financially recover after leaving an American PhD program. After hitting academic gatekeeper walls for two years, I needed a form of expression that was drenched in possibility. The return to my expat life felt like a good starting point, so I dug into my own expat story in my first podcast. It was supposed to be a quick project. It wasn't. Never did I think that this small solo project would turn into interviews. This part of podcasting improved my life. In fact, it changed the course of my life completely.
Podcasting Helps Introverts Heal Too
And while I was healing my own academic wounds via the intimacy of podcasting, David Mendes, PhD was overcoming his introvertedness with his Papa PhD podcast. “Launching Papa PhD has helped me to overcome my introversion in a huge way. I feel really comfortable behind the microphone and my introvert attentive/empathic listening skills almost become a super-power.” A super-power indeed, David.
Social Awkwardness Be Gone
Focusing on keeping the interviews going helped me overcome some of my own introvert tendencies that came out in the form of one-on-one shyness. Instead of being scared of intimate conversations, I was excited. So excited to ask my guests about their own expat stories that I found myself open and vulnerable in ways that it normally takes me years to be with someone. This improved my life because this new trust and vulnerability expanded to my non-podcasting friendships too. My fear of intimacy became smaller and smaller with each interview, each guest, each storytelling experience.
How Podcasting Improved My Life Takeaway #1
The healing power of podcast interviews is the compound effect. My guests and I shared our stories with each other and the conversations themselves turned into something larger than either of us individually.
Podcasting Empowered Me
Calling All Misfits
Once I found my podcasting feet, I found myself wanting to do more podcasts through my lens. Podcasting improved my life by making me stronger and more assertive about my own point of view. ‘Where are you from?' is a painful question for people like me. Topics and ideas are our homes, not places. The more expats I interviewed about topics I loved, like technology and books, the more grounded I felt. We validated each other's experiences and it was empowering for this global misfit.
Stand Up for What You Believe In
On the other side of the world, in Chicago, Illinois in the U.S. specifically, Dion McGill of Off the Beaten Podcast was embracing his singular place, Chicago. This city was under intense criticism, but it's one that he wanted to stick up for. He created the podcast as a love letter to his place. Even though our geographical foci were different, the magic of podcasting touched us both. While Dion was defending his city, he changed. “The podcast really has made me feel like I'm a representative of the city of sorts. I feel like an envoy. It's a cool feeling. People who are actually living the lives they're reporting about is what's needed in todays discourse.” Essentially, his goal was to empower the place he loved.
How Podcasting Improved My Life Takeaway #2
It doesn't matter if you have a hyperlocal podcast or a global one, there is something about the concentrated sound experience of podcasting that is a form of meditation. It focuses and soothes us into being more ourselves than we ever imagined.
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Podcasting Calmed Down My Anxiety
Choosing Between Community and Creativity
My lifelong global misfitness set me up to be socially anxious, from here to eternity. Or so I thought. Until I started to find podcasting groups. I then realized that I had found my people. Podcasters are curious people and love to share information and skills, much like the educators I used to be surrounded by. And on so many levels, I relaxed. Relaxation and anxiety are opposites, don't you know? I was having so much collaborative fun that I forgot to overthink how they were seeing and thinking about my weirdness. Don't get me wrong, I'd had people in my life that I felt this relaxed around, but not in creative spaces. This realization about podcasting improved my life in the biggest of big ways: I no longer had to choose between being socially comfortable and being creative.
Choosing Between Community and Creativity
A similar relaxing experience happened to MJ Bailey, Creator and Host of the Oracle of Dusk and Cassandra's Tales. She received a supportive message from a fellow audio drama podcaster after her first episode was published. “It really helped encourage me,” she shared. MJ's since collaborated with podcasters globally, including yours truly, which is something she didn't expect to happen.
Creative Acceptance Matters
For me, finding this creative and curious community that accepts my eccentricities has calmed my anxious nature down a lot. And this is a huge way that podcasting improved my life. And I think MJ's too.
How Podcasting Improved My Life Takeaway #3
Don't get me wrong, the podcast space is not perfect. We are entertainers at heart, and that comes with its own narcissistic downside. But, there is a certain energy in the space. There's a pulsing, “I want to create something” energy, that radiates out of this space. And it's exciting. Being involved in this kind of creative playfulness is intoxicating.
An Audio Room of Requirement
After many conversations with podcasters over the years, I'm convinced that podcasting is an audio room of requirement. Podcasting improved my life by healing me, empowering me and calming me down. Sometimes it feels like whatever you emotionally need, podcasting can provide it. It's the audio room of requirement!
Well now that I've bared my soul to you I bet you're all geared up to start your own podcast. We can help. Spend your time on the healing, not on editing, by using our production app, Alitu. It automates processing and helps you with editing. A lot. You can edit out any mistakes or too emotional moments from your heart to heart interviews easily with Alitu, if you need to!