As far back as we can see, humans have revealed in the dissemination of knowledge. From books, to newspapers and radio broadcasting, to television, to social media and cell
phones, humans have always possessed a yearning to stay informed and connected through various forms of media. Even primitive cave drawings prove this simple desire. What’s the
media's latest reincarnation for information spreading? Podcasts. A simple forty minute podcast can inspire laughter, awe, empathy, and introspection—listeners want to absorb the stories and perspectives of those close and far, and in our globalizing world this is becoming more and more of a necessity. All I ask of readers as they go through this list of podcasts—in no particular order—is to understand the absorption of these audio files as a social responsibility. Listen to our neighbours and peers. Listen to queer, black, and indigenous voices (among many, many more) to stretch the canvas of your brain until it is grande enough to fit all the colours and textures the world has to offer. Never before has it been as important—or easy—to stay informed and connected in a world that threatens to turn completely virtual.

The Love Bomb

This podcast is a heartfelt, down-to-earth look at love beyond conventional and limiting definitions of sex, gender, sexuality, and romance. Host, Nico Tortorella, highlights his fluid look at love (neither gay, nor straight, nor bisexual), proudly proclaiming his love for people as individuals not as assemblages of body parts or even identity presentation. In the intro to every episode, Nico says: “I’m attracted to people who are unapologetically themselves. I’m in love with love.” Every episode features someone from his life who has either captivated his interest, inspired introspection, or taught him what it means to love another human. If you’re looking for a contemporary look at love beyond identity labels, this is the podcast for you!

In The Mirror

Host and Canadian singer/songwriter, Chantal Preston, talks with up-and-coming musical artists about their creative process and their personal lives. Guests have included: Poesy, Jake Beck, Jacelyn, and more. This podcast is a great way to stay up-to-date with modern music, and to hear a blunt and unscripted version of these artists’ real lives.

Other Peoples’ Lives

Co-hosts Joe Santagato and Greg Dybec interview anonymous guests about the quirky, the unconventional, the sad, and the terrifying—anything the speaker wants to share with listeners to make them feel less alone. Episode titles include: “My Husband is Now my Wife,” “I Survived a Genocide,” “Struggling With Schizophrenia,” and “I Sell My Used Panties Online.” Unashamedly funny, frightening and raw, this podcast does not assume listeners know anything about the topics discussed within, and Joe and Greg never impose their own biases—allowing the anonymous guests to define the topic as desired. This podcast is a great way to open your mind to Other Peoples’ Lives, as guests discuss the areas of their lives often reserved for privacy.

Indigenous Perspectives

A uniquely Canadian podcast, Indigenous Perspectives is a must listen for anyone looking to be more socially conscious of Canada’s troublesome past which is often veiled in an internationally assumed façade of Canadian positivity. This podcast focuses on dismantling westernized thought and highlighting the often unheard and underrepresented perspectives of Indigenous peoples (First Nations, Metis, and Inuit). Discussions are about relevant Indigenous politics and governance, as well as simple everyday ideologies about Indigenous peoples and thoughts. Host, Todd Lyons, facilitates open discussions with Indigenous public servants about the current state of Indigenous peoples in Canada—how the past has affected the present, and how Canadians should behave in regards to reconciliation. 

Duncan Trussell Family Hour

Inspiring Netflix’s iconic Midnight Gospel, the Duncan Trussell Family Hour podcast follows host, Duncan Trussel, as he interviews over 400 erudite guests about the outer reaches of the multiverse. Topics include existentialism, the cosmos, life and death and the afterlife, love and happiness, and generally philosophical, candid, vulnerable—often eye opening and frightening—discussions about the fundamental structure of the world and reality. This podcast is a much-needed listen for those looking to move beyond the cantles of bodily function and everyday life, to become utterly engulfed in one’s own imagination and intellect. 

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