The Complete Guide to Podcasts for Women Over 50: Who, What, and Why

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The Complete Guide to Podcasts for Women Over 50:  Who, What, and Why

If you haven’t been hiding under a rock, you’ve probably heard someone talk about listening to a podcast.  Podcasts have recently become all the rage for every age.  It is not at all difficult to find some podcasts for women over 50 that you will enjoy!  But in case you have no idea whatsoever what a podcast is and why you should listen to one, let me help you out!

What is a podcast?

A podcast is something like a radio talk show.  It usually consists of a host and a guest talking about a common subject.  Think of a podcast as talk radio on-demand, kind of like Netflix for talk shows.  Podcasts are usually audio only, although some have the same show available on Youtube in video format.  I rarely watch those because I listen to podcasts while driving or puttering around my house doing chores or making dinner.

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A brief history of podcasts

Podcasts are relatively new in the technological scene, with the first podcasts airing around 2004.  I didn’t hear about them until sometime in 2008 when I was working as a part-time secretary at my kids’ middle school.

One day, the Technology teacher said something to me about a podcast he enjoyed.  I had never heard this strange new word, and feeling a bit out of touch with the world already, being a parent to newly minted teens and all, I asked him right away, “What is a podcast?”

He proceeded to look at me as if I had sprouted a second head, but only after doing a slow-mo double take as if to question that I had really just asked that inane question.  Apparently, my look of hope swayed him to share his knowledge, and he very condescendingly explained what a podcast is and why I should listen.  Sold!

Why would I not want to listen to other people talk about interesting things?  And for FREE!!!!  That day, I tuned in to my first podcast.  I have enjoyed watching this technology grow, change, and improve over the years.  I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

Check out The Complete History of Podcasts if you’d like to read all the geeky details of the history of podcasts, from where they began to where they may go.

And if you get brave and decide to begin recording your own podcast, any of these headsets would work great!

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What do they talk about on podcasts for women over 50?

The answer to this question is simple and complicated all at once.  Podcast hosts talk about anything, everything, and sometimes even nothing.  You can listen to shows about sports, parenting, grandparenting, bible studies, comedy, culture, language learning, politics, tv shows, books, true crime, mental health, physical health, weight loss, grandparenting, aging, empty nesting, loving life, dieting, body image, history, science, and the list goes on.

If you can come up with a subject that isn’t already a podcast, then you better start making it yourself before someone else swoops in to do it!

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Pink background with "Hip Grandma Merch" available on front

What is the purpose of a podcast?

There are many purposes to listening to podcasts for women over 50.  Just like television, podcasts can be educational, entertaining, comical, sad.  I love to listen to podcasts because it helps me feel “in touch” with someone outside of my own four walls.  I work from home, so sometimes, my contact with real people is minimal.

Listening to some of my favorite podcasts gives me a sense of routine and camaraderie.  Now is a great time to talk about the format of podcasts as well.

Producers usually release podcasts in episodes, most often weekly and on a specific day.  I have gotten used to knowing which day to look for particular episodes, and I look forward to those releases.  Most of the podcasts I listen to are approximately an hour in length, but that can vary tremendously from show to show and even from one episode to the next.

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Do I have to pay to listen?

The choice is yours.  You never need to spend a dime to listen to a podcast.  There are thousands upon thousands of high-quality shows and episodes available entirely for free.  Paid subscriptions are also available that allow you to hear ad-free podcasts or get a complete series of episodes right away instead of waiting for the weekly episode.

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What’s the catch?

So if this sounds too good to be true, and you’re wondering where’s the catch, here it is:  There isn’t one.  Well, maybe a few teensy tiny ones, but certainly nothing that will stop you from enjoying this fantastic new technology.

There’s a reason podcasters go into this form of entertainment.  They want a paycheck, of course.  Most podcasts you will listen to have some form of advertising built-in.  Kind of like tv commercials, you will hear short breaks from 30 seconds to a couple of minutes where the host talks about a product or service they love.

You can listen and learn about something new, or you can fast-forward those ads and get on with the show.  Honestly, there are fewer commercials in podcasts than your average tv show, so it’s not a deal-breaker for me.

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multi-colored background with the words "let's be friends" printed on top with "click here to join the facebook group"

I’m ready to try it – Now how do I listen to podcasts for women over 50?

If you have a smartphone (or a computer), you can listen to a podcast.  On Apple iPhones, there is a Podcast app that comes built-in with your phone, so you already have everything you need!  Open the app and begin searching.  That’s what I do! Listening to podcasts for women over 50 couldn’t be easier!

But just in case you want to try something different, I surveyed my readers for their favorite Podcast apps, all of which are downloadable through your phone’s app store.  Here are their favorite apps for both iOS (iPhone/Apple) and Android.

Apple Podcast logo with a purple square showing a white abstract shape in the center

Apple Podcast comes already loaded on iOS devices and cannot be used on Android.

Pandora Podcast Logo

Pandora works with both iOS and Android devices.

podcast addict logo with words and an orange circle

Podcast Addict – iOS devices only – cannot be used on Android

Overcast Podcast Logo

Overcast – iOS devices only – cannot be used on Android

Spotify Podcast Logo

Spotify can be used on both iOS and Android

pocket casts Podcast Logo - orange background with two semi circles in white

Pocket Casts is available on both iOS and Android

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Where should I begin listening to hear podcasts for women over 50?

Now that I’ve got you excited about listening to a podcast, I’ll bet you’re wondering where to begin.  Well, since I am a lover of Podcasts, I’ll start by telling you about a few of my favorites.

Are you looking for inspiration?

The Neighborgood Podcast logo showing a house and title words

Check out The Neighborgood with my friend Dana Bowman.  Dana has a unique story of her own, and she uses her experience in this American life to relate with others who have overcome difficulties.

The Neighborgood is definitely on my list of up-and-coming podcasts.  I will be happy to boast “I knew her when” as her listenership grows and she makes her mark on the world of podcasting.  Give her a listen.  You won’t be sorry!

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Women in the Middle podcast logo with a woman leaning in to the camera and the title words next to her - one of my favorite podcasts for women over 50

In Women in the Middle, Master certified life coach and midlife mentor Suzy Rosenstein and her guests talk about life after age 50, including everything from health, wealth, self-care, underwear (yep – I said underwear), and living a joyful life over the age of 50.

This podcast is one of the many podcasts women love.  I love that when I listen, I feel value in being part of a community of midlife women who are making a difference in their own lives and the lives of others.

Primal Potential podcast logo with a chalky black rectangle and words over it

A friend recommended this podcast to me. It is called Primal Potential, and I enjoy the pace and the content.  Hosted by Elizabeth Benton, this podcast is all about making positive changes in your life and turning negative situations into positive ones through real-life tips and techniques. 

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Do you love true crime?

Dirty John podcast logo with a red rose and a black/white hand with a syringe - one of my favorite podcasts for women over 50

Oh my goodness!  I loved this podcast, and it was so unexpected.  Dirty John is the true story of Debra Newell and John Meehan and their midlife romance gone wrong.  It is recorded in an interview-style format by Christopher Goffard from the LA Times.

I love that you are hearing from the actual people in the story as the story unfolds.  I am not the only person who loved this podcast because it has become a limited series on Netflix.  If you like True Crime, you’ll like this show!

Dateline Logo with a city in the background and the word DATELINE across

I love watching Dateline.  I have binge-watched this true crime tv show for hours on end.  Unfortunately, I don’t get much accomplished while sitting in front of the television.  Enter Dateline Podcasts, and my life is changed!

I can get all of the good True Crime stories with none of the couch potato time.  Dateline podcast is so simple – it is the tv show made into an audio-only podcast.  Bonus – If you enjoy listening to Keith Morrison narrate, then you’ll love this podcast.  New episodes include not only what you’ve seen on NBC recently, but many classic episodes are also available.

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Do you want to learn about mental health?

Mayim Bialik with title for Breakdown - one of my favorite podcasts for women over 50

Mayim Bialik, of TV’s Blossom, Big Bang Theory, and most recently Call Me Kat, hosts Mayim Bialik’s Breakdown, a fun and very informative podcast all about mental health from the standpoint of neuroscience.  Yes, our little Blossom is all grown up and very educated.

She interviews many guests, from well-known actors and actresses to other extraordinary scientific minds, to help us connect mind and body.  She is fun, self-deprecating, and just a touch neurotic, making me love her even more!  A special bonus for me is that the Barenaked Ladies lent their talents to Mayim in the form of the jingle for this podcast.  I love that every time I play this podcast, I get to hear them!

Unlocking Us podcast logo showing a key drawing with rainbow of muted colors surrounding

Brené Brown is known for her work in the mental health field and her studies on vulnerability, courage, empathy, and shame.  In Unlocking Us, Brené has conversations with guests from all walks of life that will inspire you.

Don’t worry. Despite the content being deeply mental-health-oriented, this podcast is anything but boring.  You will laugh, snort, sigh, and maybe even cry. Brené’s guests share many of their own life experiences that will make you pause and think about your journey through this life.

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Getting in touch with your inner youth?

Coffee Convos Podcast Logo - a circle with words inside

Not every show I listen to falls in the category of the midlife podcast.  I love Coffee Convos because it helps me relate to the next generation of younger-than-me moms.  My adult children are close in age to these women.  Hearing from them helps me relate to my kids and their challenges in today’s world. 

Hosted by Kail Lowry of MTV’s Teen Mom and Lindsie Chrisley, daughter of Todd Chrisley of USA Network’s Chrisley Knows Best, these two come from very different backgrounds yet share many everyday joys and challenges of parenting and living in the public eye.  Some days, I wish I could reach through my device, give them big hugs, and tell them what a great job they’re doing. 

Love to See It Podcast logo with two women toasting with champagne

If you love to watch any of the shows in the Bachelor franchise on ABC, and you sometimes roll your eyes while watching, then Love To See It is the podcast for you.  I confess I’m probably far too old for the Bachelor shows, but never-the-less, I enjoy them with a guilty sort of pleasure.

The hosts of this show, Claire Fallon and Emma Gray, break down all of the details of each episode with all the enthusiasm of women in their late 20’s (maybe early 30’s – don’t know that I care) and all the snark that I need to hear.  I mean – it’s kind of hard to take the show seriously, yet they do their best, all while pointing out where the cast members and producers fail.  This show is excellent for a light-hearted listen, especially the day after you’ve tuned in to watch the night before.

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Wrapping it all up!

If you haven’t dipped your toe into the pool of podcasts, now is the time!  The content available for free will blow your mind!  Get ready to get hooked, because once you find a show or two you enjoy, the next episodes can’t come fast enough! 

It is simple to subscribe to the shows you like, and your device will automatically download new podcast episodes as they become available. It’s a truly remarkable technology and so simple to use once you get the hang of it.  Top podcasts that I enjoy make me think, laugh, and inspire me to work harder and be kinder in life. 

If you’re already swimming in the podcast pool, tell me in the comments which app you use and what podcasts you love best!  I am always willing to listen to something new and exciting!

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