by Ellen Blake
I am new to podcasts, and I admit it took me a long time to get on board with them. In our current age of abundant content, I find the sheer volume of choices overwhelming. I actually did listen to a podcast or two a few years ago, but they weren’t particularly engaging, and I quickly lost interest. Recently, though, it seems the popularity of podcasts is exploding. So, I decided to give them another try. But where to start? There are around 850,000 active podcasts from which to choose these days, and that number is growing. I like to get recommendations from like-minded people as I don’t want to spend a lot of time searching for good ones, and perhaps you feel so same. For that reason, I decided to compile a list of podcasts popular with our age group.
What’s a Podcast?
What is a podcast? Great question. For those of you not yet familiar with the term, a podcast is sort of like an online radio or TV show. It’s a downloadable, stream-able program with regularly released episodes that vary in length from a few minutes to over an hour. You can listen to or watch on your computer, smartphone, or tablet. It’s a series of audio or video episodes that cover all sorts of topics, from storytelling and education to news and entertainment. Think of it as a collection of episodes, like chapters in a book, and you can subscribe to a podcast to receive new episodes automatically.
Podcasts, available on various websites and apps, are made by individuals, organizations, or companies. You can choose to listen or view them online, or download episodes to enjoy later, even when you’re offline. They provide convenient entertainment, a fantastic way to learn new things and stay up-to-date with your interests, and you can explore a wide range of topics.
A Brief History of Podcasting
Podcasts started as far back as 1999. I wasn’t aware of them at that time, they just weren’t on my radar. In 2005, Apple officially added podcasts to iTunes, which made them more mainstream. Ricky Gervais, the popular British comedian, started his show around that time and quickly became a megahit. Other comedians saw his success and started their own podcasts in the mid-2000s.
Even with celebrity name recognition, podcasts didn’t become overly popular for a long time. In 2014, Serial Productions began as a spinoff of the public radio show, “This American Life”, and their quality and innovation in podcasts transformed the medium. They joined the New York Times Company in 2020 and everything changed. Today, there are around 850,000 active podcasts. That’s a staggering number of shows.
It seems everyone and their brother hosts a podcast these days. Some hosts are famous like Oprah Winfrey who records a podcast each week and Bruce Springsteen who cohosts one with Barack Obama. John Lee Dumas is not as much a household name, but he hosts, Entrepreneurs on Fire, considered by many to be the top podcast for business owners. The most popular and profitable podcast today is The Joe Rogan Experience, which features the comedian featuring a wide variety of interesting characters and conversations on his show. Whatever your interests, whether you look for comedy, history, true crime stories, celebrity interviews, or business podcasts, it’s out there waiting for you.
Podcasts for Seniors
Why are podcasts for seniors increasingly popular these days? Older adults listen to podcasts for a variety of reasons, including lifelong learning and feeling a sense of community and connection. They offer a convenient way for older adults to explore their interests, engage with new ideas, and remain mentally stimulated while enjoying diverse content tailored to their preferences and schedules.
As technology becomes more user-friendly, older adults, including me, are increasingly more comfortable with online content. While there is no specific date when podcasts for seniors started to increase in popularity, the growth of the podcasting medium has made it more accessible and appealing to a broad audience, including older adults. As technology continues to advance and more content becomes available, podcasts will likely continue to gain popularity. Have you heard people say, “There’s an app for that?” Similarly, the same holds for episodic listening: “There’s a podcast for that.” Enamored with cars? No problem. Avid reader? Got it. Many podcasts focus on literate life. Seeking inspiration for retirement? Yup, you can easily find one focused on travel too. There are too many podcasts to list in this one post, so here we focus on podcasts related specifically to aging well.
Podcasts About Positive Aging
Below is a list of our favorite podcasts about positive aging. All have their own special sauce to communicate ways to live our best lives as we age. Some are funny, others more serious, but all are informative and inspiring.
This is a funny podcast for older ladies from Julia Louis-Dreyfus. She wants to know why we don’t hear more from older women, so she sits down with Jane Fonda, Carol Burnett, Amy Tan, Diane von Furstenberg, Isabel Allende, Fran Lebowitz, and more for advice on how to live a full and meaningful life. Listen in on her interviews for funny, touching, personal conversations with unforgettable women.
This podcast deals with relationships, health, spirituality, finances, and community concerns, and helps you reclaim control of all areas of your life with the power of positive thinking. Patricia Raskin and her guests provide practical, positive solutions for a happy, empowered, and successful life.
Hosted by senior living expert Lori Williams, this positive and uplifting podcast inspires people of all ages to live their best lives. Meet inspirational seniors who are aging with grace and making the most of their senior years.
Chock full of information, this podcast provides helpful insights that empower you about trending topics in the older adult space. Owned by Capital Health Care Network, the interviews presented provide solutions that help seniors age on their own terms.
The Zestful Aging Podcast is all about metamorphosis as we age. Host Nicole Christina discusses topics such as how to navigate the joys and challenges of aging, how to live a satisfying and meaningful life in older age, and more.
Host Diana Todd-Banks spotlights entrepreneurs in their 50s, 60s, and 70s who discuss how they changed their life by starting a new venture, much-needed community group, or business; During the 22-minute interviews, they discuss how they did it, the pitfalls, tips, horror moments, funny bits and above how their health benefited.
Join hosts Lisa Luguori and Linda Waldon for tips from a beauty expert and an image stylist to help you be beautifully visible. Conversations feature talk about style, beauty, and all that is vitally important to us in our 2nd act.
Best Older Men Podcasts (Hosted by Older Men)
When I looked at the list I compiled above, I realized all the podcasts noted have female hosts. Perhaps that’s because I am a woman and those are the podcasts that resonated with me. Men can certainly enjoy and benefit from the podcasts listed above, but we understand some may feel more closely aligned with a male host. So, for those looking for male hosts, here are some highly recommended podcasts to try.
Host Paul Vogelzang discusses the hottest issues and topics that fascinate and inform individuals aged 50Plus and their families.
The Living to 100 Club from host Dr. Joe Casciani is an exciting take on getting older. This podcast is for those wanting to maintain a positive outlook about the future, offering fresh and inspiring perspectives on aging successfully. It features topics such as healthy lifestyles, overcoming obstacles, staying positive in the face of adversity, starting new chapters, and living life to the fullest.
The Retirement Answer Man, hosted by Roger Whitney, CFP® helps you put your ideal retirement within reach. This podcast provides great information about both preparing and living a great retirement but also delves into lessons in life.
Do you enjoy easy listening and reminiscing about the good old days? Jim, a Boomer born in 1950, shares memories of his childhood through young adulthood.
Hosts Gary Ebersole, Richard Kipling, and Randy Schultz believe that though we may be getting older, we still have a lot to say about everything from senior stoners to how to teach old dogs new tricks. This podcast is both informational and entertaining!
If you’re a man who is a little older with a busy, productive life and wants even more in life, the information podcast from Skip La Cour is for you.
Podcasts for Caregivers
Caregiving is a tough job, and sometimes it’s hard to know where to turn for support. These podcasts, created specifically for caregivers, are excellent resources that can help get you through the rough patches.
Hosted by Wendy Whiteman, elder law attorney, author, and leading insight advisor for senior protocol and lifestyle trends, this podcast provides guidance and practical tips for your family. Know that you are not alone in getting the assistance you need and finding the experts who can help.
This podcast is all about sharing stories and resources for family caregivers. Host, Emilia Bourland, OTR, ECHM is an occupational therapist who served thousands of caregivers during her clinical career. Through her organization, Higher Standards Caregiver Training, Emilia now provides easy access to practical instruction in caregiving for caregivers everywhere.
Host Charlotte Bayala is a spousal caregiver who spent years feeling like she could never get control of her caregiving life. If you’re a caregiver hoping to find you aren’t the only one feeling frustrated, overwhelmed, resentful, and alone, this podcast is for you. Listen to stories that provide insight and different ways to think of caregiving from authors, other caregivers, and experts in the caregiving field.
What Are the Easiest Ways to Listen to Podcasts?
The easiest way for older adults to enjoy podcasts is through familiar and user-friendly devices like smartphones or tablets. With apps like Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts, you can subscribe to your favorite shows and listen at your own pace. Smart speakers, such as Amazon Echo or Google Home, offer hands-free convenience by responding to voice commands. For those who prefer computers, web-based platforms like Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Apple Podcasts make it simple to access content. If you are lucky enough to have a tech-savvy friend or family member in your life, ask them to help get you set up if you need a little assistance!
Ready to Start Listening to Podcasts?
Listening to podcasts is a valuable and enjoyable activity for many. If you haven’t yet decided to take the leap, here are some reasons that might encourage you to do so.
Learn Something New: Podcasts cover a wide range of topics, from history and science to health and wellness. You can use podcasts as a source of lifelong learning and personal growth.
Stay Informed: Many podcasts provide in-depth analysis and discussions on current events, giving you a better understanding of the world around you.
Entertainment: Numerous podcasts entertain in the form of comedy, storytelling, or fictional audio dramas. They can be a great source of enjoyment and relaxation.
Connect with Like-Minded People: Podcasts often have communities of listeners who share your interests. This can be a way to connect with others who have similar hobbies or passions.
Inspiration: Some podcasts feature interviews with inspiring individuals who have achieved success or overcome challenges. These stories can be motivating and offer valuable life lessons.
Convenience: Podcasts can be listened to at your own convenience, whether you’re commuting, exercising, or relaxing at home. You can take your favorite content with you wherever you go.
Mental Stimulation: Engaging your mind with podcasts can help keep your cognitive abilities sharp and provide mental stimulation.
Quality Content: Many podcasts are professionally produced and offer high-quality content that can be both entertaining and educational.
As podcasts are a versatile and enjoyable way to learn, stay informed, and be entertained, you can explore various shows that cater to your interests and preferences. Let us know in the comment section below if you know of other excellent podcasts for older adults you think we should add to the list!
FAQs About Podcasts
Here are some commonly asked questions about podcasts.
What types of podcasts are suitable for older adults?
Podcasts cover a vast array of subjects, so there’s something for everyone. This post focuses on issues specifically related to positive aging, but you can listen to podcasts on other topics like history, travel, cooking, health, family, retirement, finance, storytelling, and more. The best podcast for you will depend on your interests and preferences.
How can I find podcasts that cater to my interests?
Discover podcasts by using popular podcast platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or specialized podcast apps. You can search for topics, browse categories, or ask for recommendations from friends, family, or online communities.
How can I learn to use podcast apps and subscribe to shows?
Many podcast apps have user-friendly interfaces. You can find tutorials and guides online to help you get started. Simply search for a podcast you like, click “Subscribe,” and new episodes will automatically download to your device.
How can I enjoy podcasts while on the go or exercising?
Podcasts are a great companion for activities like walking, exercising, or even commuting. You can listen to podcasts using your smartphone and a pair of headphones. Many podcast apps allow you to create playlists to suit your preferences.
Can I listen to podcasts for free?
Many podcasts are available for free. You can listen to episodes without any cost. However, some podcasts offer premium content or ad-free versions for a subscription fee.
Are there podcasts for older ladies or men on a wide variety of topics?
Absolutely! Podcasts come in many different genres, and any podcast on topics in which you are interested are a good option! You can enjoy podcasts on topics like history, health and wellness, lifestyle, travel, cooking, storytelling, and more.
Are funny podcasts for middle age women offensive?
The humor in podcasts, as in any form of entertainment, can vary widely. Some funny podcasts may use humor that you might consider offensive by some listeners, while others may aim for a more lighthearted and inoffensive style. What’s considered offensive is often a matter of personal taste and sensitivity. We recommend you read reviews or descriptions before listening to ensure it works for you.