Collective Connections: How Podcasts Keep Me Sane

By Bethany Berger

When EarBuds first launched in February 2017, I was six months into a new job in a new town and I was feeling pretty lonely. I live in a small, rural town in the Mississippi Delta and while I love it, I sometimes feel isolated from the rest of the world. Being isolated is going to be great for when we go to nuclear war with North Korea, but it’s not great right now for a millennial trying to stay up on her social justice --  and just all around social -- game.


In my Tinder bio, I describe myself as a “northern instigator who can open doors for herself thank you very much.” (This may be why I go on so few Tinder dates). But in any case, a great deal of my friends are baby boomers I’ve met around town.



Podcasts keep me sane. They allow me to escape, while simultaneously keeping me connected. The best part of my Monday is opening that EarBuds email and downloading all the new podcasts for the week. I’ve learned so much about things I would have never known existed without these podcasts and the EarBuds community. While filing and making copies at work, I learn about how things are built. During dinner time I listen to stories about the Mothman Prophecies, and in the shower I catch up on what’s happening in the space race.


A lot of people, especially in large U.S. cities,  find themselves surrounded by people who share their political views. After the 2016 presidential election, we heard a lot about how the news we listen to reinforces itself, that our social bubbles are often filled with people who share our viewpoints on most issues. My experience in Mississippi is different, and for that I’m grateful. I feel very lucky that everyday I work and laugh with people who are different than me. EarBuds’ mission to connect people through stories different from their own challenges me each week when I am introduced to audio that’s outside of my direct zone of interest.


I’m also so grateful for my fellow EarBuddies out there who send me podcasts that make me feel seen and ones that challenge how I think. The crowdsourced creativity of our Collective is contagious. We have so much story-sharing power. So far, the Collective has lifted up black voices, women’s voices, immigrants’ voices, disabled voices, and even my own voice! (I curated a list about Mississippi, find it here).


I don’t know where the next year will take us, but I’ll be sure to pack my earbuds.


For a list of our past theme and pod picks, and even to suggest your own theme, visit our Listening Lists page.

Welcome to the EarBuds Podcast Collective Blog

EarBuds Podcast Collective is a Listening Movement

We send a weekly email with a theme and 5 pod episodes on that theme. Each week is curated by a different person. Since we started in February of 2017, we've had FORTY unique curators and FORTY-SIX unique email themes. We've learned so much from these podcast episodes and we so appreciate the hard work that podcast hosts and producers put in to create this content.

Since we started sending out our email on February 13th, 2017, we've grown and grown. We send out our emails every Sunday night and then post the episodes on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We also are syndicated on DiscoverPods and then we re-post on Medium

Starting now, we will produce our own commentary on the EBC Blog. In addition to pod tidbits on the episodes that are chosen by our curators, we'll blog some extra content for y'all. Stay tuned! Thanks for joining the Collective! 

With love and listening,

Arielle Nissenblatt, founder and lead curator of EarBuds Podcast Collective

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Founder and lead curator,  Arielle Nissenblatt , hosting EarBuds Live in NY - August 2017

Founder and lead curator, Arielle Nissenblatt, hosting EarBuds Live in NY - August 2017