The Weekend Listener is an eclectic weekly list of noteworthy podcasts and radio recordings, old and new, curated for your listening pleasure. Posts in this series are published on Fridays – please search the website for the previous instalments.
Where the study of language meets psychology: did you know that swearing can impact our sense of pain, physical and emotional? We’ve probably all known it intuitively all along, but latest studies prove it. People who swear (in moderation) seem to deal more effectively with frustrating and difficult situations. Listen to this extract from the CBC Radio’s As It Happens programme to find out more. [Duration: 6’30’’]
Born on 16th December 1775, Jane Austen is widely considered one of the best British novelists. New film and TV adaptations of her works continue to be released on a regular basis, bringing those 18th century tales of romance and intrigue to contemporary audiences. What makes them so appealing to this day? The hosts of The Waves podcast discuss Austen’s enduring popularity and a very modern feel to her novels. [Duration: 34’21’’]
English language learners, now would be the perfect time to learn some winter-related vocabulary. This episode of the Happy English Podcast will teach you how to talk about cold weather, and on the website you can also find example sentences with key words from the programme. [Duration: 6’55’’]
Santa Claus is a fascinating character with quite a history. This episode of the Christmas Past podcast is the first in a three-part series exploring the transformation of St Nicholas – a 3rd/4th century AD Christian bishop – into the chubby, bearded grandpa bearing gifts of contemporary imagination. You can find the full transcript of the programme here. [Duration: 12’07’’]
CULTURE & SOCIETY
Not surprisingly, the ‘words of the year’ selections for 2022 reflect the troubling times we live in, marked by the sense of permanent crisis. Have we learned any lessons since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020? Are we now less or more resilient? If you’re struggling with the steady stream of negative news, listen to this programme for advice on how to cope with collective trauma. [Duration: 21’16’’]
RELIGION & SPIRITUALITY
Continuing with last week’s winter theme in this section, here’s another podcast episode on the wonders of the year’s cold and quiet season. It’s an interview with Micah Mortali, the author of Rewilding: Meditations, Practices, and Skills for Awakening in Nature. It will give you lots of ideas on how you can make the best of this season. [Duration: 45’09’’]
Is there a podcast episode you’d like to recommend on these or related topics? You’re very welcome to share it in the comments section below.