How to listen to a podcast

Two questions I’m often asked these days are “What’s a podcast?” and “How do you listen to a podcast?” I love these questions because they give me the opportunity to open up the world of podcasts to other people.

When podcasts first became a ‘thing’ I had no idea what they were. I took little interest in them because they sounded very ‘technical’ and that meant a bit ….. scary! My daughter at university mentioned something about podcasts and I just let it drop into the ‘too hard basket’.

At some point the lack of selection of radio shows and lack of availability of radio stations on my rural jaunts led me to delve into the possibility of podcasts.

What is a podcast?

It was explained to me that listening to a podcast is a bit like selecting a radio show you’d like to listen into, but you can choose to listen any time and in any place. I was also told that there is a very wide selection of podcast shows to listen into and that no matter what you’re interested in, there’s bound to be a podcast show about it. And that, I believe, is a pretty good explanation for the newbie podcast listener.

Basically, most podcast shows are hosted on platforms. The podcaster records and uploads their episodes to the platform which then sends them out to directories such as Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, Spotify and so on. These directories then enable you to listen in to your selected shows or episodes.

Why should you listen to a podcast?

Once I’d worked out what a podcast actually is and how I could listen in, I’ve never turned back. I love podcasts for adding great value to my long rural drives creating an open theatre of education, entertainment and inspiration according to my preferences. The scary sounding technology was definitely not scary at all.

In fact I’ve gained so much from tuning in to podcasts, I decided to start my own podcast in early 2020, and later that year I sourced funding from the Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN to create an educational community podcast for my region as it recovered from severe bushfires.

How do you listen to a podcast?

There are a few different ways to listen to a podcast. The two main ways are on the web or through a podcast player app on a smart phone or tablet.

1. How do you listen to a podcast on the web?

  • The easiest method if you are new to podcasts is to listen in on the web if the podcast is available there. For example, the Speak Out Loud: Stories of Strength from the Southern Downs podcast can be found on my website. You can listen to the Outdoors is my Therapy podcast there too. If you go to my website, you can find these podcasts by clicking on the Podcasts Tab. To listen to the Speak Out Loud podcast, simply click on that in the drop down list.
  • You will see a description of the podcast at the top of the page and below that is a podcast player.
  • Scroll through the list of episodes and click on the one you want to listen to. Read the show notes (that’s a brief description of the episode) by clicking on the “i” icon in the bottom right corner of the episode in the player.
  • Click the play arrow (it looks like a triangle) to listen to your selected episode.
  • You can also download and / or print the handout that goes with each of these episodes by clicking the links below the podcast player towards the bottom of the page.

speak out loud: stories of strength from the southern downs

2. How do you listen to a podcast using a podcast player app?

If you’re a regular listener of podcasts, you might like to listen to your favourite podcasts through your smart phone or tablet while you’re out and about. For Apple Devices you’ve probably already got the Apple Podcast app installed on your device. For Android Devices you may need to install a podcast app. Either way you can choose which app to use.

  • Make sure you have access to the Internet by checking your device is connected to wi-fi or that you have sufficient data to access and download from the Internet.
  • Search the Google Play Store or Apple Store for “podcast apps”. There are many different apps available including Podcast Addict, Google Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify. You can read about the apps including user reviews to help you decide which one to use. You can also ask your friends, family and colleagues what podcast apps they prefer and why. Most podcast apps are free or have a free version which may include advertising played as an audio ad at some point during the podcast episodes, or there may be written ads on the screen of your device.
  • Once you’ve selected a podcast app, download and install it on your device. You can always uninstall it later and try a different one if it doesn’t work out for you.
  • You can use the app’s search function to look for a podcast show, episode, topic, or a person. For example, you can search for the podcast “Speak Out Loud: Stories of Strength from the Southern Downs”.
  • You can view a list of the podcast’s episodes in the app as well as a description for each episode. These descriptions are sometimes called Show Notes and more detailed Show Notes are sometimes made available for you to read by clicking on a link.
  • Use the control features in the app to download and play your selected episodes.
  • If you ‘subscribe’ to a podcast, you will either receive a notification when new episodes are available to listen to, or new episodes may automatically download onto your device. If you choose not to subscribe you can check back regularly for new episodes.
  • Most podcast apps allow you to download episodes while you have access to the Internet so that you can listen to them later (even if you don’t have an Internet connection later).

outdoors is my therapy podcast logo

Do you need headphones to listen to podcasts?

Sound quality is at its best if you listen to your podcast shows through a good quality speaker which may or may not include your phone’s speaker, or you can use headphones. Check with your device’s manufacturer about using speakers, headphones, hands-free technology and Bluetooth technology to enhance your experience of listening to podcasts. Of course using headphones enables you to enjoy your podcasts without imposing your tastes on others around you.

Sooooo….. what are you waiting for? Time to get listening!

daisy spoke blogDiscovering mountain biking as life’s ultimate parallel universe in her middle age, Kathryn Walton shares information and reflections in ‘Daisy Spoke’ that inform, inspire and empower women to a healthy and active lifestyle.

Cycles in Nature: Endings, Beginnings and Hope

This amazing planet that we live on has sustained life for many millions of years. It’s a world filled with incredible cycles in nature and in our own lives as humans. When we sit back and observe these cycles, we grow in understanding about our world and ourselves, and we learn that hope helps us to deal with the endings and beginnings that are part of life.

Cycles in nature are everywhere!

Cycles are part of nature. We experience them everywhere – in the animal and plant worlds, space, deep inside the Earth, the climate, the weather, natural disasters and within the human body and mind.

In the animal world

Over the past summer I watched a pair of willy wagtails go through their breeding cycle 4 times! They hastily built a little nest perched precariously above the spotlights on my shed, then suddenly there were two or three eggs in the nest and lots of back and forth and sitting on the nest, chasing away other birds, and catching insects. Then the signs that the baby birds were hatching started to show. The adults seemed agitated; not sitting still on the nest any longer.

Soon, the delightful sounds of little peeps coming from the nest heralded the arrival of the babies. The parents were busy with their harried back and forth of catching food and incessantly feeding the young. Then lots of oohing and aaahing from us as their little heads became visible above the edge of the nest as they stretched and called out to their parents to be fed before flopping with exhaustion back into a little feathered huddle again.

Willy Wagtail nest fallen on the grass

After a couple of weeks the babies would stretch their wings fully and teeter precariously on the edge of their nest, and take their first flight amid their parents’ squawks and alarm sounds at anything and everything nearby. The first fledgling seemed to get all the attention and every time we thought they’d abandoned their other babies, they suddenly reappeared and steered the next baby on its first flight too.

For the next few weeks the family hustled and bustled around the garden, eating and defending, and then suddenly the parents were back to the nest (a couple of times rebuilding the nest when it had fallen from its perch!), sitting on the next batch of eggs and the cycle started all over again. Each cycle had, for me, moments of excitement, delight and extreme worry. There were lots of ups and downs for the birds as well as for me, the observer! And when you think about it, life’s like that!

In the plant world

The cycles in nature are everywhere. The more obvious ones like animal breeding seasons and flowering and fruiting seasons come to mind. I’d love to share another story about the cycles in nature. This one is from the plant world.

My son was gifted a punnet of petunia seedlings when he graduated from high school. It was springtime and he potted them out into a beautiful ceramic pot on the verandah. He watered them and nurtured them and they grew – prolifically! The flowers were abundant and brought so much colour and joy to the world.

Purple Petunias

And then twelve months later they began to die back. He wondered if he’d done something wrong; maybe over-watered or under-watered them. But as he learned, this was part of the natural cycle of life as a petunia. When he cleared away the dead stems he saw new growth in the pot. So he continued the watering and nurturing pattern, not being sure whether they were baby petunias or weeds. The extra light from clearing away the dead stems helped the plants to grow, and yes indeed, they were baby petunias growing from the seeds of the previous plants. As I write this article, the little petunias are beginning to flower again. It’s such a beautiful cycle!

the solar system, climate and natural disasters

Apart from living things, there is also the cycle of night and day and the yearly cycle of the seasons. We hear and read about the climate cycles in times gone by, such as the ice age, and we wonder how much of our current climate change is due to a natural cycle and how much has been exacerbated by industry and human impact. You can also see natural cycles at work after bush fires, floods and other natural disasters when regrowth takes place.

Deep inside the earth and in space there are cycles at work too, changing the world as we know it gradually, and sometimes rapidly.

The Human Body

There are less obvious cycles in nature too. You might be aware of the sleep cycles that we experience. We don’t tend to think too much about them but research is showing more and more that each part of the cycle is vital for health and wellbeing.

We discussed how you can improve your sleep by spending time in the outdoors back in a previous blog post so if you missed it, you might like to check it out.

Within your body you have cycles and systems for digestion, blood circulation and even the way you think, make decisions and grieve happens in cycles.

Endings are connected to beginnings

Whether they’re obvious or invisible, cycles are an integral part of nature including human life.

As one cycle completes, another begins. Nature holds these reminders for us, and they give us hope when we feel lost or depressed. Endings are connected to beginnings. And beginnings have endings too.

Outdoors is my Therapy – beginnings and the next phase

The Outdoors is my Therapy initiative began just over a year ago. In the first phase I recruited eight Ambassadors to help me share inspiration around the world about the benefits of spending time outdoors. I also launched the Outdoors is my Therapy podcast and the Outdoors is my Therapy Facebook Group. We’ve been out and about exploring and meeting people and sharing adventures and listening to other people’s stories. Recently we had a beautiful camping weekend to celebrate the completion of this phase of the Outdoors is my Therapy cycle. There is sadness but there is also a lot of excitement and anticipation for what comes next. As this phase completes, what new beginnings will there be?

Stay tuned as we continue to roll out stories, inspiration, information and adventures in the outdoors because, as my Ambassadors all agree, Outdoors is my Therapy!

Nature Escape Day GuideWould you like to soak up a little more outdoor life adventure or get connected to nature-based resources? Subscribe to my Grounded Inspiration newsletter which comes out approximately twice a month. It’s a short and sweet reminder in your inbox to prioritise your self-care in the outdoors.

At the moment, I’m giving away “Your Guide to a Perfect Nature Escape Day” to new subscribers. This is a super-easy-to-use checklist that will help you easily and effortlessly plan a day of escape in nature where you can relax, rejuvenate and rediscover inner peace and calm. I have very regular escape days and I highly recommend them! I’ll tell you more about them in a future post.

Listen to Episode 27 of the Outdoors is my Therapy podcast!

I’d like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which I live and work, the Gidhabal people. I pay my respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.

Daisy Spoke logoDiscovering mountain biking as life’s ultimate parallel universe in her middle age, Kathryn Walton shares information and reflections that inform, inspire and empower women to a healthy and active lifestyle.

Family Adventures: Tania’s Story of Travel Around Australia

Have you been thinking about creating a family adventure? Maybe an epic travel adventure? Or perhaps you’ve already nurtured a culture of adventure in your family? In this blog post, Tania Bertram (guest blogger) shares her memories of travelling throughout regional and remote Australia  with her husband and two young daughters in the late 90’s. Tania is a keen Ambassador for the Outdoors is my Therapy initiative. She knows first hand that spending time outdoors gives you the chance to switch your mind off stressing, take in the beauty of your surrounds, focus your mind and your body, and bring a smile to your face.

An Epic Family Adventure

All packed and ready to go. One of many family adventures was about to be made. The adventure actually started many months before with the decision my husband Jeff and I made to travel Australia with our 2 year old and 4 year old daughters. Travelling and camping were not new to us or our girls.

In February 1997 the old camper was hitched on the back of the old LandCruiser and we headed south. Enjoying our own company, we chose secluded, quiet spots to camp. Nature is always on display when those around it are quiet and observant.

family adventure

The ups and downs of adventures

First week we encountered gale force winds as a storm tore through our camp site. The girls sheltered under the kitchen table as Jeff held the awning and I held the canvas side from ripping inwards. The next week in a remote National Park we sat in buckets of water as the temperature peaked at 48 degrees in the shade. The Grampians [part of the Gariwerd Aboriginal cultural landscape] beckoned us to explore its mountains and rocky outcrops, then a visit to the nearest emergency department to get the youngest child’s elbow manipulated back into place after a slip. Then our children’s eyes wide as 4 spoons darted in and out of a tub of ice-cream, overlooking the valley.

Awe-inspiring adventures

Hiking up a stony track at sunset we wandered around the amazing stone sculptures of Broken Hill. Further south to some sinkholes we camped near clear water pools and watched an echidna waddle on past, leaving us pondering where he was heading to. We explored remote and windswept beaches with only our footprints to keep us company while we fossicked through treasures that had been washed up.

adventures in Australia

Travelling up through the middle of our vast country we lay at night stargazing in the desert and listening to all the night animals calling. We sat on a low branch with the cool water washing over our feet, making up songs about what we saw. Redback spiders needed to be pushed aside so we could use the long-drop toilet. We swam in 38 degree artesian bore water, chilly crystal clear water in numerous gorges and warm tropical waters. It was a sheer joy every time.

Us girls put on our posh frocks, our only going out dress, and cheered as we watched a horse race event in a small outback town. At yet another remote beach we dodged the squirts of the blue ringed octopus as we walked past their enchanting rock pools. Red chasms of the Bungle Bungles [now known as  Purnululu National Park] beckoned us in to explore around the next bend, listening to our echoed voices dance above us. Boab trees in the north west became hiding places for our happy girls. We joined hands and circled the tree only to reach half way.

family adventure in Australia

We sat mesmerised while listening and watching whales playing in the inlets, their fluke slaps lulling us into a peacefulness that only nature can do. We saw so many historical places, natural wonders and native animals up close. Our favourite pastime was lighting the campfire and making, cooking and eating damper on sticks filled with golden syrup.

making damper on the campfire

Daily life on the road of adventure

Daily chores were part of life on the road. The children would wash their undies and socks in their bathwater and hang them up to dry and some times they would wash the dolls clothes and hang them up.

I have beautiful memories of them sitting on a rug under the tree, observing in quietness. Other times they would be drawing what they saw or how they felt. I often smiled as my little family were huddled up on our laps around the campfire and Jeff would start a story with …. Once upon time there were two little sisters off exploring Australia…

adventures in the outback

Make memories while you can

Many older travellers would ask “Why do it now? Wait till they leave home!” Our answer was twofold. If we waited we may not get the chance to do it, and, we were having a wonderful family time making so many memories together. There are so many opportunities and adventures as a family.

Grow a culture of adventure in your family

We always wanted our children to know their country and the many people who make it their home. Eight months on the road began their confidence with their surrounds and their ability to fit into society, respect for their country and those who live off the land. Continued travels, to often remote locations, has given our daughters the courage and knowledge to become successful members within their communities.

amazing family adventures

Be with your children. Get down at their eye level and explore together. Explain and discuss what you all see, hear and feel. The colours and textures vary between leaves, bark and rocks. Make up stories about your children’s adventures.

Safe travels.

Tania x

Discovering mountain biking as life’s ultimate parallel universe in her middle age, daisy spokeKathryn Walton shares information and reflections in Daisy Spoke that connect, inspire and self-empower women to make healthy choices for themselves.