The beginner's guide to podcasts in 6 simple steps.

See those people with earbuds in their ears? See them walkin’? See them at the gym? Sitting on the bus? See them driving/ gardening / folding washing / walking the dog with headphones on?

Odds are, they’re listening to a podcast.

Podcasts have exploded of late. Everyone’s talking about them, referencing them, starting one of their own or listening intently to others. And for good reason. A podcast basically turns your device into an on-demand radio.


Happy days with Andrew Daddo and Holly Wainwright from This Glorious Mess


Unlike the *actual* wireless, where certain shows are scheduled for certain times, (and you have to sit through music you don’t love, topics that you can’t fast forward, or big blocks of ads that interrupt things), with podcasts you can pick and choose exactly WHAT you listen to and WHEN you listen to it.

But still, questions abound. Like: what the smeg is a podcast? How can I get one? What does it cost? Do I need to sit in a pod? Does the casting involve an audition? How much data does this chew up on my pre-paid plan?

All the questions.

The rules are:

  • There are no rules. Listen to a breakfast show at night time. Listen to shows from all around the world. From nuanced interviews, to some of the best longform journalism you’ll hear, from gardening to architecture to life advice and languages, it is all there waiting to be listened to.
  • It’s FREE. It will cost you a little bit of data, but we keep our file sizes small. Our podcasts are around 16MB for 3o minutes so it won’t chew up all your bandwidth.
  • Are you scared? Don’t be scared. It sounds more techy than it is. Once you’ve got the hang of it, you will be writing into your gratitude diary “Dear diary. I am so grateful for podcasts. Thank you for showing me the way. I now look forward to doing the dishes at night.”


1. Firstly, check that you have a smart phone.  If your phone looks like this, it’s not going to play podcasts:

But the battery will last forever.

2. Now download a podcasting app. Go to your app store.  On Apple iOs, the Podcast app is free and great. There is also the Soundcloud app too.  On Android phones, a lot of people we know use Soundcloud for Android or Podcast Addict, which are both free as well.

There are paid options,  but maybe start with something simple and free that you can try out first.

3. Search and you will find. Once you’ve downloaded your app, open it.  Apple have a Top Charts tab where you can see what people are downloading. Or, you can search for something specific, like business, health, music, news, lifestyle, organizing, gardening, languages, or….ahem….

“just” an “example”

4.When you like a show, subscribe to it. You can keep track of it, and it’s like subscribing to a magazine and getting it delivered each week.  Subscribing is free, too, and as soon as new episodes go live, they appear in your feed.  With the Mamamia Podcast Network, this is generally within moments of us recording it.  Sometimes you’ll be listening and our studio chairs are still warm.

Click here.

5. On android,you may need to subscribe via RSS.  On some android apps, you just enter the RSS feed address into the app in order to download episodes. That works the same way as subscribing.

And once you’ve subscribed, you’ll be able to see at a glance which ones of your favorite shows have new episodes available. That is exciting. You open your phone and these little red dots will poke up saying “look at all the great stuff waiting for you here”.

6. Invest in speakers or some sweet headphones. Podcasts are an incredibly engaging audio experience and that’s what makes them so great.  Your phone or laptop by themselves won’t project the sound very loudly, and sometimes when you’re clattering around in the kitchen making dinner you can’t quite hear it properly. Put your earbuds in or your headphones on for the full effect.

So whether you’re walking the dog,  out running, cooking dinner, cleaning the bathroom, folding the washing or sitting on the bus, you can catch up on news, learn something new, be inspired, entertained, challenged, and have a laugh, all through your earbuds.
The Mamamia Podcast Network has five shows, all featuring women prominently. Mamamia Out Loud, what everyone’s talking about, This Glorious Mess, the parenting podcast that’s not for little ears, Just Between Us,  true stories about life, women, and all the things that make you go hmm, I Don’t Know How She Does It, secrets from busy women on how they juggle their career with family life, and No Filter
; a longform series where Mia Freedman interviews interesting people; and where nothing is off-limits.
What are you listening to?