Tune in to comedy podcasts, even when you’re tuning out

Dyllan Jones, Writer

Most high schoolers already know what keeps them entertained. When the school and/or work day is done the only thing that crosses some teens’ minds is what they’ll do before they go to bed; assuming that these students belong to a rare breed of adolescents that actually sleep when they’re supposed to.

Choosing to do whatever you want is almost always easier than choosing something less instantly gratifying, like chores or working on a project.

An option that complements a student’s duties well and works for every kind of student, from workaholics to fun seekers, is audio entertainment.

Some people (like myself) are easily distracted by music and prefer not to listen to it while working. Still, being faced with a task that you can’t invest yourself in makes it more of a job, and not many people want to do a job without pay.
To lessen the feeling that everything you do at home is tedious busywork, keeping your mood up and your eyes open is crucial. In the interest of satisfying both of these requirements, I prescribe comedy.

While not officially recognized in Ancient Greek medicine as a form of humor, comedy affects us all in ways we don’t even realize. Contrary to what some Debbie Downers might think, laughter is the best medicine.

Laughter has the potential to suppress – or even gradually avert – negative thoughts. I’m no doctor, but I know from experience that I’ve had my spirits lifted simply by being caught off guard by a witty statement.

Comedy podcasts are at the forefront of my recommendation because they require the least amount of investment to reap the benefits; unlike a scripted act with a narrative structure, you can tune into a podcast at any moment and understand exactly what’s happening.

Podcasts are clear-cut and understandable because they’re made with accessibility in mind – no responsible driver would ever watch a TV show on the highway unless they have the world’s fastest reflexes.

There is a common misconception that comedy is just mindless fun, and while that’s sometimes true, there’s actually a method to the madness.

I won’t pretend that I know the formula to perfect comedy, but maybe the fact that I don’t know why it’s so entertaining is why it’s so effective. It’s surprising, and there are few things more enticing than exploring what makes someone feel the way they do.

Listening to a podcast, especially one that tends to evolve from small talk to in-depth conversation with deep overtones, further develops one’s sense of humor, as well as their empathy.

When things get silly, the listener doesn’t lose the intellectual benefits; rather, the spur-of-the-moment hilarity strengthens their word choice and ability to improvise.

Understandably, talking is more distracting than music for some people. In that case, I find that listening to a podcast when I’m too bored to do anything else is equally, if not more, gratifying than listening to it while I’m occupied by something else.

Just like music, you’ll get more from devoting full attention to what you’re listening to.

If my recommendation doesn’t strike your fancy, I only ask that you start with something small while you’re engaged in an activity you find much more interesting.

With luck, what begins as muted noise will end up at the top of your list of hobbies.