“A Thousand Things to Talk About”: A Pocket-Sized Podcast to Jump-Start Your Brain

A Thousand Things to Talk About is a short-form nonfiction podcast in which host Andrea Parrish asks the listener one questions each episode:

A database of questions and some facts to inform your discussion about them. New short podcast episodes every weekday. Long episodes occasionally. Created by Andrea Parrish, produced by Jeremiah Puhek.

This podcast is incredibly straightforward, and most episodes are also incredibly short. Each episode asks the listener a question and then provides research about the question, all in under five minutes. Most episodes I’ve listened to clock in at about three minutes. One might think that with such a short runtime, the podcast wouldn’t make much of an impression–but that thought couldn’t be more wrong. A Thousand Things to Talk About is incredibly impactful not just for its content, but also because of its runtime.

When I started listening to A Thousand Things to Talk About, I would listen to the new episode each day in the middle of all the other podcasts I listen to, and I expected it to leave my mind when I started up an episode of something else. Instead, though, the simplicity of the episodes allowed the questions to follow me throughout the day. I’d think about the questions whenever my mind started to wander. I’d apply the questions to things I experienced throughout the day. I’d google the question a little more, see what else I could come up with.

Having a quick question to consider before starting work each morning jump-started my brain and helped me snap into focus. The short length of each episode also meant that I could listen to an episode while starting up my computer and grabbing a cup of terrible office coffee. By the time I’d sat down and taken no more than one sip, my brain was already awake. Thanks to the charming, charismatic Andrea Parrish leading the show, it never felt boring, and it never felt like work. There’s enough scripting and production work to make sure the podcast feels clean and polished, but not distracting or overloaded.

Most importantly, though: I found myself using the questions as writing prompts. The massive back catalog makes for an almost endless stream of different things to ponder. I’d think about how different characters would answer each question when trying to figure out more about what makes those characters tick. I’d think about someone who might have a completely different answer to a question than I would, and why they might have that opinion. I’d take a question and make it a hyperbole, seeing what kind of short scene I could write based on the premise. This podcast is an absolute treasure trove for creative minds.

For listeners who want more, A Thousand Things to Talk About also has special, longer, “Deep Dive” episodes. These episodes are still all under fifteen minutes, but clock in at about eleven, giving Parrish more time to discuss. Instead of feeling like a concept that’s too stretched out, these Deep Dives feel like special treats, especially since they allow the listener to get to know Parrish better. The episodes are still informative, but feel more personal and based in opinion than the others in a way that’s still fascinating and educational.

With its educational but conversational tone, clean production work, and short runtime, A Thousand Things to Talk About feels like a perfect introductory for people who “don’t like podcasts” and an incredible resource for creatives or people who just need a little jolt of brainpower before starting work.

You can find A Thousand Things to Talk About on any major podcast platform or on its website, which also has a tab specifically for the Deep Dives episodes. New episodes of the podcast are released every weekday.

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