A Healthy Hobby for Older People

In the ever-evolving world of technology, podcasts have emerged as a dynamic form of entertainment that goes beyond age barriers. While they may be more popular among young people, podcasts offer many benefits for older people too.

In the 1950s, with the arrival of televisions in British households, there was apprehension that the era of radio would come to an end. As the 1960s rolled in, it was revealed that a staggering 9 out of 10 UK households possessed a TV, marking a significant shift in the way British families consumed their favourite shows. The shift was evident: instead of gathering around a radio to listen to their cherished programs, families were now glued to their television screens. Radio did see a steady decline in listeners as the years and decades went by, just as had been predicted. However, as the internet continued to evolve, a new era of audio consumption emerged: podcasts.

A podcast is a digital audio or video program that is made available for streaming or downloading from the internet. Podcasts cover a wide range of topics and can be produced by individuals, organisations, or media outlets. New episodes are typically released on a regular schedule, such as weekly or monthly.

Podcasts were first created in 2004, however, it wasn't until around 2014 that they truly began to gain popularity in terms of both creators and listenership. Nowadays, podcasts cater to an incredibly diverse array of interests, leaving no niche too obscure to be represented. Initially, podcasts appealed more to younger audiences as a new form of digital media. However, their appeal has transcended generational boundaries, capturing the interest of those in all age groups.

Here are just some of the reasons why podcasts make a healthy hobby for older people:

  1. Mental Stimulation

One of the most compelling reasons for older adults to explore podcasts is the mental stimulation they provide. Podcasts cover a wide range of topics, from history and science to arts and culture. Listening to podcasts can help keep the mind sharp as we age by engaging in new ideas, facts, and perspectives. It's like attending a virtual lecture or discussion, all from the comfort of your own home.

  1. Connection to the World

Podcasts allow older people to stay connected to the world and remain informed about current events and trends. Whether it's the latest news, social issues, or pop culture, there's a podcast for everyone. Staying informed can lead to more engaging conversations with family and friends, making socialising more enjoyable.

  1. Reducing Loneliness

Loneliness is a common issue among older people, especially for those who live alone or have limited social interactions. Listening to podcasts can provide a sense of companionship. Hearing the voices of podcast hosts and feeling a connection to their stories or discussions can help combat feelings of isolation.

  1. Learning Opportunities

Podcasts offer a wealth of knowledge, making them a valuable tool for lifelong learning. Whether you're interested in history, science, or a new language, there are podcasts designed to educate and inspire. Learning new things can boost self-esteem and provide a sense of accomplishment.

  1. Entertainment & Relaxation

Podcasts can be highly entertaining, offering a break from everyday routines. Whether it's listening to a gripping true crime story, enjoying a comedy show, or immersing yourself in a fictional world, podcasts provide a form of escapism that can be both relaxing and enjoyable.

Now that we've highlighted the benefits of podcasts for older people, we're going to share our podcast recommendations so you can start listening right away. 

  1. The Archers

A long-running radio soap opera that explores the lives of the fictional residents of Ambridge, a rural village in England. With captivating storylines and well-drawn characters, it's a beloved classic for many UK listeners.

  1. Desert Island Discs

In each episode, a guest is invited to choose the eight songs they would take with them if they were stranded on a desert island. This iconic show offers a unique glimpse into the lives and musical preferences of various personalities.

  1. History Extra

If you have a passion for history, "History Extra" brings you fascinating stories and insights from the past. Delve into the UK's rich history with in-depth discussions and interviews.

  1. That's After Life!

Join Dame Esther Rantzen and her 'That's Life!' pal Adrian Mills each week as they natter about their news, respond to listeners’ emails, share unmissable stories and catch up with a new special guest! In true Dame Esther tradition, these ingredients will make you laugh, make you smile, and sometimes make you cry.

  1. National Trust Podcast

The National Trust Podcast takes you on an audio adventure through some of the UK’s greatest landscapes, walks, gardens, buildings and collections. You’ll uncover the hidden stories and learn about the fascinating characters. 


Podcasts are a versatile and accessible form of entertainment and education, of which older people can reap the benefits. They provide mental stimulation, connection to the world, and opportunities for learning and entertainment.

By exploring the wide range of podcasts available, older adults can discover new interests, reduce loneliness, and stay engaged in the world around them. Whether you're a history buff, a music enthusiast, or simply looking for a bit of companionship, there's a podcast out there waiting to enrich your life. Give it a try, and you might just find your next healthy and enjoyable hobby.


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