Spotify has now surpassed Pandora as the most popular music streaming service in the world. The service became even more attractive recently when it rolled out Premium for Family, which gives users up to six accounts for a total of $14.99-per-month.
Spotify’s selection of music is well documented. But maybe you aren’t a music person, or sometimes just don’t feel like listening to music. No worries: the service has a cool but little-known genre called “Word“, which features a wide variety of spoken-word selections.
And it’s not all just “books on tape”. There are all sorts of genres in the Word section, including comedy, lectures, poetry, short stories and more. There’s literally something for everyone.
Whatever floats your boat, Spotify has you covered. So, check out the best selections from Spotify’s Word section, using your preferences to guide you in the right direction…
Spotify for People Who Like Poetry
You can’t have a serious discussion about poetry without mentioning William Shakespeare, and Spotify has a playlist dedicated solely to the classic writer’s poems. For those of us who maybe aren’t into Elizabethan classics, there are also a number of other playlists highlighting specific poets too, such as Emily Dickinson and Sylvia Plath.
One of the more popular playlists is “Poetry: In Their Own Voices“, in which more than 70 poems by women are read by their writers. Another popular one is “A Hipster’s Guide to Poetry“, which features more modern and eccentric poems. The Word genre also features playlists like “Modern Poetry“, “Love Poems“, and “Poems For Spring“.
Spotify for People Who Love Languages
There is no shortage of language-learning tools in Spotify’s Word section. The “Learn Spanish” playlist is among the most popular, with more than 74,000 followers, but there are many other languages to choose from as well. These include Italian, French, Chinese, German, Swedish, Irish, Arabic, and Russian.
If you’re planning a trip to Rio in the near future, you may consider checking out the “Learn Portuguese” playlist.
Spotify for People Who Like Shakespeare
We’ve already discussed the Shakespeare playlist dedicated to his poetry, which is mostly a selection of Shakespearean sonnets. But there are a number of other playlists featuring his work as well.
Among them are “Shakespeare: The Tragedies“, “Shakespeare: The Histories“, and “Shakespeare: The Comedies“. If you’re in the mood for a specific kind of Shakespeare today, these playlists will help you isolate the mood you want to focus on. After all, the atmosphere in Twelfth Night and Richard II are quite different.
Spotify for People Who Like Sci-Fi
Another cool one is “Sci-Fi Radio Dramas“, which features old-school pieces such as Orson Welles’ The War of the Worlds, as well as excerpts from The Twilight Zone. Also included is the George Orwell classic 1984.
Spotify for People Who Have Children
Word playlists the kids might enjoy include “Once Upon A Time“, which features classic stories like Pinocchio and Rapunzel. Spotify also offers “Stories for your Inner Child“, which includes fairy tales as well as children’s classics. There’s also “Andersen’s Fairy Tales“, which includes selections from the famous Danish author Hans Christian Andersen.
Spotify for People Who Crave the Classics
Spotify’s Word section includes plenty of the classics, including a Jane Austen playlist that features Pride and Prejudice, as well as some of Austen’s poetry. Those looking for a bit more mystery might consider “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes“, a compilation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s best Holmes stories.
Another good list featuring the classics is “The Brontës“, which begins with Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre and Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights. The playlist “The Victorians” is also unmissable for lovers of the classics, with highlights including Rudyard Kipling.
Spotify for People Who Like Radio Dramas
Well before Netflix and live streaming became a thing, people got their fictionalized drama through radio. Some of those classics live on in Spotify’s Word section.
The aforementioned “Sci-Fi Radio Dramas” list is a must for anyone with even a passing interest in sci-fi, but there is another “Vintage Radio Dramas” playlist that includes classics like The Age of Innocence and radio broadcasts of Dickens’ Great Expectations, Oliver Twist, and David Copperfield.
The “Radio Crime Dramas” list is also really interesting, with classics such as The Suicide Club with Laurence Olivier and Key Largo with Edward G. Robinson.
Spotify for People Who Like Meditation
There are plenty of meditation-themed playlists on Spotifiy that feature soothing music for you to relax or do your yoga to, but there are also some non-musical selections in the Word genre. One is “Guided Meditation“, a collection of guided meditation practices accompanied by light music.
This playlist has a little bit of everything for meditation hobbyists to appreciate: a “Body Scan” selection for when you need to check in with yourself, a “Connecting with Difficult Emotions” track for especially tough days, and even multiple chakra-focused meditations for listeners who want to experiment with chakra balancing.
Additionally, the Word category offers an “Eastern Spirituality” playlist with talks and lectures about Eastern religions, in case you want to know a little bit more about the cultures that practice meditation and what their other beliefs are.
Spotify for People Who Love Animals
With more than 23,000 followers, the “Animal Stories” playlist is a popular animal-themed list on Spotify Word. Stories in the list include How the Whale Got His Throat, The Ugly Duckling, The Cat That Walked by Himself, and How the Leopard Got His Spots.
There is also a spoken word version of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick on Spotify, read by British actor Hayward Morse. The 5-hours-and-8-minutes-long album features all 35 chapters of the book. If you’ve been looking for something to do on your commute to work in the morning, this one should tide you over for a while.
Spotify for People Who Like Lectures
We already mentioned the “Eastern Spirituality” playlist, but Spotify has many other playlists highlighting lectures as well. These include “Self Help Gems“, which boasts more than 30,000 followers.
Other strong playlists showcasing speeches and lectures include “Presidential Voices“, which includes historical recordings of past presidents; “We Shall Overcome“, a collection of the best speeches by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; and “The Lectures of Joseph Campbell“, featuring the comparative mythology and religion expert.
One of the most unique lecture-themed playlists is “The Beats“, which has reading from writers of the beat generation, such as Allen Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky, and Charles Bukowski.
Another good one is “A Noam Chomsky Chronology“, which begins with “The Architects of Policy”.
Spotify for People Who Don’t Scare Easily
One of the most-followed lists on all of the Word section of Spotify is “Scary Stories“, which is approaching 72,000 followers. It includes selections from masters including Alfred Hitchcock, Bram Stoker, and Edgar Allen Poe.
Speaking of Poe, there’s a dedicated playlist called “The Essential: Edgar Allen Poe“, which includes all the classics such as The Raven, The Murders in the Rue Morgue, and The Fall of the House of Usher.
There’s also a playlist dedicated to master horror writer H.P. Lovecraft.
What Wordy Content Have You Found?
There are so many amazing playlists to listen to in Spotify’s Word genre. This list, lengthy as it is, still doesn’t include everything the category has to offer. If you still aren’t quite sure what to listen to then you could, for example, check out some more general playlists from Spotify’s editors: “Editor’s Choice: Fiction” and “Editor’s Choice: Nonfiction“.
The Word section also gives you plenty of opportunities to learn, whether it’s brushing up on a new language, dissecting a classic presidential speech, or taking in classic pieces of literature. And the best part is, all you have to do is listen.
Did you discover a favorite Spotify playlist in this article? Were you previously aware of quite how much non-musical content was available on Spotify? Feel free to tell us what you love about Spotify’s Word section in the comments section below!
Image Credits:girl reading and listening music by viki2win via Shutterstock