I Love Podcasts!
Podcasts are one of my favorite things. My love for them started way back when I listened to NPR on my 30 minute commute to work in 2001. I’d get so excited if I happened to catch a morsel of one of my favorite shows. So when I found out that I could listen to This American Life any time and anywhere, I was ALL IN! It’s still one of my favorites, but I try new podcasts all the time. I wrote an article about my favorites back in June of 2017, and many are still the same. I wouldn’t denounce a single title on that list to this day, so go check those out! There is also a “how to” in case you aren’t quite sure how to start listening. Once you start, you won’t stop. Podcasts transform cleaning, driving, exercising, errands, chores, and travel. They are entertaining, enriching, and give me a sense of connection to fabulous people I love “knowing.” And since I wrote that last article, I’ve started my own podcast, so I have a brand new appreciation for the work that goes in to even the simplest of shows!
These shows are all over the place. I like variety! If you are a mom, woman, or wisdom seeker, if you have a curiosity about those with a different kind of life than yours, or a struggle with weight, or if you just like a good story told well, you will find something on this list to love!
My Newest Favorite Podcasts:
This is a mom podcast for sure, but it speaks a TON to the non-mom parts of me too! Rachel interviews her guests in a consistent format which lends predictability and routine without creating monotony. Each guest gives 3 actionable takeaways that moms can try right away to improve upon their lives in some way. Rachel’s interviewing style is relaxed but attentive and very thoughtful. I just love it. My favorite episode thus far is 44: Three Strategies to Find Joy After a Move with Jessica Dalquist. It is just SO GOOD! Even if you’ve NEVER moved, it will get you thinking about ways to connect more deeply within your hometown.
Ashley Flowers researches crimes, some solved, some unsolved, and presents them in story form to her best friend since childhood, Brit Prawat, in a serial disclosure, discovery style. While the stories are fascinating, I think the reason I keep going back to this one is that the primary objective of the show is to increase awareness of unsolved crimes in hopes of coaxing new information to the surface and to educate the listeners on the dangers of the world. They work in conjunction with the Indiana Crime Stoppers tip line which is a non profit organization in their home state. I don’t have a favorite episode on this one. I’ve listened to them all! This podcast was recently in the news for being called out for failing to credit all story sources. They are now being more by the book about this, and I choose to believe that they are human and are learning as they go!
This podcast, while really entertaining, has also changed my perspective on the world in profound ways. It started as a show produced from inside San Quentin State Prison as a cooperative project between Nigel Poor, a visual artist and prison volunteer, and Antwan Williams, who was an inmate for the first couple of seasons. This sheds so much light on prison life, the humanity there, and the paths that land these varied and often amazing and endearing people in the system. Sometimes infuriating, sometimes heart-wrenching, Ear Hustle is always fascinating!
In this quirky, satisfying, charmingly clunky podcast, Jonathan Goldstein starts by introducing the episode’s subject and a dilemma, mystery, or unsolved problem that person would like help with. These vary from “what made my middle school friends inexplicably turn against me?” to “why won’t my old friend admit I contributed to him becoming a famous music star?” I think maybe we all have questions we’d like to assign Jonathan to solving. Personally, I’m not ready for the honest conversations and awkward realizations that would be produced if I had Jonathan investigate some of the question marks in my mind, but I so admire those who do. Not every episode ends tied with a neat bow, but he does always further understanding and communication with naive, kind straightforwardness. I love every episode!
This one has a pretty focused appeal, but it has been transformative for me. As one who has read the Bible cover to cover a few times over the years (mmm, probably 3 times), as I set out to do it again, I thought, “I need help.” I need someone pointing out the historical context, connections, and cultural specifics of what I’m reading to give me a deeper, more cohesive and corporal understanding. I pair it with YouVersion’s Bible App that has a plan that if followed leads to a complete chronological read in 365 days. After I read the day’s passage, the podcast has a corresponding 5-8 minute episode in which Tara Leigh-Cobble never fails to answer my questions, address my confusions, and point out significant things I’ve missed. So, so good! SO good.
Narrated and hosted by Dani Shapiro, each episode examines a different person’s story involving the revelation of a family secret of some kind. After reading Shapiro’s book, Inheritance, I was so intrigued to hear more stories of lives being changed and knowledge being revealed through the advent of DNA testing. Now and then she’ll do a compilation episode with call-ins from listeners. It’s intriguing.
Again, one with focused appeal. As a physician, I always felt I should know more about weight control, metabolism, and nutrition. I’m not alone. As I struggle with my own weight, I always look for meaty scientific evidence that suggests what to do. But who has time to read all of the literature while critically evaluating the conclusions and compiling the useful, actionable truths? Dr. Key does. She’s a family physician in Canada with a certification in obesity medicine. She speaks my language, man! But I think anyone could get a ton of useful information from her show. It’s expanded my understanding and helped me to change my nutrition with a deeper aim than just vanity weight loss. And she doesn’t get esoteric. She treats patients, so while her explanations are medical and evidence based, they aren’t in code or anything. Anyone could follow and learn.
I am fascinated by psychological therapy. I could listen to Esther Perel counsel these generous couples all day. Each episode is a singular couple’s therapy session. She is insightful, empathic, firm, and brilliant.
And there you have it! What am I missing that just HAS to be on the list? I’m always looking for new podcasts to try. What do you love?