I spend a lot of my time listening to podcasts. I have already written about this twice (to catch up, check out Part 1 and Part 2), but it has been awhile, so now I want to share more of my favorite pods with the world!
Best Friends with Nicole Byer and Sasheer Zamata — My friend, Cam, suggested Best Friends to me. It wasn’t intimidating, since the show was only a few episodes in at that point. At first I wasn’t sure, but after listening, I was OBSESSED. These two are hilarious, as is their friendship—the perfect topic on a show called “Best Friends”! (Note: Look for Nicole again later in this list!)
Broken Harts — With only nine episodes, this show explores the story behind the headlines you likely saw on the news. Two white moms adopted six black children, and it ended in tragedy. This podcast explores the story, talks to neighbors and friends, and tries to connect the dots of what happened (and I’m still not certain, but it certainly is an intriguing story).
Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend — I’m a longtime fan of late night host Conan O’Brien, so I had to listen when he started this podcast. It allows Conan to sit down for longer periods of time with some of his favorite people. All sorts of topics are discussed, and it stays pretty funny while also exploring more serious topics at times.
The Dream — My sister and I started this on a road trip. It’s about MLMs (multi-level marketing). You know. Lularoe, Amway, Avon. Those companies that profit from you starting a “business” and getting people to start their own “businesses” under you. Some episodes are more interesting than others, but it really dives deep into this intriguing industry and world.
Embedded — Kelly McIvers digs deep into the news stories and embeds herself into them. The topics and style changes a bit over time, and I love the early ones, like “The House”. However, more recently, she has gone deep on politicians (including one from my hometown, and I learned quite a bit). I’m always curious as to what they’ll explore next.
Heavyweight — This pod goes back into stories. Like a woman who had a baby and never told the father and now wants to. Or a girl whose friends did something bad to her one night, and none of them ever talked again. Or a guy who broke his arm, but his family swears he didn’t. The host gets to the bottom of these stories, and it’s pretty interesting.
Julie: The Unwinding of a Miracle — Julie Yip-Williams chronicles her last months alive, as she diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer at age 37. Death is always such a taboo topic in society, but after a Sociology of Death and Dying class, that social aspect has interested me. Julie really is a beautiful story that celebrates living.
Love Letters — Meredith Goldstein, a Boston Globe advice columnist, explores love, dating, and all those types of thing in this podcast. Season one explored how to get over a breakup, and season two asked, “How do you meet someone?” She tells some pretty great stories, and she even follows a single woman throughout all of season two. It’s an easy, fun, and honest listen.
Mystery Show — This short-lived podcast makes me sad it was short-lived. It is actually similar to Heavyweight (to me, at least), but I like the host of Mystery Show, Starlee Kine, more. Starlee solves mysteries on this one. The first episode I listened to was how an unsuccessful writer saw a photo of Britney Spears with her book; Starlee tracked Britney down and found out how Britney got the book. If that' doesn’t make you listen, what will?
New Pod on the Block — Josh Rodriguez (who is on Straight Talk with Ross Mathews, which I talked about in my last podcast post) and Mike Zacchio break down boy bands! Overrated songs, underrated songs (loved the 2ge+her shout out!), top bangers, the ultimate boy band—it is all a great trip down memory lane!
Sandra — I don’t listen to a ton of scripted podcasts, but this one is a fun listen. It follows Helen, who starts to work as “Sandra” (think Amazon’s Alexa). It makes you wonder about artificial intelligence and who is behind that little device.
The Shrink Next Door — My coworker, Jessi, recommended this to me. The podcast tells the story of a psychologist who manipulated patients, crossed lines, and more! It’s a real story, but it’s so wild; it doesn’t seem real.
Sold in America — This podcast is an eight episode one, telling the story of selling sex in America. It shows the humanity in this trade and tells those stories while also making you think about it in ways you might not have before.
Strong Black Lead — When I heard one of my all-time favorite podcasters, Tracy Clayton, was back on the mic, I had to check it out! Tracy sat down for some fantastic interviews on season one with a legend in each episode.
Terrible, Thanks For Asking — This was another podcast suggested by my friend Daphne. It intimidated me, because there were already so many episodes, but I gave it a whirl and quickly fell in love with this show and its host, Nora McInerny. It explores people and their real stories, because we know life is just not always sunshine and butterflies (see the title). As a pretty empathetic person, I have felt all sorts of emotions while listening to this. (During one episode, I thought I was going to puke, because it made me feel so sick!) The honesty in this one is unreal, and it’s so relatable. I love this one.
UnErased: The History of Conversion Therapy in America — This podcast is about conversion therapy, the awful “treatment” which tries to change one’s sexual orientation. It cites that over 700,000 people in America have been subjected to this, and in the podcast’s four episodes, it tells those stories.
We Eat What We Eat — This show literally asks the title. There are only six episodes, and they explore food sustainability and the future, food trends (kale!), picky eaters, potlucks, and more. It is a well done podcast, and I wish they’d make more episodes.
Why Won’t You Date Me? with Nicole Byer — Y’all… this podcast!!! I listened to 50 episodes in two weeks. Starting from the very beginning, I ignored all other pods for two weeks while diving into this. I’m still working my way through, but Nicole explores the title of the show each week with various guests. I wouldn’t listen to this with kids around (Nicole doesn’t like kids, so that’s appropriate). Be prepared for constant LOLs.
In writing this, I realized I have listened to more since I last blogged about the topic. I’ve listened to all of these in full, or I have at least listened to the majority of each’s episodes. (There are some other podcasts I’ve just dabbled in during that time.) Some are better than others, and I’ve certainly spent more time with some than others (Terrible, Thanks for Asking and Why Won’t You Date Me? have consumed me at points.) These are just a handful of the thousands of podcasts out there, but maybe some will suit you!
Not that I have much extra listening time, but I’d love if you’d drop any of your favorites in the comments. What do I need to listen to next?