Living in central Hamburg, I spend a lot of time getting from place to place on foot. And, since having anxiety, I don’t like to give my brain a lot of alone time to come up with new things to worry about. (Probably not the best way to cope, but distraction has gotten my brain this far!) That’s why I love listening to podcasts while getting around. But they’re also great entertainment while you clean, cook, or play Candy Crush on your couch. 😉
Finding a great podcast is like finding a new favorite series, and each week I look forward to new episodes. Ahead are a few personal favorites I love.
- Watch What Crappens: As a seasonal “Bravoholic,” there are certain Bravo shows I never miss, and haven’t missed in years. Flipping Out, The Real Housewives of New York City, Beverly Hills, Potomac, et al., Below Deck… being just a few. Unfortunately, not so many of my friends are as into it as I am… leaving me wanting to make fun of it with someone. Anyone. So you can imagine how stoked I was upon finding Watch What Crappens, a podcast where hosts Ronnie Karam and Ben Mandelker talk all things they love to make fun of on Bravo. Check out their website here, and this Huffington Post interview.
- Terrible, Thanks for Asking: A new favorite, Terrible, Thanks for Asking (TTFA) tackles issues I don’t typically look for in a podcast—stories of incredible sorrow, pain, and the like. Hosted by author Nora McInerny, a “notable widow”, “Episode 0” alone will leave you gutted, hopeful, and most importantly, wanting to know more. It reminds you of your humanity. Your vulnerability. And the strength we all have within to overcome the inevitable challenges and sadness none of us are protected from. Check out the website here, and this trailer.
- The History Chicks: I used to love Stuff You Missed In History Class, but was ready for something new. Then I discovered The History Chicks and the rest, well, is history. (Sorry, couldn’t help myself.) Unpretentious, informative, and wonderfully told, this podcast features hosts Beckett Graham and Susan Vollenweider, two women who describe the show as such: Two women. Half the population. Several thousand years of history. About an hour. Go. And really, that’s all you need to know. I especially loved their Dorothy Parker episodes (listen to one & two). Check out the website here and an interview from my very own hometown newspaper, The Kansas City Star, here.
- Missing Richard Simmons: As someone who vividly remembers Sweatin’ to the Oldies in my living room with my siblings a child, I have become absolutely entranced by the “disappearance” of Richard Simmons. So when I started hearing, rather reading, about it on the internet, my iPhone couldn’t download it fast enough. Filmmaker Dan Taberski started this podcast as a way to search for Richard, or possibly as a way to reach him. In any case, it’s bizarre, enthralling, and really shows you a side of Richard Simmons we all most likely underestimated; he affected so many people’s lives in a positive way. Though I will admit at times you do find yourself wondering if maybe we should just leave Richard alone, I will also admit that I can’t stop listening. Check out the website here.
- Uhh Yeah Dude: The podcast I’ve been most loyal to the longest, Uhh Yeah Dude features hosts Jonathan Larroquette (son of actor John Larroquette) and Seth Romatelli discussing, debating, and making fun of all kinds of current events happening in America. After all, their tagline is “America through the eyes of two American-Americans.” With more than 500 episodes(!), I often find myself listening to old episodes in between the new ones because I just love these guys so much. Check out their website here, and this rad video about the show here.
- WTF with Marc Maron: I really love listening to comedians talk when they’re not “on.” So, WTF with Marc Maron is an obvious favorite. Hearing about their struggles before and after success, really makes it known that no one has it easy. And more importantly, as someone who struggles with using humor to cope with my anxiety, so many of the interviews talk about the oft unsung side of comedy; how so much of humor is used to mask anxiety, how much of it is rooted in insecurity. Marc Maron is a podcast king and boasts episodes featuring comedians Conan O’Brien, Robin Williams, Will Arnett, Ben Stiller, Lorne Michaels, and even politicians including President Barack Obama. Check out the website here, where you can also find tons of articles that dive into the podcast’s history, success, and notable moments.
- My Favorite Murder: With such a name, it’s a bit of a gamble when you mention this podcast to anyone outside of the podcast-sphere. But stay with me for a second if you’re confused, I promise it’s not as weird as it sounds! My Favorite Murder (MFM) is hosted by two women who are self-proclaimed lovers of true crime. I mean, there’s a reason there’s literally a channel called Investigation Discovery and shows like NCIS and Law & Order: SVU are such hits; human beings are fascinated by the absurdities life can sometimes deliver. And, unlike many true crime podcasts, My Favorite Murder offers a light-hearted take on the bizarre, while keeping it respectful. Having been a die-hard Unsolved Mysteries fan as a child (totally appropriate, I know), I’ve really enjoyed dipping my toe back into the true crime genre without it being too terrifying. Because being a grown up is frightening enough, am I right? Check out the website here, and SSDGM.
- #HerStory: In a similar vein to that of The History Chicks, #HerStory tells the stories of 50 historical women, but instead of having the same host every story, invites contemporary women ranging from elected officials, academics, and mothers, to filmmakers, authors, activists, and CEO’s to tell the historic women’s stories. A bit bummed it only has 50 episodes, but a great listen nonetheless. Check out the website here, and read more about the project sponsor, Chick History, here.
- TEDTalks Audio: A longtime lover of TED talks, and a big fan of getting ready while listening to something informative or inspirational, this podcast is a no-brainer. With a wide range of topics ranging from raising brave girls to AI and the second industrial revolution, you are sure to learn something new or have your perspective changed with every listen. Check out the list of episodes here.
There are many more, but these seem to be playing in my earbuds the most as of late. I am also looking for new recommendations, so don’t hesitate to send them through!
“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.” – Philip Pullman