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My Favorite Podcasts

January 17, 2019


Oh, where to begin.  I first started listening to podcasts when my dad told me about Up First, on NPR.  I needed a way to receive my news that would not scare my children, and that would not send me to bed with stressful topics swirling around in my head.  Enter Up First, a podcast that is typically about 12 minutes long, just long enough for me to take Hattie for a walk, drive to the gym, or empty the dishwasher.  That was the beginning of my podcast listening.  When I realized I could multitask one more thing in my life, I was sold.  Make beds while Terry Gross interviews Emily Blunt about her latest performance in Mary Poppins?  Yes, please.  Chop veggies while gleaning writing tips from the brilliantly talented Linda Sivertsen and her famous writer guests?  When do we start?  Listen to stories about exploding ants told by the hilarious Mindy and Guy Raz on Wow in the World?  I much prefer a podcast to the tv in the van while driving carpool.  Let's go.


So, I want to share with you the handful of podcasts I listen to on a regular basis.  If you decide to jump on the podcast bandwagon with me (or are already on it), please share with me ones you like too!  I am always looking for new ones to add to my collection.




The Beautiful Writers Podcast: I have learned so many cool stories about famous writers, actors, and speakers from this podcast.  On this podcast, the narrator, Linda Sivertsen (aka Book Mama) interviews bestselling authors and creative people to hear everything from how they have managed to get where they are today, to what a day in their life looks like, to the tricks and tools of the trade.  I love her rapid fire questions at the end of her podcasts where she asks questions like: power walk or power nap?  tea or coffee?  hard copy or ebook?   The interviews provide such neat insight into these creatives' lives.  Some of my favorite interviews are Tom Hanks, Ann Patchett, Brene Brown, and Lee Child.  If you are someone who enjoys creating, and especially writing, this one is for you.

Another in the same(ish) genre I enjoy: Magic Lessons with Elizabeth Gilbert



Invisibilia: I love stories about other people.  This podcast is so raw and so very real.  Co-hosts Alix Spiegel and Lulu Miller dig into what makes us tick, how people deal with heartache and heartbreak, and the inner workings of life in general.  Sometimes it's so honest, it's painful.  I often find tears running down my face in the middle of an episode.  In light of my challenge to myself to feel more, this podcast is right on time.  The description of the podcast says this podcast is a series about "the invisible forces that shape human behavior--ideas, beliefs, assumptions, and thoughts."  It weaves personal stories with scientific research.  I am left ruminating on the stories the rest of the day after listening.  If you are interested in the human experience, and open to new ways of thinking and living, this one is for you!  I also wrote a post about the Invisibilia BONUS episode: Leave a Message here.  It is about the power of communication through actual conversation, not just text and email.  What Cord Jefferson said stopped me in my tracks: “It is worth considering what we’re missing out on when we neglect the voices of the people we love.”

Others in the same(ish) genre I enjoy: This American Life, Fresh Air



TED Radio Hour: Did you know TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design?  TED talks are truly captivating to me.  They are usually 18 minutes or less, and are a short, powerful way to for speakers to share.  On the TED Radio Hour, the talks are adapted for radio.  Guy Raz narrates this one, too.  I was lucky enough to hear Seth Godin (on the Beautiful Writers Podcast) talk about what he thinks about the TED Radio Hour, and I can't say it better than he does.  He says the presentations are not about exchanging information, but about the exchange of emotion.  That when a TED speaker cares enough about an idea to stand on the stage, virtually naked and lay it all out there, that is a powerful emotional exchange, and that's why we need these talks.  Amen, brother.

Another in the same(ish) genre I enjoy: Hidden Brain



Wow in the World:  When you're five and you spend your afternoons driving a taxi with mom, Mindy and Guy Raz are a wealth of information and distraction to the monotony of the car rides.  As my wise cousin, Erin (whose young son listens with headphones while she listens to her own podcasts--brilliant), pointed out, kids are using their imagination when they listen to a story, but still have to imagine how the scene looks in their mind.  To be honest, when Camden is listening to Wow in the World, I am listening right along with him.  I learn something new every time I listen!  For instance, did you know there are exploding ants living in Southeast Asia?  How about how best to talk to a dog?   Or that the shape of your ear affects the way that you hear, and how specialized, medical 3D printers may one day be able to print ears for people who suffer from microtia?  Check out Wow in the World.  You won't be disappointed.

Another in the same(ish) genre I enjoy: Brains On


The older I get, the more infatuated I become by other people's stories, and podcasts are the perfect way for me to listen to them.  I also love the wealth of knowledge I receive when I listen with Camden to podcasts like Wow in the World.  When I can tell one of Camden's Kindergarten buddies that I have the cubic scoop on wombat poop (yes, that is actually a podcast subject) I've got their attention!  I love learning, and I know it keeps my brain sharp.  I am so glad I can share my love, and cultivate that same love of learning in my kids.  And yes, my big boys roll their eyes every time they hear the beepy intro song for Wow in the World, but they secretly enjoy it.


Happy listening!!!  And PLEASE, drop me a comment if you have other podcasts I need to hear! I love adding new ones to my list.




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List maker, note taker, avid reader, and strong mom.


I'm married to my college sweetheart and we have three amazing kids, all of them boys.  We also have one furry child, a golden retriever rescue dog.


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