GOOD listening: A Week’s Worth of Podcast Recommendations

There are an ASTOUNDING number of podcasts out there. I recently had to go through my phone and resign myself to deleting a bunch in my queue that I know I will just never actually listen to… but in clearing out so many podcasts that aren’t serving me in this season, it gave me a chance to see which podcasts I truly love and will continue to listen to regularly. So I decided to share a few of my favorites with you today.

I chose seven podcasts- one for you to try out each day of the week- (I also tried to pick podcasts that don’t come out more than weekly or that revolve around particularly topical content so that future readers can check out these episodes and they will be about as relevant in the future as they are now!)  

  1. *Cultivate Your Life with Lara Casey– If you are a regular reader, you know how much I love the Cultivate What Matters products like Write the Word Journals and of course my beloved Powersheets… well this podcast is by the founder of that company and they are full of hopeful, big picture thoughts. Some of her episodes focus specifically on goal setting and are a great way to use the powersheets method without the actual product in your hand so you can see if you enjoy this style of big picture goal setting, but my favorite episodes are not necessarily about that process. My absolute favorite is  Episode 8- How to number your days. If you, like me, have ever felt like time is flying (or… maybe just used to before 2020 came along and sent us all into a strange time vortex) then this episode is for you. In fact, I think about and re-listen to this episode enough that I am debating giving it its own blog post in the future (but it would be a heavy one… so maybe not for a while…) I also love Episode 23- When Your Plans Don’t Go as Planned which shockingly was released last year and is oh so relevant now.
  2. Unlocking Us– This is Brene Brown’s podcast and possibly the most well known of the podcasts I am listing today. I have been in awe of Brene Brown’s work and her books have deeply changed the way I approach my social emotional growth and interpersonal interactions. That sounds too intellectual to accurately describe how down to earth and real she is and if you have been intimidated by reading her non fiction works and would prefer her wisdom in bite size portions, I highly recommend her podcast. She has a lot of interesting guests on there, but some of my favorite episodes are the solo ones where it’s just her sharing vulnerably some well researched thoughts on the human experience. Favorite episodes include the one on “FFTs” and the one on “Comparative suffering”
  3. Cultivate a good life– I promise this is the last podcast with “Cultivate” in the title… I have a type I guess hahaha… This podcast is by Becky Higgins, founder of my favorite documenting company Project Life, and her friend and comedic delight Becky Proudfit. There are a lot of things I don’t have in common with these ladies (age of kids, religion, and I’m guessing from many of their stories income bracket…) so some of the episodes have a bigger impact for me than others, but there re so many bits of wisdom and also just a lot of positivity, hope, and laughter that make this podcast a favorite to listen to while out on a light run or walk to clear my head. Favorite episodes include:  Episode 104 Life Lessons from a year of 5Ks, and Episode 9: Connecting Through Traditions.
  4. David Tenant Does a Podcast With….- Let’s be honest, if you are going to be a faithful listener to a podcast, you have to enjoy the sound of the host’s voice. I would listen to David Tenant read the phone book. But this podcast is far more than a beautiful Scottish voice, Tenant’s interviews with other lovely famous people are also full of vulnerable moments, insights into acting, and many laughs. (Also some swears so maybe pick another recommendation if you are listening in front of littles) Favorite episodes include is interviews with: Jon Hamm, Jennifer Garner, Ian McKellen, and Stacey Abrams
  5. 3 in 30:  I love the premise of this podcast. The idea is that it is a podcast for moms (but I kind of wish she would rebrand because it is good info for dads too!) where each episode gives you 3 tips in 30 minutes on a variety of topics. The tips are actionable and the topics cover a wide range. Some of my favorite episodes are Ep. 133- Answering Your Questions about “Color Blindness” and Racism and Ep. 47- How to Respectfully Advocate for your Children, but if you scroll through her topics you are sure to find something that speaks to you and your parenting needs right now!
  6. The Anthropocene Reviewed: I don’t know why it took me until 2020 to jump on this podcast as I am a big John Green fan and have heard him reference it during so many Vlogbrothers videos, but since it is about to take a huge break and it only came out one a month, I am kind of glad I waited to start listening so I could binge it during this strange time. This podcast will not be for everyone. my husband actively dislikes it… maybe because he feels like podcasts shouldn’t make you cry and this one has hit me right in the feels a few times. The premise of the podcast is that John Green reviews random pieces of the human world and rates them on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. It sounds a lot less enjoyable when you summarize it that way which is perhaps why it took me so long to start listening. It is a bit dark and melancholic at time but also full of humor and hope. If you like John Green’s young adult novels or vlogbrothers videos then you will probably like this as well. If you are looking for something especially moving I recommend the episode on Auld Lang Syne.
  7. Everything Happens:  This podcast was very recently recommended to me and I find the interviews to occasionally be hit and miss, but I highly recommend the episode with Shauna Niequist: Spread Too Thin. This interview with one of my favorite Christian essayists just summed up a lot of things and how we can be overcommitted even during lockdown.

  BONUS: Podcasts you probably already listen to… Because I have no self control I just couldn’t stop at seven… so here are a bonus two podcasts- that I actually do not listen to anymore but still love these specific episodes…

*Radiolab- This was one of the first podcasts I ever listened to and I listened almost religiously throughout my second half of grad school and the first year thereafter. One of my favorite episodes is on Bliss, but the one episode I think about more than any other is titled “23 weeks 6 days” which is about a woman who has her child right on the edge of “viability” I first listened to this episode before I had any kids and it means even more now that I’ve gone through three pregnancies and know the anxiety of getting to those milestones- second trimester, viability, term… the storytelling is masterful.

*The Dream- Fair warning- this podcast is basically a season of telling you why MLMs can be super sketchy and a season of why the alternative health industry can be super sketchy. But no matter how you feel about the health and wellness boom or MLMs, the first episode Season 1 Episode 1- Wanna Swim in Cash? is about the history of pyramid schemes and “the airplane game” and it was kind of mind blowing.

Do you listen to any of these podcasts? Anything additional recommendations for me? I’d love to hear if you try out any of the episodes mentioned above!

2 thoughts on “GOOD listening: A Week’s Worth of Podcast Recommendations

  1. PS: WordPress has changed their editor/behind the scenes stuff and now won’t let me edit this post without deleting it. My deep apologies to David Tennant whose name I spelled right initially and then was somehow changed in the autocorrect or editing process.
    Apologies for any other oopses as well…. hoping to figure out this new system in the next month or so…

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