As much as I love my Spotify playlists, I’ve been finding recently that I want to mix it up and make better use of the “quiet” time during my morning and evening commutes (or as quiet as a NYC subway during rush hour can be—ha!). Typically, I would just listen to music and sometimes page through a magazine or book I’m currently into, but over the past few months, I’ve become absolutely addicted to podcasts!
I have never really been someone who could easily get into audio books, so at first I was doubtful that I could actually concentrate on podcasts. Luckily, I was wrong! They’ve since become one of the best parts of my day—I love starting one in the morning as I begin my walk to the subway, ducking into my favorite coffee shop along the way and finishing it up right as I walk through the revolving doors of the Hearst Tower. Sometimes, the podcasts I choose center on self-growth and improvement (something I’ve been really trying to focus on this year) and sometimes they’re just entertaining interviews or stories. Here are a few of my favorites—try ’em out!
Dear Sugar Radio // AKA the podcast that got me into podcasts. I’ve always loved Cheryl Strayed (the author of Wild and Tiny Beautiful Things), so when I found out her famous “Dear Sugar” column had been turned into a podcast, I was so excited. Cheryl co-hosts the show with author Steve Almond, and the two have such an interesting dynamic. While they don’t always agree on every issue, they’re both very introspective and always approach every letter with compassion and the intent to make not only the letter writer, but all the people listening that are experiencing similar issues, feel less alone (plus Steve has such a relaxing voice). While I don’t always identify with all the issues presented personally, I without a doubt end up finding some nugget of wisdom within each episode. Love love love it. Just start at the beginning—each episode is themed and based off letters, so they all stand on their own!
The Lively Show // You guys. I freakin’ love Jess Lively. I seriously just want to emulate her in any and every way possible. I’m not sure there’s a more perfect way to describe this podcast than just “joy.” I really find it so positive and uplifting—even when the subject matter is tough (i.e. failure, feelings of inadequacy, etc), Jess—and the guests she chooses to feature—always finds a way speak to the lessons and places of growth within every scenario. I came to this podcast after it was already over 100 episodes in, so initially I just scrolled through the episode list and chose to listen to ones where I was really interested in the guest. That being said, while I still haven’t made my way through all the episodes, I have gone back to the beginning and started listening to them in order. I’ve come to realize that while I might not initially be interested in each and every guest, I love hearing their insight, learning about their individual industries and viewing them through the lens of Jess’s life scope (she is very into a mindful, present existence). My favorite episode so far? I think it has to be her second chat with life coach Brooke Castillo or her eye-opening discussion with Jonathan Fields.
Lore // If you like scary or suspenseful stories, then this podcast is definitely for you. The episodes, produced by Aaron Mahnke, are short and sweet (just around 20 minutes) and are narrative stories about folklores from around the world and throughout history. I feel like this is a great podcast to listen to if you’re a trivia buff like me—I definitely think I could own a good game of bar trivia at this point!
Life Lately // You may be familiar with Clara Artschwager from her blog, Clara Persis. Well, she has a podcast, too! I initially heard of the podcast through an announcement on her Instagram and so far I’ve been really enjoying it. Clara launched earlier this year with her long-distance bestie Brooke and I really enjoy their conversations on everything from relationships to starting a business and living true to yourself. It feels like you’re just at dinner with a few of your close girlfriends, chatting about life and I love that. I can’t see what new episodes they come out with during their spring season.
Radio Cherry Bombe // Radio Cherry Bombe brings the pages of indie food mag Cherry Bombe to life in the best way possible. If you’re someone, like me, who considers chefs, foodies and restaurant owners rockstars, then you will love this. It’s co-hosted by Kerry Diamond and Claudia Wu, who founded the magazine together and they interview exclusively women in the food sphere. If you’ve ever wanted to know about how Ina Garten got her start, what Mimi Thorrisson’s French accent sounds like (hint: heavenly) or Christina Tosi’s favorite sweet, you need to start listening ASAP.
Well, I’d say those are my top five! Others I love include: Modern Love, Risk!, Stuff You Should Know, This American Life, Happier with Gretchen Rubin, Call Your Girlfriend, Criminal, Guys we F****d, Serial (season one, obviously), Spycast and Bon Appetit’s Foodcast