The 5 Podcasts I Can't Live Without

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

I've been big into podcasts since Serial got me started, and I've gone through quite a few to find my favorites. I especially like to listen to them while I'm driving to and from work (this crazy "motivational speaker" guy we had to listen to at a work event called it "Traffic College," which was the one thing in his speech I could get behind) and while I'm taking long walks. A few times a week, I'll listen while I'm getting ready for work. It really depends on how heavy or heady the podcast and episode are.

In descending order of "most excited to tap," here are my tops:
  1. Bitch Sesh: A Real Housewives Breakdown: Hands down, the funniest podcast I've ever listened to. The caveat is you have to be at least mildly addicted to Bravo, but even if you aren't, the cohosts' personal stories are enough to keep you entertained. If this one isn't posted on time each week, I frantically scroll Twitter to find our why. That's how much I need it in my life. It should also be noted that Raz laughs at it, too, and for a dude who cares as much about all things ESPN as much as he does to laugh at a totally chick-centric podcast really says something.
  2. Dear Sugar Radio: I've loved Cheryl Strayed since I read Tiny, Beautiful Things years ago, which is a compilation of her best Dear Sugar columns. And, no, I do not love Wild. I resisted that one for a long time and then I read it and I felt about it just as I knew I would--well-written, but not my vibe. Of course I watched the movie, too. Same. Cheryl and her cohost, Steve Almond, read and respond to listener letters on interpersonal topics mostly related to family and romantic relationships. They don't always agree. They bring on excellent guests. They feed my soul.
  3. The Tim Ferriss Show: Honestly, I hadn't heard of Tim until we hosted a dinner with him at ChefSteps while I was working there and I was voluntold to bartend. He was so engaged with the guests at the dinner and deeply curious about each of them, which was amazing to see since they were all superfans of his. I was actually in charge of rounding him up to go out to drinks with our CEO and couldn't find breaks in his conversations to politely give him hints to move on. For someone of his caliber and public presence, I thought that was really great. Awkward for me in getting my job done, but fantastic for each of them--they all walked out of our kitchen with huge grins on their faces. He gave them all a big gift that night. Since then, I've listened pretty eagerly to his podcast. This guy goes deep, and it benefits us all. The episodes are long, but they're nothing close to boring. They cover everything from personal finance, to finding your gifts, to the best way to train your dog. My entire Amazon wish list is now made up of books recommended on his show.
  4. Death, Sex, & Money: The premise of this one is things we think about a lot and need to talk about more. The host, Anna Sail, gets in it, with all sorts of guests--regular folk to celebs alike. How they recovered (or didn't) from alcoholism, how they blew their millions (or didn't), and so on. I've abandoned some podcasts because the hosts are just excruciatingly annoying. Anna is calm and charming and interested--I love listening to her explore all that is taboo with her guests and getting them to go there.
  5. Anna Faris Is Unqualified: Anna Faris is a charmer. Her podcast is what got me through ten days alone in the UK walking to and from the Amazon offices. I know that sounds like a total white girl problem, and it is, but binge listening to her celeb interviews kept my spirits up when I was far from home and on assignment for a new job...while secretly eight weeks pregnant. She's self-deprecating and very, very funny. She is also from the Seattle area, so I always appreciate her little nods to home.
Honorable mentions go to The Moment with Brian Koppelman; 10% Happier with Dan Harris; Hey, Cool Job; Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin; and StoryCorps.

I'd love to hear about the podcasts that give you life. Please be lengthy and fearless with your reccos!

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