Earphones at the ready.
They are there for you in those dreaded boring moments of your day. Cleaning, commuting, cooking, exercising. They become so important to your life, you start wishing you were best friends with the hosts, not just their podcast fan.
Podcasts are a newer medium, the cousin to radio, that popped up to entertain and inform people about every imaginable topic. For someone like me who’s constantly overwhelmed by the tsunami of news every day or my heaping list of books to read, I love podcasts for their versatility.
With fewer barriers to entry, some amazing women are jumping on the podcasting craze and producing some truly noteworthy content. I sought out the best podcasts made by women, for women that will help you become a better… yep, woman.
There’s self-help, inspiration through interviews, comedy, talks about pop culture, science, relationships, and literally everything nitty gritty in the middle about being a gal. There’s no such thing as ‘taboo’ here…
1. The High Low
If you’re obsessed with posh British comedy as much as me, you’ll start wishing journalists and hosts Pandora Sykes and Dolly Alderton were your best friends to go antiquing and out to lunch with. The witty pair give a weekly round-up of pop culture news while chatting about everything high brow but unabashedly admitting to everything low brow they’ve consumed that week. After laughing out loud at their shameless way of butchering the pronunciation of a word (when most people would pussy foot around it and pretend they know everything), the end of each segment is left to discuss a listener’s dilemma. Their insights into tough love and sexual harassment at work are solid advice for any woman to follow.
2. Death, Sex & Money
Death, sex, and money: just three of the taboo topics we don’t talk about outside of a polite conversation. This podcast covers everything you think about, but have been too timid to discuss. It’s for women who abhor small talk. Anna Sale hosts interviews with some seriously interesting people (hello, Alec Baldwin and Kevin Bacon), but she’s not at all afraid to get straight to the point. How much money did you earn there? When did you start doing cocaine? It’s personal, it’s amazing.
3. The Great Girlfriend Show
There are podcasts for inspiration and then there are podcasts that change your life. Sybil Amuti and Brandice Daniel are the girlfriends you need in your life – not the ones that are always late and don’t respond to texts, but the ones who understand your problems and help you through them. Their conversations are all about uniting you with your girlfriends and sometimes even making new ones. They talk about everything from starting a business from scratch, to finding love and lasting relationships. Think of their podcast as the practical advice you need to live a better life.
4. Dear Sugar Radio
Meet the Sugars! Steve Almond (writer of the original Dear Sugar column) and Cheryl Strayed (author of Wild) have taken to podcasting for the lovesick, lonely and lovestruck. Functioning similarly to a newspaper advice column, listeners write in with their questions for the stellar advice and opinions of the cohosts. They have the magical balance between providing empathy, advice, and dishing out a fresh slice of reality. Consider it your weekly dose of love medicine.
5. The Lively Show
Sometimes podcasts for entrepreneurs sound cheesy with their one-liner quips and exaggerated inspirational content. Jess Lively is a lot more real than that. Her philosophy is all about putting your values first, finding a happy balance in your life, and setting intentions to succeed. The podcasts includes a whole host of other advice you’d think isn’t specifically tied to business. It’s really about running your life. That includes general wellness, simplifying, and building positive relationships. It’s the podcast that sets you back on track.
This show discusses the factors you can’t physically see but effect how we actr. It asks why people do the things they do. Who knows? But hosts Lulu Miller, Hanna Rosin and Alix Spiegel are working on it. They explore real stories about emotions and ideas combined with science reporting. It’s the type of smart storytelling that gets you thinking every episode. Afterwards, you not only have interesting stories to talk about, but better insights into how your brain works. Bonus: the hosts have soothing voices to listen to, and yes, it’s radio; voice matters.
Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen are self-professed nerds. They also like to talk to people they admire who create cool stuff. And so Nerdette was born to connect everyone to their nerdy side and embrace it. The things they think are interesting include Game of Thrones and life on Mars. History, technology, Gilmore Girls – everything is free game here. They talk to comedians, scientists, and feminists. It’s one of those shows that you go to with a question, and find the answer to 10 others you’ve been wondering about.
8. Stuff Mom Never Told You
This is an oldie but a goodie, and since the podcast has welcomed new cohosts Emilie Aries and Bridget Todd, it’s also now a newie. The basic idea was and still is to spell out everything about being a girl and a woman that no one ever properly explained. Like, can women have a friends with benefits relationship? And, does birth control affect future fertility? I find that these are often things I think I know the definite answer to, but as it turns out, these ladies know way more than I do.
9. Magic Lesson
Elizabeth Gilbert is best known for writing the novel Eat Pray Love, but she has a whole host of other credits to her name. One of those is another book called Big Magic, a dissection of creativity. It highlights the tortured relationship between an artist and her art, and asks us to stop needlessly suffering. It explores inspiration, curiosity, and fear. After the book was recommended to me by a friend, I was hooked. Now I am eternally grateful that Gilbert has continued the conversation in her ongoing podcast. Each episode features another artist (usually writer) to talk about failures and successes. After a healthy dose of this, you’ll be able to accept both.
10. One Part
Jessica Murnane used to survive off of sugar and junk food, until she hit a new low, feeling so sick she couldn’t leave her bed. With nothing left to lose, so she thought, she gave up all the food she thought was ‘fun’. Now she’s a healthy food enthusiast (decided it can be fun), author of a cookbook, and host of this podcast where she interviews inspirational people on their journey’s towards betterment. She talks to chefs, bloggers, yogis, and more. This podcast delves into habits and ideas around food, body image, human limitations, labels and everything to encourage women. It’s been a game-changer hearing other women’s personal stories about their relationship to food and image.
11. 2 Dope Queens
Hold your sides, they’ll be burning. Hosted by Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson, this is the podcast that will make you kill over laughing. How does this make you a better woman? Surely there’s some study somewhere about how laughing makes you a healthier happier person. Each episode includes the hosts riffing back and forth, building up banter on each other’s life story, and then they open up to a live show including their comedic friends who are not short on the laughs either.
Images via tumblr.com.
Comment: What podcasts are you inspired by?