For some time now, I've wanted to share with you a few of my favorite podcasts that are a little lesser known but so worth the listen. In Part 2, I’ll share several other podcasts that are very well known, but worth recommending. In Part 3, I’ll let you know which podcasts I’ll be checking out for the first time this summer. First comes first: Four of my current favs!
Hosted by Jenna Wortham and Wesley Morris, two culture writers for the New York Times
I. Love. This. Show.
It always makes me think and feel from a fresh perspective. Jenna and Wesley (both Black and queer) have a gorgeous chemistry, are damn brilliant, and aren’t afraid to express both love and appreciation for one another and to bring in strongly opposing points of view. Episodes range from talking extensively about Beyonce’s monumental performance at Coachella both in terms of the performance value as well as its commentary on Black culture and community, to the crazy fashion sensibilities and contributions of “Aunties”, to unpacking the layers of complex feeling about the pop icon Michael Jackson, to listing their personal summer favorites (music, clothes, activities, tech toys), to discussing blackness, whiteness, queerness, and so much more. If you love culture, music, fashion, critically thinking about race, do yourself a favor and listen!
Hosted by Erica Williams Simon, author of the new book You Deserve the Truth
This show never fails to inspire me and if you know me, you know that inspiration is one of my most valued experiences in all of life, so that’s saying a lot! The show’s message: “Conversations with wildly inspiring, interesting women about their journey to answer their life's calling.” Erica (self-nick-named, “Your Girl E”) is authentic to the core, loaded with integrity and personal and spiritual depth. OMG, don’t miss the episode where Erica talks with one of my personal literary rockstars Roxane Gay and so many other fabulous women such as Glennon Doyle, Jameela Jamil, Janet Mock, and Angela Yee. These women share their real stories of how they answered their call in life and what the heck that even means.
*HAPPIER WITH GRETCHEN RUBIN*
Hosted by New York Times Bestselling author Gretchen Rubin and her sister, TV producer Elizabeth Craft
I’m a new addict to this podcast. One recent Friday night, I binge-listened to a whole slew of episodes resulting in a complete clutter clearing of my studio closet. For me, this show does what its name states: It makes me happier. And that, my friends, is nothing to scoff at in these times we live in. Gretchen and her sister co-host, Elizabeth, are down-to-earth, accessible, fun-loving, and optimistic while offering practical advice for making your life a little happier, one step at a time. This self-help styled show is best for those of you who need an extra nudge to get motivated or for those of you who already are motivated to make changes in your life, but are game for some new ideas around implementing fresh habits and perspectives and some fun company while you do it.
*BY THE BOOK*
Hosted by comedian Jolenta Greenberg and writer Kristen Meinzer.
Okay, for all you self-help book junkies out there, this is your heaven. Jolenta and Kristen are two friends with wonderfully unique, fun, and quirky personalities who read a different self-help book every month or so and live by its rules for two weeks. Each episode consists of them reporting on how their lives unfolded (including actual reality show style recordings of them talking to their partners at home during those two weeks), what they loved about each book, and what they hated about each book. I find this especially fun if I’ve read the book they are living by OR if I’m curious about maybe reading the book, but want to get a sense of it before I spend my time.
As always, I hope this inspires you and brings you closer to your amazing self.