Let's be honest, listening to the news can be pretty upsetting these days. After just a few minutes, you may find yourself feeling enraged, disheartened or downright depressed.
Enter, podcasts. A wonderful way to learn, discover new inspiration, relieve stress and find comfort with like-minded people.
Ironically, I never considered myself a podcast person. In fact, in May 2017 I wrote a blog post about the one and only podcast I was listening to at the time. When I published that post, I was still convinced I was tuning in to the one take on this wildly popular medium that would ever speak to me. Well, it's time to eat crow.
My name is Molly, and I'm a podcast addict.
Over the past several months, I've built a library of podcasts that I listen to while walking Scout, getting ready in the morning, driving to and from work, waiting at train stations and airports, and even while cleaning the house. If you are looking for podcasts to add to your repertoire, you've come to the right place. Today I am excited to share my list of must-listen shows.
How I Built This - This was the very first podcast I ever subscribed to, which I did on the recommendation of my boss. Each week, host Guy Raz interviews founders of companies (or multiple companies) about their upbringing, their education, their brilliant idea and how they made it come to life. At the close of each episode, he asks, "How much of your success is due to your hard work and how much do you attribute to luck?" The answers are fascinating.
Each week he also features an every day person in a segment called, How You Built That.
In my opinion, the best episodes are: Sara Blakely of Spanx, Joe Gebbia of Airbnb, Dave Gilboa & Neil Blumenthal of Warby Parker, Jerry Murell of Five Guys and Sandy Lerner of Cisco Systems & Urban Decay (yes, they have the same founder!).
This was my gateway drug podcast, and it's still my favorite.
Forever35 - The second podcast to come into the rotation was Forever35. The show is co-hosted by friends, authors and former journalists Doree Shafrir and Kate Spencer. Both grew up in the Boston area, lived in New York, but now reside in Los Angeles. While the podcast's tag line is, "We're just two friends who like to talk about serums," Doree and Kate tackle so many important topics - work / life balance, long-distance friendships, finding time for friends while juggling parenthood, travel tips, organization hacks, self-doubt, self-care and so much more.
Over the weeks they've hosted many a guest on the podcast. Some stand out interviews include: Jackie Johnson of Natch Beaut, Keiko Agena of Gilmore Girls (Lane Kim!) and Glynnis Macnicol of No One Tells You This.
Honestly, when I press play each week, it's like joining two dear friends for a conversation that nourishes my spirit. They also do mini-episodes where they answer listener questions. I highly recommended subscribing, but listening from the beginning, in chronological order.
Modern Love - As my podcast addiction intensified, having two shows per week simply wasn't enough. After reading The New York Times' Modern Love column in the Sunday paper for nearly a decade, I finally caved and started listening to the podcast (which is produced here in Boston at WBUR!).
I originally thought, "How could I enjoy this? I've already read all the essays." Well, let me tell you, hearing an essay read by Rita Wilson, Kristen Bell, Olivia Munn or John C. Reilly really changes your perspective on the piece.
My favorite reading is Jason Alexander doing, "The Hunter-Gatherer, Parking Division." It's about a young man, determined to impress his date by finding a street parking spot in Chinatown in Manhattan.
These episodes often make me laugh out loud, but they can just as easily make me cry. I always feel like such a crazy person when I'm out walking Scout at 6:30am and I start crying listening to this podcast.
Girls Gotta Eat - When I want something light, I click over to Girls Gotta Eat, a podcast hosted by Rayna Greenberg and Ashley Hesseltine, both single women living in New York. Rayna runs a food blog and has a very highly followed Instagram account, while Ashley is a stand up comedian. Together they share the unvarnished truth about dating, relationships and the age old question when you're seeing someone new, "Is this weird?"
For me, the most powerful guests have been Brené Brown, Glennon Doyle, Arianna Huffington, India Arie and Rainn Wilson.
I love listening to these episodes while on trains or planes, they help mitigate my rage.
The Literary Life - The most soothing voice on the podcast airwaves belongs to Mitchell Kaplan, owner of Books & Books, and the host of this podcast. Mitch has been an independent bookseller for over 35 years and he's become very well known in the literary world, giving him access to some incredible guests.
I just started listening to this one, but so far, the best episode has been with Dave Barry. I used to read his columns in PARADE Magazine on Sundays. It was cool to hear about his years as a journalist working for the Associated Press, before he ever became a published author.
Last Seen - The newest member of my podcast family is Last Seen, also produced here in Boston. This crime investigation show is all about the 1990 art heist at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. I was six years old when this happened, so I remember hearing about it, but I certainly wasn't old enough to follow along as the police uncovered new clues and hunted for suspects.
There have only been six episodes so far, but each time one ends, it leaves me wanting more! The marketer in me thinks they are going to produce 13 episodes, in honor of the 13 pieces of stolen art work.
There you have it, my current rotation of podcasts.
Tell me, what are you listening to? What should I add to my queue?