Personal Development

Podcasts That Feel Like an Old Friend During This Time 

posted on July 16, 2020 | by Heather Bien

Podcasts That Feel Like an Old Friend During This Time 

I’ve been listening to a lot fewer podcasts these days given that my commute has been cut out, but each time I turn one on, it’s like rediscovering an old friend. Whether I tune in on my walk, while cleaning, or even “getting ready” for my workday, I’ve found hearing these familiar voices is a comforting reminder that the world keeps moving forward and we’re all sharing a common experience.

But, while my normal podcast lineup is filled with professional development, career advice, and stories of women killing it in business, my queue looks a little softer these days. I’m listening to messages of optimism, self-care, and what’s working now to make these days feel a bit more normal. 

Forever 35/Here For You

The two women behind Forever 35, Kate Spencer and Doree Shafrir, are both writers, so you know their musings are going to be filled with analysis and witty banter. They talk about everything from face mask recommendations to social issues and anxiety, and, clearly, I’m not the only one who enjoys their gabbing during quarantine because they even launched a daily podcast, Here For You, specific to, no surprise, being here for you during the pandemic.

Bad On Paper

Grace Atwood and Becca Freeman are two New Yorkers who originally set out to launch a book podcast that has now morphed into a millennial women’s lifestyle podcast, Bad on Paper. I love hearing their level-headed take on life in quarantine (both did the right thing by staying home through the outset of the crisis and are continuing to responsibly social distance!), while also getting a weekly dose of honesty in their highs and lows. Your first thought listening to these podcasts hosts will most likely be, “can I be their real life friend?” and that’s what we need right now.

Be There in 5

When you need to forget about everything else for many, many hours, you need Katherine Kennedy’s quirky and rambling podcast. Whether she’s waxing poetic about aioli (an episode I was 100% here for) or doing a deep dive into iconic early aughts decor (seriously, start with the “Bar Carte Blanche” or “Milleniold” episodes if you need to remember chevron print and bubble necklaces), her long-form podcasts are great for a walk on a sunny day. Plus, her “Influence in the Time of COVID-19” episodes tackled some timely issues, including the bizarre pandemic behavior of some not-to-be-named-here bloggers. 

The Sunday Soother

I discovered this podcast when I met the host at a Forever 35 meetup in DC (this is all coming full circle, right?!). Catherine Andrews, a life coach and writer, has the most relaxing, NPR-worthy voice and covers everything from personal growth to mindfulness, astrology, and everything you need to live an intentional life. I particularly loved her episode,“How to Live Your Life with Purpose.”

Everything is Fine

I’ll be honest, I haven’t gotten super into this podcast, but I did think it was worth a mention, if only for the episode, How to Cook Now. In it, they chat with Melissa Clark, a New York Times columnist, about how cooking has evolved during the pandemic. The podcast itself is hosted by two friends and targeted at women in their 40s…so I like to think it’s a glimpse at what lies ahead for us.

Why Should I?

This is one where you can pick any episode and you’ll glean some sort of life-affirming or life-changing nugget. Host Holly Ybarrola talks to women about the decisions they’ve made, particularly when they go contrary to the advice we may have always been told that we should do. One episode that resonated with me during this pandemic was the glimpse into a version of minimalism that’s actually doable for the average human.

Happier with Gretchen Rubin

You probably know Gretchen Rubin, the author behind the widely-read, The Happiness Project. Well, she and her sister, Elizabeth Craft, also a writer, have a podcast together and it’s a little bit of practical sunshine. You don’t get the woo-woo self-love that you do in some other podcasts, but they’re always here with useful and real ways to make your day-to-day life easier. From lists to organizational tips, this is one where I constantly find myself going, “Oh! I need to do that.”

So, these are the podcasts which we like to think are akin to old friends (though they don’t quite know it on the other end), but we’re always in the market for new friends! Let us know your favorite podcasts to get you through these bizarre days––are they self-care focused? Or do you prefer to distract yourself with true crime? We want to know!

Image via Bad on Paper