PODCASTS YOU NEED RIGHT NOW
I’m not alone in loving a good podcast — the medium has flourished into beautiful (and sometimes, overwhelming) abundance. I listen to podcasts to educate myself, to stay current, and to entertain myself while mindlessly busy. I often wonder what others are listening to so I want to share the podcasts that I love.
Here is a list of my forever favorites, ones that are useful as a therapist, and those I’ve loved for a season in my life or for a specific purpose. Enjoy for your listening pleasure!
Both of these are Brené Brown podcasts and while she started podcasting recently (during the pandemic) hers are the podcasts I love most, learn the most from, and share most widely with clients/groups/friends. Unlocking Us has a more general focus on personal growth while Dare to Lead supports business and leadership with the human centered focus of Unlocking Us. I love Brené’s casual and disarming way of engaging with her guests while being an awesomely original thinker.
Listening to the real-life stories of other people is super entertaining AND it broadens us in a really basic and human way. Listening to the storytellers on The Moth helps me understand myself better as well as people in general. I’ve been listening to this one forever and I will love it forever.
Previous news anchor Dan Harris began his own spiritual journey in response to the personal crisis of having a full blown panic attack on live television. I love this podcast because they have excellent guests and Dan, as a very conventional straight man, is an unlikely leader of esoteric pursuits so it brings a practicality and groundedness to high minded conversations in a way that make them easily useful to us mere mortals.
This is a great combo of pop-culture and current affairs that helps me to feel generally knowledgable and plugged in without the noise of other sources. Terry Gross is the host and she is an excellent interviewer with great questions and the ability to not insert herself unnecessarily but rather allow the top-notch guests to be the focus.
The tagline for author and host Kendra Adachi’s Lazy Genius podcast is, “Be a genius about the things that matter and lazy about the things that don’t.” All the YES to that. I’ve only recently discovered this podcast but I adore Kendra’s thoughtful yet non-precious take of the pursuit of the “good life”. The topics can be very granular but peppered throughout is the very important and often forgotten point that we get to NOT CARE about certain things. Not everything can be important, it just cant. With that in mind Kendra does deep dives on things that have potential to bring ease to our more mundane parts of life (How to Pack for a Trip or Organize Your Kitchen) to the very broad (How to be a Person or How to Kindly Navigate a Changing Body).
This is another I’ve listened to for a very long time. The host is Anna Sale and I both love her calm energy and her focus on bringing transparency to things that are difficult to talk about — death, sex, and money. It’s kind, unflinching, and very healing to listen to these conversations.
What an amazing resource Ted Talks are. Here the talks are made for listening instead of watching (I’m much less likely to watch) and instead of the talks being shared in their entirety, they’re presented as a composite of talks around a single topic.
FOR THERAPISTS (OR THERAPY CURIOUS)
There is so much that needs to change in the field of therapy and I appreciate this whole podcast dedicated to reimagining the standard of what therapists provide and how we think of our work.
My friend and colleague Dr. Cassidy Freitas hosts and provides fresh support for therapists.
The hosts are okay but the topics and guests are often really good.
Esther Perel is so excellent at what she does, it makes me want to cry when I listen to these real-life couples therapy sessions. For those unfamiliar with Esther Perel’s work, she is a game-changing couples therapist, able to see common relationship dilemmas through a unique lens.
This is a great one for pre-licensed therapists. Although I don’t think they put new episodes out anymore, the archive is worth the time and effort.
As a maternal mental health expert and therapist, Dr. Cassidy Freitas brings in all the resources around motherhood and parenting.
I used to LOVE the GOOP podcast when Elise Lohenan was the host. The topics and guests were cutting edge, relevant, and so good. I have high hopes to love it the way I used to with new host Rachel Cargle. So many great episodes in that archive though.
Lacy is an original thinker and has reimagined manifestation. This podcast is a powerful curation of wellness, spirituality, and the tools she offers.
An old one that has since stopped recording but provides a raw, honest, and comforting glimpse into child-rearing.
Ira Glass is a god. This was the first podcast I listened to religiously. As Ira has stepped back after a long time doing amazing episodes, it feels less potent to me but there are years and years of excellent storytelling, reporting, and humanness to do a deep dive into.
This podcast by Hillary Kerr is so fun and empowering. Each episode is an interview of a successful and talented woman who found her success in her “second life” aka after a career pivot. It’s a beautiful thing to hear the details of how people take risks to reinvent themselves.
This one is all about food, cooking, and the LA food scene. It’s easy listening and gently inspiring.
This is very timely so probably isn’t relevant long-term but I am currently OBSESSED with Succession since having a behind the scenes look into the making of it. There is so much to process in this show and having a podcast companion for it makes it all the more rich.
Similarly, watching the Bachelor franchise is my guilty pleasure (there is SO much wrong with it, yet I love it). I like the ritual of watching it on Mondays but love listening to this duo of husband and wife who are both professors break down the episodes. They’re snarky and in their 40’s, their references are so specific that they would miss a younger crowd but I crack up listening.
Jaimi Brooks is a licensed marriage and family therapist, women's group leader, founder of The Well Lived Woman, and creator of the Values Deck.