Our theme for the month of June is “Top Ten.”
My (many) quarantine walks have been a source of sanity lately, and podcasts have consistently accompanied me while I walk. In search of a distraction from the constant stream of “unprecedented” and newsworthy 2020 mayhem, I have gravitated towards more lighthearted options for my daily strolls. Here are ten of my favorites that aren’t news-related, in no particular order:
All shows are linked in their titles.
1. The Next Right Thing – As a chronic decision-avoider, this show is a true gift. In ten to twelve minute blurbs, this podcast zeroes in on how not to be overwhelmed by the big picture, and instead focus on “doing the next right thing” (yes, this came out before the Frozen II song). Hostess Emily’s voice is calming, and her encouragement is a balm for the soul.
2. Girl’s Night – Girl’s Night with Stephanie May Wilson is one of my long-time favorites. This podcast feels like eating pizza with your girlfriends, and it has powered me through many lonely nights and lengthy road trips. Stephanie’s guests are honest and wise, and each episode is a reminder of the importance of friendship and connection.
3. The Betchelor – This one is for any The Bachelor fans out there. Hosts Kay and Chris (formerly Derek) debrief every episode and discuss the latest news in Bachelor world with a comedic twist. Their deep dives into the Instagram influencer chaos that ensues post-filming are always entertaining, and their special guests often give inside scoop about the show, so you can be the most informed on pointless reality TV gossip.
4. Business Casual – In the podcast spinoff of my favorite business-news email blast (also known as Morning Brew, click here to have their witty content bless your inbox daily) hostess Kinsey covers everything from working from home to emerging tech. The show has interesting and impressive guests and overall makes me feel like I am bustling around NYC with a briefcase as I work from home in my sweatpants.
5. Stuff You Should Know – From the history of peanut butter to how to train your dog, hosts Chuck and Josh use their podcast to explore all the “stuff you should know” in a wide variety of categories. If you’re looking for random “why & how do you know that?” facts to share with your friends and co-workers, this is the podcast for you.
6. Trader Joe’s (inside) – In this podcast, Trader Joe’s groupies hear from hosts Matt and Tara about the science behind the creation of TJ’s signature products (the episode about their chocolate & candy ideation process is particularly enjoyable). Episodes also cover the company’s sustainability practices, how they train their friendly crew members, and of course, the magic behind their wine and cheese selection.
7. Gilmore Guys – This one just makes me laugh. In this podcast, hosts Demi and Kevin (aka the Gilmore guys) debrief every single episode in all seven seasons of Gilmore Girls. They know the show impressively well and always ask “are you team Dean, Jess, or Logan?” (if you know, you know). And my personal favorite segment: they google all pop culture references the writers squeeze into each forty-three-minute Gilmore Girls episode, of which there are always many. Demi and Kevin have since reviewed other shows, including The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (produced by the same creators as Gilmore Girls).
8. The Way I Heard It – In his podcast, host Mike Rowe – an ever-entertaining storyteller – tells a captivating story in five to seven minutes, but with a catch: he does it without saying the name of the protagonist. Well, until the very end. Mike cleverly drops clues for listeners to guess who the story is about, but the answers are consistently shocking.
9. The Road Back to You: Looking at Life Through the Lens of the Enneagram – This one is for the Enneagram fanatics out there. Varying hosts and guests spend each episode discussing each Enneagram type, their relationships to different situations and feelings, and the way types interact with one another.
10. The Office Ladies – I haven’t even watched The Office, but this podcast is a winner. Disclaimer: I’ve only listened to one episode, but hosts Jenna and Angela – actual stars of the TV show – kick off the pilot by appreciating their friendship and divulging behind-the-scenes insight, so I’m hooked.
In the midst of all the learning and educating, listening and serving we are hopefully doing as a global community, I hope these podcasts bring your minds and hearts some rest and levity. As a good friend recently reminded me, we need to pour back into our communities, but we can’t pour from an empty cup. Happy listening!
Olivia graduated from Calvin in May 2018 with a double major in business and writing. She now works as an editor in Nashville, Tennessee and is eating her way through the restaurants of her new town. She enjoys weekend trips with friends, petting other people’s dogs, and drinking coffee like a Gilmore Girl.