N eed some entertainment for your commute? Want to switch up your music routine? Try one of these 10 podcasts that keep it real, raw and entertaining.
Ctrl Alt Delete
What it is: Hosted by the former social media editor of British Glamor Emma Gannon, this podcast mainly covers our relationship with the internet, but also covers topics like social media, feminism, creativity, health, career and everything in between. By interviewing new guests every episode, Gannon’s breadth of conversation topic is vast and always relevant.
Why You Should Listen: Our relationship with the internet is constantly changing and evolving. As we spend more and more time online, it is important to step back and discuss (or listen to discussions) about how it affects us and our mental health. Ctrl Alt Delete is also great because of the different and inspiring guests that provide varied perspectives every episode, and Gannon draws on her own experiences to discuss the online world.
Best Episode to Start With: #107: Lucy Sheridan: How To Stop Comparing And Despairing Online.
What it is: A podcast about coming of age. While Megan Tan is no longer making episodes of Millennial, it is still a wild, real-time story about growing up. Tan began making the podcast after she graduated college, and she covers topics like money, starting a creative business, pursuing a career and just general life change.
Why You Should Listen: Each episode is a wonderful story that pulls on your heart strings and urges you to keep listening. If you are a college student or an emerging young professional, this is the podcast for you.
Best Episode to Start With: #1, Welcome to Millennial. As Tan says in the beginning of every episode, you should start at the very beginning. It truly is a story, and you don’t want to skip over a chapter.
What it is: A scripted serial by NYT best-selling
author Allison Raskin. This is the first-ever comedic soap opera podcast, loosely based on the real town that Raskin grew up in. While it is a scripted podcast, Raskin keeps it real with humor and characters that resemble people we all love to hate.
Why You Should Listen: This story is so well produced that it sucks you right into the story. If you need to get away from your own life, you can escape to Golden Acres and soak up all of their drama instead of your own.
Best Episode to Start With: 1. Poly Employers.
Anna Faris Is Unqualified
What it is: Anna Faris delivers a laugh-out-loud advice podcast covering the many topics she doesn’t know much about. Faris interviews different celebrities and takes calls from listeners.
Why You Should Listen: Listening to this podcast is like listening to advice and lessons from an older sister or best friend. Sometimes we dole out advice we are unqualified to, sometimes it flops and sometimes we come across sound realizations. Plus, Faris is hilarious.
Best Episode to Start With: ep 132: Kelly Ripa
Terrible, Thanks For Asking
What it is: Nora McInerny faced multiple devastating personal losses within a very short time period. In this podcast, she speaks with others who are also struggling with grief.
Why You Should Listen: McInerny allows her guests to answer the question “how are you?” with how they are truly feeling. In this podcast, expect honest, emotional conversations every episode. Listen to this if you need some sort of catharsis, or are struggling with sadness of your own.
Best Episode to Start With: 33: Witness.
Where Should We Begin With Esther Perel
What it is: Esther Perel is a relationship therapist that brings 10 anonymous couples in search of insight before her audience. Each relationship has its own real issues for us to learn from, and feel empowered within our own relationships.
Why You Should Listen: By documenting the real problems within these relationships, Perel is the definition of keeping it real and raw. There are tears, harsh words and revelations to be uncovered in this podcast.
Best Episode to Start With: There’s You There’s Me and There’s Us.
2 Dope Queens
What it is: Hosts Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams bring three guest comedians to every
episode and hold discussions on race, gender and social issues in addition to romance, hair journeys and living in New York. Robinson and Williams bring humor to the serious nature of these topics.
Why You Should Listen: Robinson and Williams make a point for highlighting women, people of color and LGBT comedians.
Best Episode to Start With: #37 Sitting Too Close To Queen Latifah.
Thirst Aid Kit
What it is: A love and sex podcast hosted by Bim Adewunmi and Nichole Perkins that unabashedly describes their celebrity crushes, thirsts and desires. It is funny, honest, relatable and allows the fangirl in us all to shine.
Why You Should Listen: These women are battling society’s expectation for women to stay shy about their sexual desires. Oftentimes, the shy, meek woman holding onto a crush is what is society expects. Adewunmi and Perkins throw these expectations out the window and unapologetically discuss their thirsts. Plus, we all need to talk about how hot Chris Evans is sometimes.
Best Episode to Start With: Chris Evans (feat. Chris Evans).
By The Book
What it is: Hosts Jolenta Greenberg and Kristen Meinzer agree to live their lives according to the rules of self-help books for two weeks. Sometimes, the results are hilarious. Occasionally, they run into life-changing advice and steps. It’s where you should go if you’re skeptical about a self-help book - or want to explore its effects.
Why You Should Listen: Greenberg and Meinzer are likeable hosts, who explain the books they are living by methodically – so you are sure to know how they’re about to change their lives and why. By the Book also naturally brings societal commentary about what it means to better oneself, and what you can do to get there.
Best Episode to Start With: The Five Love Languages or You Are a Badass.
What it is: This podcast breaks down the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types. You will learn about your own mind, skill, talents and how to create the best version of you.
Why You Should Listen: If you’re obsessed with learning about yourself and others, had all your friends fill out the Myers-Briggs test or just want to improve yourself – listen to this. Hosts Joel and Antonia discuss you, you and your relationships and career path, as if they know you intimately.
Best Episode to Start With: The one dedicated to YOUR personality type. They will dissect your innermost feelings.
Following are excerpts from "Unleash the Girls, The Untold Story of the Invention of the Sports Bra and How It Changed the World (And Me)" By Lisa Z. Lindahl
There is an idea that has popped up everywhere from Chaos Theory to Science Fiction and New Age memes known popularly as the "Butterfly Effect." Simply put, it is the notion that one very small thing—the movement of a butterfly's wing say, or the ripple in a lake caused by a pebble being thrown into it—can cause tremendous effect far away: the butterfly's wing a tornado, the ripple a large wave on a distant shore. Cause and effect, does it have limits? The field of physics is telling us that it takes only observation to bring a thing into being. We cannot consider these areas of investigation and not acknowledge that everything—everything—is in relationship in some way or another with everything else.
So, it is evident to me that commerce of any kind is, also, just about relationships. It all boils down, on every level to this simplicity. While we usually think of relationships as occurring between people—it is far more than that.
I used to teach a course in entrepreneurship specifically for women in The Women's Small Business Program at Trinity College in Burlington, Vermont. I made this concept of relationship and its importance central in how I taught the marketing thought process. I would stress that for a product or service to be successful, it had to meet a perceived need. There is a need, and it wants to be met; or it may be thought of as a problem to be solved. Or there may be an existing solution that is less than adequate.
For example: In my universe as a runner there already were a plethora of bras available, but they were inadequate for my purpose. The relationship between my breasts, my running body, and my bra was creating discomfort and distraction. A new solution had to be found, the relationship occurring when all these things came together had to be fixed. Utilizing this point of view, one sees a set of issues that need to be addressed—they are in relationship with each other and their environment in a way that needs to be changed, adjusted.
Nowhere is this viewpoint truer than in business, as we enter into more and more relationships with people to address all the needs of the organization. Whether designing a product or a service or communicating with others about it—we are in relationship. And meanwhile, how about maintaining a healthy relationship with ourselves? All the issues we know about stress in the workplace can boil down to an internal balancing act around our relationships: to the work itself, to those we work with, to home life, friends and lovers. So quickly those ripples can become waves.
Because Jogbra was growing so quickly, relationships were being discovered, created, ending, expanding and changing at a pace that makes my head spin to recall. And truly challenged my spirit. Not to mention how I handled dealing with my seizure disorder.
"My Lifelong Partner"
Let me tell you a bit about my old friend, Epilepsy. Having Epilepsy does not make any sort of money-making endeavor easy or reliable, yet it is my other "partner" in life. Husbands and business partners have come and gone, but Epilepsy has always been with me. It was my first experience of having a "shadow teacher."
While a child who isn't feeling she has power over her world may have a tantrum, as we grow older, most of us find other more subtle ways to express our powerfulness or powerlessness. We adapt, learn coping mechanisms, how to persuade, manipulate, or capitulate when necessary. These tools, these learned adaptations, give a sense of control. They make us feel more in charge of our destiny. As a result, our maturing self generally feels indestructible, immortal. Life is a long, golden road of futures for the young.
This was not the case for me. I learned very early on when I started having seizures that I was not fully in charge of the world, my world, specifically of my body. There are many different types of epileptic seizures. Often a person with the illness may have more than one type. That has been the case for me. I was diagnosed with Epilepsy—with a seizure type now referred to as "Absence seizures"—when I was four years old. I have seen neurologists and taken medications ever since. As often happens, the condition worsened when I entered puberty and I started having convulsions as well—what most people think of when they think of epileptic seizures. The clinical name is generalized "Tonic-clonic" seizures.
In such a seizure the entire brain is involved, rather like an electrical circuit that has gone out as a result of a power surge. I lose consciousness, my whole body becomes rigid, the muscles start jerking uncontrollably, and I fall. Tonic-clonic seizures, also known as "grand mal" seizures, may or may not be preceded by an aura, a type of perceptual disturbance, which for me can act as a warning of what is coming. The seizure usually only lasts for a few minutes, but I feel its draining effects for a day or two afterwards. Although I would prefer to sleep all day after such a physically and emotionally taxing event, I have often just gotten up off the floor and, within hours, gone back to work. It was necessary sometimes, though definitely not medically advised. I'm fond of saying that having a grand mal seizure is rather like being struck by a Mack truck and living to tell the tale.
Having Epilepsy has forced me to be dependent on others throughout my life. While we are all dependent upon others to some degree—independent, interdependent, dependent—in my case a deep level of dependency was decreed and ingrained very early on. This enforced dependency did not sit well with my native self. I bucked and rebelled. At the same time, a part of me also feared the next fall, the next post-convulsive fugue. And so I recognized, I acquiesced to the need to depend on others.
The silver lining of having Epilepsy is that it has introduced me to and taught me a bit about the nature of being powerless—and experiencing betrayal. I could not trust that my body would always operate as it should. Routinely, it suddenly quits. I experience this as betrayal by my brain and body. It results in my complete powerlessness throughout the convulsion. Not to mention an inconvenient interruption of any activities or plans I might have made.
Hence, I am the recipient of two important life lessons—and I was blessed to have this very specific and graphic experience at a young age. It made me observant and reflective, giving me the opportunity to consider what/where/who "I" was. I knew I was not "just" my body, or even my brain.
So, who or what did that leave? Who, what am I? Much has been written about trauma, and about near-death experiences, both of which seizures have been classified or described as. I won't delve into that here except to say that experiencing recurrent seizures and the attendant altered states of consciousness that sometimes accompany an episode (the euphemism for a seizure) changes one. It deeply affects you. It is both illuminating and frightening. It opens you up in some ways and can close you way down in others. For me it made it easy to consider the possibility of other ways to perceive, of other realms. And as an adult I became interested in quantum physics, where Science is pushing and challenging our long-held perceptual assumptions. Me, who was poor in math and disinterested in Science while in school! So if not merely body and brain, who am I? Spirit. And with Epilepsy's tutelage, I was encouraged to question, seek, try to understand what lies beyond.
Living with Epilepsy has also given me great strength. In realizing the futile nature of trying to have "power over" Epilepsy, I developed a deep well of "power within"—that inner strength that comes in the acceptance of that which one cannot change—and looking beyond it.
Through my experience building the business of Jogbra with the unique lens afforded me by my Epilepsy partner, I came to understand more fully the nature of power and what it means to be truly powerful.
Specifically, that having power and exercising it is not simply a manifestation of the ego. It need not be "power-tripping." It is how I wield my power that matters, making the all-important distinction between creating a situation of power over, power with, or empowering and having and creating strength in oneself and others.
Being powerful is a big responsibility.
To put all this another way: do I choose to create situations in which I am able to wield power over others? Or do I choose to empower others, sharing my strengths with them, while nurturing their strengths as well? The first is not true power. It is control. The second I believe to be the essence of true and positive power: strength. And integral to creating a more harmonious world, oh by the way.
While this may be apparent, even basic to others, it was an "aha!" moment for me. Too often in the years ahead I would give away my power and question my own strengths,. Time and again, however, my inner strength, my shadow teacher's gift, helped me survive and thrive until I could take responsibility for and embrace more fully my own power.
© Lisa Z. Lindahl 2019