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.
Let me share with you a female doctor and CEO's life hack: if you are not trying to 'make' a baby, you do NOT have to bleed every month. As doctors, we have seared into women's minds: you must have a period every month (if you are not on any medications). However, we now have the technology to safely and effectively "turn off" periods.
The idea of #PeriodsOptional first came to me when I was trying to get pregnant with my first child. Each month the uterus builds a rich blood filled lining to accept an embryo. But without an embryo, that lining gets shed, and the whole process starts over again. Basically, the only reason that we (those with uteri) bleed each month is because we didn't get pregnant. An average woman will begin her period at 12 years old, have two children in her lifetime, and remain fertile until the age of 50. That's approximately 35 years of incessant menstruation for no good reason.
Each time you build up that lining (endometrium) and slough it, you risk endometrial cancer. And each time you pop out an egg for that lining, you risk ovarian cancer. The only way to prevent ovarian cancer that we currently know of (short of taking out your ovaries) is to turn off the monthly egg-popping using birth control. Women who used birth control pills for 5 or more years have about a 50% lower risk of developing ovarian cancer compared to women who never used oral contraceptives.
Dr. Beverly Strassman, who studied the Dogon tribe in Mali, found that it might be "more natural" to have fewer periods. In the old days, we had about 100 periods in our lifetimes. Now, we have 350-400. Historically, we'd start periods at 16 (we now start at 12 years old), we'd have eight babies (we now have two on average), and we'd breastfeed for 20 months (we now do zero to six months at best).
Since the creation of the birth control pill, doctors have known that the one week withdrawal bleed (aka "period") is optional. Dr. John Rock, one of three co-founders of the birth control pill, was the one that pushed for a bleed one week out of four. It was to see if he could get the method through the Catholic Church. He said it was just to make the periods regular and thus Catholics could better utilize the rhythm method. He also thought that women would be more likely to accept the method if it was consistent with what they were used to. Thus since the beginning the birth control pill, women have been forced to bleed one week out of four. Needless to say, if I were one of the co-founders, I would have pushed for #NoPeriods or #PeriodsOptional.
Let's explore other benefits of skipping your monthly bleed:
- You save money – we use 12,000 feminine hygiene products in our lives.
- You save the planet from landfill.
- You decrease your risk of certain medical conditions – ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, and anemia
- Certain diseases do better on stable hormonal levels – acne, PCOS, diabetes, seizure disorder, depression/psychological conditions.
- Increased productivity – the number one cause of missed work/school in a woman under the age of 25? Her periods.
Using birth control to skip periods:
- You can use the hormonal IUD, the implant, the shot, the ring, the patch and the pill. Note: You cannot use the patch for longer than 12 weeks in a row, because too much estrogen will build up in the blood.
- You do not have to use "special pills" that come in 84 or 91 days packs. You can use any pill and just skip the last week (if it is a four week pack) or go straight into the next pack (if it is a three week pack). Though if you are paying cash, those are sometimes cheaper.
- If you get breakthrough bleeding and have taken at least three weeks of active pills in a row, then you can stop the active pills for five days, have a bleed during that time, then restart on day six whether or not you are bleeding. This "cleans out the uterus" and allows you to start fresh.
- There are 40 different formulations of the birth control pill. So if one doesn't work for you, there are at least six other progestins and two levels of estrogen to play with.
- To skip the bleed on the pill, you want a progestin with higher progestational activity. Go to this chart that I created to review the options.
As the only female founded/led reproductive health company in the birth control delivery space, Pandia Health set out to make women's lives easier by sharing cutting edge, evidence-based women's healthcare. We commissioned a study of 1000 women ages 20-35 in the US to see what they knew about the topic. We found that:
- 66% of women had never been informed by a doctor that they could skip their periods safely.
- 46% have missed school because of periods.
- 58% would turn of their periods if they knew it could be done safely.
So make your uterus a happy uterus. A happy uterus is one that is not "crying" unnecessary bloody tears.