Podcasts: A Starter Pack

Good morning! It's great to see you. Let's hang out for a sec. 


Hey gals. It's Maddy here. It may come as no surprise that I am a massive nerd for all things podcast related. Being that I'm the slowest cook in the world, I listen to podcasts almost every day. They're such an awesome way to stay informed, stay entertained, and give yourself some brain food. Essentially, audible spinach that doesn't give your teeth that fuzzy feeling. (Am I alone in this? Spinach gives me some SERIOUSLY mixed feelings.) These are in no particular order, because they're all so different, but sit back, enjoy, and find your new favorite podcast. Let's begin!


1. The Moth

Image courtesy of The Miramar Theatre

Image courtesy of The Miramar Theatre


Okay, I know I just said that these are in no particular order, but The Moth may very well be my favorite podcast right now. Each episode is typically an hour long, and features storytelling from everyday people, from every walk of life. Some of the stories are hilarious, and others make you cry, but the common thread is that they're all true stories and they're all told with heart. The stories are shared at The Moth storytelling events that happen all over the United States and beyond, and the podcast collects the best of the best performances and brings them to your phone. How cool! Anyway, I'm a huge fan of The Moth. I think anyone can love and appreciate true stories and shared experiences, and that's exactly what The Moth delivers. All the feels. 

Kid and family proof? Yes! Unless they say the content of a story is mature, The Moth is safe for all ages. 

Tear proof? No! Get those tissues out. Preferably the ones with lotion. 


2. Dinner Party Download 


Image courtesy of allaccess.com

Image courtesy of allaccess.com


Also known as "DPD", this is a podcast that has something for everyone. As the name denotes, the theme is a dinner party. It's difficult to explain it, but the podcast is structured by the outline of an actual dinner party. Hosted by Brendan Francis Newnam and Rico Gagliano, the episodes start with small talk, then move to a dinner party playlist (typically put together by a rad musician), cocktails, guests of honor, etc. It will make sense when you listen to it, I promise! But it's an awesome arts and culture podcast with fun interviews featuring artists like Tegan and Sara, Nick Offerman, Ru Paul, Allison Janney, and everyone moving and shaking in the industry right now. Episodes are typically published once a week, unless there's a bonus episode with interview extensions and such, and each episode is an hour long. Perfect for that work commute!


Kid and family proof? Yes! 

Tear proof? Yes! Unless you cry at lighthearted interviews? You should be okay. 


3. Modern Love: The Podcast


Image courtesy of The New York Times

Image courtesy of The New York Times


For those who aren't familiar with the New York Times, Modern Love is a column that has featured some of the most raw and honest personal essays about love in every form. The essays range in topics, from online dating to familial relationships, taking care of grandparents, all of it. Due to the fact that the podcast is able to draw from over a decade of essays, there's a rich well of essays that they can choose from. One of the coolest things about this podcast is that the essays are read aloud by awesome actors of stage and screen, which ends up giving the essays even more power. Each episode typically runs about 30 minutes, so it's just enough time to prepare that Trader Joe's Orange Chicken and white rice. It's all about the multitasking! 


Kid and family proof? Yes and no. Depending on the age of your kids, it might be good to listen to the episode beforehand just to double-check that it's okay. The essays can get pretty heavy so it's better to be prepared if kids will be listening too.  

Tear proof? NO NO NO. There are a fair amount of comedic essays, but the majority are very emotional!


4. 2 Dope Queens


Image courtesy of The New York Times

Image courtesy of The New York Times


Comedy babes Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams bring the laughs and the sass to every episode of 2 Dope Queens. This is a newer podcast on the scene (they just wrapped on their second season a month ago), but it's gained a cult following, and there's no question why. Williams and Robinson are the hosts of the podcast, but each episode features standup comedy from live recordings in New York City and beyond. The featured comedians take on topics like race, sexuality, pop culture and being a millennial in a way that is guaranteed to make you accidentally pee just a little bit every now and again (you have been warned). The Queens also interview actors and actresses from various shows and movies, including the likes of Kevin Bacon, Fred Armissen, Carrie Brownstein, Connie Britton, and need I even go on? Each episode is about an hour long, and during their off-season, they post bonus episodes featuring comedians they couldn't fit in the normal episodes. So if you need a laugh or a distraction from the crying babies on the plane or in the next room, download the Queens. 


Kid and family proof? In my opinion, no. Unless your family is collectively okay with crude humor, I'd recommend listening to this privately or with some of your girlfriends. Unless you have a very liberal toddler. But even then, maybe just keep this on the down-low. 

Tear proof? Yes and no! There is a very high possibility that you'll cry from laughing at some point during the season, but tissues aren't necessary. 


5. The Splendid Table


Image courtesy of The Washington Post

Image courtesy of The Washington Post


This one goes out to all the foodies. Hosted previously by the sage Lynne Rossetto Kasper and currently by Francis Lam, The Splendid Table is an hour of cooking advice, food trend-spotting, fascinating interviews with chefs and cookbook authors and everything you could possibly imagine in between. If you spend hours in the cookbook section of bookstores or are constantly looking up recipes for the best roasted chicken, you may have just found your podcast soulmate. This is an especially fun podcast to listen to whilst cooking dinner or enjoying a little charcuterie and wine, as a side-effect of listening to people talk about food for an hour is naturally, well, hunger. The only caveat I will say is that this is a fairly easy podcast to zone out during. Whether it's the tone of the host's voices or the soothing, warm feelings that come from talking about the perfect carbonara on the Amalfi coast, I can't say, but I'd advise listening to this while you're still mentally present. 


Kid and family proof? Absolutely. In fact, I think this is an awesome podcast to share with the family. In an age of fast cooking and fast food, only positive things can come from a little culinary education. 

Tear proof? Yes, unless you're cutting an onion at the same time. Then definitely not. 



Already addicted to podcasts? Did I leave off your personal favorite? Let me know in the comments below!