In no particular order:
Hosted by Kevin Allison, the tag line is “true stories you thought you’d never dare to share.” While there are plenty of stories about sexual adventures, there are other stories that venture into darker/forbidden territory as well. Trevor Noah’s story about his mother is a recent one I recommend. I was also incredibly moved by Marcy Langlois’ story surrender, about recovering from tragedy.
This is the first storytelling podcast I heard. So many fantastic voices and stories. I often replay them later for my girlfriend. Top hits include:
- Oliver’s Pink Bicycle – a son wants a pink bicycle
- The All-Star Game – a sister takes her brother on a trip to see a game
- All of Tara Clancy’s stories – she has a fabulous accent and her stories are hilarious and heart warming
- Andrew Solomon’s account of Cambodian refugees healing in his quest to understand his own depression.
Produced by Lea Thau, who was the first producer on The Moth. She interviews different people on the theme of what makes them feel a stranger. I always find these stories touching, even when the people’s experiences are so different from my own. For a start, try American Mormon-International Mr. Leather. Or start anywhere, really.
Nerdist. Chris Hardwick interviews people from the entertainment industry with a nerdy and/or comedy slant. Recent interviews I enjoyed: Cameron Esposito, Lily Tomlin, and Jon Ronson.
My mom just tipped me off to Crybabies, which is about the things that make people cry. Susan Orlean and Sarah Thyre are fabulous. I’ve only listened to a few, but Guy Branum’s ep was great. Notorious RBG. I say no more.
On Being is hosted by Krista Tippet. I don’t listen regularly, but she gets the most amazing people, like Mary Oliver. I did listen to her recent episode with Amy Ray and Emily Saliers, the Indigo Girls, who have been such a formative part of my own adulthood.
State of the Re:union is no longer producing new episodes, but it is excellent. Al Letson explores different places across the country through a specific lens – often race, but not always. Pick a place you know, or one you don’t, and learn more amazing things about this country.
And a few more as I run out of steam for you.
Design Matters with Debbie Millman
99 Percent Invisible with Roman Mars. Go listen to the episode about lawns. Also, Roman has the best voice to put in your ears.
Infinite Monkey Cage from the BBC
Sawbones: a marital tour of misguided medical history
I always wonder how people listen to podcasts. I can’t listen to something without looking at something, so my mind ends up engaged with whatever I’m looking at. So do people listen only while they’re driving/riding? Or doing crafts? I find this seriously perplexing.
I mostly listen while I’m walking places – like to work. Since I don’t have a car, I don’t know! Maybe? I can listen while I’m doing chores like washing dishes or folding laundry and also while I’m doing crafts. If I’m doing something really repetitive at work I can listen, but usually work requires more cognitive processing and I miss out!