Skip to main content

Favorite Podcasts 2.0

So, since we all need some good distractions and it can be hard to focus on reading right now, I want to make a couple list posts of my favorite podcasts, social media accounts, and YouTube channels throughout the week to give you some inspiration. I'm going to start with podcasts because they're my favorite medium to get information and entertainment, and even though they've taken off in a major way in the last few years, I feel like some people still haven't gotten into the medium yet.
I'll start there. Skip to the list if you're already a podcast pro. If you're unfamiliar with podcasts, they're not difficult to access. On an iPhone, the app is already installed on your phone! All you have to do is open the app and click search to type in the name of whatever show you're interested in. Once it pops up, make sure to click the subscribe button to have them show up in your library. If you don't use an iPhone, a lot of podcasts are available on Spotify or apps you can download like Stitcher, Google Podcast, Deezer, iHeart Radio, or many others. There are more ways to access them than ever, and podcasts are always free. You can even fast forward through the ads! Also, on many established channels, there's months worth of old content to work through.
Anyway, now that I've talked about how great podcasts are, I have recommendations from a ton of different genres. I have done this post before, but it was two years ago, and I've found new shows to recommend, though some have stuck around in my main listening rotation. If you'd like to see that list too, it's here.
I thought about limiting the number I was going to talk about, but I figured, right now, I might as well share all my favorites. I've organized them by topic or category to help you find the ones that might appeal to you most.

Lifestyle/Pop Culture Shows
This is my favorite genre of podcast for the moment because it's mostly full of guilty pleasure shows where you aren't learning anything (though there's tons of life advice) and they're mostly about fun and laughs. They're good for forgetting about the darker stuff going on. 

This first one is a total guilty pleasure. If you watch Vanderpump Rules on Bravo, you might be familiar with Stassi. I like watching the show (if you're bored, all 8 seasons are on Hulu), so I thought I'd check out Stassi's podcast, and I enjoy her even more on the podcast than the show. It offers a different side to Stassi as she chats about pop culture events and lifestyle trends with her friends who are generally on the show or run business or lifestyle brands. Sometimes, she co-hosts it with her fiancé, Beau, who is super positive force and a great addition to the podcast. There's great advice to be found in the different interviews and you can browse that way, or just hit play for a chat that feels like hanging out with friends. 

I'm newer to this podcast, but I've always loved watching Brad Goreski host carpets on E! News. He's also a sought after stylist in Hollywood. He interviews tons of different celebrities including Kaley Cuoco and Paris Hilton, and they're generally quite good because he knows these people and they're comfortable. They talk about their careers, pop culture news, and fashion developments. 

This is another show that feels like a round table of friends. Keltie Knight (E! News), Becca Tobin (Glee), and Jac Vanek host different podcasters, wellness experts, actors, and CEOs each week to talk about their careers and share helpful advice with the audience through their experience. It's super casual and always hilarious. They also do a good week/bad week segment that is always entertaining and puts everything in prospective even more. It's a good exercise even if you pick out trivial things. Every episode also features an advice segment where listeners write in with their questions. I love the community feeling that the show has created over the last couple years. 

If you're familiar with John Green, you might know about his brother Hank. He's on VlogBrothers and also leads the creation of the educational YouTube videos. Hank also has a book out. 
On this podcast, though, it's just Hank and his wife, Katherine, discussing the events of each week based on Hank's Twitter feed. It's very free form and like sitting in on their conversation. Hank and Katherine never fail to make me last and the episodes are nice and long. It's the perfect fit for anyone who already like what the Green brothers create. 
Scrubbing In with Becca Tilley & Tanya Rad
I'm new to Scrubbing In, but from the few episodes I've heard, I'm really enjoying it. I believe Becca is from the Bachelor and Tanya is a huge part of Ryan Seacrest's radio show and iHeart media in general. I first learned about Tanya on the Lady Gang. She's so entertaining and relatable (and also has the coolest job). They have great conversations catching up on their lives, favorite shows, and current events together. It's another great choice for when you're missing your friend group. 
NYC EP6: SARA BAREILLES
This is more of an interview show with a range of different guests and also a little more serious in tone. The premise is that Jesse and her mom have different celebrities over to have dinner at their house or wherever they need to meet with their guest. There's always food involved and a real sense of family which is nice. While I've never heard of a good portion of their guests because it's a British based show, there are a couple you're sure to know like Ed Sheeran, Liam Payne, and Emilia Clarke. All of the interviews are delightful and far more in-depth than you usually get from press coverage. The sense of familiarity definitely seems to help open people up. 

Food Shows

Image result for Plate of the Union
This is a show that hasn't been updated in years but is still great nonetheless. Spike Mendelsohn, from Top Chef, discusses food policy, its impact, and what we can do to help shape it. He speaks to different experts in the food space and from Washington to educate the audience on something that seems far away and scary. It's a great introduction to the topic that's entertaining and easy to grasp. It's also a great companion to books like Food Fix. 

Image result for Forked Up podcast

This is a food podcast for people who don't even love food. It's technically a vegan food podcast, even, but Matt and Michelle make it very approachable and have guests that range from health experts to comedians. They talk about life in LA as skeptics and aren't people to fall for trends. It's a show you'll either really mesh with or not, but it's a great show that covers a wide array of topics. 

True Crime
Okay, maybe true crime isn't the best topic at the moment with the world feeling like it's ending, but I know how much some people love it. Perhaps it's even comforting at times like these. 
The First Degree
This is the most informal true crime podcast on the list. It's hosted by Jac Vanek, Alexis Linkletter, and Billie Jensen. Jac is just a true crime fan and Alexis and Billie have worked in TV production and investigative reporting for true crime documentaries. They also base all of their stories around a guest who has a first degree connection to the murder or crime. This adds an interesting sense of prospective, and, while they do research to tell the factual story, what sets it apart is the personal element that the connections bring to it. 
This is one of the biggest podcasts out there, so you probably don't need me to tell you about it, but I do enjoy listening to Karen and Georgia tell stories of horrible things while still not being total downers. Karen is a comedian so naturally, there's plenty of humor to be found, which doesn't mean they don't take the subjects seriously, but it does lighten the mood at bit. There's also a real sense of friendship that makes it through the microphones. 
Image result for The Murder Squad

This one is the most serious, clinical show of all of the crime ones. Probably because it features actual experts. It's hosted by Billie Jensen from the First Degree who is an investigative journalist and Paul Holes who worked in law enforcement for a long time, primarily on the Golden State Killer case. The podcast gives much more graphic details than the other ones and there's not much light in this. It's also focused around unsolved cases with the goal of raising enough awareness to hopefully find a break in a cold case. It can be unnerving at time, so I only listen in limited quantities, but it is fascinating and well produced. 

Music Shows
Lately, this is my favorite genre to listen to. I love learning about music, how the songs I love work, and what it's like writing a song. All of these podcasts are excellent and covers their own section of the music world so they all teach you something new. They're great listens even if you're just a casual music listener. 

This is one of the more established music podcasts out there. It's a great fit for people interested in learning more about the technical, theory based side of pop or the historical connections as it's hosted by Nate Sloan who's a musicology professor at USC and Charlie Harding who is a songwriter. Don't let the technical spin scare you away. They're great at explaining concepts in easy to understand ways. You'll start to grasp more of what's working behind the songs you love, and it's a great resource if you don't have access to music classes. 

I debated where to put this one, but Zach interviews musicians (usually from the pop world) and they discuss music stuff, so I guess it belongs here. But there's great, in-depth interviews with anyone and everyone from Ariana Grande to Niall Horan to Olivia O'Brien and Avril Lavigne. He does great interviews that go into the music more than anything else and are less gossipy than a lot of the major interviews you see. He still manages to ask the questions we're all thinking. 
I think this comes from him also being a product of the internet and fandom culture. He started his first radio show at 14 before building to have his current show broadcasted all over Top 40 Radio. It makes me super excited about the next up and coming group of radio hosts, music journalists, and television hosts that have grown up in the world of fandom and understand the closer attachment to the music and artists today. Also, he knows better than to underestimate what teens and pop fans are capable of understanding and want to listen to. 

This is my ultimate podcast guilty pleasure. While I found it because I decided I liked One Direction five years after they disbanded and nobody cared, I fell in love with the show for the hosts. The show was originally hosted by two college girls who wanted to share their excitement with the world. While I loved their song analysis, predictions (even the super old episodes), and discussions, I found the coolest parts were that they also talked about moving through college and grad school and figuring out life as young adults. Caitlin and Kara shared a lot of really helpful tips and stories about school and life and dealing with your whole world changing that really resonated with me. It's now hosted by Caitlin and Lucia, but I still love the relatability and the discussions. 
avatar
The Popcast is run by the New York Time's music team, hosted by Jon Caramanica who is as good of a podcast host as he his a music journalist. It also often features guests from the pop team like Jon Pareles who's the chief pop critic for the NYT (and shows up in a surprising number of books I've read on music history). They discuss major trends in pop (and pop adjacent) music and new albums from the point of view of professional music critics. It's interesting to see what people who listen to music for a living have to say about new songs and music trends. It's also super well produced. If you're curious about learning more of the connections and themes in music or just listening to really good conversations, you'll love this one.
And The Writer Is...
Ross Golan is one of the best songwriters in the game. Whether you know it or not, you've heard songs he's worked on ("Dangerous Woman" and "My House" are two that immediately come to mind). The whole podcast is about bringing awareness to those people at the end credits of songs. And it's fascinating. If you want to know more about your favorite songs and artists and the randoms stories of how they came to be, this is the place. Ross has interviewed all of my favorite writers and made me so much more aware of the connections that run through the industry. They're all great, casual conversations because Ross mostly talks to writers he's worked with or knows through friends. From names you already know like Julia Michaels and Nick Jonas to names you should like Teddy Geiger and Julian Bunetta, there are so many incredible episodes and incredible stories. 
Since I made this giant list, I figured I might as well suggest my own podcast too. Once or twice a week, I talk about pop music news and the new songs and albums that come out from favorite artists. If you're missing that friend in your life who's as obsessed with music and lyrics as you are, let me be your friend as we discuss our new favorite songs in an attempt to learn more about the world.


Informative/Don't Know Where to Put Them
Oh No Ross and Carrie
This is another show with another super long back catalogue to explore. Ross and Carrie team up to understand and explore alternative science and fringe religions. They investigate and experience them first hand before reporting back on subjects from Ionic Foot Baths to Scientology to psychics. It's an interesting show that has multipart investigations and first hand experiences with each group they discuss along with thorough research.
I recently found out about this one on Twitter from another fan of Ronan's book. If you haven't already, I completely recommend the audiobook so long as you don't find the subject matter triggering. A lot of the details of the story feel like they're out of a movie instead of real life. To read more about the book, you can check out my review
The podcast goes more in-depth into different parts of the book with interviews with the actual subjects discussed in the book. It adds an extra dimension and is extremely well produced. 
This is another random entry, though I guess it fits the investigative journalism theme so far. It's a completed series about We Work and how the entire company disintegrated almost over night. The show has amazing production, and the story will keep you captivated even if you don't care about businesses or how they work. 
The goop Podcast
Okay, before you stop paying attention because this is a subset of Goop, hear me out. It feels like the podcast is totally divorced from the rest of the brand. It's mostly hosted by Elise Loehnen who's their chief content officer, and she's an amazing interviewer. The guests are also really fascinating. The episodes are also thorough, well researched, and generally science based and skeptical. They also don't just focus on wellness but speak to CEOs, financial experts, psychologists, and more to cover every area of life. They pose lots of interesting, complex topics and fulfill the headlines with satisfying conclusions. Check out their list of episodes to see if something catches your eye. 

YA author Mary H.K. Choi runs a podcast! While it's not updated on a super regular schedule, her two podcasts have tons of great episodes. On Hey, Cool Job! Choi talks to tons of creatives who really do have cool jobs from Art Directors to Bowen Yang from SNL to designers and wellness experts. It's super informative and gives you some insight into a plethora of careers. 
Hey, Cool Life! is more free form focusing on mental health and creativity which is a good thing to focus on at the moment. Suggestions of coping methods, meditations, and mostly a reminder that we're not alone in our anxieties make this a great show for the moment. 
Also, while you're here, check out Mary's books. She's one of my all time favorite YA authors who focuses on college stories. Emergency Contact Review and Permanent Record Review

That wraps up my updated list of podcast recommendations. I've linked all of the titles to the show home pages so you can access them easily, and let me know in the comments what your favorite shows are. Are any of these your favorites?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

YA You Need To Read: April 2021

It's already April! School has been super super hectic, and I'm starting my old job as a bookseller again, so I haven't had much time for reading lately (ironic, I know), but I did want to talk about some books coming out in April that I can't wait to read (one day) that might inspire you to pick them up. I particularly can't wait for My Epic Spring Break Up! It's been on my list for a while now (I mean, look at that cover), but I also found some new books that hadn't been on my radar while browsing around the internet that I wanted to bring to your attention.  Let me know in the comments what April books you can't wait for!  Zara Hossain Is Here by Sabina Kahn  April 6th Zara has lived in Corpus Christi, Texas for a while. She's always dealt with the Islamophobia that's rampant in her high school, but when the star football player gets suspended, Zara becomes the target of a racist attack by the rest of the team that puts her and her family'

Once Upon a Quinceañera

Once Upon a Quinceañera   by Monica Gomez-Hera Thank you to the publisher for providing me with an ARC so I could share my honest thoughts with all of you! Overview: Carmen hasn't graduated high school, even though it's the summer after senior year. When her senior project fell through, Carmen has to scramble to complete the project over the summer. That means no college (not that she applied) and no future plans beyond becoming a Dream (floating around in a Belle costume at children's parties) with her best friend Waverley. So maybe it's not the summer Carmen wanted, but it's fine. At least until her ex-boyfriend who ruined everything, Mauro, also shows up on the team and then they get assigned to work her nemesis and younger cousin's quinceañera, which becomes the big event of the summer. Nothing ever quite goes to plan for Carmen, does it? Overall: 4 Characters: 4 I enjoyed hanging out with Carmen for a while. She's super witty and cynical in a way that I

Olivia Rodrigo'a SOUR As YA Books: Track By Track

This list turned out to be much harder to make than I anticipated when I came up with the idea last week. I set out to match songs to SOUR because what goes better with an album written by a 17/18 year old than YA books, but it turns out that YA books are just too hopeful for this album. Unlike many of these songs, I couldn't find books where the characters ended the book totally despondent and broken up. It took a bit of brainstorming, but I think I found a book to match the essence of each SOUR track. Le me know in the comments which songs on SOUR are your favorite. Mine are "brutal", "favorite crime", "deja vu", and "jealousy, jealousy".  1. "brutal" : War and Speech   by Don Zolidis War and Speech just radiates the same badass, discontented with teenage life energy as "brutal". This was the first book that popped into my mind when I thought about making this post. Just look at the cover. Sydney's life has been fa

Yolk by Mary H.K. Choi: YA Book Review

  Yolk  by Mary H.K. Choi Overview: Jayne is in fashion school in NYC. Well, she's enrolled. It's debatable how often she actually attends. June has a fancy job in finance, or that's what everyone thinks. But when June gets cancer, the estranged sisters are pulled together because June needs Jayne's identity to get treatment. By pretending to be her sister to get the life-saving procedure, June is forced to come clean and pull Jayne back into her orbit. Though their relationship stays rocky, they're suddenly glued together, forced to admit that their respective glamorous lives are actually filled with roaches and trauma and missteps. Overall: 5+++ This book made me happy cry (that's never happened while reading) and sad cry. Characters: 5 The book is told from Jayne's perspective in an extremely close first person. This book has plot. Things happen in the way that life happens, but it's mostly just characters getting split open and probed for all their w

My First Time Trying a Book Box: Literati Luminary Book Club Review

I am incredibly excited for today's blog posts because I'm working with Literati to share my experience with their Luminary Book Club. If you've been keeping up with my posts, I recently talked about how book clubs are an amazing way to fend off a reading slump, especially when life gets super hectic, and even with a super long TBR, I've still felt lost when I go to pick out my next read. I'm so grateful to Literati for sending me a book box and sponsoring this post!  On top of feeling stuck with choosing what to read, I've also been trying to explore more genres and the world outside of YA. YA has been my home base for so long that I always get overwhelmed trying to figure out what I want to read in other genres. Luckily, Literati had just what I needed. I got the chance to choose from 13 different book clubs all curated by Luminaries who are amazing, award winning writers, thought leaders, and artists you most definitely know like Malala and her Fearless cl

Halsey's I Would Leave Me If I Could Poetry Review

  I Would Leave Me If I Could  by Halsey  I've started this review a couple times and scrapped all of them. I've written hundreds of reviews before, and this is the first time I have absolutely no clue how to review a book. It's not just because it's poetry. And it's not because I don't have thoughts on every single poem. I've read the book twice and scrubbed a million notes around her words and highlighted every poem on my second read through. I have so many favorites, and my heart feels like it's going to burst after finishing each poem. Halsey exceeded every expectation I had set to the high bar of her music. I almost feel like this book is too good for my review to remotely do it justice, so I don't even know where to begin.  This book is extremely vulnerable. Halsey has never held back on telling the ugly truth in her lyrics, but the poetry takes it so much farther. She has space to tell the entire story, fewer constraints than what will fit in

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng: Adult Literature Reviewed

  Everything I Never Told You  by Celeste Ng (Just a warning, this review will have some degree of spoilers cause I don't know how to write a full review without them) Overview: Lydia is dead. Just turned 16 and already gone. With no close friends to point to a possible explanation and no leads, her family is left confused, forced to confront a world without their favorite daughter. Instead of a murder mystery, what unfolds is a heartbreaking story of a family in 1970s Ohio forced to confront every tiny, fractured web that led up to Lydia death. Bouncing around with no bounds for time, space, or narrator, we hear stories from Nath, Lydia, and Hannah's childhoods, Marilyn's young adulthood, and Jame's struggles to rise through the ranks as a Chinese American professor in small town Ohio. What it leaves is a heartbreaking portrait of how little we might truly know about the people we sleep in the same house with every single night. Overall: 4 Characters: 4 This is a hard

What's on my YA TBR: September 2021 Edition

September is always a magical, busy time in bookland because there are always a million books releasing to get ready for the holiday rush. That's how this list wound up featuring 7 books. There are a couple like Never Saw You Coming  and As If On Cue  that I've had my eyes on for almost a year, and then there are some new discoveries that I'm super super excited about. From heartfelt contemporaries to K-Pop to a musical anthology and a summer camp of animators, there's something for everyone on this list. I haven't been this excited about a TBR of books in a while, and I'm sad that with starting school, it'll probably take me a while to get through them, but I'm hoping my local library will pick up copies soon. Speaking of which, I have tons of new libraries to explore around campus! As always, I want to make it as easy as possible to preorder these books and connect with the authors who wrote them! If you click the link in the title of each book, it wil

Fresh by Margot Wood: YA Book Review

  Fresh  by Margot Wood Get a Copy (this is an affiliate link. purchasing through this bookshop link helps support indie bookstores and this blog at no cost to you) Overview: Elliot isn't really sure why she's going to college. It's the next step that people take in life, I guess. She also isn't sure why she's at Emerson. It sounded better than Ohio State. She has no plan, no clue and how to approach college life. Quickly, Elliot gets sucked into a whirlwind of all the worst college tropes- the endless cereal bar, hooking up with everyone in the Little Building, not paying attention in any of her that classes she doesn't really want to be in anyway... the list goes on. She quickly forms a tight group of friends on her floor, but even those connections get tested as the year progresses. Eventually, Elliot is forced to realize that she needs to care about the academic side of college, and she craves closer connections than a trail of hook ups. Elliot, like most co

Swimming Lessons By Lili Reinhart Poetry Review

  Swimming Lessons  by Lili Reinhart  Overall: 5 This is the first poetry book I've ever read in its entirety outside of Shel Silverstein, so I've checked off one of my reading goals for the year with this one. I've now read a graphic novel and a book of poetry. I've been anticipating Swimming Lessons  so long that I can't believe it's actually in my hands. I've been a fan of Lili since Riverdale, and I've continued to be a fan of hers even when the show got a bit too ridiculous for me to keep watching every week. I've been excited for the chance to get to see something completely created a controlled by Lili.  I'm not sure what I expected from Swimming Lessons . I think I had almost no idea what it would be like or the topics it would cover. After the first couple poems, I was completely hooked. In the intro, Lili prefaces the collection by noting that poetry has always given her solace in knowing other people felt the same specific emotions tha