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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. 
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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?

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