It’s truly amazing to me to think that a few years ago, I lived a totally podcast-free life. Because now, wherever I go, even walking to the grocery store, I am usually expanding my mind or having a laugh—all thanks to the wonders of podcasts.
And podcasts, to me, have one distinct benefit: The ability to make you feel extra good about yourself. In a world where feeling never quite good enough is basically an epidemic, you can boost that well-deserved confidence simply by tuning into a stranger and letting him / her /talk into your ears. Pretty magic, right? Here are a few the best podcasts (in my opinion) to listen to and feel good.
Throwing Shade was my introduction to the world of podcasts. In each weekly episode, Bryan Safi and Erin Gibson talk about feminist and LGBTQ issues “with much less respect than they deserve.” It’ll make you feel better about being a woman or queer person simply by virtue of how brilliantly and hyperbolically the hosts tackle the topics. Plus, it keeps you cognizant of what’s going on in the world, meaning you’ll be more at ease and less intimidated when trying to talk woke-ness.
This pod, hosted by Caroline Goldfarb and Esther Povitsky, is an unashamed celebration of all things stereotypically “girly” – healthy food hacks, skincare routines, and a fair amount of discussion of vaginas. What’s so great about it is the hosts never try to make these topics seem trivial or stupid. Because liking lipstick and being a well-rounded human should never be seen as mutually exclusive, and you should never be made to feel bad about enjoying some superficiality.
A fairly new guy on the scene is Atlanta De Cadanet Taylor’s podcast offering. In it, she invites a female friend on to talk about … well, everything. From favorite vintage t-shirts to therapy following sexual assault, the result is one primary message: You are not alone in your experiences. That’s pretty powerful.
Another celebration of what’s often denigrated as “unimportant” is Natch Beat, hosted by Jackie Johnson, which support from her adorable dog Chooch. She discusses (sometimes with guests, and sometimes alone) all things beauty, but does it in a way which never relies on making people feel bad about themselves. Here, beauty is a journey, not a destination, and the message is that you’re already pretty hot as you are.
Bet you didn’t think there would be a murder podcast on this list, did you? Well there is, and here’s why: While the primary content of this podcast is, you guessed it, death, the two hosts Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark also candidly share a ton about their lives. These are two women who have been through a hell of a lot—addiction, mental illness, family issues—and have come out the other side, still laughing. Now that’s inspirational.
Another perhaps offbeat addition to my list—but hear me out. What’s so brilliant about this podcast is that by listening to it, you are becoming more clever and interesting with very little effort. Being self-assuredly able to talk about weird stuff is a highly underrated confidence booster.
What’s particularly great about Guys We F****d, hosted by Krystyna Hutchinson and Corinne Fisher, is how freely and openly it tackles being flawed. The hosts openly talk about regrets, mistakes and embarrassments (their comedy duo is actually called Sorry About Last Night). In a world where being a woman in the public eye tends to mean putting up a façade of perfection, these two are refreshingly human, and doing pretty well with it. And thus, you can be, too.
And a few other feel-good things to try, read or hear:
- A book about healing.
- Five wonderfully relaxing songs to put on repeat.
- Three meditation apps to download now.
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