Thursday, April 6, 2017

Broke & Fabulous Podcast Recommendations

Before I moved to New York, I never listened to podcasts. As a student, I was having these conversations and participating in lectures regularly. Listening to podcasts just felt like an extension of my class and schoolwork.

Now that I'm not in classes and happen to have a couple hours of dead time to fill every day, I've become a podcast fiend. I listen to five or six a day during the week; on my way to work, walking my dog, while I'm making dinner, etc. I've only been in the podcast game for a couple months, but I've already accumulated a number of favorites.


The Daily: Every weekday, Michael Barbaro of The New York Times dives into a couple topics in a daily 30-minute episode. This is the first podcast of the day that I listen to to get myself familiarized with what's in the news.

Pod Save America: Four former members of Obama's team spend an hour twice a week giving their take on the political news of the week. It's fairly left-leaning, so I don't use it as a news source (though I would be remiss if I didn't point out that biased news is not the same as "fake" news). Rather, I listen to these hilarious and experienced guys talk about news I've already heard in a way that makes me feel hopeful instead of hopeless. Part of their mission statement is to incite activism, so they regularly have activists on to talk about how listeners can participate in the political system.

Pod Save the World: One of the hosts of Pod Save America, Tommy Vietor, was on President Obama's National Security Council. On this podcast, he interviews politicians, journalists, and other professionals who know foreign policy well.


Code Switch: Depending on the episode, 2-5 awesome journalists from NPR talk about race, ethnicity, and culture and how they interact in our daily lives. Episodes are 10-30 minutes long, making them the perfect introduction to a topic that I'll be thinking and talking about for months.

Fresh Air: Terry Gross takes a deeper look at issues in culture and tells stories of things that affect us more than we realize. She interviews people like Samantha Bee and Lin-Manuel Miranda as well as authors that I've never heard of. I don't listen to every episode (I don't always want to hear reviews of books I'm never going to read or hear obituaries for people I've never heard of), but there are some really great episodes. Some of my favorites include "Author Says Hitler Was 'Blitzed' On Cocaine And Opiates During The War" and "How The Systemic Segregation Of Schools Is Maintained By Individual Choices."

Growing Girls: This podcast only has two episodes so far, but both have left me excited for a new one. April and Megan address social issues in popular culture from their perspectives as two young womxn of color. Listening to the episodes feels like you're having a conversation with insightful and thoughtful friends. They constantly push me to examine my perspective and privilege and are constantly doing the same themselves. As the title explains, they're two growing girls, because we're all growing and learning all the time.


Stuff You Should Know: The title is pretty self-explanatory. Josh and Chuck walk through the basics of a unique topic in hour-long episodes. I've learned a lot from this podcast. Anyone who knows me knows I'm happiest when I'm learning stuff!

Hidden Brain: This is the psychology podcast I've been looking for. Host Shankar Vedantam talks to researchers and other journalists about both new and old research in the field of psychology in a way that everyone can understand. I've gotten helpful refreshers on subjects I learned about in school and learned a bunch of new stuff.

Presidential: Where was I when the rest of America learned about the presidents in school? For whatever reason, I couldn't tell you a single fact about any president before I was born but Nixon and Lincoln. That's embarrassing. Luckily, Lillian Cunningham of The Washington Post hosted this podcast to educate people about all 44 presidents before the election last fall. I'm on episode 18 and I've learned a lot about the history of America so far. 

Do you love podcasts? Comment below with your favorite recommendations! 

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