Fun fact: every single day, I drive from the Eastern corners of DTLA basically all the way to the ocean. I know what you’re thinking – fun, right?! Because all the LA traffic rumors you’ve heard are true…and even truer than what you’ve head. But actually, yes. It’s fun.
Okay, scratch that – some days, like when I’ve been up since 5:30am or had a frustrating day at work, braving the freeways, side streets, and back alleys of LA for anywhere from 20 measly minutes to an hour-fifteen-plus gets irksome. I’m not saying I’ve never had a traffic meltdown. But most days, I don’t find it all that bad. Mostly because a) I LOVE where I live and the commute is worth it to come home to my home every day, and b) podcasts.
When people say their commute sucks, or they don’t have time to acquire new information, or are sick of alternating between the radio and Spotify, I always refer them to podcasts. I love to learn, love to get inspired and motivated, and love to FEEL. That’s why on my way to and from work, it’s pretty likely I’ll tune into a pod and actually become a little sad if I don’t finish my episode de jour by the time I put my car in PARK mode. Jeremy will ask if it really took so long to get home. Sometimes yes. Sometimes I was just sitting in my car tied to the closing statements.
The thing with me and podcasts is that I like them to go deep. I was never, ever a podcast person because I thought they were simply downloadable radio stations. Superficial conversation doesn’t cut it for me – I could listen to the local stations for that (NPR/KCRW excluded from that list; I am a huge fangirl) – I want a glimpse into how we tick and a big chunk of time devoted to all the nuances of someone’s life, journey, and best lessons they can offer to their listeners. I like seeing parallels in my life and gaining new insight professionally and personally.
Right now, I’m in the middle of recording and editing the very first round of WANT pods (it takes a long time…but I’m aiming for a late summer/early fall launch. Get them earbuds ready!), so getting familiar with the podcasting world is something I’m considering, um, research (yeah, that’s it). I’ve had the honor of being a guest on a few of these pods, which was a true honor – it’s like getting to go on the set of your must-see-TV show lineup.
This is definitely not an all-inclusive list of pods I think are rad – these are just the ones that I not only subscribe to, but turn to most often during those long stretches in the car when I’m craving insight, inspiration, and progress that exceeds the .25 miles I’ve crawled in 25 minutes. I’m including their iTunes/website description, why I love it, and what these pods are the love-children of (because somehow, that always helps to get a better picture). Whether you’re chugging along in traffic or twiddling your thumbs on the subway, here are some of the ladies (and gentleman!) you should turn to to keep you company:
One Part Podcast
What It Is: “Jessica Murnane talks to some of the most interesting and inspiring minds in wellness, music, food, fashion, business, and design. Revealing stories of successes & setbacks. Sweet motivational secrets. And a whole lot of actionable advice.”
Why I Dig It: Jessica has a true gift of drawing out the authentic, raw, sometimes-hilarious, sometimes-heartwrenching stories of others in a way that seems oh-so-natural. An episode of One Part Podcast is notsomuch an interview but a discussion; like listening to two friends who haven’t seen each other in decades catch up on all of life’s deepest moments. Her guests run the gamut, from health and wellness superstars to Grammy-nominated musicians to a creative director who owns an Insta-famous pigeon. I love that her guests are from all industries and don’t need to fit that oh-so-common “Huge Following” requirement: she chooses guests based on the quality of their story, not the quantity of their followers. Jessica’s relaxed, inquisitive, just-plain-rad demeanor makes you feel at ease as a listener – and she knows how to ask all the right questions at just the right time.
Sound familiar? She’s also a previous WANT Woman – you can read more about her here and “listen” to me gush on and on about her. She is The. Shit.
Love-Child Of: Oprah, Cheryl Strayed, + that song “Forever.”
What It Is: “A podcast for creative entrepreneurs from Emily Thompson and Kathleen Shannon. Get your business together. Get yourself into what you do, and see it through. Being boss is hard. Blending work and life is messy. Making a dream job of your own isn’t easy. But getting paid for it, becoming known for it, and finding purpose in it, is so doable – if you do the work.”
Why I Dig It: I love how candid Kathleen and Emily are with their advice. I love that they don’t hold back their goods to “save it” for their clients (I believe they discuss this very thing in an episode, actually). I love that they stick to branding and creativity and get so incredibly specific with their topics of choice – which means that as listeners, we’re getting actual, actionable advice, not just vague ideas and concepts that may or may not apply to us.
Love-Child Of: Malcolm Gladwell, Sheryl Sandberg, + your favorite teacher in high school/college who just “got it.”
What It Is: “Invisibilia (Latin for all the invisible things) is about the invisible forces that control human behavior – ideas, beliefs, assumptions and emotions. Co-hosted by Lulu Miller and Alix Spiegel, Invisibilia interweaves narrative storytelling with scientific research that will ultimately make you see your own life differently.”
Why I Dig It: From the man who is plagued by violent thoughts to the person literally trapped inside his own body, to woman who is physically incapable of feeling fear, Invisibilia gives fresh insight on how we’re wired and how we process thoughts, feelings, and emotions. It’s riveting and eye-opening, but without the pretenses of a super-scientific, academic pod. Listening to Alix and Lulu is like listening to two friends go on an adventure together and have incredibly real, raw conversations – yet it manages to teach you something truly fascinating with each story line. Was hooked after their first episode, “The Secret History Of Thoughts.” Makes sense.
Love-Child Of: This American Life, Nancy Drew, Psychology Today, + Inside Out.
Good Life Project
What It Is: “Inspirational, unfiltered conversations and stories about finding meaning, happiness, purpose, inspiration, motivation, spirituality, love, confidence and success in life. From iconic world-shakers to everyday people, every story matters.”
Why I Dig It: You know Six-Degrees-Of-Separation? It should be called Six Degrees Of Jonathan Fields. Jonathan seems to know every single person in the self-improvement, wellness, and entrepreneurial world. Not only know them, but have their friendship and trust. This makes for down-to-earth, intricate conversations that get his guests in that corageously-vulnerable space of opening up and showing their full selves. He asks unexpected questions and gets deep with some of the greatest visionaries around – think Danielle LaPorte, Marie Forleo, Seth Godin, Brene Brown, even the founder of Pixar (there are a lot more big guns, but I’ll let you binge listen to discover yourself).
Love-Child Of: Inside The Actor’s Studio + Super Soul Sunday
What It Is: “Weekly interviews with your favorite creative entrepreneurs about their journey to success. New episodes every Tuesday morning. Having authentic & raw conversations about successes, failures and strategies helps to create a world where all creative beings feel inspired and empowered to define success on their own terms. And we want to help you use that personal definition to drive forward towards your goals & dreams.”
Why I Dig It: When you’re just getting started in your creative career – whether you’re at the point of knowing exactly what you want to do or feel pulled in twelve million different directions – it seems like everyone is way more polished, professional, and twelve steps ahead of you. Creative Start focuses solely on the journey of each creative featured. The whole journey; from when they were a kid up until this moment. It’s a brilliant reminder that everyone starts somewhere and that no one path is the same as another, nor is it ever linear from the outside.
Love-Child Of: Drama/Art/Photography/insert-creative-field-here Club + E! True Hollywood Story
Call Your Girlfriend
What It Is: “Call Your Girlfriend is a podcast for all the long-distance besties out there, brought to you by Gina Delvac, Ann Friedman and Aminatou Sow. Every other week, tune in as we discuss Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the beauty of caftans, menstruation news, Kimye, Pitbull, Hillary Rodham Clinton, casual racism, emoji, straight people, California, rom-coms, Lorde lipstick, and so much more.”
Why I Dig It: I mean. You don’t really have to go further than that description to get on board with CYG. But just in case you needed more convincing – these ladies GET IT. They jam on feminism, pop-culture, recent news, and every single other thing you’d talk about in a really good catch up sesh with your best friend. I love that these ladies don’t hold back on opinions and don’t “official up” their voices for the pod (a pet peeve of mine…just do you, podcast peeps!). It’s two best friends, talking about what matters most to (or mystifies, or confuses, or frustrates, or amuses) them in the moment – and we get to be in on the conversation. Plus, they’re actual-LOL hilarious. Shine Theory 4eva.
Love-Child Of: Sex & The City, The Daily Show, and that one dinner party you went to that you never, ever, ever wanted to leave because everyone was so damn interesting/smart/hilarious.
*Newcomer award* WELL/AWARE Show
What It Is: “WELL / AWARE was founded on the belief that a world in which we slow down and take better care of ourselves, others and the environment would be a better one. This wellness podcast explains how the energy we create within — our WELLNESS — and the energy with which we approach the world — our AWARENESS — are intricately connected and deeply affect each other.”
Why I Dig It: WELL / AWARE is a “minimalist wellness podcast” – a concept I love. It’s about living as minimally as possible, in both mind and spirit. Clearing out the literal and metaphorical closets, drawers, garages, and attics to make room for only what really serves us. Lindsay Mueller’s voice is soothing and sophisticated, and she’s really onto something big. I gave this pod the “Newcomer Award” because it’s only 4 episodes old – and it’s definitely worth following from the very start.
Love-Child Of: Audrey Hepburn, Green Juice, + Toms
What pods do you love? Why do you love them?
And – the kicker – who do YOU want to hear on the WANTcast? (<-working title.)