culture   //   August 16, 2016



My podcast obsession started much like everyone else’s: by listening to Serial. My husband and I became so engrossed in that one that it made our seven-hour road trip feel more like three. It was then that it occurred to me how much time I had wasted sitting in traffic, flipping through radio stations, listening to the same songs over and over again when I could have been listening to podcasts.

Listening to podcasts makes me feel productive. I no longer dread traffic jams or having to wait at doctors’ appointments because I can simply pop in my headphones and listen to Adam Rappoport interview foodie friends (I loved this one with Ina Garten) on Bon Appétit or listen to a love story on The New York Times’ Modern Love station. Truth: There’s even a podcast dedicated to analyzing every. single. episode. of Beverly Hills 90210. And yes. I listen to it. (Side note: Why on earth does Goop not have a podcast? I, for one, would love nothing more than to listen to Gwyneth’s tips, tricks, and words of wisdom on a weekly basis. Anyone else with me?) Not only do I feel better educated after to listening to them,  but podcasts have also been the source of many a wonderful dinner-table conversation.

One thing is certain: there is no shortage of variety when it comes to podcasts. Name any topic – from food to finance – and there’s a podcast (or six) to cover it.  Here, eight of my current favorites.

1. This American Life

This one is obvious. I think it’s the most downloaded podcast on iTunes. If you’re just beginning your journey with podcasts, this is a good place to start. Each episode highlights a different aspect of American society told through short stories. This one takes me from laughter to tears and back again.

2. Stuff You Should Know

This one has been the great source of dinner party conversation. From what causes deja vu to how Twinkies are made, every single episode focuses on a different topic. I learn something new every time.

3. Bon Appétit

As a longtime subscriber of the magazine, I can report that the podcast is equally as good as the publication. From kitchen tips to restaurant news to cookbooks, this one provides the ultimate foodie fix.

4. Burnt Toast

Do you like Food52? Then you’ll love Burnt Toast, the website’s bi-weekly podcast. It’s basically everything that doesn’t make it on to the website. This one makes me feel like I’m listening to foodie friends chat over dinner. I always feel inspired to get cooking after tuning in.

5. Happier with Gretchen Rubin

If you haven’t already, I strongly suggest you read The Happiness Project. It’s a book that has had a life-changing effect on me and one of the very few that I find myself wanting to go back and re-read. And thanks to this podcast from the book’s author, I sort of feel like that’s what I’m doing every single week. Hosted by Rubin and her sister, this podcast provide great little nuggets of information along with tips and tricks (listen to the “One-Minute Rule” episode) that encourage happiness. Simple as that.

6. TED Radio Hour

If you’re a fan of TED Talks then you’re sure to enjoy this podcast. Each episode combines a TED presentation with new, follow-up interviews on that topic. I usually listen to this one in the morning (that’s when my brain is most alert and I’m less likely to be distracted) while working out or when I’m on my way to work. Each episode leaves me feeling better educated and inspired. It’s a great way to start the day.

7. Vogue

As a longtime subscriber (going on 15 years) of the magazine, this one is a no-brainer for me.  It’s hosted by André Leon Talley (of course) and features everything from highlights from the monthly issue to fashion week recaps with the editors to best-dressed lists. I find that listening to the weekly episodes – especially the ones where Talley chats with Anna Wintour – makes me appreciate the current issue even more.

8. Bitch Sesh

This one dissects every single episode of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. For those of you that are a fan of RHOBH (no shame), you’ll love it. It’s pure fun and so entertaining.

I’ve told you mine. Now, tell me yours!

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