It was the first Thanksgiving that I wouldn’t be with my family. Instead, I would be in the car for a long seven hours on the way to Santa Cruz with my LA bestie Annie to spend the holiday with her family. Annie’s appetite and desire for intellectual and meaningful conversations with others is just one of the many things I love about her—there’s seriously no better person to road trip with. But after chatting about ourselves for a long five hours and self evaluating one another to death, Annie decided to put on a podcast.
I always thought of myself as more of a radio person, or Spotify for that matter, but with much time to kill I figured one or two episodes could help pass the time. To my surprise, the next five hours flew by as we listened to various shows that kept us awake and sparked those intellectually stimulating discussions we both love.
Whether I’m depressed, anxious or too lazy to leave my bed to find the remote, I feel as though I can always turn on a podcast that will suppress each crazy ass mood and bring me back to life. Here’s a few of my favorite podcasts that you need to subscribe to.
For when you need to stop being pessimistic: The Other F Word
This was the second podcast I stumbled upon and instantly fell in love with. The hosts of the podcast interview celebrities, athletes and industry leaders who might seem to have made it without any struggles or “failures” along the way. Those who are interviewed discuss their careers and how they’ve gotten to where they are today thanks to their past failures. I enjoy this podcast because I’m a big believer in that our failures mold the type of person we are and help to build resilience… not to mention make for a good story. From “failing” at breastfeeding to being a middle-aged man and coping with loneliness… there’s something inspirational for everyone and I personally take away a little something from each episode.
For when you need motivation: How I Built This
If a podcast has you taking the longer route to work because you want to listen to the full episode, well then it must be legit, right? How I Built List will put a few things in perspective for you. You’ll get to hear what some call luck to what others call hard work—but nonetheless, many, if not all, of the stories are incredibly moving and motivating.
For when you need advice on a relationship: Dear Sugar
All relationships are hard, not just the ones you have with your significant other. Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond give unbiased advice for their listener’s deep, dark questions. From dealing with an overbearing mother-in-law to a reckless sibling, the hosts tackle some fucked up shit. Some of the episodes are so intimate and personal I feel as though I’m eavesdropping.
For when you need hope in your 20’s: Millennial
Millennial has become my adult version of a night time story, told by the sweetest dreamer, Megan Tan. Megan reminds me a little of myself, not because we’re both millenials who enjoy producing content. She isn’t afraid to document her life in the hopes that her vulnerability eases the sadness and confusion others who are navigating their way through their 20’s. I literally cried listening to the episode, Double Life, because I remember the loneliness I felt when I quit my first job at 23 to follow my dreams. Even if you can’t relate to Megan’s stories, well… you’ll definitely get a kick out of her boyfriend’s dad, Chuck, who frequently shares his own wise words on the show.
Today, I hardly ever listen to the radio. I also canceled my cable and instead of cleaning my apartment with the Kardashians on in the background, I’m listening to The Lady Gang. No exaggeration— podcasts have changed my life. Now I’m just looking forward to the next road trip with my bestie!