Working from home, it gets pretty quiet around here. As such, I am a connoisseur of podcasts. Though, even when I was working in an office I found it helpful to build my invisible "I'm-Working-Intensely-Please-Leave-Me-Alone" walls with a good pair of headphones. Here are some of my favorites, in no particular order.
NPR: All Songs Considered - I used to have time to do some deep-dive research new bands, but now I mostly have to depend on Bob Boilen--which is actually okay, because after many years of listening I realized he is my legit music soul mate. We share the same musical taste, more than any one else on the show (or that I have known IRL, for that matter). A close second was when Carrie Brownstein was a co-host, but you'll have to go back a few years for those episodes. Their Mid-Year and End-of-Year wrap-up shows are the best. I've tried other music podcasts, but this one is by far my favorite. (Side note: I emailed Bob Boilen last year and told him how much I love his music choices, and he emailed me back and told me to stop by the studio if I'm ever in town. My nerdy little heart exploded. Tiny Desk Concert, anyone??)
The Nerdist - I love the Nerdist for the excellent, excellent guests. Neko Case has been on twice, and she is hilarious and awesome and I want to be her friend. The Tom Hanks episode was also notable; we learned about his vintage typewriter collection. There are big-name stars as well as geekier personalities. Chris Hardwick does a fine interview, even if he does nerd out a little bit occasionally. Adds to his charm.
Stuff Mom Never Told You - The hosts of this show discuss women's issues from a curious and open-minded place. They cover everything you can think of related to women, from health issues to sexuality to women in the workforce. I enjoyed the episode covering the history and scandal of Breastaurants. (They've been around a lot longer than you think!).
Zencast - This podcast is no more, but there is a large archive of episodes that will keep you busy for a very long time. This podcast is recorded by Insight Meditation Center and most episodes feature their teacher, Gil Fronsdal. Gil has a very gentle disposition and I love his subtle sense of humor. I love to listen to this podcast when I am feeling anxious or stressed. If you are a student of Buddhism or just need a calm break in your day, this is a great choice.
Savage Lovecast - I have been listening to Dan Savage's podcast since I was about 18 years old. It's not for everyone, but I personally think it should be required listening for young-ish people beginning their dating lives. Dan Savage has some excellent advice on building healthy, sustainable relationships and debunks a lot of assumptions about what is "normal" behavior.
Build a Badass Business with Diane Sanfilippo - I love Diane Sanfilippo's paleo and sugar detox books. I am a fan. I follow her on Instagram, I get the newsletters. So I was very excited to hear that she was starting her own business podcast! She is a young entrepreneur with a background in graphic design, retail, and nutrition. She has a lot of energy and I enjoy listening to the lessons she has learned in building her own business. (She also has a second podcast related to her food expertise called Balanced Bites.)
Creating Your Own Path - The creator of this blog travels around the country talking to artists, designers, and other creative types about their careers and inspiration. I just started listening to this one and so far, so good.
Dishing Up Nutrition - This is a food and health related radio show run by a Minnesota-based nutritionist. I love their topics (Nutrition During Pregnancy, How Changes Become Habits) but I ESPECIALLY love their Minnesota accents. Feels like home! I love listening to these ladies give helpful, kind advice on healthy eating and I have even purchased some of their supplements. If you are a fan of Paleo or Diane Sanfilippo, you will enjoy the advice these ladies dish out.
Alison Rosen Is Your New Best Friend - Alison has two episodes a week: a Monday episode, which is an interview with whomever her guest is that day, and a Thursday episode, where a group of her friends talks about...whatever. As of this year, Alison has a new group of regulars on her Thursday episode. I used to love the "old" gang, who were all employees of Adam Carolla (where Alison also worked until early this year when she was scandalously fired). The old gang talked about TOTALLY RANDOM stuff in the most hilarious and charming way, and I loved it. They talked about food a lot (favorite flavor of Skittles) and which direction one faces in the shower (towards or away from the water? or maybe you are a Shower Traveler). This stuff cracks me up. I will admit, it has taken me some time to get used to the "new" gang, but they are also great. The Monday interviews are way underrated. I hope Alison can get the momentum going to get bigger and bigger celebrity guests, because she is FANTASTIC at giving interviews. She speaks in such a friendly and conversational way, and before you know it the guests are going much deeper than they ever intended to. It is completely genuine and innocent on Alison's part; she clearly enjoys talking to people and is curious about their lives. Love her!
For Crying Out Loud - This is hosted by Lynette Carolla, Adam Carolla's wife, and Stephanie Wilder Taylor. It is advertised as a "parenting podcast," and although they do talk about their lives with their kids, I wouldn't listen to this show expecting parenting advice. Mostly, it feels like chit chat between girlfriends. It's a good podcast for me to have on when I can't pay too much attention and am looking for "background noise." I can tune out the Real Housewives talk and tune back in when they start talking about how annoying other moms can be.
And, obviously, Serial.