The Magic of Listening: My Favorite Podcasts

The Magic of Listening: My Favorite Podcasts

Podcasts changed my life. I wouldn't say they drastically altered things day-to-day. But, listening has become a new part of my life that I love. I feel more informed. I feel more engaged. I feel more empathy. That is the beauty of story-telling. I believe that when you listen to the stories of others, you are broadening your ability to empathize and understand the behaviors of others. In turn, I believe, it helps you better know yourself. 

This list is by no means exhaustive. These are just a few podcasts that I find myself consistently listening to and staying up-to-date with. 

Also, if you are new to the podcast world, podcasts are audio episodes you can listen to on just about any topic, they are often available free for download and you can subscribe to keep up with the latest episodes. 

Let me know what podcasts you have been loving, I'm always looking for new ones to subscribe to. 

Terrible, Thanks for Asking

What it’s about: “You know how every day someone asks "how are you?" And even if you’re totally dying inside, you just say "fine," so everyone can go about their day? This show is the opposite of that. Hosted by author and notable widow (her words) Nora McInerny Purmort, this is a funny/sad/uncomfortable podcast about talking honestly about our pain, our awkwardness, and our humanness, which is not an actual word.”

Why I love it: This podcast is heartbreaking, engaging, and fantastically written (spoken?). Nora McInerny Purmort tells her story in a raw and beautiful way. When I hear her talk, I think, eloquent…she is the definition of eloquent. Have you ever heard someone tell a story and think, I want to be their friend or just to know them? Nora makes you feel this way. She is true. In every sense of the word. In the podcast she talks about her story and reaches out to others to tell theirs. I constantly find myself wanting to write down the things she says, they're in every sense of the word, quotable. 

I will note that this podcast touches on very sensitive topics that are sometimes difficult to hear. 

Missing Richard Simmons

What it’s about: “On February 15, 2014, fitness guru Richard Simmons disappeared. He stopped teaching his regular exercise class at Slimmons, cut off his closest friends, and removed himself from the public eye after decades as one of the most accessible celebrities in the world. Nobody has heard from him — and no one knows why he left. Filmmaker Dan Taberski was a Slimmons regular and a friend of Richard’s. Missing Richard Simmons is Dan’s search for Richard — and the deeper he digs, the stranger it gets.”

Why I love it: First, the podcast host and creator, Dan Taberski, is easy to listen to, engaging, and a brilliant story teller. As a bonus he is funny. The story itself is fascinating. I did not grow up during the Richard Simmons era, but I found myself sitting in the car an extra few minutes to finish an episode. I’m hooked. I want to know where Richard Simmons is.


My Favorite Murder

What it’s about: “Ready yourself for a murder adventure hosted by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark, two lifelong fans of true crime stories. Each episode the girls tell each other their favorite tales of murder, and hear hometown crime stories from friends and fans. Check your anxiety at the door, 'cause Karen & Georgia are dying to discuss death.”

Why I love it: My sister Bonnie recommended this podcast to me. At first, I was a bit put off by the lengthy conversations in the beginning that had nothing to do with the actual murders. I recently listened to an episode where Karen and Georgia (hosts) talked for 45 minutes before actually discussing their murders. Now, I love every word. I’m addicted to their banter and crude jokes, their ability to make you laugh out loud and feel bad for laughing all at once. It’s brilliant. The focus of the podcast is story telling. The stories are true, and you guessed it, all about murder. Karen and Georgia take turns outlining the often gruesome details of killings from past and present. Sound appealing to you? There are about 59 episodes so you can binge listen, one of my favorite past-times.

A few things, they swear…quite a bit. They talk about real life and don’t shy away from topics. Just a mini-warning if you are sensitive to that kind of thing. Also, sometimes facts about the stories get muddled, if you're a serious true-crime fan, this might bug you a bit. 

Other favorites: 

  • Lore
  • Stuff You Should Know
  • Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me (NPR)
  • Invisibilia 
  • Radiolab
  • The Moth (Storytelling)
  • The Marie Forleo Podcast
  • Serial
All Things RVA: Flora

All Things RVA: Flora

Target Beauty Box (March 2017)

Target Beauty Box (March 2017)