2016 In Review: My Favorite Podcasts

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

It’s that time of year again: the time to reflect on the year passed and recap the best and worst of 2016. Without further ado, here is the first of a few posts about 2016. Let’s start with podcasts.

I love podcasts! I listen to episodes while walking back from Leo's school in the morning, walking the dog, or doing email filing at work. I learn so much from podcasts. They’re mini documentaries for my ears. This year, I’ve especially enjoyed these:

Mama Bear Dares. The hosts, Tesi and Leslie, are sisters-in-law and friends. The podcast is focused on the mama bear instinct inside every mom -the protective and fierce bear that can move mountains for their cubs. This podcast is also hugely focused on social justice, health, and moms’ well-being (“the mother self and the other self”). The hosts either interview a mom who has done “something” (started a business, write a blog, etc) or have a mini-session where they talk about current topics (some serious, such as politics or racial issues in the US, and some much lighter, such as moms’ addiction to wine and coffee!). They’re pretty much what my soul yearns for: motherhood and friendship in a caring community of local and global citizens who want to do what is right for their children and the world. That’s pretty much why I started this blog! And now a podcast is giving voice to my deep desires. I wish these two were my neighbors and BFFs. They’re so funny but also serious and really want social justice to be something all moms embrace (there are a few people like that I’d love to BFF. Jen Hatmaker, I’m looking straight at you). I’d love to drop by their house and have discussions with them around a glass of wine or cup of (fair trade) coffee -which I’m hoping to do one day since one of my very close friends is friend with Tesi -that is, if I don’t fangirl stupidly! 

Undisclosed: A strong repeat from 2015. Have you listened to Serial? If not, please go and subscribe right now -and then listen to all 1 episodes of season 1 in a row. Serial focused on the case of Adnan Syed, convicted of the murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee in 2000. Serial questioned the case. Undisclosed, led by 3 genius lawyers (one of whom has known Adnan for many years and has claimed his innocence since day 1), went through all aspects of the case in season 1. In Season 2, they chose a new case, State vs. Joey Watkins, and are again explaining how the case was built and why there are serious reasons to believe Joey is innocent. This is the one podcast I cannot listen to if I’m not completely focused. If I stop listening for even one minute, I’ll be lost -that’s how much crucial information is packed in each episode!

What Should I Read Next: Literary match making at its best! The concept is simple. The host, Anne Bogel, who blogs at Modern Mrs. Darcy, invites one guest each week. She asks them to tell her 3 books they love, 1 book they hate, and what they want to change in their reading life (and she always asks what they’re reading now). Then she gives them 3 recommendations. I’ve built a strong “To Be read” list from her recommendations.

Death, Sex, and Money: This podcasts discusses things that no one talks about but everyone thinks about. They’ve tackled issues such as infidelity, prostitution, immigration, addictions, porn, and of course death, sex, and money. We hear from listeners or famous people. The stories featured are really fascinating.

Hidden Brain. This NPR podcast seeks to scientifically explain hidden patterns in everyday life. Episodes have focused on the Ebola crisis, the elections results, which I’m not even going to talk about right now (look at my self-control!), or the way chaos is actually good for us. I like how the host conducts interviews. His tone and the depth of his questions always make for thought-provoking podcasts.

Bonus! Everyday Emergencies: this is a podcast put together by Doctors Without Borders / Medecins Sans frontieres (MSF) UK. Each episode features (featured? There doesn’t seem to be any new episode right now) a MSF staffer in one of the organization’s project. While the podcast only features the point of view of Westerners put into quite dramatic situations (they’re faced with malnutrition, war, Ebola), I found the podcast interesting. After all, I am a westerner working for a humanitarian organization, too -so I related to what the staffers were saying.

Other podcasts I’m listening to include Global Dispatches, Her Money Matters, and the podcasts featured in the best of 2015 last year.

Do you listen to podcasts? Which would you recommend?

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