What I’m Listening To: Podcasts September 2017

Let’s talk a minute about podcasts. I started listening to them a little over a year ago for the very first time and now my life sometimes feels like it revolves around them. I realize this isn’t exactly a good thing, but I can no longer work – in any capacity – without listening to a podcast at the same time. Sometimes, I listen to music. Rarely. But doing literally anything slightly mindless without an accompanying podcast in my ears feels like a wasted opportunity. I love them, and I can’t get enough of them.

A few months ago I tacked this segment onto my large end of the month media consumption post, but I’ve decided to do it a little more justice and provide its own monthly recap on what I listened to most, why I like it, and specific episodes that you might enjoy if you’re just getting into the podcast lifestyle. I go through spurts of listening to the same handful of podcasts all day every day for weeks. And then there are weeks when I’m more open to branching out and I try new things. I find a lot of duds because it’s hard to feel attached when I’m already so invested in my favorites. But every once in awhile I come across one I really love and it moves its way up to the top of my list. So I’m sure as I write these posts each month there will be a lot of repeats. But also a few new discoveries that I will always list first.

For the Love Podcast with Jen Hatmaker

I just started listening to this one a few weeks ago when I heard about it after beginning Jen’s book Of Mess and Moxie. And it’s pretty amazing. It’s also fairly new, so there are only 12 episodes out and completely worth starting at the beginning and listening to all of them. Jen is structuring the podcast to go through series of guests that will speak with her about a certain topic. The first five episodes are about For the Love of Girlfriends. Jen and her guest discuss friendship in ways that will make you laugh your head off and feel green with envy. The second series is For the Love of Moxie. It’s about women that are full of moxie, oftentimes ones who started their own companies and are making a huge difference in the world. Each episode is funny, moving, and rooted in faith. They will uplift you and make you a better person for having listened.

Favorite episodes:

For the Love of Girlfriends: Episode 05: Real Girlfriends Stories from the Tribe

Listen to this. Seriously, listen to it. The words will absolutely convict you about your own friendships and challenge you to be so much more invested and reliable to the ones you love. Warning, it WILL make you cry. Even if you’re walking around town with your dog while you listen and determined not to make a fool of yourself in front of strangers.

For the Love of Moxie: Episode 03: Food, Freedom & The Whole30 with Melissa Hartwig

I didn’t really know anything about Whole30 before listening to this episode. I try to stay away from diet trends because they overwhelm me and feel so restricting. But I found this interview and the whole story behind the company and plan to be pretty fascinating. All of the guests on the Moxie series have been great, but this one felt the most powerful to me.

36 Questions

Here’s a fun one for you! It’s a musical podcast. Described as an experiment on what podcasting could eventually be, this is a three act production in a musical format about a couple trying to find their way back from divorce using a list of 36 questions that they ask each other. Each act is an hour or less so you can do what I did and listen to it all in a day. The podcast is acted out by Jonathan Broff and Jessie Shelton who just felt perfect for their rolls. I’m a little bit in love with Jonathan Broff now. This was definitely a unique experience and I hope it sets a new trend for similar podcasts. Expertly created with interesting sound effects, a believable and heartfelt storyline, and beautiful songs, 36 Questions was truly a treat.

The Popcast with Knox and Jamie

I think it’s officially safe to say that this is my all time favorite podcast. I like it so much that I recently decided to become a Patreon supporter, which gives me access to hundreds of episodes of bonus content from the past few years, plus everything new to come. I think one of the things that makes this podcast so great is that Knox and Jamie now do this for a living. It is their job and they take it seriously. Every episode is so well researched and put together, with tons of creative and interesting new topics every week. And the best part – it’s FUNNY. Oh, so funny!!! They discuss pop culture, argue about so many things, and just make you laugh without fail. I love it. There are hundreds of back episodes, which I’m not even caught up with yet. But if you’re just starting I’d probably go with the newest few just because they’ll be the most pertinent. I love Knox and Jamie as people and pretty much everything they have to say. Jamie is especially snarky and opinionated, but the podcast itself is clean. Besides their main topic each week, they also discuss news for the week (more in depth for Patreon supporters), and their red and green lights. I always LOVE recommendations from people, especially recommendations on books, tv, and movies. Which is what they almost always stick with. I have learned that I have very different tastes than Jamie, but it’s always exciting to see what she has to say. This summer they went on tour to various states and co-hosted with other podcasters I also listen to. I was so insanely jealous none of them were close enough for me to go to. If they have another live tour next summer, it might have to be my vacation destination.

Their website lists a guide for episodes you should start with if you’re new to them. I’d have to agree. Episode 181: Misunderstood and Misheard Song Lyrics is my absolute favorite. I laughed so hard I was crying and I laughed about it all day long. All of the NOs Of episodes are also especially hilarious. I love the Urban Dictionary episodes too. So many laughs. Check this one out, for real, guys. If you’re into pop culture AT ALL, I think you’ll enjoy this podcast.

Front Porch with the Fitzes

This is the first podcast I ever listened to and it definitely holds a special place in my heart. I started at the beginning with this one, though they just had their 100th episode and it might be hard to catch up. But there are many references to past conversations in other episodes, so it’s a more enriched listening experience if you understand all the inside jokes. Anyway, this podcast is just a group of family members that get together every week to discuss what’s going on in their lives. The main hosts are mom Elyse Fitzpatrick, daughter Jessica Thomson, and son Joel Fitzpatrick. (Elyse and Jessica are Christian authors and speakers and Joel is a pastor. But don’t let that they deter you – they are feisty!) In more recent episodes Pop, the dad, has been a regular. And occasionally they have their spouses or kids on, though I enjoy it the most when it’s just the three of them. A lot of times topics they discuss are silly, but it’s always a guaranteed laugh. They’re the kind of family you wish you could belong to. Always teasing, filled with laughter, but also rooted in love and affection for each other. They recently started a segment on book/tv/movie recommendations (my fave!) and they close out each podcast with a devotional. Overall, I greatly look forward to Tuesday mornings when I can listen to the latest episode.

Happier with Gretchen Rubin

This podcast is hosted by happiness guru, Gretchen Rubin, and her sister Elizabeth Craft. Each week they discuss happiness hacks, listener questions, stumbling blocks, and give out gold stars and demerits for things that have happened to them over the week. I like this one because it’s always positive and uplifting and gives great suggestions for things you can do to make you happier. But it’s never done in a way to make you feel guilty or like you’re not doing enough. I started this one at the beginning and I’m not quite caught up, but only have about 15 left. It’s not necessary, but they do often refer back to topics or listener questions from previous episodes. On every tenth episode they have a “very special episode” where they might address a more exciting topic or have a special guest on. They also talk a lot about personality frameworks, as it’s something Gretchen specializes in. I feel like so much of what they talk about is relevant to anyone who listens, regardless of age or gender. Everyone could use a few tips to be happier, right? I don’t have any favorite episodes, but they’re all pretty similar in quality of content.

What Should I Read Next? with Annie Bogel

Anne Bogel is creator of the amazing blog ModernMrsDarcy.com. Which is an incredible resource for anybody who shares a love of reading. She has so much awesome content about every genre of book, filled with recommendations for any type you could possibly want. It’s basically my dream job and I’m supremely jealous. I follow her on every form of social media and it’s just books galore! Anyway, in her podcast she interviews a guest each week about their reading habits and gives them three suggestions of what they should read next. She makes these recommendations based on books they love, books they hate, what they’re currently reading, and what they wished was different in their reading lives. I find the entire thing so interesting! I love to hear what other people are reading and listen to book talk in general. Because each guest and topic is different each week, it’s not necessary to listen in any sort of order. I usually jump all around to what guests or topics sound the most intriguing.

Sorta Awesome

I really go back and forth on whether I actually like this podcast or not. It’s one of the first ones I listened to, but after awhile aspects of it and the hosts started to grate on me. It’s made by Meg Tietz who rotates with three co-hosts: Laura Tremaine, Rebekah Hoffer, and Kelly Gordon. Occasionally they have group shows with all four of them. Kelly is my favorite co-host. Meg is the one who grates on me and there’s no avoiding her. BUT, the thing I like most about this podcast, is that it has an accompanying facebook group called Sorta Awesome Hangout. And from that hangout, there are tons of spin-off groups. I’m in a book lovers group, a planner obsessed group, and a YA group. I love being in these groups so much because every day tons of people are starting the most interesting conversations and asking for advice on every topic under the sun. Basically, these sorta awesome groups (called “awesomes”) are my entire facebook world. None of my real life friends ever post anything. But these women love to discuss things and they give amazing advice if you’re looking for answers to a random question too. I recently asked for suggestions on gifts for my mother-in-law’s birthday and party foods for Caden’s Harry Potter party. The groups are so big that I doubt I’ll ever form definitive friendships with anyone, but it’s fun to belong. So I’ll always be a bit loyal to the podcast itself. I don’t listen regularly, but if a particular episode is getting a lot of buzz, I try to tune in. My favorite segment is when everybody shares their awesome of the week (sensing a theme here?). I’ve gotten a lot of cool gift, makeup, book, podcast, and tv ideas from here.

Favorite recent episode:

This episode will give you a good idea who each of the hosts are. And it’s hysterical. Not all of the episodes are particularly funny, but this was a good one.

Spilled Milk

So I almost hesitate to recommend this one. But there are 299 episodes and I’ve listened to every single one of them. In each episode the hosts, Matthew Amster-Burton and Molly Wizenberg, discuss a certain food. They usually get different brands or varieties of whatever food they’re discussing, eat it, and then talk about it. The earliest episodes are hard to listen to because they had no idea what they were doing. But they hit their stride and many episodes are extremely funny. Definitely not any intense looks into the food topic, but fun to listen to regardless. I do feel like more recently they’re just phoning it in. They rarely stay on topic, they don’t seem to go the extra mile, forget to buy certain things, etc. It feels like a bit of a mess. Like The Popcast, this podcast is the hosts’ main source of income. But they put out a 15 minute episode every two weeks. Popcast puts out hours of content every week. Anyway, this sounds like a really bad review. I still listen to it and I’ll continue listening to it. It’s a nice lighthearted thing to listen to while you’re making dinner. It’s good for a laugh.

And that’s it for this month! I did listen to occasional episodes of other podcasts, but I’ll stick with what I look forward to hearing the most. Please let me know your favorite podcasts as well! I LOVE recommendations! 😀

Author: Amy Noe

I'm a maker, a writer, a reader, a wife, and a mom. I love pursuing my creative passions!

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