I love podcasts almost as much as I love my own children. Seriously, I listen to them in the car, on my runs, even in the shower. (Podcasts, I mean, not my children.) They are my faithful companions. Because of that, I’ve listened to a lot. Some good, some bad. A very few have become my absolute favorites. And I want to share them with you.
Here is my list of 7 Podcasts Every Penelope Will Love.
When you need a new book to read, listen to…
Why I love it: If you love to read, this podcast will be your dream come true. And if you know Anne’s blog Modern Mrs. Darcy, you’ll be further jazzed, because you know she’s very good at what she does.
Dubbed “literary matchmaking”, I about plotzed when I heard the format: guests talk with Anne about 3 books they love, 1 book they hated, plus what they’re currently reading. Then, Anne makes recommendations as to what she thinks they should read next. Perfect, right?
Warning: I regularly find I need 2-3 books from each podcast, so this can give your Amazon Wishlist a workout!
Favorite Episode: Episode #2: Sarah Korhnak
Why a Penelope Will Love it: Anne is the quintessential Penelope: organized and completely prepared. She keeps her podcasts to the 1/2 hour mark and the format is tight. Appeals totally to the “I need to know what to expect” Penelope Personality.
When you’ve got a long plane or car ride…
Why I love it: Holy crap, you guys. This podcast grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. From the first episode I wanted to binge-listen to it and kept being annoyed by having to do things like work or make food for my family. Sigh.
Here’s the set up:
Ten years ago, over three hundred men, women and children disappeared from a small town in Tennessee, never to be heard from again.
In this seven-part podcast, American Public Radio host Lia Haddock asks the question once more, “What happened to the people of Limetown?”
Now, it’s important to note this is a fictional podcast produced to sound sort of like Serial. It’s also important to note that it’s scary and I wouldn’t listen to it with small children. But, if I had to go on a long car ride with my kids aged, say, 12 and older (or a mature 10-year-old), I’d for sure put this on because everyone will be sucked into the story. Sure, it gets a tad dramatic, but you’ll totally be along for the ride by then. Download. Now.
Favorite Episode: Episode 1: What We Know
Why a Penelope Will Love it: You will identify with the reporter, Lia Haddock, an earnest young woman drawn into some pretty intense circumstances. Also, if you’re a Penelope who overthinks thinks like, say, flying, then you’ll love that this series will distract you from your next long flight.
When you need to spend some time with friends, just chatting and laughing…
Why I love it: This podcast makes me smile. Always. And often makes me laugh out loud. Because I listen to it on runs in my neighborhood, it also may make my neighbors think I’m slightly unhinged, running and laughing and sweating. And I can tell you that my friend Megan Tietz, the podcast’s host, is simply the nicest person you will ever know.
Favorite Episode: Episode 26: The Truth About Anxiety (This episode was so good that, though I usually listen to podcasts while doing other things, I had to just sit and listen. I may have cried a bit, too, just out of relief in feeling totally understood. Oh, and the first 10 minutes are some of the funniest of any podcast I’ve ever heard.)
Why a Penelope Will Love it: We all need a boost of something light and sweet in the midst of our list-making, To do-doing days. They also often touch on topics close to a Penelope’s heart: de-cluttering, anxiety, goal-setting, home-making and, of course, reality TV. With heavy doses of sweet and just the right amount of snark, this podcast always leaves me in a good mood.
When you need to be happier or have better habits…
Why I love it: If you’ve been reading Penelope Loves Lists for any period of time, you know I adore the work of Gretchen Rubin. She’s the author of best-sellers “The Happiness Project” and “Better Than Before”.
Her podcast, co-hosted by her hilarious sister Elizabeth Craft, is the perfect podcast-version of Gretchen’s books. I love that her episodes follow a fairly tight format and always feature strategies and resources that I can act on now to make my life happier. When I see a new episode pop up in iTunes, I start listening immediately.
Why a Penelope Will Love it: You just don’t get any more Penelope than Gretchen Rubin. She’s the ultimate. Well, maybe I’m the ultimate. But she’s a Penelope inspiration and I adore her. And her books. And her podcast.
When you need to believe in the goodness of humanity again…
Why I love it: There is nothing else out there like The Mystery Show (produced by the brilliant storytellers at Gimlet Media, home of podcast juggernaut StartUp). There is no more interesting podcast host than Starlee Kine. The show is singular. And it’s absolutely awesome.
The setup is that Starlee sets out in her inimitable way, with each episode, to solve a mystery. But not a Serial/Jinx sort of mystery. No, these are every day mysteries. The small ones that drive you crazy. The kind that can’t just be solved by a quick Google search. But the stories these mysteries, and their solutions, tell are absolutely perfect. And very often make me believe again in the goodness of humanity.
Favorite Episode: Case #5: Source Code
Why a Penelope Will Love it: This podcast is focused on the smallest of details. Just the kinds of details that Penelopes focus on and, possibly, become a bit obsessed with. Luckily, Starlee misses nothing, so we’re in good hands.
Why I love it: I have to recommend one more podcast from the geniuses at Gimlet Media and that is one of their newest, Surprisingly Awesome. I have to say, it took me a bit to get into the show, but now I’m hooked.
Each episode delves deep into a topic that, on its face, seems reaaaaally boring, but, once you know more is, wait for it… surprisingly awesome. Take interest rates, adhesives or mold. I’m not kidding. It’s really riveting and well-done. I’ve been regaling my family with facts about broccoli since I heard that show. Call me SmartyPants.
Favorite Episode: Episode #6: Broccoli (Sooooo much more interesting than you’d think. I promise.)
Why a Penelope Will Love it: I don’t know a single Penelope who doesn’t love feeling like a glittering conversationalist. This podcast will arm you with deep knowledge on impressive topics, such as automotive adhesives and how we almost (by a hair) missed discovering penicillin. Just think about whipping THAT fact out at the next Bunko party.
When you want to learn how to build an online business that actually makes money…
Why I love it: My last recommendation is one of my favorite business blogs. I listen to a TON of business blogs, but my recommendation for Pat Flynn’s long-time show is because he does such a good job getting into the nitty gritty of what it takes to run a profitable online business. Topics cover everything from blogging to building your email newsletter list to how to launch a book based on your online brand. And on and on. His archives are deep and very worth delving into in detail.
Also, in a move toward Radical Transparency, he posts his monthly earnings on his website. It’s fascinating to see how he makes his money in detail.
Why a Penelope Will Love it: Pat doesn’t just talk with his guests about business. He gets them into the details. What tools do they use for their business, specifically? How much income do they make? How did they begin, step by step? How did they test their products and what were the results, specifically? He likes data and that speaks to the heart of this detail-, data-loving Penelope.
There they are, some of my favorite podcasts. What do you listen do that you love? Let me know, I am always on the lookout for new favorites.