Winter break is coming up, which means it’s time to fill your queue with stimulating podcasts that don’t turn your brain to mush. There’s a variety of podcasts out there for everyone, all focusing on different topics, some being more niche than others. Because the holidays are coming up, some will definitely delve into different feelings and phenomenons that occur around the holidays. Here are a few you might want to check out:
“Terrible, Thanks for Asking” from American Public Media
Hosted by author Nora McInerny, this podcast aims to be genuine in discussing the things that make us human. “Terrible, Thanks for Asking” tries to answer the question of what we really mean when we say we are “fine.” Previous episodes have discussed how grieving interacts with the holiday season, the impact of making life-changing mistakes and the impact of forgiving yourself for those mistakes, the stigma of finally seeking therapy and much more. If you’re tired of social taboos that are a gilded mechanism of isolation, then this podcast is for you.
TED Radio Hour by NPR
If you listen to an episode of TED Radio Hour, you’ll hear journalist Guy Raz discuss topics ranging from having or not having faith in higher beings to the mystery of romantic love to climate crisis. Because this podcast covers an array of different topics, there’s likely to be something in there that speaks to anyone willing to learn and consider new perspectives. You might find inspiration to better yourself or expand your hobbies while listening.
LGBTQ&A by The Advocate
Jeffrey Masters, a writer and host that specializes in long-form celebrity interviews, dives into the LGBTQ community to “document LGBTQ lives as they are being lived.” Previous episodes include discussions of gender norms, chosen family, domestic violence, what it means to be intersex, bisexual imposture syndrome and how homelessness intersects with LGBTQ struggles. Masters brings in a variety of individuals whose social identities vary in more than just terms of their sexuality and gender, so listening to this podcast will give you a healthy taste of various perspectives on what identity means and what impact it has on one’s life.
I Only Listen to The Mountain Goats
If you’re into music, you’ll enjoy listening to Nightvale creator Joseph Fink and John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats speaking on what it means to be a fan and an artist, frequently inviting different musically-oriented guests. Listening to this will expand your musical vocabulary as well as give you a fresh perspective on what work goes into your favorite music. You’ll think about how inspiration transfers generationally and what one song can mean to a person.
Photo: J. Han