My recent podcast addiction...

At the end of the last school-year I was just getting into trying new things. I had already decided that I wouldn't survive the summer if I didn't admit I needed professional help and so I went to the local behavioral health department. This is something I should have done when I was in high school, but my people don't ask for help. Ever. I received two pretty major diagnoses and have started on medication which has truly changed my life for the better. I completely understand that it does not work for everyone, but for me it has been amazing. 

That being said, I've been much more open to trying new things lately. One of the things that I have really been enjoying are Apple Podcasts. Here are my favorites so far: 

Wine and Crime is my absolute favorite! It's a podcast by 3 good friends who have been friends since they were young. They are originally from Minnesota but not all living there now. In fact, one of them is living in South Africa and has lived in many placed around the globe. 
This is a true crime podcast with wine drinking. It is definitely for adults only. The format of the show is: Topic, Wine Pairing with history and description, 2 topical true crime cases past or present and then special thanks. They are so funny, very real and incredibly informative. I've learned SO much and laughed so much. It IS VERY GRAPHIC and HORRIFIC though, so you've been warned. 

NPR's Up First is literally how I like to start every morning while I'm getting ready to head off to work. It's a short but thorough about what's big in the national news. 

NPR's News Now is news on the hour that's only about 5 minutes usually. It's quick, but thorough about the breaking news of the hour. I have found this to be a great way to keep up on the news in short doses when I have the time. I usually listen a few times and day and delete the rest. 

The Rachel Maddow Show is a nightly show about current events that's very liberal in content. This show is on live on MSNBC for about an hour each night, and the audio is recorded for this podcast. (I love that this lets me get around having to watch commercials.) Rachel does a very good job at delivering a ton of information and background on current events to help you see the whole picture for the issues she presents. She is an incredible researcher and very knowledgable. She's also always very respectful which is a very different stance then most show hosts out there right now. 

This Day In History is a podcast that's only about 5-10 minutes and gets posted daily. She presents something from history for each day of the year. She explains the happening and educates you on the history. What a great quick way to learn some history! Love it. 

The New York Times has a podcast called The Daily which also shows up right away in the morning. This is a a bit longer podcast at about 20-30 minutes so I don't always keep up on this one but instead tend to binge in about once a week to get caught up. This tends to be a current events focused podcast but each episode has a major theme along with guests. Then at the end there's usually a quick recap of the other major events in the news you should know. These deeper dives on current issues are very well done and the host has a great presence and manner. 

NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour is a podcast with a few consistent hosts but also has guest hosts from other podcasts out there. They select a current movie, tv show, album or book and discuss its merits. Sometimes they like it and sometimes they do not. It is always about 30 minutes and very informative and usually pretty funny. There is one guy in particular who I just adore! Then they always do a spot at the end that's "What's making us happy right now." They each go around and share 1 thing (book, show, play, music, etc.) that's making them happy. I've gotten some great music and book recommendations this way. 

Stuff You Should Know is a great podcast for people who like to learn things about anything and everything. This podcast can be 15 minutes or an hour long. It just depends on the topic. There are 2 male hosts who educate you on 1 topic during each episode. Here are some recent topics to give you an idea of how diverse their selections are: How Aphrodisiacs Work, Waterbeds:the sexiest bed?, Korean Fan Death, Was there a real Robin Hood?, How Homelessness works, When inventions kill, William King, How marathons work, Is lethal injection humane? Algae: food, fuel, what? It is mind-boggling how they can research these topics so deeply. It's fascinating! It's a great one. 

Pod Save America is a progressive political podcast. This is a Tuesday and Thursday only podcast. On Tuesday it's hosted by President Obama's former staffers, Jon Favreau, Tommy Vietor and Jon Lovett. On Thursday it's hosted by Favreau and Dan Pfeiffer. They talk about current political topics and slam Trump and all of his buddies on a regular basis. The spin that I like about this one is that these are folks who have actual experience in the White House and know how it runs, how it works and how it doesn't work. It's interesting. They drop f-bombs a lot so you've been warned. 

I have had a very hard time finding a book podcast that I actually like. If you know of any out there that actually talk about current and classic young adult, middle grade, children's and don't only talk adult books all the time I need to know about it. I have only found The New York Times Book Review. This is ok, but mostly adult books. It's a bit long-winded in my opinion at about an hour for each episode. They do a good job and typically have guests which is what I like the most about it. I do not listen to this one daily and instead binge it from time to time. They air once a week so it does not feel like that big of a deal if I get behind.

Armchair Expert is hosted by Dax Shepherd and is an anthropological look at his friend's and family's lives. He likes to focus on their decisions both positive and negative that they have made in life and what they've learned from those decisions. These tend to be pretty long at about 2 hours minimum. I tend to binge these because of this and also select only the ones that have guests I'm interested in. He has a special guest every episode. He's funny and can get pretty graphic while also dropping f-bombs a ton so you've been warned. The thing I was most impressed with is how incredibly smart and compassionate he is. I had no idea that he had this side of him until I started listening to this. 

WTF is hosted by Marc Maron and has been around since the beginning of podcasts I think. 2009 was his first episode. He is a comedian by trade, but is also an actor and a writer. This is a twice a week podcast and usually runs about an hour per episode. I hope that you have figured out what the title means and because of it understand that there are a TON of swears in this one so you have been warned. Usually he only has 1 guest, but sometimes he has 2 shorter interviews. The format of this is Maron talks for awhile about his life (this can get really long and boring so I typically forward through this until I get to his interview), then he plays the interview or two he previously recorded. Some of these have been absolutely fascinating. Again I tend to only listen the ones I'm interested in. He pulls in incredibly famous people to his show. Some of my favorites have been Ted Danson, President Obama, Jennifer Lawrence, Mary Steenburgen, and my absolute favorite so far was Bob Balaban. I had no idea his family were pioneers in movie theaters and movies. 

Even the girls have gotten into the podcasts. Here are their favorites...

WOW In the World is a podcast produced by NPR. I like this podcast because it is funny. They go on funny adventures. You learn things on the adventures they go on. It's not boring learning; it's fun learning. They don't just state facts; they go on adventures. An episode is hosted by Mindy and Guy. They start out an episode as if it is a normal day for them as normal people. Then they have a question they want answered or to learn more about. To do this they go on an adventure to figure out the answer to their questions and then come back. Some of my favorite episodes have been: Exploding Ants, Oh Nutcrackers! The Science of Popping Knuckles, and Somefin Smells Fishy In Here. How Fish Oil Makes Us Smarter Part 1 & Part 2. 

Cabinet of Curiosities is a podcast hosted by Aaron Mhanke who has a few other podcasts out there including Lore. This is a podcast that talks about famous people. He tells their stories without revealing their full legal names until the very end. Each episode features 2 mysteries under one general topic. You learn things about people that are shocking and you would have never guessed. Some of my favorite episodes were: The Coin Flip, Mourning, Up In Smoke, and my absolute favorite is Something Borrowed. 

Do you listen to podcasts? Which ones are your favorites?