I love podcasts, they are my favourite thing to listen to while I work, walk, grocery shop, clean, everything. Because I listen to them so much, I have listened to a lot of different shows. These are in no particular order, because I don’t think I can rank them because they fuel different interests and needs of mine.
Maintenance Phase is a podcast about diet culture, fatphobia, and wellness culture. Audrey Gordon, @yrfatfriend on Instagram is an author and fat-activist and Michael Hobbes, journalist and social media abstainer deep dive into a topic bi-weekly and they each take turns researching and presenting the topic to each other and then the other reacts. They’ve talked about everything from Moon Juice to Halo Top to North America’s misunderstanding of protein to BMI. They are super funny and lay out the topic in such a clear and interesting way. It’s very similar to Mike’s other podcast, You’re Wrong About, which will also be on this list, but in a much more niche topic area. It’s super interesting and Mike’s perspective as someone who has never been overweight and Audrey’s as someone who has always been fat informs the conversation in a really interesting way. It’s also what I’m listening to right now.
My Favorite Murder
This is one of the podcasts that kind of created the genre of podcasts as we know it. Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark each tell us a story of a true-crime incident. Infamously, they met Halloween 2015 at a party and one of them overheard the other tell a story of a body they saw thrown tragically from a car on the highway and comes over and says tell me everything and they discover that they are equally fascinated with true crime. They have a cult following (literally called The Fan Cult). It’s a true-crime comedy podcast so if you don’t think those two things should ever go together you shouldn’t listen to it. But the comedy is a way of dealing with the trauma and the horror of the stories. They also are very candid about their mental health and their risky behaviours as youths and how lucky they got to survive them. They also have epic quotes. if you’ve never listened to this, there are hundreds of episodes.
They also do minisodes, which are listener submitted stories that they read out that range from things found in walls to grandparent stories to murders. They are great.
This is the podcast of Summer House cast members (well now one former) Paige DeSorbo and Hannah Berner. They started going live on Instagram in the thick of the pandemic and transitioned it to a podcast when they weren’t allowed to go live during Summer House filming last year. I’ve come to the conclusion that my podcast likes are researched story-telling or two best friends having a conversation next to me that I get to listen to. This podcast is the later. They also go into celebrity gossip, behind the scenes of reality TV, and mental health moments. It’s so chill and fun and I really love this podcast. Also I love that they took what a 40 year old man screamed at them when he lost his temper over dinner and made it their brand (yes I know Kyle isn’t actually 40 yet, but he is way to close to it to act the way he does).
Small Town Murder
This is another true-crime comedy podcast. They focus on murders that happen in small towns, mostly in the USA and during their last episode I laughed so hard while getting ready while listening that I had to wash my face and start my makeup over again. The two hosts are James and Jimmy, James researches and tells the story and Jimmy reacts and the tangents they take are wildly hilarious. They are very careful to never say anything bad about the victim, but the murderer is fair game. And these aren’t well thought out, intelligent crimes, these are generally tales of someone thinking that killing another person will solve their problems and it never ever does. It’s so funny and James and Jimmy are super likeable.
Diet Starts Tomorrow
This is one of the Betches Media podcasts, the hosts are two of the founders of Betches, Aleen Drexsler and Sami Sage and they discuss their journey through Diet Culture, hating their bodies, and body neutrality. They just this week wrapped up a 4-part series on the media’s impact on their body image that was excellent.
You’re Wrong About
This is Michael Hobbes other podcast that he hosts with Sarah Marshall. Basically they take news and pop culture stories from our history and break down how the public’s understanding and the media’s presentation of the story was not correct and distorted. This week’s episode was really fascinating, they essentially explain why the USA is such a litigious country compared to others through the story of the McDonald’s Hot Coffee Woman, they also have done episodes on Lady Diana, The Chicks, The O.J. Simpson case, the electoral college, Killer Clowns, the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, and many, many more.
Bad on Paper
I have talked about this one a bunch in my former Saturday Obsessions posts and now my Friday Favourites. I love this show. Similar to Giggly Squad, it’s that best friends chatting energy. They also have amazing guests as they get more popular. It’s definitely a lifestyle podcast, they talk about everything from olive oil to being life long learners to interviews with Nellie Diamond of Hill House Home and author Elin Hilderbrand. Also they did an episode with Carly (then Heitlinger now Riordan) that is one of my favourites of all time. Oh, and I listened to their how to ask for a raise episode when I was negotiating my current salary.
Boob Sweat with Katie Sturino
So I have mixed feelings about putting this on the list because it isn’t being updated, the last episode uploaded was in December 2020 (so it’s not that old), but I don’t know if she’s going to make anymore. She has guests on to talk about topics that make us uncomfortable and also does random fun stuff like Mariah Carey’s book for her book club and 90 Day Fiancé chats. My favorite episodes are the ones about friendship, diversity in fashion, and dating and body image. I highly recommend going through the back catalogue.
Dark History with Bailey Sarian
I love this one, she tells different true crime adjacent stories. She has a YouTube channel there and she tells traditional true crime, murder stories there but when she was researching those she kept finding other stories that weren’t “real” true crime but are still disturbing history stories. My favorite is her two-parter on Andrew Jackson. I found it really interesting getting to know the backstory behind Tennessee’s only, and America’s worst, president.
Be There in Five
This is an iconic podcast. It is also long, Kate Kennedy kind of uses it as a stream of consciousness related to a topic, or just her thoughts that week. She also does deep dives on specific topics like sorority rush, Mormon mommy bloggers, and cottagecore. Although my very favorite podcast episode ever, of any podcast is Cheugy School Drop-Out. It is a master class in weaving together pop culture, social themes, and societal norms to tell a holistic story of a trend.
I’m always looking for new listens, so please share any of your favorites!