According to a recent CBS News poll, two-thirds of Americans listen to podcasts at least once in a while, including 23% who do so a few times a week. The explosion of podcast content means that there is too much great content. Nobody has time to listen to every episode of their favorite podcast. So I’ve started this running list of the very best podcast episodes for grownups. These are the ones that I text to my besties and my kids because they shouldn’t be missed. I’ll figure out how to better organize this list as it grows. But for now, here are some podcast episodes that you simply must check out.
Very Best Podcast Episodes – Added September 2019
The Real Grownup Dish (The Evolved Career Podcast) – I’d be remiss if I didn’t list the podcast episode that I recently recorded with Career Coach Julie Bauke on my list of favorites. You can listen to the podcast by following any of these links:
Samin Nosrat (Armchair Expert) – Samin Nosrat is treasure. She’s a food columnist for the New York Times magazine and has a best-selling book and a docuseries on Netflix both called called Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat. In this episode discusses how community is tied to food, her first experience at Chez Panisse where she eventually worked and her realization that mistakes lead to growth.
I am not anti-porn. But this podcast gave me some real food for thought.
If you’re on a smartphone or laptop right now, you’re just a few clicks away from free, hardcore pornography. (And so are your kids!) There are no explicit content warnings, and no age verifications to make you think twice about clicking “play”—which means kids as young as 9 and 10 are being exposed to sex for the first time via sites like PornHub.
So. what happens when porn becomes a primary form of sex education? On this special preview episode of Next Question with Katie Couric, Katie talks to a young woman who believes porn led to her boyfriend’s scary behavior during sex, and gets real teens to open up about their experiences with porn. Later, she sits down with anti-porn activist Dr. Gail Dines and sex educator Al Vernacchio to tackle how parents can counteract the alarming messages their kids may be absorbing—not just about sex, but about consent, gender equality, and what a healthy relationship actually looks like.
Listen If You’re Lonely: Adult Friendships Are Hard (Goal Digger Podcast) – This episode is all about friendships — why they’re so dang hard to make and sustain as adults, how we can nurture the good ones in our lives, and how to invite more genuine friends in, even when it feels like there’s no time to be going out and picking up a new bestie. If you’ve been feeling like there’s a hole in your relationships and like you need a friend, this is for you. Let’s get into the nitty gritty behind making friends as an adult.
Very Best Podcast Episodes – Added August 2019
David Sedaris Interview with Conan O’Brien (Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend) – David Sedaris is my favorite author, so you know I wasn’t gonna miss an opportunity to hear him chat with Conan O’Brien. David sits down with Conan to talk about the perks of having a colonoscopy, backhanded compliments, being honest about your family, and how to dispose of old tumors.
A Plate and A Prayer (No Crumbs Left Table Talks) – Two of my favorite food bloggers: Teri Turner from No Crumbs Left and Diane Morrisey talking about food, faith, and love. They share a mutual love for food as art, embracing imperfection, and praying for our kids.
Various Episodes, Do The Thing Podcast with Melissa Urban – I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that is my current favorite podcast. There were soooo many great episodes this month I couldn’t pick just one. Here are my favorites:
- How I Bomb Proofed My Self Confidence – This episode is pure gold. Melissa outlines the specific “Self-Review” process her therapist taught her, shares how she uses the practice in her own life, and walks you through exactly how to stop living and dying by the opinions of others.
- Lessons From A Recovering Perfectionist – I consider myself a “recovering perfectionist” and it’s something I have to work on every single day.
- The Truth About Divorce – I really wish I had gotten this advice when I got divorced in 2009.
- There’s A Crystal In My Bra Right Now – This one is definitely woo-woo, but I am here for it. Great discussion about crystals, cultural appreciation vs appropriation and self care.
Very Best Podcast Episodes – Added July 2019
Setting Boundaries and Navigating Feel Bads (Do The Thing Podcast with Melissa Urban) – This is my favorite podcast series right now and this was one of my favorite episodes. (Although ALL of the episodes have been very insightful.) Melissa interviews Dr. Nicole LePera, a holistic psychologist and founder of the Mindful Healing Center in Philadelphia. This episode covers the topic of boundaries: what they are, why we need them, how to set them, and how to hold them. Melissa and Nicole also share stories from their own lives that illustrate why setting boundaries is so darn hard, what a truly effective boundary sounds like, and Nicole shares her number one tip for keeping all of your relationships healthy.
Tara Westover, “Educated” (Oprah Super Soul Conversations) – This episode was a doozy (and I now can’t wait to read Tara’s book)! Tara describes what it was like growing up in the remote Idaho mountains as the daughter of survivalist Mormons. She explains her family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when Tara’s older brother became violent. Tara did not attend school or see doctors, and had minimal interaction with the outside world for 17 years. Despite this unorthodox upbringing, Tara taught herself enough mathematics and grammar to earn acceptance into Brigham Young University. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her to Cambridge University, where she earned her Ph.D. in history.
Kelly LeVeque Debunks Healthy Eating Myths, Shares Her Personal Wellness Routine & What It’s Really Like To Work With Celebs (Healthier Together Podcast) – This was a really good episode, that dove into all things nutrition with Kelly LeVeque (@bewellbykelly). Kelly is a holistic nutritionist and wellness wonder woman, with a best-selling book, Body Love, and a client list that includes basically every A-lister in Hollywood, including Jessica Alba and Jennifer Garner. Kelly spills all the dirt on what working with super famous people is actually like, and I was actually really surprised by her answers.
The Erotic Playbook of a Top-Earning Sex Worker (The Tim Ferris Show) – This episode is from 2018 but I just listened to it. Tim interviews Alice Little (@thealicelittle), considered the #1 top-earning legal sex worker in the United States. This episode is definitely not suitable for work (NSFW) but it was really fascinating.
My Psychiatrist Explains My Personality (And Yours) The Enneagram Episode (Life Will Be the Death of Me Podcast) – If you’ve been curious about the enneagram model of personality assessment, this episode is a great primer. My husband Paul and I both listened to it and then decided to take the online RHETI enneagram assessment to determine our type.
In this episode, Chelsea Handler interviews her psychiatrist, Dr. Dan Siegel for a conversational examination of The Enneagram of Personality. Dr. Siegel explains each of the enneagram types and offers tips for each type to be come more actualized.
Very Best Podcast Episodes – Added June 2019
Elizabeth Gilbert: The Whole Human Experience (Oprah Super Soul Conversations) – This was the BEST thing I listened to in June. International best-selling author of the phenomenon “Eat Pray Love,” Elizabeth Gilbert returns to “SuperSoul Sunday” to discuss her latest novel, “City of Girls.” Set in New York City during the 1940s, the epic story follows 19-year-old Vivian Morris as she comes of age during World War II, and follows her all the way through 2010. In a candid and emotional conversation, Liz also provides an update on her personal life, sharing how she finds peace and healing after the death of her best friend and partner, Rayya Elias.
Part of this interview was also televised. Here’s a clip:
Esther Perel interviewed by Dax Shepherd (Armchair Experts Podcast) – This is a longer episode than most that I listen to and it was worth every minute. If you’re not familiar with Esther Perel she is an author and psychotherapist specializing in relationship issues and couples. She’s known for doing extensive research on affairs (why people have them, how to survive the aftermath, etc.) Esther sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss the true definition of eroticism, the unrealistic expectations we put on our partners and how the status of a couple affects the whole family.
Chelsea Handler (Life Will Be The Death of Me Podcast) – Comedian, author and activist Chelsea Handler is doing a limited run podcast based on her bestselling book “Life Will Be The Death Of Me” which details her psychotherapy journey during a year of self-discovery, healing and growth.
Melinda Gates: The Moment of Lift (Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations) – Melinda Gates discusses her new book, “The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World.” Believing that all lives have equal value, Melinda and her husband, Bill Gates, have donated more than $50 billion to improving equity, health and education in the United States and around the world. Through her work at the foundation over the last 15 years, Melinda has seen firsthand that empowering women and girls can bring transformational improvements in the health and prosperity of families, communities and societies. “How can we summon a moment of lift for human beings?” Melinda asks. “And especially for women because when you lift up women, you lift up humanity.”
Game of Thrones Final Episode Recap (On The Throne Podcast) – For the past several years I’ve relied on this geeky trio to explain this confounding television show to me. They’ve really helped me make sense of all of the twists and turns.
Very Best Podcast Episodes – Added May 2019
Abby Wambach: Wisdom from the Wolfpack (Beautiful Writers Podcast) – Listening to soccer star turned leadership guru Abby Wambach being interviewed by life coach Martha Beck gave me all the feels. Check out my review of Abby’s book, Wolfpack, HERE.
Gretchen Rubin on The Four Tendencies and The Whole30 (Do The Thing Podcast) – If you’ve ever felt really stuck, this is the podcast for you. Whole30 founder Melissa Urban and bestselling author Gretchen Rubin discuss the Four Tendencies (Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, and Rebel), how each tendency relates to inner and outer expectations, and how knowing your tendency can help you be more effective in changing any habit.
Candice Bergen: Memoirs and Collaboration (Beautiful Writers Podcast) – Candice Bergen is a national treasure. She’s every bit as irreverent and whip smart as you’d hope.
Chelsea Handler: Life Will Be The Death of Me (Not Too Deep with Grace podcast – I’ll be honest, I read a couple of Chelsea Handler’s earlier books and I wasn’t really a fan. But Chelsea has changed, and she chronicles that change in her new book “Life Will Be The Death of Me.” In this podcast, she shares how making a career of telling the truth has led to her figuring out how to be a better person. It’s raw, honest and authentic.
The Alpha Wolf by Elizabeth Gilbert (The Moth Podcast) – This is not an interview with Liz Gilbert. It’s Liz reading a (true) story she wrote about the terminal illness and death of her partner and what it taught her about living. Have your tissues ready. It’s wrenching and beautiful.
Glennon Doyle, Being A Good Ancestor (Good Ancestor Podcast) – I wish I could make every white woman I know listen to this one. Layla Saad, a black, muslim author activist and speaker talks to another author and activist, Glennon Doyle about parenting, mental health, addiction, recovery social justice, faith, and connection.
The Fourth Trimester with Kelly Leveque (Off The Record Podcast) – For the first time, nutritionist, author, and holistic health coach Kelly LeVeque goes off the record about her emotional birth story. This is a must-listen for anyone wanting to feel life’s raw beauty.
You can see all of my previous reviews HERE. Be sure to comment or message with me your favorite podcast episodes for grownups.