My job right now is heavy in the spreadsheet, data, and analytics realms. It’s a lot of Excel, and a lot of boring on some days (we won’t tell my boss). While I’m staring at columns and rows for hours on end, I need something to occupy my mind. If I don’t, I would actually go a little mental. I don’t think I’m exaggerating. It would be scary. When you’re doing work that needs to be done but doesn’t take many brain cells, I feel like your brain could easily turn to mush after several months.
So a few months in to my job, I started listening to podcasts while working on my less intense projects. I had thought podcasts were dorky and assumed they would be just as boring as many days at my nine-to-five, but I was 100-percent wrong. And now I’m an admitted podcast junkie. I live for the days when I know I have mostly menial tasks on my to-do list and a few new episodes of my favorite ‘casts to catch up on. (Obviously, if I have more important responsibilities that require more concentration, I won’t tune in to a podcast, and I love those times too! (Must clarify in case my boss actually does read this. Hi, Tim.) But for the most part, I love me a good podcast binge.)
I have a really strange range of what I enjoy, but I guess that’s just my personality. I listen to some of my favorite reality stars’ podcasts, and I also like journalistic storytelling podcasts. It’s bizarre, but fun and always entertaining. Let’s unravel some of my favorites! Trust me, with this odds-and-ends mix, there’s bound to be something you’ll enjoy. And while I mostly listen to my podcasts at work, they’re also great to occupy time during long drives and commutes or a long cardio workout!
Bitch Bible: Jackie Schimmel is maybe the funniest person I’ve ever encountered. She doesn’t care about being politically correct, she doesn’t care about cursing, she doesn’t care about telling it how it is, and, probably most importantly, she’s as self-deprecating as she is a shit-talker on everyone else in pop culture. If you can’t make fun of yourself, you have no right to call others out, but this girl can do both with ease. And I’m too often crying/snorting at my desk trying not to burst out in laughter. It’s a real good time.
Millennial: Anyone who’s in the young adult, post-grad stage, especially creatives, will relate to this podcast. Megan Tan just graduated college and doesn’t know exactly what she wants to do. How familiar does that sound? Except, instead of floundering on her own between career paths and being fulfilled, she’s welcomed the world to go through her roller coaster ride-experiences with her, one by one. She explores the imperfections of millennialness (new word?) in an openly and honest way, and also self-deprecatingly (a theme I’m seeing I enjoy in my podcast listening ventures).
Straight Up With Stassi: I love me a Vanderpump Rules marathon, and Stassi has always been my favorite. She’s blunt, she’s blonde, she’s (to some people) a b*tch, and she’s my spirit animal (pretty sure). And she loves a good glass of pinot grigio — SAME. Even if you don’t watch the show, trust me that you’ll love listening to this witty and sassy chick gossip with her equally funny friends about pop culture, The Bachelor, life, and most importantly, her fellow cast-mates.
StartUp: A podcast about a guy who wants to start a media company for podcasts, this is probably the dorkiest on my list. BUT IT’S SO GOOD. Alex Blumberg, the host, immediately becomes your best friend as he goes through the motions — the insecurities, the successes, the sadnesses, the unexpected triumphs — of starting a business from nothing. He brings his family along for the ride, including the voice of reason that is his wife (and also one of my favorite people on the podcast). Step by step, you’ll hear the trials and victories that take place from an entrepreneur’s point of view when you start something from nada. It’s good. (So is the second season, FYI.)
This Is Why You’re Single: I’m not single, but it doesn’t matter. These two ladies, Laura Lane and Angela Spera, are so funny that you can be single, married, relationship-ed, divorced, whatever. You’ll crack up regardless. Sure, the outline of the show goes through reasons why someone may be single (“i.e., “First Dates Are Awkward” or “You Need A Good Wingman”), but their guests and their overall approach to relationships and life are hysterical. Plus, you know when you can just tell that two people have good chemistry? These two have it. They bounce off each other’s ideas and jokes so well that I’m — again — trying to hold back my laughter at the office. It’s real awkward, but real fun.
Who? Weekly: If you enjoy reading Jezebel, you know Bobby Finger. He’s one of the voices behind this podcast (along with Lindsey Weber) who discusses the “whos” in our society: people who are somehow in the public eye for no knowable or specific reason. Or for reasons that are kind of pointless. They’re the people on the verge of celebrity-dom who we can all acknowledge are a little thirsty, and Bobby and Lindsey dissect the situation of each Who to a hilarious T.
Heather Dubrow’s World: I’m embarrassed by my Bravo TV infatuation, but it’s real and I’m embracing it. For those who don’t know and don’t watch Bravo every day, Heather is one of the Real Housewives of Orange County and she is a bougie delight. People either love or hate her (I love her; my sister hates her) because she’s openly opinionated and has loads of money and doesn’t really give many flying Fs. I just love to listen to her talk about what it could possibly be like to build a eight-bedroom home. She also gives beauty and health tips that are nice.
Serial (Season One ONLY!): Serial is the podcast that turned me on to podcasts, but I need to be clear: Season One is where it’s at. I’ve tried giving the second season a shot, but I can’t get in to it. I loved the twists and turns of a convicted murderer that may not actually be guilty from the first season (true story, by the way, in case you haven’t heard about it). And Season Two has some of that suspense, but it’s entirely different for me. Start with the first, and if you love it (you will), don’t bother with the second.