9 Podcasts for New Listeners

I LOVE podcasts. I started listening to them in my pre-baby days and now three years into my life as a stay-at-home mom, I have continued to listen and expand my regular shows. I listen to them while I exercise, make dinner, drive my girls around town, and while cleaning the house during nap time. Especially during the very early years before my girls could talk, podcasts provided me much needed “company” without the guilt of turning on a screen. When my husband was working 11-12 hour days it was comforting to hear someone else “talking” to me. They also help me to learn new things and to stay up to date on the news when my regular reading material is more “Pete the Cat” than “New York Times.”

If you don’t know what a podcast is, it is a show you can download (for free!) onto your smart phone using a variety of apps and listen to on your own timetable. There are podcasts on nearly every subject imaginable from penmanship, to party politics, to Packers plays. Many National Public Radio shows, such as “This American Life,” are also released as podcasts to play at your convenience. If you subscribe to a podcast it will even show up automatically in your phone as soon as a new episode is released.

If you’re new to podcasts or looking for some new ones to check out, here are some of my favorites to listen to, plus five bonus recommendations from other Madison Moms Blog writers. 

Favorites Specifically for Moms

-The Mom Hour: Hosted by friends and writers Meghan Francis and Sarah Powers, this show is filled with tips, empathy, and humor from two moms with eight children between them. They discuss topics ranging from birthday parties to taking better photos. You can search their archives for the stage your specific child(ren) is currently in. Favorite episode: A Week of Real-Life Dinners, Episode 72. 

-One Bad Mother: As hosts Biz Ellis and Theresa Thorne say at the top of every show, “Don’t listen with your kids, because there will be swears.” This show is filled with hilarious anecdotes, mom rants, genius and fail moments, and, yes, lots and lots of swears. If you’re looking to commiserate with other moms after a bad day of parenting, this is the show for you. Favorite Episode: Gender Identity and Our Kids

The Postpartum Podcast: If you’re new to motherhood, this show hosted by a doula-in-training is a great resource. Kellie Joy’s interviews with other moms focus on pregnancy, childbirth, and the first year of motherhood. I was an early guest on this show discussing pregnancy and early babyhood with twins. 

For When You Miss Your Best Friends 

-The Girl Next Door Podcast: My personal favorite podcast, real-life neighbors and best friends Kelsey Wharton and Erica Ladd share a new cocktail each episode (and the recipe on their website!) before chatting about topics ranging from sleep to manifesting creativity. You feel like you’re joining in on happy hour even if you’re actually struggling through your workout. Favorite episode: Fall Extravaganza and Naked Muffins. 

Favorite Educational Podcasts

Stuff You Missed in History Class: A great, easy listen which also teaches you some fun facts about historical events and figures. Most episodes are kid friendly and hosts Tracy V. Wilson and Holly Frey provide warnings if topics veer into adult territory. 

Science Versus: From podcast network Gimlet Media, this show discusses hot-button science topics, such as Attachment Parenting and Fracking, from both sides and attempts to separate fact from fiction. While I don’t listen to this show as frequently, host Wendy Zuckerman’s Australian accent provides terrific background noise while also serving up knowledge. 

-Stuff You Should Know: One of the earliest hit podcasts, this show hosted by Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant has the modest goal explaining everything in life. Favorite episode: How Muppets Work

Favorite Pop Culture Podcasts

Gilmore Guys: Hosted by a Gilmore die-hard, or “Gilly” as they say, and a newbie, this show hosted by two men is a fun, hilarious trip back through all 7-plus seasons in Stars Hollow. 

Pop Culture Happy Hour: From National Public Radio, this podcast discusses 2-3 books, movies, or television shows every week. It’s a great way to trick yourself into thinking you’re still cool despite having spit up on your shirt. 

Recommendations from other Madison Moms Blog Writers

Shameless Mom Academy

Happier with Gretchen Rubin

99% Invisible 

Ted Radio Hour

Balanced Bites

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