Mine is On Being. Tell me yours.
I've recently been enjoying How Other Dad's Dad by Hamish Blake. He's a comedic presenter here in Australia but has started a podcast interviewing other dads from his circle about how they look after their kids and finds a few gems about how we can help our kids and one another as you figure out what parenting is all about. Well worth a listen but especially the first episode with Rob Sitch which has some great gems - Kids prefer pools to beaches, they love a buffet breakfast more than anything and a few others
Poetry Unbound got me through the pandemic and kept being a companion. It brought me to On Being, to Pádraig Ó Tuama and his work, and to many, many poems and poets I adore and admire. I guess it also brought me to Substack and to infrequently sharing what I infrequently write.
My favorite episodes are Ocean Vuong's "Seventh Circle of Earth", Layli Long Soldier's "Whereas my eyes land on the shoreline", Matthew Olzmann's "Mountain Dew Commercial", and Ada Limón's "Wonder Woman".
Thx for your great post, Kevin. I also love the "Bite Your Tongue" podcast. It's all about raising adult children and building better relationships with our "kids" as they age, and we age with them.
Another good one is this Australian crew called, The Imperfects. Celebrating imperfection. Rare vulnerability from Aussie men (sorry, I know that’s a vast generalisation!) but very impactful.
This one in particular for Lael Stone is a master class on empathy and understanding family of origin stories in relation to how we show up as parents….and learning to go easier on ourselves. Highly recommend this one
They are mostly all other people interviewing him on their podcast, which he just reposts on his own podcast feed.
This was actually a good one on parenting, talking to a zoe blasky who has a podcast called ‘mother kind’. It’s obviously more mum tailored but of course there are similarities between in many parts of the experience…for whoever is the primary carer.
Radiolab. Always Radiolab. Although I'm also listening to On Being's archives right now, and they're a joy, but, Radiolab. I just checked - I'm currently following 36 podcasts (I think this is a sign I have a Podcast Problem) but - Radiolab.
Part of the reason is that my entire newsletter is a shameless Radiolab wannabe. If I can capture that sense of breathlessly nerdy, my-mind-is-blown discovery that has been Radiolab's trademark style right from the beginning, enduring a complete change of presenters and a partial shift in topical focus, then I'm writing the newsletter I want to write. That's my north star here, and when I lose focus, I go listen to an episode I haven't listened to yet, and it yanks me back on track. Happens every time, in all sorts of different ways (sometimes I just love what they did, sometimes I'm frustrated they didn't dig into something a bit more, very occasionally I self-importantly think they could have done a better job - and in every case, I get a burst of confidence and energy that helps me go write my own thing).
So yep, Radiolab, for their enthusiasm, their wide-eyed sense of discovery, and for their willingness to not take themselves so seriously that they stop thinking "hey, are we even asking the right questions here?"
The podcast I'm most excited to see in my feed is Phoebe Judge's Criminal. I've been following since she launched, and it's not your typical crime-fetish series. Such complex characters, often with humor woven into them. And just really surprising stories about forgotten history.
Rupert Spira’s podcast has been a great source of strength and understanding for me during challenging times. He brilliantly simplifies and articulates the non dual perspective on spirituality in a way that is extremely helpful for day to day life
The Blindboy Podcast - https://play.acast.com/s/blindboy. Chiefly monologue essays that are eclectic, yes rambly, sometimes studiously researched, touching, hysterical, honest, playful, rascally, surreal, and never uninteresting. Great on mental health, neurodiversity, history, art, politics, social justice and almost everything else in between - a dizzying array of topics. Like having the opposite of the pub bore in your ear. Also has great interview guests.
A close second and less podcast, but more radio series - almost anything about music by Laura Barton is wonderful, and Horatio Clare's Bach Walks are eminently relistenable.
This is a tough one for me this week. I used to be a podcast aficionado and had a number of them I would listen to without fail. Whether I’m a run, or in my commute, there was always something funny (Comedy Bang Bang), insightful (Rich Roll Podcast) or about sports (Men in Blazers). But if I’m being honest, I don’t give podcasts the time of day anymore. Maybe it was the rambling that others mention, or just the fact that I’d rather read something when I’m interested in learning. And unlike others, I can’t work and listen to podcasts at the same time.
So my podcasts these days tend to be interviews with specific people I’m interested in hearing from. So I’ll give the Dr. Murthy On Being episode a go.
I just listen to fun/dumb videogame podcasts to get me through the week lol. Lots of dad talk by the hosts, usually.
AudioDharma—the podcast feed for talks given at the Insight Meditation Center of Redwood City, California—is my constant companion, especially the dharma talks and shorter "dharmettes" offered by Gil Fronsdal, IMC Redwood City's founding teacher. Fronsdal's talks explore facets of living compassionately and responsively with others, and his approach is always both deeply practical and intellectually rich. I consistently learn things that deepen my parenting. https://www.audiodharma.org/
The Art of Manliness Podcast. The website itself has a vintage look, and covers topics from diet and exercise, children, car repairs, home repairs, shaving and grooming, and any other number of topics that impact men.
The podcast is informative. Two recommended episodes below:
Lenore Skenazy, How to Raise Free Range Children
Erling Kagge, The Magic of Walking
As a walking enthusiast, I appreciate someone breaking down the actual benefits of walking, confirming what I have experienced myself over the many years.
The Pivot Podcast with Kara Swisher and Scott Galloway.
It's more news-y where they cover recent events - especially in tech. The thing I like about it is the hosts disagree with each other *respectfully*.
I miss the days where people could argue and debate without turning into a firestorm. They do a good job of this and I've been listening for so long it's like listening to two friends bicker and it's oddly comforting. 🤷♂️
Since this is a little more news-y I'd start with the most recent episode.
As for a podcast, Work Life with Adam Grant. Industrial/Organizational psychologist whose stated mission is to “make work not suck”. He approaches work from a humanistic perspective and I think his is the best scientific work I’ve seen on how being a better person isn’t a weakness, but a strength.
I would recommend starting with season 1 episode 3 The problem with all-stars (talks to Brad Stevens about his time at Butler and Michael Lewis) as well as season 2 episode 7 Bouncing back from rejection. He also has a substack called Granted
Initially confused When Things Fall Apart with Things Fall Apart by China Achebe and had a moment where I thought I had truly failed at reading the later in high school. Friday brain!