First and foremost I want to say this are NO paid partnerships or affiliate links here. These are really just my favorite podcasts.

We are a media family. From movie nights to streaming services, websites, social media, and all the rest, we are tech-savvy and connected. Sometimes it overwhelms my senses and I get to a point where I just cannot sit through another episode of anything visual, and like all millennials, we don’t have live tv, only streaming, so it’s not like channel surfing is really a choice either.

Instead of mindlessly accepting whatever I can stream without satisfaction, I spend a couple of hours a week in the world of podcasts. I love to listen to everything from serialized fiction reminiscent of old radio shows to straight news. Here I’ve compiled a list of my Top 10, must-listen podcasts that I think you would enjoy or benefit from in your week!

These are not ranked, they are just listed by category, so feel free to skip the ones you might not connect with and please comment and suggest some more podcasts for me to explore.

News

The Daily is an essential part of my wake up routine. Simple format, important news for the day in just a few moments.
For a comedic take on the news and a little light-hearted happiness in these tense times, I always turn to The Daily Show. Ears Edition doesn’t have all the swagger of the visuals, but I like the bits without the distractions. I can clean and listen without getting overly absorbed.
Yes, once a week I give into the political arena and listen to pundits argue for an hour. Sue me.

Meditation

Tara Brach delivers wonderful, calming, seminar-type lessons from a Buddhist perspective. Although I am not Buddhist, I find her wisdom useful and practical and her voice is soothing. Included in most of the podcasts are meditations or breathing exercises to improve overall well-being. Mx. Brach is a gem.
So, there are a plethora of 5 minute meditations available on podcast streaming services. I choose this one in particular because it is my favorite way to start the day. Literally. I do this before I even get out of my bed. There are no words, only beautiful music to serve as the reminder to be present and breathe.

Read

I hardly have words for how much I love this podcast. These women review one self-help book each episode. These two friends are opposites in practically every way, and their opposing life takes and love for each other permeates every discussion even extending to their husbands who often share on-air time via the at-home segments of the show. Not only that, but there is real advice in these episodes! Embrace hygge, try something new, get your life together, and above all else–be yourself while you do it.
I only recently found my way to Fated Mates through fellow blogger FallingForRomance. This space is all about celebrating a genre that used to be a guilty pleasure, but in reality is a genre I love so much I wrote a whole romance novel!

Leaving Toxic Religion

I grew up a willing member of a toxic church. It wasn’t until I left that I realized how deeply it damaged my self image, my relationship with faith, and my mental health. These podcasts have been instrumental in my healing and growth. Sometimes knowing you aren’t alone is enough, and no matter how obscure your pain, please, please know you are not alone. There is a community out there…and they probably have a podcast.

This podcast focuses specifically on toxic Evangelical Christianity, how it has infiltrated everyday American life and poisoned entire generations against themselves. the *Life After focuses on acknowledging trauma and how to move past it with guest speakers and testimonials.
Now, I consider the church I left a cult, though I couldn’t see it for what it was at the time. Listening to tales of other cults both infamous and unknown is not only satisfying in that voyeuristic way we all get a thrill from when watching serial killer dramas or formula cop shows, it also helps remind me that I wasn’t weak or stupid for falling in line. These organizations brain wash through intentional indoctrination and work very hard to keep their flock deaf, dumb, and blind.

Humanity

Last but not least we round off the list with a little bit of humanity. There are no politics or religious slants here, and honestly no predictability. The next podcast carries live readings of first-person accounts that can teach you anything from how a rabbi ended up in a cop car less than a month after being assigned to a new synagogue to how human trafficking can just be the end of a very bad date. I have learned about senior citizens dancing and undocumented immigrants being sent back to their home countries. I have learned about love and hope and despair in serious and comedic ways. All from one little show.

Well, there you have it, my list of must-listen podcasts. You can find links to all the shows below or click directly on the pictures.

Please, tell me what you’re listening to and Happy New Year!

The Daily
The Daily Show with Trevor Noah Ears Edition
Meet the Press
Tara Brach
5 Minute Meditations
By the Book
Fated Mates

The *Life After
Cults
The Moth

One thought on “10 Must-Listen Podcasts for 2020

  1. I have to save this and come back and check it out some more. That one about cults and religions is so true. You have to be so careful about that. I have witnessed some members in my family who have gotten involved with religion that doesn’t teach based off of love but more or fear and hate (judgement) I have to tell my cousin about those podcasts because she and her husband just got away from a religious cult but even though they went through all that they still believe in God, just have to be careful with some of the churches out there. It is so sad how they were treated. I will share this with her later. Her youngest daughter is still married to someone in the religion.

    Liked by 1 person

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