I figured I’d lighten things up this week, give ourselves a little break from information and news about the “Virus that Shall Not be Named.”
I’m a big fan of podcasts. I love listening to them when I’m cooking or cleaning. They are especially helpful when I’m doing a project like organizing a closet or when driving around town.
Most of the podcasts I listen to are set up like a talk show with guests. Some are like “60 mins” or “20/20” where they’re true life or investigative stories.
My favorite type of podcast is the “Series,” a pod cast story that has a beginning and an end. All the ones I’ve listened to have been true stories. Some were fantastic. Some were okay. But there are a few series podcasts that were so memorable I often think back on them and even re-listen to them.
I hear about new podcasts either by word of mouth or they are recommended on another podcast I listen to. I’ll always check out a recommended podcast. Some I enjoy and listen to for a while. Other I give it a couple episodes and then I drop it. Most I get tired of and move on to something different.
But there are a handful of podcasts that I never tire of. I find myself going back to them again and again when I want to listen to something. And I thought, maybe you would enjoy them too.
I’ve put a link with each description that takes you to the website. But you can easily go onto your podcast app on your phone and search the title of the podcast and check it out from there.
So, without further ado, here are Heather the Yoga Nerd’s favorite podcasts. (In no particular order.)
S-Town I resisted listening to for a long time. Everyone was talking about it, but I just couldn’t bring myself to listen. I think it was because of the name. “S-Town” does nothing for the imagination. I finally surrendered and listened. Turns out “S-Town” is really “Sh-t Town.” Definitely a more interesting title.
“Sh-t Town” is a true story series podcast. It is advertised as the story of an investigation into “the son of a wealthy family who’s allegedly been bragging that he got away with murder.” That is not even close to what this story is about. That’s just what got the reporter down to “Sh-t Town.” The story is really about the man who convinced the reporter to come down and investigate, John McLemore. And John McLemore is a fascinating person. I have never seen such extreme beauty and ugliness in one human being.
With all the twists and turns, S-Town is definitely worth giving a listen. S-Town is seven episodes and each episode is about an hour long.
I was a big fan of Oprah back in the day. Now that her show is gone, I don’t follow her as much. So when I heard there was a podcast about how “The Oprah Show” came to be, I couldn’t pass it up.
I love this podcast series. The story starts in the very beginning, when Oprah is hired to host a local talk show in Chicago. Her very first episode they had to get people off the street to fill the audience. And from that small begining, “The Oprah Show” not only dethroned Phil Donahue (yeah, remember him?), it grew so big the show became a power of influence in society. Uggs became a fad because Oprah gave them out on one of her famous “Oprah’s Favorite Things” episodes. Rachel Ray and Suze Orzman were launched into fame because of appearances on the Oprah Winfrey show…and now they have their own shows.
So, how did Oprah do it? The podcast lays it all out for you from beginning to end with investigative journalism and interviews with Oprah herself. It even talks about the big three famous moments of the show: the red wagon full of fat, Tom Cruise jumping on the couch, and “You get a car! You get a car!” But what I loved most about it is, along the way you learn a few things that can help you on your own road to success.
A little note about this link – it’s a little confusing. When you click on it, the logo will say, “Making Beyoncé.” At the top will be a preview you can play of Making Oprah. When you scroll down, you will see a bunch of episodes called, “Making Obama.” Scroll all the way down to the bottom. That is where Making Oprah starts and works its way up.
Dolly Parton’s America
I didn’t know much about Dolly Parton. What intrigued me enough to listen to this podcast was what prompted the reporter to do the series, “How does Dolly Parton stay neutral in the current US climate of political division?”
I hadn’t really thought about it until then, but they were right. People from church ladies to drag queens love Dolly. At her concerts, they sit side by side enjoying Dolly Parton’s music. The series answers this question by answering, “Who is Dolly Parton?” You get a history of her career and some of her childhood. It is all fascinating. I had no idea Dolly Parton was a modern day Mozart.
But what I think I enjoyed most is learning what a good person Dolly Parton is. She always tries to do the right thing. I would mention it to people I was listening to the podcast and their response was always, “She is SUCH a NICE LADY.” It was said with genuine emotion, often with a hand on their heart.
Have you ever heard anyone talk about a celebrity like that?
Also, if you haven’t already, watch the Netflix movie, Dumplin’. It’s wonderful.
Check out Dolly Parton’s America. It is eleven episodes that average from 35 – 45 minutes long.
When you get to the website, make sure you scroll down and click “load more episodes” until you get to the Oct 3rd Trailer. Work your way up from there.
The Moth is actually a recording of live events around the world of people telling their true stories without notes to an audience. The Moth believes in “the power of true, personal stories to inspire and entertain.”
It wasn’t until this very moment that I discovered why this show is called The Moth. According to Wikipedia, “The Moth was founded in 1997 by poet and novelist George Dawes Green, who wanted to recreate the feeling of sultry summer evenings in his native Georgia, when moths were attracted to the light on the porch where he and his friends would gather to spin spellbinding tales. Green and his original group of storytellers called themselves “The Moths”, and Green took the name with him to New York. The non-profit organization now runs over 500 different storytelling programs a year in more than 25 US cities (including New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Detroit) and four international cities (London, Dublin, Sydney, and Melbourne) offering the unique perspectives of both average, everyday people, and literary or cultural personalities.
The Moth is an hour long podcast with usually three people telling their true stories. I can’t tell you how many times I’d chose to listen to an episode because of the title of the first story, not being all that interested in the other two. And I can’t tell you how many times those other two stories gave me chills, or made me cry, or made me laugh and cry.
My all-time favorite story is called “You’re so Screwed” from the episode “Rattlesnakes, Wedding Rings and Rescue Missions.” It is the first story on the episode about a blind man going to a rattlesnake roundup in Texas. The story is about 17 minutes long.
The Moth is pure humanity on display in all its glory. Definitely worth checking out.
This American Life
This radio show has been on NPR since 1995. It is an hour episode, usually in three acts with a theme linking all the stories together. Most of the stores are true life stories. Every once in a while there will be a short fiction story or a poem read that relates to the theme. It is much like “The Moth” in how I will not be that interested in an episode’s theme, but am enthralled once I start listening to the stories.
The episode I tell everyone about is what I call “The Squirrel Episode.” The episode is really called, “Squirrel Cop.” It is also a famous This American Life episode. It is so famous, years ago they made a “flaming squirrel” patch to give away during fundraising week. (Yes, I have one.)
I like the This American Life podcast because it reminds me that life is strange and wondrous. It reminds me that there are more interesting things in this world than what the news reports.
To check out This American Life, go to https://www.thisamericanlife.org
The Enneagram Journey
This is my favorite podcast focused on the Enneagram. It is hosted by Suzanne Stabile, an Enneagram Master who has been studying the Enneagram over 25 years. Each episode has a guest and together they discuss the Enneagram with focus on the guest’s number. There are some Q&A episodes with Suzanne that are brilliant as well.
I’ve learned so much from this podcast. Suzanne knows her stuff and, being an Enneagram 2 herself, she teaches with insight and compassion.
Check out The Enneagram Journey. Each episode is about an hour long.
This is the podcast I’m listening to right now. It is a series focusing on the events leading up to the resignation of Vice President Spiro Agnew. The podcast is hosted by Rachel Maddow. I was born in October of 1973, so I know nothing of all that went down. Based on what Rachel Maddow presents, VP Agnew was not unlike a certain political figure of today. I find it fascinating that I knew nothing about this. The craziness of Watergate seems to have out-shined the Spiro Agnew scandal. Why is it called Bag Man? The bag man is the guy who takes the kickback/bribe money.
I’m about half way through, so I can’t completely recommend it. But I’m definitely going to finish it. So check it out if you are so inclined. There are seven episodes and each episode is around 30 – 45 minutes long.
I couldn’t find a website to listen to Bag Man. But here is an article about it. You can find it on your podcast app.
I hope one of these podcast suggestions suites your fancy and brings a smile to your face (or a tear to your eye.) If you end up listening to one of them, I’d love to hear what you think.
What are some of your favorite podcasts? Share them in the comments below!
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