This year, I traded my from a work-from-home situation for a 40-minute commute to the office. If podcasts were my only company before, they’ve quickly become my sanity on the drive. Here are twelve podcasts that keep me sane on my daily commute.
In Miami, we drive. We drive to the grocery store. We drive to the park. We drive a few blocks to visit a friend less than five minutes away. We drive to avoid having to drive, as is evidenced by the congested parking structures anywhere near the Dadeland Metro Station. Yes, we drive constantly. It’s just what we do. So you can imagine that a twenty-minute commute can easily turn into an hour of brake-pumping misery any time past August when the kids are back in school.
Personally, I used to turn my commute time into an opportunity to expand my explicit vocabulary. I’d pride myself on creative expletives in never-before-heard phrases. But that was before podcasts and motherhood. My newfound understanding of time alone in a car being equally as refreshing as an hour at the spa has led to cherished podcasts that have become like friends (cut me some slack; I worked remotely for six years).
Podcasts are now the BFFs that have replaced the ones I can no longer see because our schedules are filled with kiddie birthdays and trips to the zoo. And though those times are priceless and precious to me, listening to other grown-ups discuss topics that have nothing to do with my tiny world is absolutely refreshing. Here are the ones that made my list this year.
12 Podcasts That Make My Commute Sane & Enjoyable
- The Nerdist – This is the first podcast I ever subscribed to. Couldn’t resist listening to the guy from Singled Out. Five years later, it’s still one of the podcasts I listen to the most. Here, you’ll find tons of celebrity guests and plenty of geek fodder.
- This American Life – This weekly public radio show reminds me there’s life outside of Miami. And that’s always healthy. Besides, who doesn’t love Ira Glass?
- Never Before with Janet Mock – Obsessed is probably an understatement. Janet Mock is smart, lovely, and just so entertaining. And she goes deep with some of the biggest names in pop culture, getting them to talk about things they don’t usually discuss in interviews. (She interviewed Beyonce’s mom!)
- The Hilarious World of Depression – Recommended by a friend, this is one of my essentials. They describe themselves as “a show about clinical depression – with laughs” – making it less isolating to talk about mental illness (featuring comedians and artists).
- Women of the Hour – Lena Dunham talks everything from friendship and spirituality to sex, love, work, and body image with famous (Emma Stone) and not-so-famous (her mom) guests.
- That’s So Retrograde – My friend Nikki Novo (who lived in Los Angeles and can relate to these very-L.A. ladies) turned me on to this podcast about some of the more mystical stuff in the universe (think shamans and crystals). I think I stay because the theme song is an earworm and I can’t help going back for more.
- Bizarre States – Another one under the Nerdist umbrella, this is a podcast about the supernatural, complete with listener stories and “Weird of the Week” stuff to thoroughly creep you out.
- Hollywood Babble-On – I could listen to Kevin Smith talk for hours – and he does just that in this podcast co-hosted with Ralph Garman and recorded live around the country.
- Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations – Is there anything Oprah can’t do? Obviously not. Here’s the podcast version of Super Soul Sunday. Love the inspiration on-the-go.
- Serial – I know there hasn’t been anything current on Serial, but I always keep it around in hopes that they’ll surprise me soon. If you’ve never listened to Serial and enjoy true crime, you’ve probably been living under a rock.
- S-Town – Beautifully told over seven chapters, this series had me tearing up. This is a true story about “a man named John who despises his Alabama town and decides to do something about it.”
- The Robcast – I don’t go to church. Not into the whole organized religion thing. But I am all about Rob Bell and his life lessons and his California-surfing, taco-loving lifestyle.
- Honorable Mention: Sword and Scale – I’ve yet to dive into this one, but I keep hearing great things about this true crime podcast. Hoping to get to it in 2018!
What do you listen to on the commute? Got any suggestions for my list? I’m always looking for more podcasts fro the drive. Let me know!