5 podcast episodes I’ve loved lately.

I’ve been a podcast fan since back when I listened to them on my original iPod, but since I started my own podcast What Should I Read Next? I’ve gained a whole new appreciation for what makes a podcast, and an individual episode, work.

Today I’m sharing five of my recent favorite episodes. I can’t wait to hear yours in comments!

(I share all about how to subscribe to podcasts in this post right here.)

Happy listening!

brian-bloom-seth-godin-in-green1. The Tim Ferriss Show with Tim Ferriss

I’ve only listened to a handful of episodes of the Tim Ferriss Show, and was sucked into this one by the promise that Seth would share the audiobooks he listens to over and over again. (He did, and they were NOT what I was expecting!)

While the whole conversation was fascinating, I especially enjoyed Seth’s thoughts on routines, standing out in the crowd, and relationships, especially parenting. (This episode inspired this post about how I’m spending many more hours in the car these days, and why I’m not totally hating it.)

Episode: Milk Wanted

This episode is all about breast milk. Seriously. It’s 2016, and yet—if you live in the United States, have an infant who needs breast milk, and you can’t produce it yourself, it is extremely difficult and crazy expensive to provide a steady stream of the stuff for your baby. (I didn’t realize this until ten years ago, when I had a friend who begged for any extra milk I pumped because her baby needed it and she couldn’t pay $7 an ounce on the internet.) Some women produce an excess, so why is it so difficult to get that milk to babies who desperately need it? This episode examines why, and talks with one company founder who is pursuing an unorthodox solution.

Rob Bell3. The Robcast with Rob Bell

This was a classic case of the right words at the right time for me. I’ve had this episode queued up on my phone for months, but I happened to listen to it right after I’d spent a weekend thinking through the very issues he discussed in this episode: master plans for life, doing the next right thing, making good stuff and putting it out into the world. If you’re a creative type you’ll especially enjoy this.

The_Writing_Coach4. Writing Coach Podcast with Ann Kroeker

Ann Kroeker regularly puts out short little episodes (think 3-5 minutes) with snippets for the writing life. Sometimes she tells me things I already know and need to be reminded of; sometimes she shares a new little tip or trick for doing something necessary, like saving ideas or avoiding distraction. I loved her 5 categories for things writers need to be paying attention to. A good way to think about writing, and life.


Modern Love is the latest addition to my podcast roster; it’s not at all what I expected it to be. Every week in the first half of the show, a professional actor or actress reads an essay from the New York Times column of the same name. In the second half, the host chats with the essay writer, sometimes years after the person originally wrote the essay.

In this episode, a man writes about what happened in his marriage after a medication caused his wife’s sex drive to skyrocket, reversing the long-standing dynamics in their relationship. I waffled about including this one, and you can probably imagine why, but weeks after it first made me tear up in the carpool line, I’m still thinking about it. The biggest takeaway had nothing to do with anyone’s libido.

Have you listened to any great podcast episodes lately? Tell us all about them in comments!   

P.S. Need more episodes to queue up? I shared 7 more favorites right here. And check out my own podcast, What Should I Read Next, right here.


Leave A Comment
  1. Rachael says:

    I’m not a writer but I think I might listen to the one about the five fat files anyway. I read about that concept over 12 years ago (Elizabeth George had a huge impact on me) and have narrowed much of what I have read since to my 5 key areas of interest. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Susan V says:

    I didn’t know Ann Kroeker had a podcast! she was in a journaling group with me (online) many years ago and I highly recommend her book The Contemplative Mom. Thanks for the heads up on her podcast! Btw, thanks for the extra episode of YOUR podcast this weekend, Anne! I saved it to listen to yesterday while I was on the elliptical. It was the perfect topic and perfect link for my workout!! 🙂

  3. Becky says:

    I love podcasts! I can’t think of any specific episodes I’d recommend, but at the moment my favorite podcasts are Happier with Gretchen Rubin, the Book Riot podcast, and 10% Happier with Dan Harris. I also really liked the Magic Lessons podcast with Elizabeth Gilbert (she actually interviewed Rob Bell in one of the episodes), but there haven’t been any new episodes since September.

  4. Terry says:

    Writing Excuses – Brandon Sanderson’s podcast for writers. “Fifteen minutes long because you’re busy and we’re not that smart”. Each episode dicusses one topic and leaves you with an assignment.

  5. Traci Willis says:

    I have really enjoyed 99% Invisible lately. This podcast explores the stories hidden in the structures that surround us. It’s about design and architecture, but so much more interesting in how it explores these topics and how certain structures came to be.

    • Kristina Mullen says:

      I adore 99 Percent Invisible. I can never wait for their newest episode. Plus I think Roman Mars’s voice is so smooth- like a late night slow jam DJ.

  6. Tracy says:

    I enjoy Off Camera with Sam Jones, TED Radio Hour and Dear Sugar with Cheryl Strayed. Loved Magic Lessons by Elizabeth Gilbert. Wish there were more. LOVE – What Sould I Read Next so much! Hard to choose between great podcasts and audiobooks! I’m started to feel as digitally connected as a teenager.

  7. Dawn says:

    Anne!! You can’t do this to me!!!
    My TBR stack is out of control, and now you’re giving me new podcasts? Ah well…I LOVED that episode with Seth Godin. It was just so interesting! Guess I have some new ones to check out now…

  8. Jeannie Reid says:

    The Mystery Show was absolutely so much fun. I hope they are working on Season Two! I didn’t enjoy Season One, but Season Two of Serial had me hooked from the beginning. What a fascinating story. Tim Hawkins (comedian) just started a podcast and Episode 5 (the part with his son Levi) almost made me pull over on the highway to breathe. The last one I should mention is called The Yarn. It goes behind the scenes of Children’s Literature. Episodes #13 and #14 with one of my favorite authors, Gary D. Schmidt, is a must-listen, especially if you loved Orbiting Jupiter, his last novel.

  9. Michelle Deckert Richmond says:

    Probably everyone already knows about “Serial” podcasts….they are great. I also really enjoy one by Mike Rowe (DirtyJobs) called “The Way I Heard It”. Short 5 minute stories similar to Paul Harvey’s “The Rest Of The Story”. I also always listen to “Books On The Nightstand”. And of course “What Should I Read next”. Just four of my favorites.

  10. Renee says:

    The Lively Show and The Life Coach School podcast are both EXCELLENT.
    And I just started listening to WSIRN and am totally smitten; great job, Anne!

  11. beth lehman says:

    oh, this is FANTASTIC!!! if there’s anything i geek out about as much as books, it’s podcast episodes!!! thank you!!!

  12. Maggie says:

    I’ve really been enjoying “The Moth” recently! I highly recommend it. It is a storytelling podcast of true stories. They have events and moth stages all over the country where people stand up and tell a story on a topic. The podcast each week is a collection of those. They have me laughing one minute, and crying the next. It’s a wonderful way to bring people together.

  13. Ali says:

    I am currently in love with Nicole Antoinette’s Real Talk Radio podcast. It is definitely binge-worthy. I also recently listened to Emma Gannon’s Ctrl Alt Delete with Elizabeth Gilbert and loved it.

    Thanks for the recommendations!

  14. Gillian says:

    I LOVED that Modern Love one. Such an honest look at the realities of life that get so stereotyped and misjudged. Looking forward to checking out The Way It Works!

  15. Lara says:

    Just went and downloaded all of these! Thanks so much for the recommendations (and thank you for YOUR podcast, I absolutely adore it and it’s gotten me back into reading again!!)

  16. Renee says:

    And now my TBL list is longer 🙂 I love WSIRN, obviously! I also love The Pen Addict Podcast, the guys who do it are great & I just love all things office supply! I’ve been listening to The Archers from the BBC for a few years – it’s a serial about life in an English farming community. I also listen to lots of science podcasts to get ideas for work & things that will interest my students. I’m excited to add some of these!

  17. Thank you for such a wonderful, diverse list! After I dropped my kids off at school yesterday I was thinking, “I would love to listen to a podcast, but don’t know what to put in the search bar.” I have these cued up and ready to go now!

  18. Meghan says:

    This is a great list! I’m adding Ann Kroeker’s right now — I can’t have too many writing podcasts. One of my very favorites is Sara Zarr’s This Creative Life. It’s not always updated regularly (she’s very open about her reasons there), but there’s a significant backlist, always worth a re-listen. It’s gotten to be kind of my “pump up jam” podcast when I’m in a writing slump.

  19. Kristina Mullen says:

    I love getting new podcast recommendations! I listen to podcasts during my daily commute and when I work out. I’m always looking for new ones to devour. Some of my favorites are Serial, 99 Percent Invisible, How Did This Get Made, and Happier with Gretchen Rubin.

  20. Alison Rice says:

    If you like a good creepy story, Lore is a wonderful podcast. Aaron Mahnke explores the history behind legends, supernatural tales, and true-life horror stories and compiles some fascinating episodes.

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