listening lately.

October 31, 2022

I’ve been listening lately, to the voices of my children recounting their school days and to the protestations of my lower back when I forget to do my exercises and to the leaves that are crunching underfoot despite the eerie balmy October we find ourselves on the very last day of. I’ve also been listening to podcasts—finding comfort and companionship in the chatty conversations of others while I buckle down and work on the making portion of the book I’m writing with Rose.

Here, a few old favorites and a few hope-to-be new favorites:

Burnt Toast: On her podcast, Virginia Sole-Smith hosts conversations about how to dismantle diet culture and fatphobia, especially through the lens of parenting, health and fashion. Her newsletter by the same name is also excellent and she’s got a forthcoming book Fat Talk: Parenting in the Age of Diet Culture, that I can’t wait to read.

Maintenance Phase: On this raucous podcast, Michael Hobbes and Aubrey Gordon debunk the junk science behind health and wellness fads with incredulity and good humor. I loved the recent one about apple cider vinegar and the rerelease of their Dr. Oz episode is required listening leading up the midterms. (PS. You might recognize Michael’s voice from another favorite podcast: You’re Wrong About. The recent episode about Online Shopping with Amanda Mull was so, so good.)

Time Sensitive: Spencer Bailey and Andrew Zuckerman trade off interviewing guests on this curious, often design-focused podcast. Theirs is a decidedly more talking about serious stuff podcast style, but the guest list is always great and I’ve recommended their interview with Céline Semaan, the founder of Slow Factory, to nearly everyone I know. (Episodes are long so sometimes I listen to them at time and a half!)

How to Save a Planet has been my very favorite climate-focused podcast since it debuted in the summer of 2020 and I was so disappointed to hear of its cancellation at the beginning of the month. You can still listen to the archived episodes though, and if you’re hoping for another climate-centric pod with smart hosts, try A Matter of Degrees hosted by Dr. Leah Stokes and Dr. Katharine Wilkinson.

Recently recommended that I’m especially excited about diving into:

Vibe Check: Sam Sanders, Saeed Jones, and Zach Stafford host this short and sweet podcast, which is essentially like eavesdropping on them chat about what’s going on. It’s a good listen for keeping abreast of pop culture and news stories, both, and I love listening to these three chat.

Ologies: Hosted by Ali Ward. I listened to two (2!) of these last week while working on a sewing project for my book and they were so great! Easy to listen to, chock full of facts and factoids I wouldn’t have come across anywhere else, plus there there are even shorter, curse-free versions of the longer episodes edited just for kids, called, adorably, Smologies!

Work Appropriate is a brand-new podcast hosted by Anne Helen Petersen. I appreciate so much of her journalism and the first ep of her new podcast was as insightful, thoughtful, and conversational as the rest of her writing. Excited to hear more!

Family Secrets: I just finished Dani Shapiro’s new novel Signal Fires and now I’m devouring every bit of everything she’s ever made, including her podcast, Family Secrets which is haunting, thrilling, and deeply human.

PS. I’ve saved much of the very long list of recommendations I recently received via Instagram in a highlight over there called Podcasts! You can leave your recs in the comments below!

Also! I’ve also recently had the chance to test-drive; it’s an audiobook app that splits proceeds of audiobooks sold with local indie bookstores of your choice. First on my list of listens has been Ross Gay’s latest book Inciting Joy. It’s read by Ross Gay himself and it’s joyful in every single way. You can use the code TEALEAVES to get two audiobooks in your first month of membership for the price of one. (PS Dani Shapiro’s Signal Fires is there, too!)(Offer good in the US and Canada only. This is an affiliate link!)

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Lexie October 31, 2022 at 2:03 pm

    I love a good podcast round-up! Thank you for sharing!

    I am a big fan of The Journal podcast, a 15 minute news show that covers more business-y topics than I normally come across in my social media bubble. It’s short and almost always interesting!

  • Reply Audrey October 31, 2022 at 3:08 pm

    Thanks for this round up! I’ve been in a podcast slump lately.

  • Reply Liz October 31, 2022 at 6:52 pm

    Thank you for this list! I always go back to We Can Do Hard Things by Glennon Doyle and Man Enough by Justin Baldoni. They’re both super thoughtful at taking a hard look at the patriarchy and how it hurts everyone. They have incredible guests too.

  • Reply Lenni November 2, 2022 at 7:04 am

    So appreciate this!! I love good podcast recommendations and will def check out these on your list (also a huge fan of AHP). Thank you Erin. Can’t wait for your book.

  • Reply maggie November 3, 2022 at 10:03 am

    Decisionmaking fatigue of late has led me towards audiobooks for my commute. If anyone is looking for additional suggestions, here to recommend Ann Patchett’s The Dutch House read by Tom Hanks (10 hours, such a calming voice) and Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko read by Allison Hiroto (18 hours, always enjoy learning from historical fiction)

    • Reply Zara November 8, 2022 at 11:11 pm

      I recommend Heavyweight to one and all and recommend starting at the beginning. I also listen to everything by Phoebe Judge (Criminal [which is not a typical true crime podcast], This is Love, and Phoebe Reads a Mystery).


      The New Yorker Fiction podcast (love ya, Deborah) when I’m in a story mood. Ruined with Alison Leiby and Halle Kiefer. How to Fail with Elizabeth Day. This American Life. Outside Podcast. Storytime with Seth Rogen (not making new ones, but the old eps are worth a listen). Not Past It. Dolly Parton’s America. 70 Over 70. Terrible, Thanks for Asking. Science Vs. On Being with Krista Tippett (when I’m feeling cerebral). Ear Hustle (start at the beginning). Hidden Brain. Death, Sex, and Money. 99% Invisible. Revisionist History.

  • Reply Laine November 4, 2022 at 2:53 pm

    I’m a big podcast fan! A well made podcast can make anything interesting. I love Maintenance Phase; it’s so well researched and funny. This American Life, Mobituaries, & Hidden Brain are well-known & always good. My go-to podcasts are This is Love/Criminal (both with Phoebe, she’s the best), Ear Hustle (fascinating stories about prisons), TerribleThanks for Asking, & Jane Austen Bedtime Stories (for when I can’t sleep).

  • Reply Lynn November 4, 2022 at 6:46 pm

    I never miss an episode of We Can Do Hard Things…Glennon Doyle, Abby Wambach and Amanda!

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Comments are moderated.