I recently attended a women’s event called an IF: Table (more on that later), and it came to light that I love listening to podcasts. I listen in the car while my kids nap. I listen in the kitchen while I’m doing dishes, while my kids nap. I even listen in the shower (while my kids nap…there’s a trend here…). I was using our Amazon Echo to listen to them in the kitchen, but anytime I needed to move around the house I would lose the signal because I couldn’t take the Echo with me. So my husband got me this wonderful little bluetooth speaker for Christmas and it is my new best friend. Thanks to my speaker, I’ve got a growing list of favorite podcasts and I thought I’d share a few here. It’s worth noting that while these are indeed “favorite things,” I also love any opportunity I get to support the podcasting community. They’re like a fun, quirky online family and they work hard to put out quality shows for little compensation. Most of them have families, full time jobs, schoolwork, etc., yet they still manage to put out great, entertaining, often professional-level shows. It’s truly impressive!
I have such a long list of podcasts that I can’t possibly hope to include them all in one post and do them justice. For now, I think I’ll feature a few at a time so that I can introduce you to who they are, what they’re about, and why I love them. They won’t always be Christian podcasts; I have very diverse tastes, and yes, sometimes they may have a little bit of language or descriptions of events that children probably shouldn’t hear. That’s the nature of things like true crime and medical information. I will provide warnings so that you are aware in advance, but I am not responsible for the information and content in these podcasts. I’m simply recommending them as a way to enrich your life as you commute, do dishes, run errands, shower, etc. Some days they are the only adult conversation I have, and are thus my sanity’s salvation…haha
For these first recommendations, I want to feature a couple of podcasts of which I am a huge fan. What I love most about these particular podcasts is that the podcasters themselves have become my friends. Through almost daily conversations on various social media, I have had the privilege of getting to know the hosts of these shows, at least as much as one can online and enough to know that they’re fabulous human beings. So without further ado…
Moms and Murder, by Mandy & Melissa: This podcast is my all-time favorite true crime podcast. Like most people who get into listening to podcasts, I started out with Serial. Unlike most people, I actually didn’t like it but thought I’d give podcasts another try. So I searched for “moms,” and that bright pink logo caught my eye. I’ve never looked back. These ladies work incredibly hard. Their research is thorough, their approach is light-hearted but compassionate, and their chemistry is unmatched. Mandy and Melissa make every episode seem like a friendly conversation with girlfriends over Diet Cokes while watching the kids play in the McDonald’s PlayPlace. There are plenty of giggles, but also respect for the victims and their families. They have a thriving online Facebook chat group as well, which is full of fans who love to talk true crime, parenting, InstantPot recipes, podcasting, and life in general. They’ve also interviewed Josh Mankiewicz (host of NBC’s Dateline), the Moms from imomsohard, Derrick Levasseur (former detective, Big Brother winner, and current investigator/author), and Alison Sweeney (Days of Our Lives and Hallmark movies). If you like true crime or just want to join in some fun conversations via podcast and social media, definitely check them out on iTunes, Stitchr, and all other major podcast platforms.
People Are Wild, by Kim: This podcast is hosted by the world’s most entertaining traveling ER nurse. Kim is hilarious, incredibly knowledgeable, honest, and moonlights as a T-Rex (see her Twitter feed for more info on that!). Kim’s career has taken her to ERs all across the country, and she has covered thousands of miles in her faithful van, Dwayne. She has had some amazing experiences, as well as knowing lots of other medical providers (and patients) with wonderfully fascinating, albeit occasionally gruesome, stories. Kim uses her podcasting platform not only to share ER stories, but also to educate and enlighten the public on medical conditions, treatments, research, myths, etc. From how to perform CPR to emergency limb amputation to the flu vaccine to dying of a broken heart – Kim covers it all. At the end of every episode, she features a fun game called “You Got What Stuck Where?!” in which she provides several clues and listeners have to guess the story behind them. The first person to guess correctly via Twitter (or email) receives a sweet little gift from Kim herself. “People are Wild,” is witty, informative, entertaining, and well worth your time. Check it out on iTunes, Stitchr, and all the major podcast platforms.
Mirths and Monsters, by CK: When this podcast first came out, I had no idea what to expect. I don’t generally enjoy science fiction or fantasy genres of anything, but I thought I’d give it a try. It’s so much fun and even my kids love it! CK not only has the most gorgeous Scottish brogue you’ll ever hear (think Sean Connery only better because you can listen whenever you want), he also has the most wonderful knack for weaving stories that engage your imagination and your “chuckle muscles.” Who else do you know who has gotten to witness the trial of a lycanthrope, converse with leprechauns, minotaurs, and unicorns, and witness the epic exchange between Perseus and Medusa?! And it’s all thanks to a time-traveling motorcycle, complete with sidecar and sidekick (although Finn may be the real star). This podcast has everything – history, lore, adventure, humor, animals, well-written characters, fun sound effects, and lovely accents – and all in the span of time it takes to polish off a lovely steaming cuppa. The phrase “fun for the whole family” may be a bit tired, but it truly applies here. My kids certainly aren’t the only ones who love CK and Finn, as evidenced by the many happy “Mirthers” in the Facebook group! So check out Mirths and Monsters on iTunes, Stitchr, and all the major podcast platforms.
Varmints, by Paul & Donna: this podcast is about everything on the planet that flies, crawls, creeps, slithers, and swims. Every episode focuses on a different animal. Paul and Donna do a fabulous job of talking about how each animal is featured in the news, in popular culture, and of course they talk all about the animal itself. They even bring on experts whenever possible to give in-depth information about the animal’s habitat, diet, behavior, etc. My kids LOVE Varmints! My daughter especially loves the polar bear episode and all the fun animal sounds in each episode. It’s a blast to take her to the zoo and connect the dots after she’s heard about the animals on Varmints! I love listening and learning too as Paul and Donna’s discussion is engaging and fun for all ages. They often include a sound-byte from a young fan in each episode, which is an especially endearing and personal touch. I even listened to their episode on cockroaches – and I LOATHE cockroaches! I especially recommend this podcast to homeschool families and families with school-aged kids looking for something clean, fun, AND educational for those long spring/summer break road trips. They also have a fun Facebook group if you want to get involved and request specific animals. Check them out on iTunes, Stitchr, and all major podcast platforms.
***It’s important to note that all of these podcasts rely on support from listeners. They have website hosting fees, equipment costs, etc. to deal with every month. As a result, they all have support websites set up on either Patreon or Podbean on which fans can donate. Even as much as $1/month can make a huge difference. If you enjoy any of these podcasts, please consider donating by going to their specific donation page. You won’t regret it!***
Next week I’ll share a few more of my favorites, including some Christian and parenting ones. So stay tuned!