The podcasts we turn to for parenting advice, clean skincare news, all-engrossing stories, and that much-needed dose of humor.
Whether you catch up on podcasts while you’re commuting, cooking dinner for the littles, or nursing a newborn (because seriously, they’re always nursing, no?), there’s a huge variety of programs out there that can enrich your life as a parent. (And, you know, just as a regular human being. Because parents are people too.) In honor of International Podcast Day, we’ve rounded up the podcasts that make us laugh, cry, think, and everything in between.
Do you have your own podcast gems? We want to know! Hit us up in the comments section and let us know your favorites.
This here is the OG of podcasts about parenthood. Started in 2010 by Hillary Frank, this award-winning show reinvented what it means to be a “parenting podcast.” The Longest Shortest Time explores surprising, moving, often hilarious tales of being a parent (or a child!), and its engaging, This American Life-style storytelling vibe will keep you coming back week after week. Sadly the podcast is coming to a close at the end of 2019, but the final few months promise to be amazing, plus the nine years of archives will be available forever. There are hundreds of hours to dive into—if you’re overwhelmed, check out Hillary’s Longest Shortest Time starter kit, with a list of the most-loved shows. (Don’t miss Hillary’s interview with Terry Gross on why she chose not to have kids, and comedian W. Kamau Bell’s episode, where he asks his mom about sex.)
Imagine your smartest, funniest friends all got together in a room to share their best parenting advice, and you’d have a good picture of Slate’s parenting podcast, Mom And Dad Are Fighting. (No, they don’t actually fight, but there can be spirited and friendly debates). Every episode starts with highly relatable parenting triumphs or fails that the three hosts have experienced that week. (One recent triumph: sorting and matching together all kids’ socks in the house, a task that thwarted one of the hosts for three full years). For the second half of the show, parents write in for advice on issues ranging from kids who are anti-baths to the best way to handle the loss of a grandparent. The resulting discussion is always perceptive, entertaining, and totally helpful.
From the geniuses over at Goop comes our new favorite podcast about all things clean beauty. Every week, Goop beauty editors Jean Godfrey-June and Megan O’Neill invite dermatologists, sustainability experts, and skincare and makeup founders to discuss the ins and outs of the clean beauty world. (As it turns out, a lot of people get their wakeup call about nontoxic beauty products when they’re pregnant and about to become parents). The interview with the Environmental Working Group’s Nneka Leiba is an eye-opening primer on why we should all be paying a lot more attention to what goes into our personal care products—and the brilliant nontoxic perfume episode with renegade natural perfumer Douglas Little is required listening. (No. Really. It is that good.) Stick around to the end of each episode for Jean and Megan’s answers to listeners’ most pressing beauty questions—these two seriously know their stuff, and their enthusiasm for clean beauty is irresistible.
Comedy and parenting advice united? Our literal dream. We love that the two hosts, Biz Ellis and Theresa Thorn, are refreshingly no b.s. when it comes to motherhood. Their disclaimer for every show: “If you’re friends of the hosts of One Bad Mother, you should assume that when we talk about other moms we’re probably talking about you. If you’re married to one of the hosts of One Bad Mother, we definitely are talking about you. Nothing we say constitutes professional parenting advice. Biz and Theresa’s children are brilliant, lovely, and exceedingly extraordinary. Nothing said on this podcast about them implies otherwise.” (Also, word to the wise: don’t listen with your kids around!). Nothing is off-limits, and they deliver humor and thoughtfulness in equal measure: there’s talk about kids and gender identity, the unending grind of getting children off to school in the morning, even the mom fantasy of having a “minor injury” in order to get a break (and how f***ed up that is). Listen and you’ll never feel alone in this whole insane motherhood trip.
Ever feel like your conversations have become endless feedback loops about sleep schedules and parenting hacks? Here is your antidote: Jonathan Van Ness, the exuberant breakout star of Queer Eye and author of the bestselling memoir Over The Top, is—as the show title suggests—curious about everything. And we mean e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. Here, a random sampling of the questions each show is framed around: Who is enforcing the Clean Water Act? How many cats am I allowed to foster before it’s illegal? What do district attorneys do? Why don’t we know enough about ancient Latin American history? How can we be less rude to bees? What’s a dermatologist’s tea on sunscreen? How can we twerk on climate change? And that’s only the beginning. For each episode, JVN interviews a top expert in each field, and the ensuing talk is as smart, engrossing—and funny!—as you’d expect. Is this one parenting-related? Not at all. But hey, that’s kind of the point.