Podcasts: The New Bedtime Story

Wandering through the halls of Pali, I find myself in a serious predicament—what do I listen to? Sure, I could tune into the fascinating conversations my peers partake in, or re-listen to that one playlist I made 4 years ago. But today, I turn to my preferred entertainment: podcasts. Despite the association with middle-aged moms who take evening strolls on the beach, podcasts are fun, informative and often challenging to traditional thought. By listening through the good, the bad and the weird, I have become, what some would call, a podcast connoisseur. Ranging from self-help to pop culture drama, here is a tiny glimpse into the magical world of podcasts.

Call Her Daddy by Barstool hosted by Alex Cooper 

Immediately, when I think of this raunchy, unfiltered podcast by Alex Cooper, I am reminded of a friend’s intrusive advice that you never wanted or needed. This podcast discusses topics such as relationships, cheating and sex. Hearing my peers discussing episodes brings to mind the thinly veiled misogynistic message Cooper is truly sending. Despite the clear red flags present throughout this podcast, I give Cooper credit when it comes to addressing subjects that are often seen as taboo. However, the wannabe feminism that Cooper attempts to exude often centers around male pleasure rather than female empowerment. While this podcast does occasionally offer a valuable nugget of information, I encourage my peers to stop looking at this podcast as the relationship Bible and take Cooper’s words with a grain of salt. 

Anything Goes by Emma Chamberlain 

Influencer podcasts usually bore me, as they often lack all the best things podcasts have to offer: vulnerability, authenticity and substance. “Anything Goes” by Emma Chamberlain is a clear outlier to this trend. Her episodes range from commentary on her fashion adventures to her experience hitting rock bottom. Chamberlain’s Youtube content is already personal, with her podcast being an extension of the intimacy that she’s already created with her viewers. I especially enjoy this podcast because I was so used to seeing her in the polished and edited video format and this podcast reveals another decadent layer to the metaphorical four-cheese dip that is Emma Chamberlain. Even if you do not enjoy Chamberlain’s Youtube content, give her podcast a try. It is a refreshing and easy listen that is entirely worth the hype.

The Jungle Prince from the New York Times hosted by Ellen Barry

Diving deep into the jungle of New Delhi, India, Ellen Barry uncovers a rich and dark story of a fallen kingdom in “The Jungle Prince.” Barry is approached by the family of Oudh and finds herself walking into the belly of a once-infamous dynasty. During this journey, she forms a connection with the last member of the family, Cyrus Oudh, as he opens the vault of his family history. This story will keep you on the edge of your seat. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, this podcast scrapes through the vulnerability of a broken family and reveals another layer of history from a Muslim dynasty.

Crime Show by Gimlet hosted by Emma Courtland

Crime podcasts often make me spiral into anxiety, with the fear that an axe murderer is going to crawl out from under my bed. However, instead of keeping you up at night, “Crime Show,” produced by Gimlet, creates the perfect parallel between the psychology behind crime and the individual recollections of people who are touched by them. Instead of capitalizing off of the trauma and atrocities experienced by victims, “Crime Show” creates a healing space for victims and their family members to retell their stories in a consensual manner.

Take a break from your soundcloud rappers and your Mitski depression playlist and instead take a step into the wacky, wonderful world of podcasts.