If you haven’t jumped on the podcast bandwagon, you're missing out on one of the most compelling mediums out there. From bingeable mysteries that keep you guessing (like S-Town) to comedy (Guys We’ve F*****d) and sex advice (Sex With Emily, with Glamour contributor Emily Morse), there are probably thousands of pods out right now that can fit your day and your mood.
Even better, there’s probably a podcast that can help you get through the rough stuff—a bad breakup, a high-stress quarter in the office, a family emergency. It’s like having a wise friend you can visit for an hour on your commute.
We consulted some experts and rounded up the podcasts capable of giving you the advice you really need to hear right now:
When you need to feel less alone
If you just moved out on your own for the first time or recently went through a rough breakup, you’re probably well-acquainted with a sleepless night in a too-big bed. To tuck yourself in, life coach Kali Rogers suggests Dear Sugar Radio, hosted by authors Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond. “This podcast is absolutely intended for those who are feeling very alone and need validation or support through whatever they are going through,” says Rogers. “Both Cheryl and Steve have an uncanny ability to soothe and guide those who are struggling through very complicated issues, and just hearing these stories and their advice back gives hope to their listeners.”
With a wide variety of topics ranging from infidelity, motherhood, self-confidence, and even ghosting, you’ll feel comfort knowing you’re not the only one struggling out there.
When you need a postbreakup pep talk
Surprise, surprise: Breakups suck. And while they never get easier, there are some pretty great coping mechanisms nowadays. Psychologist Karin Anderson Abrell, Ph.D., recommends British dating coach Laura Yate’s podcast Let’s Talk Heartbreak, which discusses the ridiculous, motivating, and downright brilliant things people have done to get over a relationship. It’s a listening experience that pairs well with white wine.
When you need a reminder that the glass is half-full
Not everything is going to be 100 percent OK 100 percent of the time—that’s life, babe—but if you find yourself focusing on the negatives a little bit too much, life coach Pam Bauer suggests tuning in to comedian Chris Gethard’s pod, Beautiful Stories From Anonymous People. The premise is simple: one phone call per episode, no names, and nothing is off-limits. In fact, callers get to dictate what happens in the conversation, from talking about relationships and giving career advice, to sharing the latest gossip from their hometown. To find strangers, Gethard tweets out a number and the first person to dial in gets the spotlight. It’s a nice little dose of kismet to remind you that, for all its ups and downs, life is surprisingly beautiful.
When dating starts to feel like an elaborate form of torture
If looking at the Tinder app on your phone makes you break out in hives for fear of yet another "meh" date in your future, try tuning in to This Is Why You’re Single. Hosted by Brooklyn-based comedians and authors Laura Lane and Angela Spera, this snarky podcast (based on the hosts’ best-selling book of the same name) will make you laugh and give you some practical dating advice. What's more, episodes often feature real stories from people of all ages and sexual orientations to help you remember that nearly everyone struggles with their love lives sometimes.
When you don’t want to google something on your work computer
Whether you and your partner are struggling with intimacy issues or you’re still figuring out your own kinks, talking about sex can get messy. Certified sex therapist and marriage and family counselor Dr. Holly Richmond suggests Dan Savage’s long-running Savage Lovecast. This podcast connects the clinical and emotional sides of sexual expression, and Savage makes each episode feel like a totally open-minded conversation with a doctor who happens to be your best friend. “Listeners can ask Dan anything from aspects of human sexuality and anatomy to the most shocking fetishes to more serious issues, like recovery from sexual abuse and assault,” says Richmond. “He’s changed the way many Americans talk about sex.”
When you know the gym will make you feel better but you’re really feeling Netflix and sweatpants
Having a healthy body image translates to all areas of your life, from what you eat when you wake up in the morning to how you hold yourself at work. And though we all go through some periods when we struggle to maintain a smart balance between diet and exercise, there’s nothing like a little inspiration to get us off the couch. That’s why the Just One More Podcast, hosted by comedian Joanna Shaw Flamm and nutrition counselor and physical trainer Daphne Yang is a must-listen if you’re stressed the f-ck out. What sets this podcast apart is its genuinely realistic approach to fitness and health. That means that while of course the duo provide healthy food and solid exercise tips, they also totally get that you’ll probably want some wine when you finish that squat set.
For when you’re thinking about actually going to therapy
Making the choice to invest in your mental health is a big, important one. That’s why, if you’re on the fence about seeking out a mental health professional, licensed counselor E.J. Smith, M.S., NCC, LPC, suggests checking out the Mental Illness Happy Hour podcast, which was recommended to her from a client. The host is Paul Gilmartin, a comedian who approaches this sensitive topic with boldness and humor. “This podcast is a safe space,” says Smith. “People who spend so much of their time feeling isolated, judged, and misunderstood can feel heard, understood, and cared about by people who have the ‘been there, done that’ perspective.”
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