Top 5 Podcasts

My mind has been buzzing over the past year with Podcasts. So this week, I’m sharing my top five.

I learned in school that cultural and societal movements shape the world of fashion. Givenchy (may he rest in peace) rebelled against the overtly feminine looks of the 1940’s into two decades of simplistic and classy sack dresses (see Vogue here). Massive updates in technology have made apple watches and fitbits so much of a norm, that designers created stylish (semi stylish) versions of these tech pieces. Websites like The Knot and Airbnb have completely revolutionized how we experience life. Trends move quicker and the world feels a whole lot smaller.

Podcasts are a platform for ideas and people. Now, they have the opportunity to share their voices with a much wider audience than radio ever offered. I find that these stories give me insight about myself…and I hope you find them enjoyable as well!

How I Built This with Guy Razdownload here (itunes) or here (NPR)

“Stories about innovators, entrepreneurs, and idealists — and the movements that they built” This is the phrase that Guy begins every episode and I get a bit of a goosebump rush when I hear it. In the story of how businesses are built there are moments of momentum and there are moments of fear. Guy takes the listener on an emotional roller-coaster over his hour interviewing owners in a variety of industries. From The Knot, to Spanx,  Airbnb, and many more!

Katie Couric Podcastdownload here (itunes) or here (stitcher)

Boyfriend Brian said that I catch “girl crushes” and one of them in the past year was on Katie Couric. Katie has spent many years captivating audiences with her personable nature and bold interviews. I love this podcast because she and her co-host Brian Goldsmith (previously Katie’s political producer at CBS news where the two won a DuPont award for her interviews with Sarah Palin) go beyond the cover story. They dig deep into the “why” of how their interviewees became who they are today. She debunked my assumptions about Ina Garten, enhanced my adoration for Sheryl Sandberg, and even made me think that Martha Stewart is truly a “hip-grandma”.

Pod Save Americadownload here (itunes) or here (stitcher)

Speaking of crushes, I have a true intellectual crush on the four former aides to President Obama — Jon Favreau, Dan Pfeiffer, Jon Lovett and Tommy Vietor. It’s mostly John Favreau, but these guys make me want to sign up and canvass my neighborhood to ensure everyone is registered to vote. In the wake of a year that brought on feelings of hopelessness and fear, these guys fill the airwaves with witty comedy and explain relevant ways to take action that will affect the bigger picture.

Bonus: They “Tour America” for Live shows *swoon*

Stay Tuned with Preetdownload here (itunes) or  here  (NPR)

For a more serious look into current events, check out Preet Bharara, former U.S. Attorney’s podcast. I thoroughly enjoy his legal approach to all things topical. He takes time to respond to his listener’s questions, interviews people from all sides who have influence, and then wraps up every episode with events/ideas that has caught his attention. He unpacks complicated subjects so that even us non-Harvard grads have talking points to take into our daily lives.

Slow Burndownload here (itunes) or here (slate)

Boyfriend Brian brought this podcast to my attention. I listened to Serial in two days, In the Dark in a week, so I have high expectations for a mini-series. This one blew my socks off. Without taking Watergate to a conspiracy extreme, Slow Burn flips Watergate up on it’s head and moves beyond All the President’s Men. Leon Neyfakh examines information from not so famous witnesses and makes us think…if this were to happen again, would we know it when we were in the thick of it all?

Honorable Mentions

TED Radio Hour – download here (NPR) or here (itunes)

For all your TED Talk fans out there, Guy Raz (does this guy sleep?) from TED Radio Hour does a great job breaking down individual topics and pulling relevant TED Talks to support the issue at hand.

The Axe Files with David Axelrod – download here (itunes) or here (stitcher) 

David Axelrod, the founder and director of the University of Chicago Institute of Politics, interviews a broad range of people on both sides. He takes the listener through their life story, and what brought them to their current standing. He isn’t afraid to ask tough questions, and it’s amazing how interconnected he is in the world of politics.

Pod Save the People – download here (itunes) /or here (stitcher)

Organizer and activist DeRay Mckesson hosts a panel that takes the listener into topics on culture, social justice and politics. It’s not as topical as Pod Save America. I find it interesting when I want to look further into the history of a specific topic, hear both sides of the debate and learn more about how I can make a difference.

Pod Save the World – download here (itunes) / or here (stitcher)

Sometimes world news gets lost in the noise of everyday updates. So,”Pod Save America” cohost Tommy Vietor (former member of President Obama’s National Security Council) decided to give us all the opportunity to learn more about topics such as nuclear armed frenimies, the future of Israel and what it’s like to be a photographer held hostage for almost three months by rebel fighters in Syria.

I hope you enjoy my picks! Please share yours in the comments below as I always love recommendations!

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