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How podcasts are talks that listen

By Maia Marquez Published Sep 16, 2022 5:00 am

As someone who often processes my thoughts through writing, I know it’s not always great to sit alone with my own ruminations. But admittedly, I don’t always have the time or headspace for an actual discussion.

Enter podcasts: some of my friends’ favorite way to pass time, pick up a lesson or two, or even have a conversation without having to speak.

While I never really tuned into or sat through an entire podcast episode — my short attention span is to blame — I’ve always been curious about how they’re able to help make sense of one’s own thoughts and draw my friends in. So I asked: what podcasts make you feel less alone?

Kwentuhang Pilipina

“Kwentuhang Pilipina” features candid conversations about things that matter to Filipinas. Each episode feels like a coffee catch-up with friends.

I have the privilege of co-hosting their monthly book club. One of my favorite episodes was our discussion on the novel Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata. We opened up about the exhaustion and loneliness that comes with putting work above everything else. It took me a long time to unlearn my “girlboss” impulses and it felt cathartic to talk about it with women my age who feel the same. —Andrea P. 

Armchair Expert

“Armchair Expert” covers the "messiness of being human," as told by celebrities and experts. It feels even more validating hearing well-known figures talk about common human experiences, and it makes me think that these important people are just like me. —Georgia M. 

My Favorite Murder

I love true crime stories, and while it can be nightmare inducing, “My Favorite Murder” tells these stories exactly how I'd share them with my friends! There's lightness without discrediting seriousness, and humor that relieves tension.

The conversational format reflects a lot of my own thoughts and struggles in understanding true crime, and I feel connected with the hosts and the community they've built from this podcast. —Chabeli F. 

On Being

My mornings are always made better whenever I listen to “On Being” with Krista Tippett. I enjoy how each episode teaches me to live more mindfully and view the world through a different lens.

Listening to her is a healing experience. Since I started, I’ve become kinder to myself and to others. —Danna P. 

Paano Ba ‘To

I've been a Bianca Gonzalez fan since childhood, so I love seeing her maximize her reach through “Paano Ba 'To.” We're all just trying to figure life out, and “PBT” goes through the motions of "life in general" in a friendly and very approachable manner.

One of my favorite episodes was the one where Jollibee and McDonald's came together to show how the power of community trumps any competition when it comes to saving lives. As a marketer, I was impressed to see both brands put their differences aside for the Filipino people. —Ella M. 

The Yes Theory

“The Yes Theory” reinforces the hosts’ belief in seeking discomfort. Each episode is a reminder to me that, to grow, you have to say yes to things that scare you or you're unsure of — even when it makes you uncomfortable. —Andi L.

Second Life

I really love “Second Life” because it focuses on people who have switched career paths at some point in their lives. 

When I quit my full-time job to pursue content creation, I was comforted knowing others have done this successfully. It's inspiring to see women who were progressing in their careers take a leap of faith to pursue something else. Each story reaffirms my belief that when one space is no longer serving me and I see potential elsewhere, it's okay; I shouldn't be scared to go for it. —Bianca M. 

Call Her Daddy

“Call Her Daddy” takes a modern twist on feminism: it unapologetically talks about sexuality and relationships. 

I was hesitant to listen because I thought it would be too racy. But, the longer I listened, the more I learned from it and could relate. It's comforting knowing that I'm not the only woman who's curious about these topics, and that there are others who are willing to talk about it and share their knowledge. I’m inspired to be more confident in my sexuality, and to be more open to these conversations. —Lucy Q.

The Sexytime Podcast

I appreciate this podcast because, in this country, it isn't common for women to talk about sex. As someone who's very in touch with my sexuality, I like how there’s an avenue for women to discuss this freely.

Being part of the LGBTQIA+ community, I particularly enjoyed the episode where the guest talked about discovering her sexuality as a young adult, but how she's still quite unsure of what she labels herself as. I found it refreshing to hear that I’m not alone in what I experienced before. —Paula C.

Maintenance Phase

“Maintenance Phase” resonates with me because it debunks the toxic side of the health and wellness industry. The hosts shed so much light on anti-fat biases, diet culture, and other things we've always thought were healthy but actually aren't.

An episode called “The President's Physical Fitness Test” brought me back to the physical tests we had to do in PE classes before. Only through the episode did I realize how the test didn't measure health or fitness, it just made us unnecessarily competitive or insecure. —Tati G.

Sincerely X

“Sincerely X” features real stories told by real people tackling real-world issues. Most of the stories are shared anonymously, and it's the anonymity that makes them more relatable.

I tend to go back to the episode “Mood Changer” each time I need an anchor to deal with my depression, because I feel understood and validated. Through that episode, I learned that while I can't control my depression, I can control my choices and reactions. Having that awareness helps me keep my mood in check and my depression at bay. —Kristine R. 

Wholeheartedly,

I find myself saying "Same!" as I listen to episode after episode of “Wholeheartedly.” It feels like listening to a friend make kwento, and I think Clahrah, the host, and I have similar personalities. She's able to articulate thoughts I've always had, but struggle to articulate.

My favorite episode is '"Why are we walking so fast?" "It's a city" :('. As an anxious person who wants to be doing something all the time, this reminds me that despite the struggle to slow down, it's okay and possible to appreciate small moments of rest. —Andy E.