The Best Podcasts for Busy Working Moms

- General Fabulousness
The Best Podcasts for Busy Working Moms

NOTE: This article was originally published on February, 2017, and has since been updated to include even more awesome podcasts!

Podcasts are one of my favorite forms of entertainment. Not only are podcasts FREE (which means you get to spend you’re hard-earned money on something FABULOUS), but they’re super-portable. They can go anywhere your phone goes, and let’s face it, busy moms always have their phones with them.  You can listen to podcasts on your commute, at work, at the gym (ha!), while you’re shopping, doing housework (although you really should outsource that). It makes folding laundry for a family of five a little less painful. So if you think free, portable entertainment sounds awesome, I’ve put together a handy list of my favorites.

Before we get into my list of favorites, I do have some very specific criteria for the podcasts I subscribe to:

  • No annoying voices! I have subscribed to quite a few podcasts where the subject matter sounds intriguing, but the host’s voice drives me crazy. And since I usually listen to podcasts first thing in the morning, a non-annoying voice is critical for me. What qualifies as an annoying voice? A weird pitch, rushed speech, repeated mannerisms or anything else I deem annoying, thankyouverymuch.
  • No longer than an hour per episode. I have enough commitments in my life. A podcast is supposed to be a luxury, not a fourth job. Anything over an hour isn’t going to happen.
  • No more than 1-2 episodes per week. File this under yet another odd personality quirk of mine (see: bullets one and two above) but too many unlistened podcasts will stress me out. So if a podcast releases daily, it’s probably not on my subscribed list.

My Hall of Fame Favorite Podcasts…

Homecoming, Gimlet

Genre: Fiction

Frequency: Every Wednesday

Approximate Length: 25-30 minutes, desperately wishing it was longer

Homecoming is the podcast equivalent of must-see-TV. That’s not an exaggeration; it’s literally that good. Need some convincing? Homecoming stars Catherine Keener, a deliciously evil David Schwimmer, Amy Sedaris, David Cross and a slew of other amazing talent. And HBO recently picked up the TV rights to the series with Julia Roberts attached as the lead.

Homecoming Podcast

Pod Save America, Crooked Media

Genre: political

Frequency: Once a week

Approximate Length: About an hour

Former Obama-administration employees gather round to discuss the craziness that is today’s modern political climate. Billed as the “political podcast for people not yet ready to give up or go insane”

Pod Save America

How I Built This, NPR

Genre: Non-Fiction/Business

Frequency: Every Wednesday

Approximate Length: 45 minutes

Host Guy Raz interviews innovators, entrepreneurs and idealists to get to the stories behind the iconic brands they’ve built. While Raz features a wide breadth of guests from all different industries, I can’t help but love when female entrepreneurs like Kendra Scott and SPANX’s  Sarah Blakely are featured. Get ready to conquer the world.

How I Built This NPR Podcast

 

How to Be Awesome at Your Job: A Podcast for People Who Want to be Awesome at Their Job

Genre: Business/Self-Improvement
Frequency: daily
Approximate Length: 45 minutes

Although the title is annoyingly redundant, the information is not. Host Pete Mockatitis brings the best talent and professional development coaches together to give you actionable insights on how to be, well, awesome at your job. The daily frequency can be a bit much, so I would recommend signing up for the emails, which provide short, bulleted recaps of each episode.

How to Be Awesome at Your Job Podcast

 

Larry Wilmore: Black on the Air

Genre: Political, Humor
Frequency: weekly
Approximate Length: about an hour

Emmy Award—winning producer, actor, and comedian Larry Wilmore from Comedy Central’s critically underrated The Nightly Showis back on the air. In this weekly podcast, Larry discusses a variety of topics from entertainment to culture to sports and more with his signature intelligence and humor. The episode with Neil DeGrasse Tyson is a must-listen.

Black on the Air Podcast

DirtCast, Jezebel Studios

Genre: Pop Culture
Frequency: weekly
Approximate Length: about an hour
>One of my favorite writers (Madeline Davies) from one of my favorite websites (Jezebel) tackles a different pop culture topic each week. Whether it’s discussing the allure of the Kardashians or the need for a rape choreographer on movie sets (yes, it’s a thing), Madeline can tackle a variety of pop culture-related topics with ease and humor.

How Did This Get Made?

Genre: Comedy
Frequency: once a week, alternating between full episodes and mini-episodes (which I tend to skip_
Approximate Length: about 1 hour

This may have been the first podcast I ever listened to, and a hall-of-fame favorite of mine. Comedians Paul Scheer, June Diane Rapheal (#girlcrush) and Jason Mansoukus take on the worst-of-the-worst movies to answer the question, how did this get made? Some classic episodes are Fast and the Furious franchise, Sleepaway Camp and Face/Off.

 

Real Time with Bill Maher

Genre: Political Comedy
Frequency: once a week when the show’s in season
Approximate Length: about 1 hour

This is an interesting one since it’s not made specifically for podcasts. They literally release the audio from Friday night’s HBO show as a podcast, and I love it. Given that its not made specifically for the format, some of the jokes are visual and don’t parlay to the platform, but it’s still entertaining as hell and one that I always look forward to.

TED Talks

Genre: educational
Frequency: 1-2 times a week
Approximate Length: A tenet of a TED talk is the short length – each one is 20 minutes or less

TED is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization that brings the best insights in Technology, Entertainment and Design. TED talks are available as a podcast or as a video, and either way these insightful talks will stay with you long after they’re over. Being invited to give a TED talk is an honor in its own, with many speakers preparing for up to six months in advance. The result of that hard work is high-compelling, something controversial, but always enlightening conversation. Some of my favorites are Ken Robinson’s “Do Schools Kill Creativity?”, Pamela Meyer’s “How to Spot a Liar” (which will come in handy to parents of teenagers) and just about any talk given by Bill and/or Melinda Gates. Any TED talk is a really inspiring way to start your day – you’ll want to conquer the world!

 

Again With This: Beverly Hills 90210

Genre: comedy
Frequency: Once a week
Approximate Length: About 45 minutes

If you were also a card-carrying member of the “I Hate Brenda” Club, this is the podcast for you! BFFs and funny ladies Tara and Sarah from Again With This re-watch every single episode of BH:90210 and hate-watch on the show that was the pinnacle of my youth. Re-live classic moments like “Donna Martin graduate!”, the Emily Valentine debacle and much, much more in this always-entertaining and nostalgic podcast.

Again With This Beverly Hills 90210 Podcast

 

How to be Amazing with Michael Ian Black

Genre: inspirational
Frequency: Once a week
Approximate Length: About an hour

I truly love this podcast. Comedian Michael Ian Black, best known from VH1’s Best Week Ever, talks with various people who are the top of their game on how they got to be so awesome. The episode with Tim Gunn had be smiling from ear-to-ear and a little teary-eyed, while the two-parter with David Sedaris had me cracking up. Michael Ian Black asks thoughtful and provoking questions of his guests, and actually listens to their answers versus waiting to interject something funny or about himself (cough, Chris Hardwick!) Other great episodes are Kevin Smith, Ira Glass and Megan Mullally. Just one request for MIB: more amazing women, please!

How To Be Amazing Podcast

 

 

Bitch Sesh! A Real Housewives Breakdown

Genre: Reality television; comedy
Frequency: Once a week
Approximate Length: About an hour

Bravo is my guilty pleasure that I don’t feel guilty about at all. In fact, I spent my third maternity leave watching Vanderpump Rules from the very first episode (and it’s amazing!). Danielle Schniederman and Casey Rose Wilson get together in The Nook to do THEIR best to discuss the Housewives, mom life and the occasional hysterical interactions with San Pedro. This podcast is only a year young but has created a rabid Facebook following, and an offshoot of the group became one of my favorite Facebook moms groups ever.

 

 

Crimetown

Genre: true crime
Frequency: Once a week
Approximate Length: About an hour

Crimetown is more of an audio television show then a typical podcast. Which would make sense, since it’s created and produced by Hollywood producers. These are the same guys who brought us The Jinx on HBO, and it’s just as compelling. Crimetown focuses on Baltimore in the 70s, when the town was run by the mob who had a corrupt mayor (is there any other kind?!) in their pocket. It’s slick, well-produced storytelling that may be better then anything currently on TV right now.

Crimetown Podcast

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best Podcasts for Busy Working Moms

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18 Comments

  • Reply
    Robin
    February 19, 2017 at 9:49 am

    I have only ever listened to one pod cast ever. I had no idea exactly what it was. But I will look into these.

  • Reply
    Kim Amy
    February 19, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    I’ve added a few of these to my list of books, movies and podcasts I want. You know when I have time….podcasts I find are the easiest enjoyment activity for me because I can listen but be doing like dusting….

  • Reply
    Growing up zee
    February 19, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    I also LOVE my brother, my brother and me. It’s hysterical! And young house love has a podcast. I can’t wait to check out some of these from your list!

    • Reply
      Aimee | The Modern Mamanista
      February 19, 2017 at 2:25 pm

      Thanks for the reco, will check that out. I love the YHL blog but didn’t know they had a podcast too.

  • Reply
    thecoffeemom0617
    February 19, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    I need to check these out. Can you believe I have never listened to a podcast. My husband has a few he loves that are all about cars, but I never got into them.

  • Reply
    shopannies (@shopannies)
    February 19, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    I enjoy podcast and I enjoy I will be checking these out as well
    come see us at http://shopannies.blogspot.com

  • Reply
    ShortSweetMom
    February 19, 2017 at 5:19 pm

    We love listening to podcasts. Especially on road trips. They are such a great way to pass the time. I will have to check some of these out.

  • Reply
    amanda23rodriguez
    February 19, 2017 at 9:27 pm

    I love my Ted Talks!!

    • Reply
      Aimee | The Modern Mamanista
      February 20, 2017 at 1:15 pm

      Same! There’s also a great book called “Talk like TED” that breaks down the anatomy of a TED talk if you really want to nerd out 🙂

  • Reply
    Michelle from The Best Home Life
    February 19, 2017 at 11:58 pm

    I’ve never listened to a podcast but the TED talks sound like they would be interesting to listen to. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Reply
    Lauren Cunningham
    February 20, 2017 at 1:53 am

    “How Did This Get Made” is now officially at the top of my list. How have I not heard of this before? It sounds brilliant!

  • Reply
    milesandellie
    February 20, 2017 at 4:50 am

    I love TED Talks! We watch them regularly but I never even considered listening via podcast. I was actually thinking about podcasts the other day, so I am super happy I came across this list. Thanks for posting!

  • Reply
    Jasmine - LoveLifeLaughMotherhood
    February 20, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    some of these are new to me, great list!

  • Reply
    One Flawsome Momma
    February 20, 2017 at 10:58 pm

    I’m not a huge fan of podcasts, but I have heard of a few of these. Your list seems very versatile and with enough information readers can pick some that may resonate to them. Kuddos!

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