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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

If you’re looking for a podcast that does it all, look no further than Good Influence hosted by Gemma Styles. Covering a vast variety of topics⎯from food waste to mental health⎯Styles navigates conversations that dominate our society with the help of her guests. As experts, her guests provide insightful information on each of the topics. Ending each episode with suggestions of places to listen, watch, and read more about each subject matter, Good Influence is a great place to hear casual discussions about important subjects that feel real and relatable. 

Most recently, I listened to episode 4: “Lucy Sheridan on Comparison.” In this episode, Styles talks with Lucy Sheridan, the world’s first comparison coach. As college students approaching finals week, this episode contains information that we all need to hear. Constantly worrying about being the best⎯whether it is getting the best grade on your test or writing the best paper⎯is detrimental to our mental health. Just because the person sitting next to you got an A does not mean you have to. Just because you’ve gotten an A in the past does not mean you have to. As Styles discusses, sometimes comparison can be motivating, but there is a fine line between being motivated and pushing yourself beyond a healthy limit. Sheridan notes that there are different types of comparison, and it is important to be aware of how you compare yourself to others or past versions of yourself.

Another episode that I really enjoyed is episode 3: “Max La Manna on Food Waste.” I’ll admit, before listening to this episode, I didn’t know a lot about the problems of food waste. I try not to throw food away and only buy what I need from the grocery store, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. Throughout the episode Styles and La Manna explain a variety of issues with the current food waste problems in our society. They cover everything from our perceptions of what food is good and bad⎯do you use the stem when you cook broccoli?⎯to the food crisis in our global community. Not only was the episode extremely informative, but it did change my perception of the way I use and consume food. 

Each of the episodes dives deep into a different subject matter. Currently on season 2, Styles has found the balance between being educational and strictly factual. The conversational format allows her audience to reflect on the content as it is presented. Additionally, she incorporates questions from her audience into each episode to ensure that all curiosities are answered. Although I just began listening to this podcast, I am excited to learn more as I listen to each episode. 

Podcasts are an essential media form of today. They’re so easy to listen to as you get ready in the morning, ride or walk to campus, or as a way to wind down at the end of the night. Whether you’re a podcast enthusiast or not, I encourage you to check out Good Influence. You can find it on most podcast platforms or https://www.gemmastyles.com/podcast. There’s an episode topic for everyone, and it’s an interesting way to learn. Good Influence is quite simply a good listen. 

Kate is an undergraduate student at JMU. She is a Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication major with minors in Spanish and Honors Interdisciplinary Studies. Kate loves to travel, read, and spend time with friends.
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