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Edited by: Vlada Taits

Podcasts were first introduced to me in Grade 10. My English teacher was encouraging us to listen to one about the book we were studying and I couldn’t think of anything more boring. However, over the years my view on podcasts has changed. I have been listening to podcasts for a while now and this summer they became part of my weekly routine. As we all know, it has been an unprecedented few months. Many people have been spending more time at home and although everyone’s new favourite coffee shop is facetime, I, like many others, found myself with more free time. To fill some of this time I started going on long walks, taking short drives, and cleaning areas like my closet which I don’t often do. Although I love listening to music while doing this, podcasts became my new melody. Whatever mood I was in, there was something for me to listen to, and often the best episodes were ones where I knew nothing about the interviewee. Here are some of my favourite shows:

Society and Culture

  • Michelle Obama
  • We Bought a House
  • Catch and Kill

The Michelle Obama podcast, We Bought a House, and Catch and Kill are my top picks in the society and culture category. The Michelle Obama podcast I think, is a gift to society. Her episodes are filled with inspiration and life lessons that anyone can benefit from. We Bought a House is very different from Michelle Obama but a lot of fun to listen to. The hosts are Claudia Sulewski and Finneas and their conversations are about as unscripted as 2020. Their weekly episodes are composed of hilarious stories about life and the ups and downs that come with it. Catch and Kill with Ronan Farrow is thrilling. It investigates the Harvey Weinstein case and the stories surrounding him. This show is a captivating series that is hard to turn off.


  • Armchair Expert

I was surprised when I saw Armchair Expert was categorized as a comedy because I have learned so much from this show but who said learning can’t be fun! Hosted by Dax Shepard, Armchair Expert is to podcasts what Grey’s Anatomy is to television, revolutionary. He has an array of guests from movie stars to doctors and I am pleasantly surprised each time I listen to an episode with someone I know nothing about. Dax Shepard has a way with people that makes this show very special. Some episodes I recommend are: 238 Ellen Pompeo, 234 Atul Gawande, 230 Angela Duckworth, 209 Laurie Santos, 177 Jared Cohen.  

Fashion and Beauty

  • Fat Mascara

We all have our favourite beauty experts and hosts. Jessica Matlin beauty director at Harper’s Bazaar and Jennifer Goldstein beauty and health director of Marie Claire know the industry well. This is one of my favourite shows when I am looking for advice on skincare or makeup. I loved the episode with Dr. Shereene Idriss on eye cream and often I will gravitate towards some of my favourite beauty influencers and listen to those episodes.   


  • Second Life

Second Life is a podcast about individuals who pursued their dreams regardless of their education or where they were in life. Hosted by Hillary Kerr, this show has influential guests from Jen Atkin to Rosie O’Neill, co-founder of Sugarfina, to Holly Thaggard, founder of Supergoop! Second Life is inspirational and informational. Like the guests on this show display, it is never too late to chase your dream.   

Daily news

  • The Daily

A news update but make it attractive to those under 30! The Daily is a 20 minute daily news update hosted by Michael Barbaro from the New York Times highlighting the biggest stories. Yes, there is a lot of information about the current pandemic but I like to listen to the Sunday Read where another host will come on and talk about something that is not current news, but a past story that is interesting and intriguing. After listening to the Daily, I almost always learn something I did not previously know.  

These are just some of my favourite shows but there are several others you might find appealing. Next time you are going for a walk, cooking dinner or just looking for something to do, I encourage you to take a look at podcasts and find one you may be interested in. As I said earlier, the best episodes are unexpected.


These shows can be found on Apple Podcast and Spotify.

Laura Sweet

U Toronto '22

Laura is a third-year Bioethics student at the University of Toronto St. George. She is interested in law and hopes to one day pursue a career in this field. Laura enjoys skiing, playing the piano, reading and spending time on the East Coast.
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