5 Purely Enjoyable Podcast Episodes
I love podcasts. People speaking in your ear feels so intimate. It’s as if you’re a fly on the wall and get to listen in on deep, personal, and educational conversations.
I mostly listen to podcasts to learn. But sometimes I become so enthralled by an episode, so caught up in the story, that I forget to take notes.
That’s because some podcasts are simply meant to be listened to and enjoyed.
It’s okay to get lost in an episode. In fact, it’s something to cherish.
I’ve curated five episodes that are pure enjoyment from start to finish. While there are lots of takeaways from each, these are the kind of episodes that just make you feel good.
All feature charismatic storytellers. Whether it’s the host, a guest, or a quick phone call to a customer service representative, these people have a way of speaking that makes you hang onto their every word.
So without further ado, here are five podcast episodes that will make you feel more than make you think:
1. On Purpose with Jay Shetty
Kobe Bryant: How To Be Strategic & Obsessive To Find Your Purpose
Overall feeling: LOVE
Broadcast in September 2019, Bryant talks about his life post-NBA. He talks about love and vulnerability and being the best teammate he could be. He mostly talks about parenting and in this particular passage, about The Wizenard Series, a children’s book he created:
“Some days I feel like I can’t make a shot and the basket feels like the size of a keyhole. And other days it looks like a swimming pool. That’s magic. So we root our magic in reality so that when kids experience these things - particularly the failure side of it - they can connect it to one of our stories and say okay, I’ve seen this before, I know how to deal with this.”
Maybe it’s because I’m a former athlete, or because I’m about to become a parent, or because of his and his daughter’s unexpected and tragic death, but everything Kobe Bryant says in this episode feels incredibly powerful and moving.
2. Mystery Show
Britney Spears: Case #2
Overall feeling: CONNECTION
This is a hidden gem. There were only six episodes of Mystery Show back in 2015, and the second episode will have you smiling throughout its entirety.
Host Starlee Kline tries to solve a real-life mystery. While it’s very fun and interesting, it’s not the mystery that makes this episode so fabulous. It’s Kline and her interactions with people that really just touch my heart. There’s one conversation in particular - when Kline calls Ticketmaster and speaks with customer service representative Dennis - that gets me near tears.
Toward the end of the phone call Dennis says,
“I’ve worked here for eight months and this is the most interesting phone call I have had. Ever.”
3. Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard
Rob Lowe: Actor
Overall feeling: INCLUSION
Actor Rob Lowe is famous for Parks and Rec, The West Wing, The Outsiders, and Tommy Boy, among many others.
In this episode with the wonderfully candid host, Dax Shephard, the two dig right into their former drug use with cocaine (Lowe is now 30 years sober; Shephard is 15 years sober).
As a soon-to-be mom who has made the decision to not lie to my kids about my own former drug use, I so appreciate that Lowe and Shephard speak openly about talking to their kids and how to navigate that.
In his most recent book called Love Life, which Lowe explains as “a deep dive of the insanities of our business,” he speaks about one of his favorite chapters in the book, which is about “what they don’t teach actors in acting school.” It’s essentially a 2-minute hilarious rant starting at 53:50.
Note: Armchair Expert always ends with a fact-checking portion of the episode once the interview is over, so the actual interview with Lowe ends around the 1:07:00 mark.
4. Brene Brown’s Unlocking Us
Introducing: Brene on FFTs
Overall feeling: TOGETHERNESS
I had been anticipating Brene Brown’s new podcast for quite some time when the first episode aired in January. Initially, I was disappointed that it would be only her on the episode with no guest, but I couldn’t have been more delighted by everything she had to say.
Brown has a way of speaking that makes you feel like she’s talking directly to you, as if she’s your friend. And she’s not afraid to say exactly what she’s thinking:
“This is pretty vulnerable for me, but I thought, ’You know, screw it, it’s the first podcast. Go vulnerable or go home - that’s my new motto.”
Brown talks about the frustration of doing things for the first time - an extremely relatable feeling - and ends with some parenting advice, explaining that our kids’ lack of perspective is not always about selfishness.
5. How I Built This with Guy Raz
Casey Neistat: Video Artist
Overall feeling: INSPIRATION
Get cozied up in bed because this is straight-up storytime with YouTube star Casey Neistat.
This episode will take you on the journey of his life. Neistat’s confidence, positivity, and genuine curiosity about everything make him incredibly likeable and so fun to listen to.
At around the 21min mark, Neistat explains the moment his life changed forever. He can tell you how the room smelled and how he had his breath taken away.
I get goosebumps and could cry - and he’s talking about a computer.
His approach to life will leave you inspired and filled with happiness. We all need a little Casey Neistat in our lives.
Podcasts are a great tool for learning, but they can also provide joy.
So if you just want to feel good, give these episodes a listen. Be that idiot smiling in the street because you are so consumed by the good vibes floating into your ears that you don’t even realize or care that you look like an idiot.