What I’m Listening To – Podcasts

Okay, so many people have been asking me which podcasts I enjoy most. It feels like listening to podcasts is the HIP AF millennial thing to do these days. Maybe it makes us feel like we have our lives together? Maybe it’s just something to do on our commutes when the radio has failed us by playing too much of The Chainsmokers? Maybe we just like to start every sentence with “So, I was listening to this podcast the other day and…”. Well, everyone has their own reasons for listening to podcasts and I’m going to give you some of my favorites. Some of them I’ve just started listening to and some of them I’ve been listening to for a while. If you’re interested in listening to something Amanda-Approved then take a gander at the options below.

Stuff Mom Never Told You – This is a great feminist podcast for women who are interested in women’s role in society today, but who also enjoy pop-culture and political references. The language isn’t the most inclusive at times, but you can definitely tell that they are trying to improve that aspect of the show. Instead, this is a great podcast for women who are new to understanding how (mostly cis) women play a role in history, how to address sexism in our everyday lives, and who plan on having a 9-5-type career. The podcast’s co-hosts, Emilie Aries and Bridget Todd, are two mid-20’s cis women in Washington D.C who discuss navigating the work and home life as a Millennial and a woman. It’s fraught with pop culture references, which I love, and usually stays pretty light-hearted while still including the tougher topics, which I also love. Sometimes I want to hear about the nuance of feminism without feeling like the world is going to shit, and this podcast fits that criteria.
Who May Enjoy This Podcast – Working Women, Anyone interested in women’s evolving role in society, Anyone who wants to hear a more heteronormative side of feminism, Anyone who enjoys political commentary and pop-culture
Bulletproof Radio – Okay, so this podcast isn’t for the health and nutrition newbies out there. You definitely need to know your shit, and all the health and wellness fads over time, to understand what’s going on in this podcast. Dave Asprey, founder of Bulletproof Coffee and self-proclaimed “bio-hacker”, interviews medical researchers and specialists in functional medicine to figure out basically how to “hack” his body to be as healthy and live as long as possible. He talks about how he’s “hacked” his DNA and mitochondria to get the best sleep and be at optimal health by being on a Ketogenic diet, taking certain supplements, and detoxing from our toxic environment. As someone who is a huge nerd for nutrition and wellness, this podcast is FASCINATING. I don’t personally agree with the great lengths he’s taken to improve his health, but it’s fascinating hearing about the research he’s done with his own body and the knowledge specialists in their fields discovered about the human body.
Who May Enjoy This Podcast – Health and Nutrition nerds, Science-types, People who want to live as long as possible, Fans of alternative medicine or preventative medicine, Health fad skeptics,  Individuals who are mistrustful of our current medical system, My Father (Yes, Dad, this is me calling you out on my blog. I’ve been trying to get you to listen to this podcast for months.)
Anna Faris Is Unqualified – I initially found this podcast because I realized I needed a podcast that would make me laugh (aka wasn’t health, wellness, or social justice related). I’ve always thought Anna Faris is hilarious, especially in House Bunny, and her marriage to Chris Pratt is definitely #MarriageGoals. Faris, with her co-host and producer Sim Sarna, interviews celebrity guests and asks them for unqualified relationship advice. Whether it’s Anna Faris’ ridiculous fictional scenarios she makes up or just hearing celebrities give terrible relationship advice to listeners who call into the studio, I’ll definitely find myself laughing aloud at most of the podcast’s comedic banter.
Who May Enjoy This Podcast – Fans of Anna Faris, Comedy lovers, People who laugh at bad relationship advice, Stoners (because Anna Faris has starred in multiple stoner cult films), Anyone who enjoys hearing about the personal lives of well-known celebrities, People who aren’t bothered by swearing or crude language
Favorite Episodes – ep 78: Live from Clusterfest with Hannibal Buress and Lizzo (I’ve listened to this episode multiple times all the way through and still think it’s funny); Bonus episode: Tavi Gevinson; All podcasts with Seth Rogan

The Priestess Podcast – A podcast for all things spiritual and Divine feminine. I don’t always get to talk about my spiritual beliefs, but it’s comforting to hear about different aspects of the Divine in this podcast. The creator and host of this podcast, Julie Parker, has such a warm, calming voice and doesn’t downplay anything “spiritual”. In the majority of the episodes she interviews conscious leaders, coaches, and spiritual practitioners in “Divine Feminine, Goddess Culture, Women’s Spirituality and Living with Grace”, but sometimes she just has solo episodes where she speaks on certain topics by herself. Even as I write about this podcast I struggle to be completely open as to how much I do believe in many things labeled as “spiritual” because I know that the spiritual community is definitely not perfect (cultural appropriation, lack of inclusive language, geared mostly toward cisgendered individuals, etc.). But time and time again I find myself drawn to conversations around our spiritual connection to Earth, the moon, the stars, and all the energies in-between. While I acknowledge that the spiritual community isn’t perfect, I find comfort and a safe, authentic space in this podcast. While I may not have many close peers with similar beliefs, it’s nice to listen to a podcast where my beliefs are taken seriously.
Who May Enjoy This Podcast –  Someone who enjoys all things spiritual, Wants to know more about the Divine Feminine or goddess culture, Wants a feminine-centered podcast
Stronger – I wrote a previous post about this podcast, which actually led me to write this post when people inquired to other podcasts I listen to frequently. This is an incredibly genuine podcast about health and wellness (physical, mental, and emotional), that moves past the hip, stylish stuff and gets to what really impacts your health. There are some pretty hilarious sound effects that they’ve added in that, not going to lie, have totally thrown my off guard at times. It’s a solid podcast, with something to learn from every episode.
Who May Enjoy This Podcast –  Health-conscious listeners, Believers in hip health fabs, Wellness junkies
Favorite EpisodesEpisode 1: Is the Wellness Industry Taking Advantage of Us?; Episode 2: The Best and Worst Things to Say to Someone With Depression; Episode 4: 4 Foods You Think Are Healthy That May Not Be  [this link don’t seem to be working, but you can still find these episodes when you look on itunes]

AstroTwins Radio – Anyone who knows me, knows I love astrology. It’s something my mother taught me from a young age and I’ve just stuck to learning more. I rarely just read my own horoscope for the day, I also read my rising sign, moon sign, and all the horoscopes of the people in my life. Astrology is like a personality test but there are no questions and the answers are given from the alignment of the planets and stars on the exact time of your birth. So, yes, I love that there’s a podcast about astrology. The Astro Twins have recently become some of the most popular and well-known astrologists, writing articles and horoscopes for many popular websites as well as having their own site. They release monthly podcasts, where they talk about how the different planetary alignments may affect how your month plays out. I love hearing about how different zodiac signs may be affected by the planetary arrangements. It’s a nice change to listen to someone talk about astrology rather than just reading it.
Who May Enjoy This Podcast – fans of Astrology, Someone who needs help making decisions or needs guidance with a dilemma in their life
Favorite Episodes – Basically any most recent episode

Free Cookies – Okay, so Kathryn Budig was one of the first yogis I’ve followed on social media. I saw her whole transition through divorcing her husband, figuring out her place in the yoga world, and then ultimately starting a relationship with Kate Fagan. I found this podcast just after Kate Fagan spoke at the CU Boulder graduation as the commencement speaker and seeing Budig post Instagram pictures of them together in Boulder. When their new podcast was recommended to me on iTunes, I was like “Heck YEAH, I’m going to listen to a podcast with two rad gals and cookies!”. Okay, their podcast is not completely about cookies, but you do hear about Kate Fagan’s “Standard Cookie List” and the favorite cookie of every guest interviewed on the show. They interview big names in sports or the wellness community. It’s pretty entertaining hearing a podcast the brings together those two industries.
Who May Enjoy This Podcast – Someone who wants an LGBTQ-friendly podcast (heads-up: they mostly discuss lesbian, bi, or fluid experiences), ESPN fans/Sports enthusiasts who can talk about more than just sports, Anyone who is a fan of Kate Fagan and/or Kathryn Budig, Yogis who can make fun of themselves, anyone who likes cookies
Favorite EpisodesAbby Wambach Kicks Off Cookies: 5/2/17 (The Pilot episode so you know what’s up with the cookies); Scholar-Chip Cookie; Seane Corn: the OG Cookie

ISGP “The Forum” – Thought I’d also give a shoutout to a podcast I just started listening to, Institute of Science for Global Policy “The Forum”. One of the co-hosts, Daniella Baeza, is the twin sister to one of my closest and dearest friends Andrea. The podcast talks about a plethora of science-related topics that affect global policy, with some quirky jokes thrown in-between. They are truly passionate about the topics they discuss and continue regardless of funding, which I think is totally rad.
Who May Enjoy This Podcast – Science-types, Anyone who is curious about how science is applied to global policy


Everyone listens to such different podcasts, which is why I love hearing about which podcasts each individual enjoys! If you have any good recommendations let me know in the comment section!

Clean Eating, Minimalism, New Hair Cut, – Or “The One Thing That Will Finally Make Me Feel In Control”

Let me just say, I hear you, I see you, and I feel you. You feel out of control, and you’ve been sold by a new fad, the media, or a friend that says if I “just do this one thing, I will finally feel in control”. And sometimes it works! You got a new hairstyle (peep the picture below of mine or on Instagram), you decided to discard or sell anything that doesn’t “spark joy” after you read Marie Kondo’s The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying Up, or maybe you did the Whole30 (or went even paleo/keto/vegan/raw) and feel more energetic because of it. In my case, I’ve done forms of these kind of things too, but the feeling is ephemeral and then I’m once again back to feeling like my life is out of control. And yes, I do know that I am responsible for my life, I am overabundantly clear on how my life is what I make it, but sometimes rationalizing these feelings with “I’m just living from the past” or “I’m leading my life from a place of fear” just doesn’t always work! And I want to acknowledge that I’m speaking from a young college-aged Millennial woman’s point of view here because, incase you forgot, I’m not some Baby-boomer CEO guy with the ego the size of the Menlo Park Googleplex. In other words, I’m not going to tell you to go from Zero-to-One like Peter Thiel because I’m already a young woman, my voice is already in a unique market position in our patriarchal society. And when I write this, I hope you don’t think I’m going to give you some world-changing view solutions to feeling in control, but rather that I want to create an inquiry into why, as young women or just part of this generation, it feels like it’s normal or just plain normalized to feel like we’re not in control of our lives.

[new hair cut!]
Some hypothesize that from a sociological perspective, through generations of oppression and discrimination, and being socialized to be and act a certain way, women have had the freedom to own property, be financially independent, and had leadership positions stolen from them, so the only thing we do have control over are our bodies and maybe the appearance of our homes. But when you look at current political events, with anti-abortion laws being passed (which is just plain fucked up) and attempts to de-fund Planned Parenthood, or you look to the media, where incessant ads of creams, lotions, and makeup are shoved in women’s faces with the promise to make them look “more attractive”, do women even have control over their bodies either? Even though nowadays we’re having conversations about women being the breadwinners in heteronormative households and ads now containing “natural”, un-airbrushed pictures of “real-women”, it still just feels like old ways disguised as new. Maybe we do these attempts to control our appearance and our immediate spaces because those are the things we do feel like we can have control over and if we control the few things society allows us to control, then maybe we will finally feel over-all in control of our lives and futures as well.

Consequently, sometimes this search for control can go too far, or to toxic lengths.

Consequently, sometimes this search for control can go too far, or to toxic lengths. Sometimes that hairstyle change is of the 2007-Britney-Spears-variety, you get rid of so many material items in the quest for minimalism that you get rid of even the things that meant the most to you, or your “clean-eating” has turned into a toxic relationship with food. I actually have started to see the words “clean-eating” as a red flag, because what does that even mean? When you look at the foods these people who preach “clean-eating”, much of the time it’s foods that are financially unattainable to many people and/or are just the new food fads. How about we just eat-whatever-the-fuck-makes-you-feel-awesome or just stop being so cluttered with things we don’t need?

I read a quote the other day, honestly it was probably from an inspirational Instagram post (and if anyone knows where I saw this quote then please let me know so I can link the quote to them to give them the credit they deserve), that said “Stop asking for advice from the people who aren’t where you want to go!”. I can’t quite pin-point if it just felt right in my body, or it just validated why the advice I chose to listen to hasn’t been working for me, but regardless it felt like a these-are-the-words-I-needed-read-thank-you moment after I read it. What I took from that quote was that I shouldn’t ask an electrical engineer how to become a holistic practitioner. I could even take this to, should I even ask a successful cis-man in this society how to be successful, when I want to be a successful woman in a society that benefits people of all genders? Maybe I’ve been trying to fit into these boxes I don’t even want to fit into! Or maybe I’m just full of shit, because there’s always a possibility of that, who knows! As I chose to write this post over a number of days, because I needed to process the things I’ve said and the feelings I’m having around my words, I do acknowledge that I’ve been given some great advice, from very powerful women in my life, that I chose not to listen to when I should have at the time. I got the advice when I wasn’t ready to hear it and my past self wasn’t in alignment with where I am today, but now I still hear the advice and I am ready to take it with me.

I had internalized certain ideas of what success looks like and what I was supposed to do with my life that were just not serving me whatsoever! Today, as I briefly heard Sophia Amorusa in an episode of #GirlBoss Radio (if you read my last post, you know I’m big on podcasts these days) say, “Success is not a destination”, I received a these-are-the-words-I-needed-to-hear-thank-you moment. Now I obviously don’t think everyone who feels out of control is trying to be “successful”, but recently that’s what’s been on my mind as I decide that I need to take a semester off from college because of severe burnout and adrenal fatigue. To anyone in my community, who I haven’t told that I’m taking a semester off from college, I’m dealing with the consequences of when my body started to say “No” and I didn’t listen. I plan on reading the book When The Body Just Says No written by Dr. Gaber Maté, which discusses the minds influence on chronic health problems. In my case, when just the perfect combination of life events came together, my course of action needed to change in ways I would’ve never imagined. It has left me to feel pretty lost and that I don’t have control over my life, but I’m starting to realize that this is an opportunity to learn about my resiliency, as painful as it feels right now.

Okay, but where’s the line between “let myself feel my feelings” and “you’re holding yourself back with this negative self-talk”, or even that it might be pretty invalidating to say to someone in a shitty situation!

Here’s the thing, I do have control! We have control! We have power! We have complete control over our lives! We have everything we need in us to get where we want to go! But what happens when we know this objectively, but we don’t feel like we have control! And of course after typing that, I hear the thought “Well, you have control over your feelings! You may not be in control of everything that comes into your life or happens to the people around you, but you have control over how you react to it!”. And my response to that: Okay, but where’s the line between “let myself feel my feelings” and “you’re holding yourself back with this negative self-talk”, or even that it might be pretty invalidating to say to someone in a shitty situation! These are the questions I ask myself, I look forward to a few months or years from now looking back on this post and having those answers for myself.

Maybe I’ll find that I’ve actually just been searching for comfort, something that might not get me where I actually want to be.

So currently I just listen to podcasts and make a lot of to-do lists. I got a haircut in hopes of cutting off the thoughts and lifestyle behaviors that no longer serve me. It’s thus far been empowering and gives me a sense of productivity, but I know that this feeling might be ephemeral and I might just keep feeling that my life is out of control. I might figure out that a sense of control is a feeling from within rather than something given to me from an external environment. Maybe I’ll find that I’ve actually just been searching for comfort, something that might not get me where I actually want to be. For now, I’m going to sit with the uncomfortable feeling and see where it takes me.

EDIT: Okay, conversely, there’s the possibility of this idea being the other way around, that it was actually us being more in alignment with ourselves that brought us to do things like get a haircut, consider minimalism, or go into “clean-eating”. We gotta think about these things from all angles, right? So as I was totally stalking myself on twitter I came across this tweet that explains this idea.

[me, coming from all angles with this haircut]