There’s something special about listening to a podcast. In a way, the digital medium is distinctly modern — with a few taps of a touch screen, any of us can download countless hours of captivating content into our back pockets. And yet, the audio format feels nostalgic. It’s reminiscent of early radio and even echoes our ancient methods of campfire-style storytelling.
That sensory element fosters a unique sort of trust and intimacy between creators and consumers. As listeners, we get to know our podcast hosts through their authentic human voices, learning to recognize their ticks and quirks that we wouldn’t experience through tidy written versions of their words. While our hands and eyes are occupied with dish-washing or laundry, we just hit "play," and our minds transform us to flies on the wall as our admired role models converse, or friendly eavesdroppers in comfortable armchairs, gleaning wisdom from strangers who start to sound like friends.
Of course, there are as many approaches to the narrative medium as there are series in the iTunes store, with genres spanning from the newsy to the comedic to the scientific. But here at Clementine, some of our most cherished podcasts are those that make use of the format’s inherently intimate quality to offer wholehearted wisdom and honest outlooks on what it means to be human — flaws and all.
Below, we’ve highlighted a few of our go-to shows for these sorts of sage insights on a variety of subjects, from relationships to creativity. Each one offers refreshing perspectives via an inspiring female host (and one wise guy made the cut, too). Take a look — then take a listen.
1. On personal growth: Real Talk Radio
She calls it "real talk" for a reason: on her series, Nicole Antoinette skips the "cliche self-help life-hack" shortcuts to dig into the nitty-gritty realities of self-transformation. As she interviews other accomplished individuals — from competitive athletes to seasoned writers — she shares tidbits of her own story, too. Whether by transitioning to veganism or quitting drinking and becoming a long-distance runner overnight, Antoinette is familiar with how it feels to start (and stick with) “swimming upstream” against the common cultural current, and you'll find a breath of fresh air in her candid portrayal of personal change.
2. On relationships: Marriage Is Funny
This podcast comes from lifestyle expert Jessie Artigue of Style & Pepper, plus her hubby, Gerard, aka Mr. Pepper. Each week, the charming twosome choose a pair of topics to talk about: one a little silly, one a little serious. Somehow, they always manage to weave together the seemingly disparate themes in a cohesive way, sharing heartfelt but humorous conversations about their lessons learned as a couple. Whether you're happily single, seeing someone seriously, or celebrating many years of marriage, you’ll draw applicable insights from each story — because, as they say at the start of every episode, they're "just trying to figure it all out, just like everybody else."
3. On creativity and career: Raise Your Hands Say Yes
Business and branding coach Tiffany Han hosts this engaging interview series with creative entrepreneurs, including bloggers, photographers, authors, illustrators, stylists — you name it. She uncovers the behind-the-scenes scoop on these role models' particular talents, challenges, and journeys to success, providing a mix of motivational inspiration and practical insight. In each exchange, you’ll meet a different trailblazer who's dared to pursue his or her own inventive vision, encouraging you to do the same — and reminding you that even the most successful artists and business owners have to take their vocational goals one step at a time.
4. On health and wellness: One Part Podcast
Jessica Murnane is all about the intersection between happy and healthy, and her podcast presents an accessible approach to holistic wellbeing — including not just diet, though plant-based nutrition is her area of expertise, but also creativity, community, mental health, and more. She chats with a top food bloggers and cookbook writers like Jeanine Donofrio of Love & Lemons, Ashlae Warner of Oh, Ladycakes, and Julia Sherman of Salad for President, plus other innovative entrepreneurial minds, and asks probing questions with unceasing openness and empathy. Murnane is delightfully down-to-earth with a hysterical sense of humor, and she ends each show by asking her guest to share a mouthwatering plant-based recipe that any listener can make at home.
p.s. If you like your audio paired with visuals, check out these four fantastic female YouTubers.