Hardly a week goes by where I don’t see some friend on my social media accounts looking for new podcast recommendations. Personally, I’ve been seeking out podcasts that highlight the positive, tales to soothe a troubled mind in an increasingly troubled world and remind me of the good that still exists in it. These are three that have made it into my listening rotation and may be just what you need to add to yours.
Produced at our local NPR news station WBUR, Kind World features stories of large and small acts of kindness and how they impact people. Sometimes the stories are about the people who act with kindness, sometimes they’re about the recipients of those acts, and sometimes they’re about both. The podcast is not relentlessly upbeat, as some episodes feature an act of kindness making a difference for a person going through a difficult time. But each episode is a great reminder of the potential we all have to be a force for good in each others’ lives.
Recommended Episode: “So Chocolate Bar” is the story of a boy named Dylan, whose best friend Jonah suffers from a rare disease with little funding for research into a cure. So Dylan decided to do something to help: raise a million dollars.
This is a podcast about people trying to get their lives or some key aspect of their lives back after a life-changing event. Season one follows the podcast’s creator Tally Abecassis as she tries to get her career in documentary filmmaking back on track after an unintentionally lengthy maternity leave. Season two is about Lucie, a woman newly out of prison after serving time for killing her husband, a crime she has no memory of. While these may not sound like stories to boost your faith in humanity, both seasons feature people showing a lot of strength in working to reclaim their lives without sugar-coating the challenges and hard questions involved. Because it’s honest and doesn’t go for an easy narrative about triumph over adversity, it’s deeply relatable.
You may recognize Heavyweight host Jonathan Goldstein from his appearances on the godfather of the documentary podcast, This American Life. In his own podcast, Jonathan helps friends, family, and himself to confront long-held questions, grudges, and regrets. As with First Day Back, it’s not always wall to wall joy and not every story resolves neatly. But even the idea of being able to confront the incident that soured a relationship, the promise left unfulfilled, or the path in life not taken and decrease its power over you is a comforting notion.
Recommended Listening: Episode one, “Buzz”, has Jonathan arranging a reunion between his elderly father and uncle to try to untangle the reasons behind their long estrangement and hopefully repair their relationship.
We’re always looking for podcast recommendations too. If you’ve got a go-to podcast for restoring your faith in humanity, one that makes you smile, or one you think one or more Ladies would love, share it with us in the comments.