Finding a new podcast that you love is one of modern-day life's simple pleasures. Finding one that you love and is informative? Jackpot.
As a health and sex editor, I try to absorb as much relevant information as possible, and that includes during my daily subway commute. To help pass the time and keep me in the know, here are a few of the podcasts that grace the iPod Nano my sister got for free for opening a checking account and then gave to me.
Stuff Mom Never Told You
Part of the excellent How Stuff Works podcast family (which includes one of my other favorites, Stuff You Missed in History), Stuff Mom Never Told You focuses on research-driven conversations on women’s health, careers and activism. After a brief hiatus following the departure of the original hosts, SMNTY is back with two new voices (Emilie Aries and Bridget Todd) and are tackling topics like the war on women’s health and the mommy tax.
Flash Forward is concerned about the future — and that includes the future of women’s health. Each month, host Rose Eveleth delves into a possible future scenario and talks about all the potential implications of a new technology or concept. Yes, it’s partially science-fiction, but a recent episode that looked at the ethics of artificial wombs (full disclosure: I’m in that episode) was prompted by current research.
If you haven’t heard of Lady Parts Justice, you’re in for a treat. Created in 2012 by comedian and co-creator of The Daily Show Lizz Winstead, LPJ is a group of badass comics and writers using humor to expose truths about the fight to control women’s bodies. And good news: They have a podcast. Repro Madness will keep you up-to-date with the latest attacks on our autonomy and make you laugh when the only other thing you can do is cry. (Another disclosure: I was on an episode back in 2015 talking about the stigmatization of fetal tissue donation. It’s a hoot — I promise.)
Only Human, produced by WNYC, isn’t specifically about women’s health, but given that its host (Mary Harris) and most of the show’s staff are women, it means that it’s not another conversation centered around the medical and health needs of old white men. The show doesn’t shy away from uncomfortable conversations, whether it’s transgender kids, complicated relationships between patients and therapists or growing up “ugly.”
Call Your Girlfriend
Even though Call Your Girlfriend bills itself as “a podcast for long-distance besties everywhere,” that really undersells these interesting, informative chats on everything from periods to gym class. Hosts Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman really put the show on the map when they conducted a rare interview with Huma Abedin last year (and yes, Abedin is just as amazing as you think she is).
Sex Nerd Sandra
Sandra Daugherty is a sex-positive sex educator (a surprisingly rare find!) who talks about all things related to sexual and reproductive health. Her podcast, Sex Nerd Sandra is part of the Nerdist podcast family and has a very loyal following with more than 14 million downloads on iTunes. It’s the sex ed class you wish you'd had in school but didn’t.