Anyone else need a little break from the grindiest grind that is pandemic existence with small children? Or pandemic existence generally? I, for one, definitely do, and I’ve found some solace — and a few giggles — in these fun escapist podcasts that make me at least feel like I’m getting a change of scenery.
And I’m so excited about all the escapist podcasts I found, from pop culture to travel to the comedy we all need right now. I hope these tide you over until you can actually take a vacation — or at least escape your kids for a quick listen.
To me the best part about watching fluffy reality TV is analyzing the episodes later with friends, and Here to Make Friends scratches that exact itch. This podcast lovingly pokes fun at The Bachelor while examining it through a feminist lens, so you can feel better about watching a dozen perfectly primped women vying for the attention of one suitor in a contrived and competitive setting.
I don’t know about you, but my quarantine experience has been seriously lacking in the bodice-ripping department. So of course I’ve been loving Bridgerton and this hilarious podcast which analyzes every episode. Mary and Blake are both actors so they both have interesting, behind-the-scenes perspectives on how the show was made. Long live #boncon (bonnet content)!
For anyone else who set big self-improvement New Year’s resolutions for 2020 only to be blindsided by COVID, I present this completely silly podcast. The hosts pursue their goal with tenacity and singleness of purpose, and that goal is meeting Tom Cruise. Which apparently is challenging even if you’re a B-list celebrity like they are (#sorrynotsorry).
Our CEO Kristen writes for this podcast, which is kind of like a modern, portable version of a Meg Ryan rom-com from the 90s. In other words, something we all need in our lives at the moment. Check out Kristen’s episode, The Conference Hotel.
If an escape to the country isn’t far enough, try this fiction podcast which is set on a space station light years away from planet Earth. The show draws inspiration from the golden age of radio and tells a serialized story about the crew week by week. It’s also performed by real voice actors so it’s a nice break from the chattier podcasts I listen to.
I love listening to short story podcasts, but most of them are just read by the authors, who aren’t always the greatest narrators. Enter Levar Burton, whose velvety voice lends itself perfectly to reading short stories from some amazing up and coming authors! All stories are hand-picked by Levar, whose taste is just as impeccable as you’d expect. (And if you love Levar, make sure you listen to his appearance on our Spawned Podcast!).
Sick of normal news? Me too. The hosts of the Bananas podcast skip the depressing and commonplace news stories to bring us only the most bizarre and hilarious current events. The hosts’ witty and silly banter makes it even more fun.
If you loved Nicole Byers in Nailed It! but need more of her (duh), check out Newcomers. She and Lauren Lapkus explore the hugely popular series that they somehow missed. In the current season they’re taking fresh eyes to The Lord of the Rings series. There’s something really amusing about hearing these familiar series’ through the lens of someone’s totally new to it.
Produced by Outside magazine, this podcast helps foster a healthy sense of wanderlust. Host Peter Frick-Wright interviews some amazing people, from champion rock climbers to base jumpers to a researcher who’s teaching people how to breathe better to improve their health.
Whether you’re getting outside or just fantasizing about it, I think this podcast will feel like a nice escape. I love how inclusive and thoughtful the hosts are. They don’t just talk about great destinations, but also how to make the outdoors more accessible to POC. Plus practical help like how to deal with your period when you’re spending time in the great — but bathroom-less — outdoors. Have a listen; it’s inspiring on so many different levels
This show is similar to Outside Podcast, and I’ve found listening to it is a good way to live vicariously. While maybe I can’t drop everything to cycle across the country, I really enjoy hearing from the guests on the show who did — and what they learned along the way.
Top image: Juja Han via Unsplash