Top Ten Podcasts

I am completely addicted to podcasts. I love to listen to them in the car, while I work on orders for my shop, and when I clean the house. So basically all the time. Rarely do I have a conversation these days that doesn’t include some reference of an interesting tidbit I heard on a podcast. Basically, I am a much more interesting person than I was before podcasts. I’m ok with that. I acknowledge that there are SO many to choose from (and these are just based on my interests) but I wanted to at least give you a place to start.

Disclaimer: I don’t agree with or condone everything on each podcast episode. On rare occasions there is some language but they typically give a heads up when the content might not be appropriate for all audiences so you have an opportunity to skip it.

Without further ado, these are my top 10 podcasts:

God Centered Mom: This is a podcast by my friend Heather. She is funny and wise and her guests are too. Her topics are engaging and helpful and I know I am a better mom having listened to this podcast. I highly recommend this if you’re trying your best to not mess up the short people that live with you.

Inspired to Action: Another friend of mine Kat started this podcast and her main goal is to motivate and give practical advice to moms specifically but I feel it would apply to all women. Very helpful and enjoyable to listen to.

Mud Stories:  Jacque Watkins is a remarkable girl (also a friend!) who is dedicated to bringing hope to women walking through the messy and painful situations of life. I am encouraged EVERY time I listen as I hear women tell of God’s faithfulness to them through their muddy moments. Our God is so good to us and it never hurts to hear real life stories of God at work.

This American Life: You’ve no doubt heard of this one. Ira Glass is NOT a personal friend of mine like the previous ones but it would be pretty cool if he was. Maybe someday. This is a famous and captivating weekly radio show that is based on a theme each week and deals with topics relating to (you guessed it) this American life.

Story Corps: This is such a neat one! In their words, “each week we share unscripted conversations, revealing the wisdom, courage, and poetry you might not notice walking down the street”. There is an ap you can get on your phone that allows YOU to record an interview with someone about a topic of your choice. You can then send it to Story Corps and they might broadcast it. I cry almost every episode. Just stand there in my kitchen crying. It only serves to solidify the hunch my kids had that I am a weirdo.

Stuff You Should Know: This podcast delves into the craziest minutia. I have learned about the origins of the slinky and the history of Tupperware. I know more about spiders and earwax now too. I can’t explain why, but they are able to make incredibly weird topics riveting.

How To Do Everything: Similar to Stuff You Should Know. It is basically full of intriguing interviews and the history of interesting ideas about things you didn’t know you needed to know.

Ted Radio Hour: You’ve heard of TED talks, yes? Each of these episodes goes on a “journey of fascinating ideas” and includes excerpts of TED talks. So interesting. I promise you will learn a lot.

Barefoot Books Podcast: My kids are obsessed with this. If I’m honest, I really love it too. It has lots of children’s stories from all over the world told by talented narrators. They are each about 10 minutes long and are engaging even for toddlers. If you go to their website, they even have coloring book pages that correspond with the stories. Fun!

This Is Your Life: This is a leadership podcast from Michael Hyatt. It is intensely practical and encouraging. It has helped me realize that we are ALL leaders in some capacity. We might as well be good ones. I highly recommend this one.

10.5 Read-Aloud Revival: Sorry. Just one more! This is a very helpful resource that teaches easy and helpful ways for parents to create a culture of reading in their home. We read SO much more in our family now. I know this shift will greatly benefit my kids and also it is endearing us to one another as we spend more time engaging as a family now.

Because I’m American, I know this list might not be what’s on your list! I’d love to add a few other countries to my playlist. Regardless of your nationality, what are your favorite podcasts?


  1. Patty Stallings June 14, 2015

    Thanks, Emily!  I love podcasts!  A few of my favorites are

    Coaching for Leaders:  Host Dave Stachowiak and interesting guests generously share insights on a variety of aspects of leadership. And he seems like such a friendly guy. 🙂

    Life Craig Groeschel Audio I just like his preaching.  BTW, this is the church that puts out the YouVersion app.

    NPR Planet Money: the global economy made accessible to non-economists like me

    A Prairie Home Companion’s News from Lake Wobegon: Garrison Keillor captures aspects of what was most endearing of living in a small Midwestern town

    99% Invisible:  design and architecture is all around us but rarely noticed


    1. emily thomas June 17, 2015

      Love these suggestions!  Looking them up now! 🙂

  2. Denise June 14, 2015

    I too enjoy podcasts. Here is some techs things that help me. You can find podcasts on iTunes, but there are other places too. I watch some video podcasts on you tube and I use Downcast for audio podcasts. I am an “Apple” person, but iTunes was putting all my podcasts on both my phone and my iPad, so I switched to downcast on my phone for audio podcast and use my iPad for video ones. You can find all sorts of types of podcasts in the different search areas. Being overseas from the states I did not have many knitter friends when I first came and now I listen to knitting podcasts as a little knitter support group. So maybe you have a special hobby that you can find a podcast for also. If you are a knitter I like Knitmore girls as an audio. Podcast and A Homespun House on YouTube is a good video one.  I have listened to quite a few on your list, but you have given me some new ones to try. I will pass on a few to my son who has toddlers in the house!

    1. Lauren Pinkston June 15, 2015

      So good, Emily, and thanks for these tips, Denise! I need to get my podcast life organized I do believe…

    2. emily thomas June 17, 2015

      How fun that you have found a knitting community!  I had never heard of Downcast.  That sounds really useful. Thanks!

  3. Amy Young June 14, 2015

    Krista Tippet’s interviews are not to be missed!!! — She finds such interesting people to interview and asks them such good questions 🙂

    I also listen to a ton of podcasts about writing — but i have a feeling many of you will find that dull as dirt 🙂 and that’s cool.

    1. emily thomas June 17, 2015

      Hadn’t heard of Krista!  I love good interviewers though.  Not everyone is.  Checking hers out!

  4. Jilida June 15, 2015

    Those sound cool! My favorite is the monthly ones put out by the Great Courses. They are along the same line as TED talks…really specific information about a particular item.

    In general I think podcasts, or even reading lots of books, can be super important for ex-pats. It is easy for us to spend so much time learning the language of our host culture that sometimes we forget our English might regress if we aren’t intentionally feeding it academic material. Thanks for the suggestions!

    1. emily thomas June 17, 2015

      Just looked this one up!  It looks so interesting.  Love the topics they are covering.

  5. Danielle Wheeler June 16, 2015

    Really looking forward to perusing these podcasts!  I love Tsh Oxenreider’s The Art of Simple podcasts.  Always interesting, and she throws in lots of helpful, practical gems in there.

    1. emily thomas June 17, 2015

      She’s awesome!  I can’t believe I didn’t add that one!  Her instagram pictures of her time in Chiang Mai were KILLING me!  I miss that place so much. 🙂

  6. Elaine June 18, 2015

    Thank you for sharing your list! Several fun podcasts that I am enjoying: 1) Happier with Gretchen Rubin (she wrote The Happiness Project, Happier at Home, and Better Than Before) 2) Mystery Show, a quirky little podcast about solving mysteries that you can’t solve by going online. Surprisingly touching and fun! 3) Dear Sugar Radio hosted by Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond. Thank you again for sharing your favorites!

  7. Felicity Congdon June 19, 2015

    Love all the suggestions!  Thank you SOO much! I’m going to look into these! Here are two more I love that haven’t been mentioned:

    The Allender Center Podcast – Dan Allender does this, it’s relatively new like in the past year, they have been so so good for my husband and I lately because we just got to the field after years of preparing and have been in transition for over a year now and from Mart-April he was talking a lot about Trauma and how it affects us physically, spiritually, relationally, etc. So helpful!


    Sparkle Stories – They have several series’ but my kids (5&3 yr) love the Martin and Sylvia series (the others they haven’t really gotten into) and I love it too. They are a homeschooling family, not necessarily Christian, but have great values such as caring for their community/environment, being a good neighbor/friend/sister, getting out into nature, learning new things…etc. I feel like it helps to be a better parent too because the parents respond well to Marin and Sylvia when they’re fighting or dealing with emotional struggles, etc. It’s a great alternative to TV during road trips, plane rides, rest time, etc. They put out one free story/wk and they alternate which series the story comes from, so we just wait for the Martin and Sylvia series stories and snag them. You can pay for a subscription get a Martin and Sylvia story every week, but my household is not consistent enough in this season to listen that often and my kids like to listen to the same stories over and over again anyway. I highly recommend their story of Yom Kippur (which isn’t available for free currently, but if you keep an eye out it will probably come out again for free in the fall when Yom Kippur comes around)—helped spur on one of my first conversations with my daughter about about sin, guilt, casting our sin-stones into the river and being forgiven (M&S were learning about Yom Kippur because they had a Jewish friend who was celebrating it).

  8. Kaely June 10, 2016

    Hi there! I love your suggestions especially for kids! Wanted to add 2 of my favorites: The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey and Front Porch with the Fitzes. Both are entertaining, real and pointing their listeners to Jesus! Thanks for putting this list together!

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