• Katie

5 Podcasts That Have Been Getting Me Through Quarantine

2020: The year of the coronavirus pandemic. The year of lockdown. Quarantine. Whatever you want to call it.

Staying busy and occupied is critical to our collective mental health right now. I am privileged in my ability to do my work from home. Others are not, and it is important to note this difference. Being bored during the pandemic is a luxury that not everyone has been afforded, making it more important now than ever to extend a helping hand to our friends and family by checking in, sharing things that bring joy, and taking plenty of time for yourself and your brain to recover.

Some have been accomplishing this by lovingly nurturing their new sourdough children. Others have been learning a new hobby or binge-watching Tiger King on Netflix. Me? I’ve been filling my time in lockdown with podcasts, and more podcasts. Podcasts when I shower. Podcasts when I’m cross-stitching in the evenings. Podcasts while I do chores. It’s not only been helping me pass the time, but keeping me thinking about the world around me despite being unable to interact with it anymore.

Below are my five favorite podcasts that have been getting me through these hard times. Give them a listen, maybe they’ll help your brain too!

Number 1: And That’s Why We Drink

From their website: “And That’s Why We Drink is a paranormal and true crime podcast hosted by Christine Schiefer, Em Schulz, and boxed wine…Join us every Sunday for some chilling ghost stories and downright terrifying true crime stories. The world’s a scary place. And that’s why we drink!”

This podcast will always take my top spot, global pandemic or not. The subject matter is the perfect combination of my storytelling interests (supernatural and true crime), and the hosts, Christine Schiefer and Em Schulz, converse in the same way that I do with my best friends. They are just as dumb and silly and ridiculous as me and my best friends are, so listening to them feels familiar and comfortable, even while talking about dark subject matter (which, Em and Christine are just as horrified by as the listener). This podcast is filled with laughs, cringes, and entertaining storytelling sure to get you through even the longest day of lockdown.

Aptly Anxious recommended episodes:

  1. Episode 6: The Human Hair Version and the Worst Social Studies Class Ever

  2. Episode 16: Horse Grunts and the 1900s Policeman Who Was Also a Scarf Person

  3. Episode 18: An Even Worse Eyeball Story and the Adventures of Captain Midnight

  4. Episode 25: Ghostly Frenemies and Alcala-ism

  5. Episode 39: A Girl Named German and La La Land 1 and ½

  6. Episode 53: The Perm of the Century and A Call to the Apron Factory

  7. Episode 79: A Demonic Cold Sore and the World’s Smallest Violin

  8. Episode 86: The Haunted Doll Market and 420 Zodiac

  9. Episode 90: High Quality Demonic Excitement and a Serial Killer Crossover

  10. Episode 102: Quantum Madness and an Abundance of Icicles

  11. Episode 146: Iceberg Feet and Valuable Skittles

Number 2: Life Kit (from NPR)

From their website: “Everyone needs a little help being a human. From sleep to saving money to parenting and more, we talk to the experts to get the best advice out there. Life Kit is here to help you get it together.”

Life Kit provides all the advice I never knew I needed. From how to get out of debt to how to make friends as an adult, I’ve learned so many valuable things from this podcast that are sure to stay with me through life. It’s not often that I feel the need to re-listen to episodes of the podcasts I like, but Life Kit provides SO much useful information, that I find myself revisiting and sharing these episodes like it’s my damn job. And they do a good job of considering the wide variety of lives that the average American may be leading, not just us privileged white people. They’ve also got a bunch of episodes on how to keep your head above water during lockdown. I’m still early on in the podcast so I haven’t gotten to these episodes yet, but I’m sure they are great!

Aptly Anxious recommended episodes:

  1. Talking Race With Young Children

  2. Get Started Saving

  3. Take Control Of Your Care When You’re Seriously Sick

  4. 7 Strategies For Digging Out Of Debt

  5. Tips For Talking To Kids About Sex

Number 3: The Dollop

From their website: “The Dollop is a bi-weekly American History Podcast. Every week, Dave Anthony reads a story to his friend, Gareth Reynolds, who has no idea what the topic is going to be about.”

The Dollop has become my favorite way to easily find laughs in a time when laughs can feel hard to come by. Bonus points for The Dollop because I also learn incredible things from this podcast that help me understand how this country and all of its idiosyncrasies came to be. Small disclaimer: Dave Anthony and Gareth Reynolds are both cisgender white dudes, so sometimes that privilege can come into play in their storytelling. But overall, I find that they are fairly aware of this and are quick to point out social injustice in the majority of the stories told.

Aptly Anxious recommended episodes:

  1. Episode 1: Cliven Bundy

  2. Episode 5: Hugh Glass

  3. Episode 7: American Vampire Panic

  4. Episode 8: The Dolphin

  5. Episode 12: The Rube

  6. Episode 13: Colonial Teeth

  7. Episode 17: Rainbow Man

  8. Episode 25: The Two Dog Men

  9. Episode 46: The Cereal Men – Live w/ Patton Oswalt (LISTEN TO THIS. SERIOUSLY. SO GOOD.)

  10. Episode 73: Mike The Chicken

  11. Episode 104: The Hippo Bill

  12. Episode 110: Burke and Wills – Live w/ Wil Anderson

  13. Episode 134: Count Dante

Number 4: Crime Junkie

From their website: “Crime Junkie is a weekly true crime podcast dedicated to giving you a fix. Every Monday, Ashley Flowers will tell you about whatever crime she’s been obsessing over that week in a way that sounds like you’re sitting around talking crime with your best friends. The storytelling is straightforward and free of rabbit holes so the cases stay suspenseful and are easy to follow. If you can never get enough true crime… Congratulations, you’re a Crime Junkie!”

So obviously I’m a white woman. Which I think means I’m morally obligated to be into true crime. Which means I listen to Crime Junkie. Crime Junkie is one of the more well-done true crime podcasts that I have found. The host, Ashley Flowers, had already been working closely with Crime Stoppers before the birth of this podcast, and throughout the podcast she works as closely with law enforcement as law enforcement will allow. The journalistic storytelling and commitment to tell the lesser-known stories sets this true crime podcast apart from all the others.

Aptly Anxious recommended episodes:

  1. MISSING: Bryce Laspisa

  2. WANTED: Killer on the High Bridge

  3. SERIAL KILLER: Bible John

  4. MURDERED: The Powell Family

  5. CONSPIRACY: Women in the U.S. Military

  6. MISSING: Asha Degree

  7. MURDERED: Robert Wone

  8. MYSTERIOUS DEATH OF: Kendrick Johnson

  9. SERIAL KILLER: Israel Keyes

  10. MURDERED: Annamarie Cochrane Rintala

Number 5: The Hilarious World of Depression

From their website: “A show about clinical depression…with laughs? Well, yeah. Depression is an incredibly common and isolating disease experienced by millions, yet often stigmatized by society. The Hilarious World of Depression is a series of frank, moving, and, yes, funny conversations with top comedians who have dealt with this disease, hosted by veteran humorist and public radio host John Moe.”

It is no secret that I am someone who lives with chronic major depressive disorder (MDD), and this experience can be polarizing and isolating. The Hilarious World of Depression offers a refreshing perspective on living with clinical depression, or “Clinny-D,” as it’s referred to on this podcast – and it’s one of humor! Hearing other people, celebrities and otherwise, talking about going through the same things my depression has put me through makes me feel so undeniably understood. Hearing how truly not alone we are when squaring up with this invisible illness is heartening. Only criticism on this podcast is that it can be a little white-centric. Granted, I’m still in some of the early episodes, so I don’t know if this will change the more I listen, but it felt worthwhile to note!

Aptly Anxious recommended episodes:

  1. Episode 1: Peter Sagal Opens Up

  2. Episode 3: Sam Grittner Finds a Funny Thing Happened On the Way to Suicide

  3. Episode 4: Dick Cavett Tells Tales of Hollywood’s Secret Shame

  4. #PLACEBO: A Conversation with Ana Marie Cox

I hope that you are finding ways to keep your chin up right now. Maybe some of these podcasts will help with that! However you find your solace, keep lifting each other. Check in with the people around you, that includes yourself. I’m rooting for you.


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