4 Podcasts to Listen to While You’re Traveling This Holiday Season

Over the last few years, I’ve developed a love for podcasts. Whether I am doing my hair and makeup before work or running errands, podcasts help me learn new things and grow as an individual.

Some of you may be traveling this holiday season. Maybe it’s an out of state trip to see your parents. You might be taking a quick, local trip to visit family and friends. Or perhaps this year you’re traveling to meet your significant other’s family for the first time! You might want to spice up your holiday playlist by checking out some new podcast recommendations. In this list, you’ll find recommendations for everything from the funny to the thought provoking and relaxing.

Here are some podcasts to subscribe to, as well as which episodes to start with! 

1. Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend

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I don’t know about you, but I think our chaotic world right now could benefit from a bit more laughter and joy. My mom has been telling me about this podcast for awhile, and I finally bit the bullet and checked it out.

This podcast is a weekly chat where Conan hangs out with people he enjoys and perhaps finds a meaningful friendship along the way.

I would recommend starting with the episode when Bruce Springsteen is a guest. You can never go wrong with The Boss!

2. Inside Trader Joe’s 

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This fun little podcast was such a sweet treat to discover. Trader Joe’s is one of the most unique and fun places to shop for food, wine, seasonal products, flowers, and plants. From its humble beginnings as a small chain of eclectic Southern California convenience stores, Trader Joe’s has grown to become a popular national chain of 512 (and counting!) neighborhood grocery stores.

This podcast gives you an inside peek at all the interesting, unique things that make Trader Joe’s so special and loved. The podcast is short, fun, and interesting. Topics that are covered include company values, seasonal products, plants and flowers, a guide to coffee, and why is everyone so friendly.

I would recommend starting with their fall product guide to (pumpkin) spice up your shopping list or the chocolate lovers guide to Trader Joe’s

3. Unlocking Us with Brene Brown

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Best-selling author and shame researcher Brene Brown has helped many people with her books and TED talks on vulnerability, connection, courage, and shame. Her work benefited my own personal healing journey. In this podcast, she explores the people, books, stories, experiences, and ideas that capture the universal human experience. She covers everything from our bravest moments to the most painful ones.

I discovered this podcast shortly as the pandemic radically began to affect all our daily lives. While I may not agree with every principle she offers the listener to consider, I think her work and study on things like shame and vulnerability are beneficial to all humans, as these are things each of will wrestle with at some point or another. 

I would recommend starting with an earlier episode on anxiety and calm, something I think many of us can relate to right now. Another episode I very much enjoyed was with Reverend Michael Curry (interestingly enough the Episcopal minister who witnessed the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle!) on love and hope in troubling times.

One of the things I most enjoy about listening and subscribing to podcasts are the new and interesting things I can learn from other people, even if I may not always agree with or see eye to eye with them.

4. On Being

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I have long been a die-hard fan of this show. It was one of the first podcasts I ever subscribed to! This show is an open conversation about the deeper things of meaning and life – spirituality, social healing, creativity, science, the arts, and more.

Each week, the host Krista Tippett has a honest, vulnerable conversation with a different guest on a specific topic.

I find this show to be thoughtful and engaging. It often leads me to reflect deeply on an idea or topic. What does it mean to be human? How do we want to live our lives? Who will we be to each other? These are just a few of the many questions this show seeks to answer and reflect upon.

There are so many great episodes to choose from here, but here is a sampling of some of my favorites: Listening to the world with Mary Oliver, Navigating Loss Without Closure with Pauline Boss, and How to Be Grateful in Everything (But Not for Everything) with Bro. David Steindl-Rast

If you listen to podcasts, what are some of your favorite shows?

Hopefully wherever your holiday travel takes you this year, you will find some both enriching and engaging to enjoy!