Maia with her three mentioned podcast covers.

Favourite podcasts: Getting through 2020 and beyond

Maia Desjardins

By Amplify Team Date: June 14, 2021 Tags: Podcasting

Looking back at our first year as a network, we asked some of our members to reflect on the podcasts that got them through the global pandemic, revolution-filled year that was 2020 and beyond. One of the many things podcasts do well is help us cope with the unpredictability and constant changes that life can throw our way, especially in a year like the one we just had. In this series, we ask: What podcasts are helping you get through? What podcasts are inspiring you? What are your all-time favorites? 

We hope each post will give you a glimpse into the individual team members that make up The Amplify Network. If you have a podcast that is helping you get through, share it with us at @AmplifyPodcasts on Twitter or send us an email, we’d love to hear from you. 

In our last Favorite Podcasts post, Amplify podcaster Brenna Clarke Gray sat down over Zoom with Amplify supervising producer Stacey Copeland to share the top four podcasts Brenna listens to time and time again.

Next up, WLU Press Digital Project Coordinator Maia Desjardins sits down with Stacey to share the podcasts providing comfort and comic relief on her pandemic walks.

Maia Desjardins

Usually I like podcasts that sort of dissect current events or pop culture and media. But I feel like in 2020-2021 pandemic times, I had to hit a little bit more of a balance in what I listened to because sometimes current event podcasts aren't very uplifting. The one that I found myself turning to, still for discussion and assessment but with a little bit more levity, is The Dream. Hosted by Jane Marie, each season breaks down one ‘thing’, one big mysterious phenomenon, in depth . They'll spend a whole season on, say, multi-level marketing, and then a whole season on the wellness industry. I find it really interesting to listen to a show go so in depth into a subject I’m not necessarily familiar with and in a pandemic it became a way to relax myself. The pace is relaxing because each episode only covers a small area of the larger topic but the show still exposes the dark side, absolutely, of both of those industries. It's done in a really in-depth way that slowly peels back one layer at a time. 

The other podcast I’ve been listening to a lot in the past year is By The Book, by comedian Jolenta Greenberg and long-time podcaster Kristen Meinzer. The show is self described as a “half reality show, half self-help podcast, and one wild social experiment.” The two hosts read and live by the directives of a different self-help book for two weeks. Then afterwards they have an epilogue where they sort of assess what worked and what didn't and whether or not they'd actually recommend it. It's funny because I don't really read self-help books myself, but the podcast is done in a really interesting format that draws you in. It just feels like listening to friends chat about something. So you'll be on one of your aimless pandemic walks to absolutely nowhere just to get out of the apartment and you'll still get that feeling of socialisation and chatter. That's really pleasant. 

Last but not least, another podcast that provides a sense of socialisation and chatter for me in these times is The Guilty Feminist. Led by Deborah Frances White, it is another one hosted by comedians and the guests are comedians. It's very funny, while still discussing some serious current issues in feminism in an imperfect way. I find this one a comforting listen too. The pre-2020 episodes are mainly recordings from live shows so it can feel as if you’re listening as part of an audience which may tide over those awaiting the return of in-person events. 

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Keep your eyes peeled and your ears tuned in the months to come for more Favorite Podcasts posts from the Amplify Podcast Network.