My favorite podcast episodes About Families

By Assistant Editor Erica


As I’ve mentioned before, my love for audio books runs deep. However, sometimes I want to listen to something that’s less of a commitment, more of a nibble than a full feast. Enter the podcast.

Since podcasts run the gamut in both length and topic, finding one you like is a daunting task. Literally anyone with a recording device can make a podcast, so the options are vast! I’ve listened to everything from stories about the California raisin business on Planet Money to ones about Gilmore Girls on The Gilmore Guys. The ones I listen to the most regularly tend to be human interest stories with an emphasis on families. If that interests you as well, here are my favorite podcasts in that genre (warning – these will make you cry!)…

1. The Longest Shortest Time – Hosted by Hillary Frank, this podcast is “the parenting show for everyone.” On this show, I’ve heard sex advice for parents, a man undergoing a c-section simulation, and mostly, stories about all types of families. My favorite episodes are the series on the Accidental Gay Parents, in which a couple goes from clubbing it up one day to rescuing their niece and nephew from abandonment the next. I couldn’t stop thinking about the crazy adjustments these men made to their previously child-free life for this little boy and girl without even a second thought. That kind of love always gets me choked up.

2. Modern Love – Based on the New York Times column with the same name, Modern Love features various actors and actresses reading essays from that series as well as a follow-up with the essayists themselves. My favorite episode has been “My First Son, A Pure Memory,” written by a man about his wife’s miscarriage. I had never thought too much about how miscarriage affects the father, which was a big oversight on my part, and this episode showed me just how deeply men feel fertility issues. This one was definitely a tearjerker.

3. Death, Sex and Money – In this podcast, Anna Sale explores those topics that rarely make it into polite conversation even though we are all thinking about them. And when discussing difficult topics, family is bound to be a part of the discussion. “I Had Babies to Pay for My Babies,” in which a woman became a surrogate to pay off her hospital bills, is one of my favorite episodes because it gave me a peek into something I’ve always wondered – what is it like to be a surrogate? “We’re Not Going to Have Karl Again,” in which a couple talks about having a child after losing their first at 3-months-old, instantly grabbed my attention because I had read the New York Times article about Karl dying on his first day at day care. Their story of life after loss is one that stuck with me for a long, long time.

4. The History Chicks – Imagine sitting with two of your best friends at a coffee shop and chatting about other women. Well, that’s basically what this podcast is. Beckett Graham and Susan Vollenweider research a particular woman in history for each episode and then give us the rundown on that woman in such a conversational way that you forget you are learning. Naturally, any discussion of a woman’s personal history includes family stories of her parents, siblings, partners, and children.

One of my favorite episodes is about Lillian Gilbreth. Until I listened to this episode, I only knew her as a the mother of the Cheaper by the Dozen kids and had no idea that she was an inventor, engineer, professor, and all-around genius! I was so amazed at “how she did it all” (with 12 kids no less!) before that was even a phrase and wish everyone to know about the incredible things she accomplished.

Any favorite podcast episodes you’re loving lately?

Image of Assistant Editor Ashley’s sweet little girls from her instagram


Hello, after reading this remarkable piece of writing i am also glad to share my experience here with friends.


I love all the podcasts you listed and would add This American Life, Radiolab and How I Built This.

I am going to check out History Chicks- thanks for the tip!

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