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19 Notable Podcasts About Parenting

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As the mother of a spirited 2-year-old, I don’t have barrels of leisure time. And honestly, that’s a big reason why I love podcasts: I can listen while I clean the bathroom or do something fairly productive. 

This week I’m sharing some of my favorite parenting podcasts, all of which take a smart, modern-day approach. For more recommendations in a variety of categories, visit the archive, and please send your own ideas via Twitter and the comments.

FOR MOMS AND DADS

The Longest Shortest Time
This podcast from WNYC features bold, fresh stories about what it’s really like to raise kids in the 21st century. How should parents talk with their kids about sex? How should families discuss race and ethnicity? It goes beyond your traditional parenting program or mag, and that’s an admirable thing. 

Mom & Dad Are Fighting
In Slate’s well-produced podcast, you get a little of everything: interviews, news, chatter from parents who’ve been there. Eps have dealt with everything from single motherhood to marijuana-smoking parents. Honestly, it’s one of the few parenting podcasts my husband and I can listen to together.

Zen Parenting 
Todd Adams and Cathy Cassani Adams are married parents trying to raise three daughters while also trying to nurture their relationship. Episodes can feel a little like therapy sessions, but hearing the couple discuss what they’ve learned has probably helped spark some deeper discussions among listeners. 

Your Mom’s House 
Comedians (and spouses) Christina Pazsitzky and Tom Segura helm this popular show, which may fall a little more into the comedy category than a parenting one (though there is lots of poop-related talk). The pair snags great guests (like recent guest Gloria Estefan), and they can also be seen on truTV’s How to Be a Grown Up

The Mom Hour
Bloggers Sarah Powers and Meagan Francis have eight kids between them, so they’ve certainly picked up a few tips along the way. Their podcast is cheerful and relatable, with practical advice on things like teaching manners and how to camp with kids. 

TEDTalks: Kids and Family
TEDheads with kids may be interested in this collection, which rounds up the best family-related stories. New episodes don’t appear regularly, but when they do, they’re worth watching. (I dug one about a beautifully designed kindergarten in Tokyo.) 

Pratfalls of Parenting
A Pod City reader told me about this podcast about creativity.  Each episode features a conversation with a writer, filmmaker, visual artist or other artistic person about what it’s like to make stuff and be a parent. 

FOR THE MOMS 

Atomic Moms
Bianca Kajlich and Ellie Knaus host this popular show about modern motherhood that welcomes guests ranging from actresses to a lactation consultant. Recent installments have focused on C-sections and sleep training. 

Totally Mommy
Hosted by well-known podcaster Elizabeth Laime (Totally Laime), Totally Mommy spotlights new parents and features smart, funny guests like actress Rosemarie Dewitt and June Diane Raphael

One Bad Mother
This comedy podcast features Biz Ellis and Theresa Thorn talking about how to have a life outside of potty training and temper tantrums. Sometimes they address serious topics (like dealing with anxiety), but the appeal is that they don’t take themselves too seriously. 

For Crying Out Loud
No topic is off-limits for hosts Lynette Carolla (yep, wife of podcaster Adam Carolla) and author Stefanie Wilder-Taylor. Twice a week the women interview guests and chat about their lives at home, which involve a blend of raising their kids and watching Bravo shows after bedtime. 

The Boob Group
My breastfeeding days are behind me, but if you’re nursing or plan to nurse in the near future, this podcast offers heaps of support and advice.

Gaming with the Moms
There’s no shortage of video game podcasts, but this one offers a unique perspective from Linda Breneman, Nicole Tanner, and Simone de Rochefort, who share news and recommendations for fun family gaming. 

Spawned
On this new show, hosts Liz Gumbinner and Kristen Chase offer an easygoing blend of humor, tips, and real-life confessions. It’s easy to tell these women are truly friends, and that chemistry makes Spawned all the more listenable. 

FOR THE DADS 

Turning This Car Around
In this comedy podcast hosted by dads Jon Armstrong, John Moltz, and Lex Friedman, the men share what’s happening with their kids (how do you prevent carsickness?) as well as what isn’t. As is the case with many shows on this list, don’t listen with your children in the same room; it can get a little raunchy. 

Digital Dads
Brent Basham and Andrew Currie love technology and geek culture almost as much as they love their kids. This show has a lot of heart (particularly when we hear the kids on the mic), and they put a lot of research into their fun topics, like whether redheads may indeed possess superpowers. 

Love, Dad
This Earwolf podcast from ended back in 2012, but the episodes hold up, and pop culture-loving dads may dig guests like Ethan Embry and Grant-Lee Phillips. Hosted by actor-comedian David Koechner and Jeff Ullrich, the men delve into the pleasures and pitfalls of fatherhood. 

The Modern Dads Podcast
This thoughtful podcast examines important issues like balancing work and family and understanding men’s mental health. Episodes mix friendly conversation with useful information, often provided by guest experts. 

Making Dad with Chip & Zach
This new podcast comes from Chip Dolce and Zach Anderson, two self-deprecating dads who hope listeners will learn from their mistakes. The dads devote a lot of time to pop culture (like discussing terrible children’s books) and aren’t afraid to taste lactation cookies so we don’t have to.

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S-Town Podcast Is Being Turned Into a Movie

S-Town, a seven-part podcast from Serial and This American Life, has all the trappings of a binge-worthy story. It all started when a man from the tiny town of Woodstock, Alabama asked a reporter to investigate a local man from a wealthy family who allegedly boasted he had gotten away with murder.

As for what happens next, “someone else ends up dead, sparking a nasty feud, a hunt for hidden treasure, and an unearthing of the mysteries of one man's life,” reads the 2017 podcast’s synopsis, without giving too much away.

Now, that riveting story is being turned into a movie with This American Life’s participation, IndieWire reports. Participant Media acquired the rights to the S-Town podcast, and negotiations are underway to get playwright Samuel Hunter and director Tom McCarthy on board. McCarthy is perhaps best known for directing and co-writing 2015's Oscar-winning Spotlight; he also co-wrote Up and was an executive producer and director for the controversial Netflix series 13 Reasons Why.

S-Town was downloaded over 10 million times over a period of four days after its release, and it received a Peabody Award for the radio/podcast category, according to IndieWire. Just last month, HBO and Sky announced they would be releasing a documentary series about Adnan Syed, the focus of the first season of the Serial podcast, which is developed by This American Life.

In case you missed S-Town when it premiered, you can go back and listen to it here.

[h/t IndieWire]

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There's Now a Podcast That Plays Nothing But Laughter for Six Hours Straight
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If you’re the kind of person who loathes sitcoms with a laugh track, this one probably isn’t for you. A podcast (that might be a generous term) called “Radio Haha” has been launched in celebration of World Laughter Day on May 6, and it plays nothing but laughter—for six hours straight.

In the podcast, produced by UK apartment share service SpareRoom, you’ll hear some guffaws and giggles, and plenty of cackles and chortles. It may seem absurd at first, but listen long enough and you might find yourself laughing, too. That’s because laughter is contagious, even when it comes from an artificial source.

One study by neuroscientist and “laughter expert” Robert Provine revealed that 90 percent of test subjects smiled while listening to 19 seconds of laughter generated by a novelty store toy, and nearly half laughed along. This study and others like it suggest that the dreaded laugh track does in fact work, even if many modern TV viewers find it tacky.

Science has also shown that many health benefits are associated with laughter. Not only does it release endorphins that make you feel good, but it also relieves stress, improves your immune system, reduces blood pressure, relieves pain, and improves brain function.

Presented with all this evidence, one doctor in India invented “laughter yoga,” a movement that has been growing ever since it was founded in 1995. Dr. Madan Kataria realized that even forced laughter can trigger a genuine giggle, leading him to create the very first laughter club, which spawned the first World Laughter Day.

The inaugural event in Mumbai, India, attracted over 12,000 members of local and international “laughter clubs." Participants carried signs, marched, and bellowed "ho-ho-ho, ha-ha" in unison, making it seem a little more like a protest than a joyous celebration. (If so, it would have been the happiest protest in history.) Check out some footage of the first World Laughter Day below.

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