Podcasts To Distract From Traffic, Washing Dishes, and Other Responsibilities

I started listening to podcasts when I moved to Houston from my time spent in Fayetteville, Arkansas when I transferred for my last two years of college. Houston can be described as a big, bustling city with horrible public transit that forces everyone to drive their personal vehicles everywhere, thus backing up many of Houston’s main streets. So, every morning, I sat in rush hour traffic with pretty much the entirety of the oil and gas industry on my way to 8 AM Spanish III at UH. It was 2016 and podcasts were just gaining popularity, so I decided to give them a try in order to distract myself from the glow of the brake lights that lined I-45.

The first podcast I ever listened to was called “Anxiety Guru”. It isn’t made anymore, but you might be able to listen to old archived episodes. I had the WORST anxiety with driving. I’d been in an accident the summer before and being in a complex loop system where you occasionally (read: very often) needed to cut across 6 lanes of traffic to make your exit made my palms sweat and my ears ring. I quite literally would replay and replay this one episode all about driving anxiety, and it actually helped me. Think of the hypnosis tape that Chandler listens to in “Friends” to help him quit smoking and that was my relationship with this podcast – I literally had to have it on to drive calmly!

After I listened to every single episode, I needed something else to binge. (Podcasts, you’ll find, are similar to Netflix shows – when you find a good one, you just want to keep following along!)

I was going through a rough patch with anxiety. I was living all alone, away from my family, doing long distance with then-boyfriend (now-fiancé), and everything just felt so shaken in my life. I just wanted to be happy and wanted to implement things in my daily life that would make me happy.

And then I found “Happier” by Gretchen Rubin. I loved the banter between Gretchen and her co-host/TV writer sister Elizabeth. And the tips – the TIPS ARE SO GOOD. I remember them all to this day and frequently bring them up in therapy – lol. And if you’re a listener of the podcasts, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that I am an Upholder. (Find out what your tendency is here.)

So that was it for me really. After those two really helpful podcasts that were basically never-ending self help books that got read aloud to me – I was hooked. I listened while I cleaned my apartment, I fell asleep to them, I ran to them at the park, I played them on planes to distract myself from my fear of flying (I am an emotionally complex person), and they just became so important in my daily life.

I’ll share a few more that I really love, but I don’t mean it lightly when I say some of these have really changed my life. From Forever35 always reminding me to reframe the narrative to my favorite interview with Lauren Graham on Dax Shepard’s podcast, I’ve learned so much and feel like sharing my favorites with the world!

If you have any podcasts you LOVE but I didn’t mention, please drop them in the comments for everyone to check out.