good conversation...with erin herbst

Meet Erin! We became friends in San Francisco. She is good at a lot of things, and particularly better than I am at: healthy living, graphic design, shutting down trolls, and podcast listening. 

6 Underrated Podcasts To Inspire and Make You Feel On Top of Your Shit

by Erin Herbst

I wish I was a classy woman that read a lot. You know, the type of mysterious woman that immerses herself in a second-hand copy of Atlas Shrugged while riding the bus home. The self-caring woman that kicks off her heels and sits cross-legged in a Lush-scented bubble bath at the end of a work-day, consumed in a dampened copy of War and Peace. The quirky woman that can wax poetic about Harry Potter and defend JK Rowling’s plot choices. The collected woman that always has the right Elizabeth Gilbert or Hemingway quote tucked into her memory, ready to whip out to reassure a friend in moments of existential crisis (or when she wants to sound profound and educated AF in an Instagram caption). 

Here’s the reality: I haven’t picked up a book in almost four weeks. My last attempt to read in a moving vehicle ended with me vomiting delicately into my Trader Joe’s bag. I’m an intern so free time and long bubble baths ain’t happening till #money does. After multiple stabs at The Sorcerer’s Stone (with and without the assistance of Adderall) I’m starting to think that fantasy fiction just isn’t my jam. I curate most of my quotes these days from Facebook shares, Pinterest, and good old Google. Go ahead and judge me.

This being said, I love good stories. And I praise the podcast app for creating a storytelling medium that defies my first-world excuses. I’ll also add that having just entered my 20s, and realizing that I’m about to embark on a string of job interviews where I will inevitably and repeatedly be asked, “So, tell me about yourself,” listening to well-told stories can give you inspiration and ideas for how to share yours.

Ok, let’s get on with it. Here’s 6 podcasts to enrich your next commute, and get you thinking about your own story.

She Does interviews  Kiran Gandhi  - world-famous drummer, entrepreneur, feminist, and donut-glasses-wearer.

She Does interviews Kiran Gandhi - world-famous drummer, entrepreneur, feminist, and donut-glasses-wearer.

As tempted as I am to refer you to This American Life and Ira Glass’s buttery voice, I’ll refrain. TAL’s been getting love from the public since 1995. I want to introduce you to more hipster stuff damnit. Like TAL, Strangers features personal vignettes clustered around intangible themes. With mini-installments like “Dumb Shit We Do” and “Love Hurts,” it’s hard not to find some quote or story that resonates with parts of your own life.

Note to Self
Integrating touchy-feely personal narratives with emerging psychology research, Note To Self explores how technology shapes our interactions with the world as well and how we think about ourselves. I personally like this podcast because it gets me thinking about unusual ethical questions that aren’t touched upon in mainstream media. So I get to feel all deep and perceptive and edgy.

Megan Tann explores “how to maneuver your twenties, captured in real time” by recording her own year post-college graduation. Be prepared to slow-nod and whisper “yasssss,” as Megan perfectly summarizes your millennial frustrations and fears, and somehow brings glory to the whole scrappy-broke-confusion of early-stage adulting.

2 Dope Queens
Need a break from personal essays and thought-provoking discussions, or just need a good laugh? I spent too many months trynna find a stand-up comedy podcast that didn’t suck. Blessed was the day I found 2 Dope Queens. As Megan mentioned, the rapport between hosts Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams (former writer for the Daily Show) and the guest comedians they feature each week is hand-down hilarious. What’s even more enviable is the way they tackle (and make important call-outs) on all sorts touchy subjects like white privilege, feminism, and anal sex without alienating their listeners or going too far.  Also, the background soundtrack features some electronic congos guaranteed to GET YOU HYPEEE.

She Does
If you’re at a loss for strong female role models, get ready for that to change. Each episode of She Does features inspiring women who unapologetically seek to change the world through their creative work.  Guests really get into their personal stories, philosophies, and values which becomes helpful inspiration if you’re still clarifying those things for yourself and assembling the pieces of your own personal story puzzle. I personally have this podcast to thank for helping me discover two of my biggest bad-assicons Kiran Gandhi and Molly Crabapple, and highly recommend kicking off your She Does binge with their stories (episode 20 and episode 24).

In my opinion, if you have a vagina, you should be listening to this. Sophia Amoruso’s #girlboss podcast dishes out valuable non-mainstream life and professional advice, direct from women who have done it themselves. Each week the Nasty Gal founder sits down with a different girl boss and interviews her about her journey, her challenges, and advice for other women seeking to flip the bird to the glass ceiling and take control of their professional lives. Seriously, you’ll feel like you’ve just downloaded a lifetime of wisdom into your brain.

Each episode begins with 10-15 minutes of banter between Sophia and her best friend Liz. While some people may find it arbitrary, I personally enjoy listening to these two women recount their weekend and support for each other, as their conversation models the type of friendship and reassuring dialogue I want to create with my own friends.

Sophia Amoruso  on MTV  via

Sophia Amoruso on MTV via