Feel-Good Podcasts for the Black Soul, Pt. 1

Maia Thornton

This summer I truly fell in love with podcasts. Whether while taking road trips or cleaning my room, podcasts had the same power of books: the incredible ability to see another perspective and be transported to another world, if only temporarily. The following podcasts were some of my favorites. From comedy to self-help, these podcasts are perfect for those looking for new voices to listen to.

Late Night Whenever: This WNYC Studios podcast, hosted by comedian Michelle Buteau, brings the listener into a hilarious, upbeat late night show setting. My favorite aspect is the variety of celebrity guests that Michelle hosts. Comedians and actresses such as Tessa Thompson, Danielle Brooks, Jersey Shore’s Vinny Guadagnino, SNL’s Sasheer Zamata, and D.L. Hughley, join Michelle in enlightening and hysterical conversations. Michelle discusses anything that late night television will not. No topic is off limits - from Dip-n-Dots to Tinder dates - Michelle creates a late night environment for her listeners that’s available whenever.

Sooo Many White Guys: The world of podcast production is severely dominated by white guys (surprise!). Hosted by Phoebe Robinson, this podcast points out and challenges this notion through putting a spotlight on artists, musicians, comedians, and creatives of color. The podcast features exciting guests such as Tyra Banks, Hannibal Buress, Yvonne Orji, and Vivica A. Fox. Through engaging in honest chats about art and representation, Phoebe continues to dismantle the idea of the “token Black girl” in every episode.

2 Dope Queens: Hosted by Phoebe Johnson and Jessica Williams, this WNYC Studios live comedy podcast features two young, lively, and distinct black women. Johnson and Williams spin the ordinary into an extraordinarily hilarious segment. Their casual demeanor and lighthearted atmosphere brings the listener right into the room with them. Every episode feels like sitting in a room gossiping with friends and cracking up over total nonsense. With each episode, these two queens engage their listeners through captivating anecdotes about, “sex, romance, race, hair journeys, living in New York, and Billy Joel” (WNYC Studios).

Therapy for Black Girls: For those looking for helpful tips on how succeed in life as a Black girl, Dr. Joy, a licensed psychologist specializing in the counseling of Black women, provides powerful and enlightening conversations on a variety of issues. Along with her own expertise, Dr. Joy invites guests to discuss issues such as racism, social media, relationship building, social anxiety, childhood trauma, and colorism & texturism. Besides her podcast, Dr. Joy also has a website with insightful articles pertaining to specific issues and stages in the life of a Black girl. Additionally, her website also offers a therapist directory for those looking for a Black therapist in their area. Although not a substitute for therapy, her content provides relevant and useful tips that gives her listeners the tools to explore their issues at a deeper level.

Black Girls in Om: This podcast focuses on self-love, self-care, and overall wellness for the Black girl. Lauren Ash and Deun Ivory take a more holistic approach on what it means to be well as a Black girl. The show invites leaders within the beauty and wellness industries to talk on the podcast in order uplift their listeners. Through in-depth conversations on topics such as intuitive eating, mindfulness, healing, skincare, and empowerment, the founders of Black Girls in Om hope to empower their listeners to strive for wellness in all areas of their life.

What podcasts have been inspiring you lately? Feel free to email me any suggestions to include in Part 2 at maia.thornton@vanderbilt.edu. Can’t wait hear from you!

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