Weekly podcasts column: Podcasts to listen to when you want to get away from your family

Posted on Nov 30 2017 - 7:59am by Ethel Mwedziwendira

I’m never sure what to do during the six-week break away from college. At times, living under my parents’ routine becomes dreadful.

I’ve already found myself questioning how many episodes of “Scandal” and reality show reruns I’ll cram into those six weeks. Or how many times my little sister will barge into room and disregard my privacy before I say enough is enough.

When the going gets tough, or when you just want to escape your family, the following podcasts serve as a breather from all that chaos. Grab some headphones, but don’t lock yourself in your room all day, because I’m pretty sure I just heard your mom calling you downstairs to take the chicken out of the freezer for dinner and to be productive.

You Made It Weird

Comedian Peter Holmes focuses on all things eccentric on his weekly comedy, “You Made It Weird.” In each lengthy episode, Holmes brings guests of all types on the show — authors, pastors, comedians, musicians and scientists. The podcast is both funny and serious, and it delves deep into topics that explore philosophy, and it gives advice on more serious things, like careers and relationships. Holmes brings a dynamic interview style to the table by asking guests three weird things they knew about him.

His style makes for an authentic and unique show. Previous guests on the show include stand-up comedian Dane Cook, Bill Nye and David Koechner.

Terrible, Thanks for Asking

“Terrible, thanks for asking” isn’t the typical response when asked how your day is; in fact, it’s straightforward and a bit awkward, and that’s exactly what this podcast is centered around. Host Nora McInerny will make you feel awkward at times, but she will also make you laugh and think about pressing situations worldwide, such as sexual assault, the justice system and the #Metoo movement — situations that aren’t brought up in everyday conversations. Launched last November, McInerny’s podcast illustrates each episode as if it’s a film, composed with graphic details and imagery. The podcast is honest and, at times, dark. By bringing these salient topics to the table, McInerny puts the topics into perspective, making the emotional rollercoaster after each listen worth it.



A psychological thriller, “Homecoming” focuses on a caseworker at an experimental facility, a soldier and her colleagues in its first season. The fictional podcast, through Gimlet Media, uses telephone calls and therapy sessions to create its dramatic environment. It features actors Catherine Keener, David Schwimmer and Oscar Isaac. Though it may resemble an HBO drama series when listening, the thriller is comprised of gripping narration and will make you map out what you’re hearing. Like any series, it requires concentration and attention to minute details to avoid missing important messages throughout the show. The plot is dimmed down, and the scope broadens in the second season, revealing new information and introducing new characters. Disclaimer, the second season isn’t as good as the first. Though it’s still a great story, the thrill isn’t similar to the first season. However, “Homecoming” is the perfect show to listen to on the long car ride home.

Design Matters

There are not many podcasts around about design, and as a designer, that’s both concerning and saddening — sometimes. “Design Matters” is every designer’s dream podcast. Hosted by writer and artist Debbie Millman, the show profiles leaders and educators in the design realm. Most episodes focus on how these leaders use design in their everyday lives and changes they’ve seen in the industry. But that’s not the only thing that’s discussed on the show. Previous episodes have featured interviews with guests about vulnerability, courage and collaboration in careers. Millman brings classic conversation to the show, making it thought-provoking and stimulating. She has interviewed iconic designers, ones I idolize and who are a big names in the design world. A personal favorite featured Michael Bierut on why he thinks design is cool. Bierut provides insight through personal experience, how he saves the creativity process for last when designing and how early he became interested in his profession. Not to mention, he was the designer behind Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential logo, which, in my opinion, is the perfect example of a simple yet modern logo that used thematic versatility. Whether you’re into design or not, this podcast is one that grabs the attention of everyone.