What are your favorite alternative lifestyle podcasts?

Updated Aug 20 2018
meggyfin
By: francoisCC BY 2.0
Hey! I am super into podcasts these days, but it is hard to find podcasts about alternative lifestyles and such.

Do you guys have recommendations for podcasts about various lifestyles, subcultures, scenes, interests etc?

Thanks for being so rad! -Shawna

We've talked about favorite blogs, and even tv shows, but we haven't talked podcasts yet. So let's do it…

What are your favorite podcasts?

  1. I love, love, love Jen Kirkman's I Seem Fun podcast. I found out about Jen when I was looking for some childfree role models last year, so if you're in a similar boat, I really recommend her. She mostly records from home, though she does occasional live tapings, and I really like her grumpy, no-BS sense of humor. The original concept of the podcast was to talk about things that she thinks are fun that most people don't, and vice versa, which has kind of taken a backseat to her just talking about things going on in her life and doing impressions of her mother. It's funny and thoughtful and just kind of awesome.

  2. One of my favorites is Swinging Wake Radio. The host, Zoe Necrosis, does a little bit of everything in his hour-ish long podcasts. He's a big Anaheim Angels fan, as well as a Disney fan, and those things often make it into the episodes at least once. The music he plays ranges from metal to electronica to musicals. However, he hasn't updated regularly in a couple of years, which makes me sad, BUT his old episodes are really good. They're only slightly dated with information the Angels records and information about Bats Day at Disneyland.

    One of my other favorites isn't necessarily a "lifestyle" podcast, but it is nerdy and I bet lots of Homies are familiar with "Welcome to Nightvale." I would describe it as local radio/NPR from the Twilight Zone, at least that's how my girlfriend and I described it to her parents.

  3. Again, this might not be lifestyle per se, but grammarians and lexophiles might enjoy A Way With Words. The hosts discuss origins of those silly phrases your family always says, take questions from listeners about grammar, and put an end to silly word-related arguments we've all probably gotten into. For example, have you ever realized that when you go into a department store you can visit the Men's, Women's, or Junior's section. But you won't find Baby's; you'll shop in Baby.

    It's played on some NPR stations, but none around me. I listen to their podcasts on their website here: http://www.waywordradio.org/

  4. I just started listening to podcasts because of the new one with RuPaul and Michelle Visage called What's the Tee and it's very charming and entertaining. Also just started getting into Welcome to Nightvale which is pretty awesome.

  5. I mostly listen to short story podcasts, specifically the fantasy or Sci-Fi genres. Favorites of those are: Escape Pod, PodCastle, Clarkesworld Magazine (which features the same woman reading the stories each week which makes it like coming home to an old friend. Also her voice, like butter it is!), and flash fiction from Toasted Cake. All of these have at some point run stories with queer or alternate-sexuality themes which is important to me. For other random stories I like the ever-popular The Moth.

    I've also subscribed to Polyamory Weekly, which provides awesome Q&A discussions from listener questions.

    Tristan Taormino puts out a weekly podcast (or you can listen live) which is called Sex Out Loud. The topics run a broad spectrum of sexuality and are both fun and informative in a non judgmental way.

    • Welcome to Night Vale is *so good*. I only recently started listening and marathoned about 5 hours of it at work yesterday.

  6. Savage love! It's the best. I don't think of it as "alternative" lifestyle, but only because it embraces pretty much all lifestyles. It's a sex advice show with Dan Savage, and he'll field anything from the basic "how to I deal with this issue with my 16 year old girlfriend" to "how do I raise my kids while in an open, poly relationship" to "how should I come out as asexual to my parents". Plus a lot of, you know, a lot of graphic sex stuff, which is really the only way to survive a metro commute in DC early in the morning.

    • I was coming here to say the same thing. I don't really think of Savage Love as alternative but he's definitely not mainstream.

    • To tie this post together with yesterday's "sleep alarm" one, I listen to Dan every night as I fall asleep. He's repetative enough that I don't try to stay awake to hear the end of a call, and interesting enough to take my mind off my stress. My husband teases me that I'm a straight woman who sleeps with Dan every night, but it works!

    • Savage Love is the only reason I survived long drives from Detroit to the UP and back when I lived up there! Now it gets me through having to cook dinner several times a week. 😛

  7. I like The Permaculture Podcast with Scott Mann. He's doing some good work with bringing awareness of different aspects of sustainability, community markets, food forestry, etc. He posts a couple times a week and I don't always listen to podcasts so it's hard to keep up sometimes but I try to make time to listen. He interviews people in the permaculture world and about topics such as wild eating, urban farms and women in the permaculture movement.

    I also like The Drunken Taoist although it's kind of male oriented. (I keep listening because the host Danieli Bolelli has a lovely Italian accent.) He's a professor and has written a couple of books I think. He's interested in martial arts, but he's fairly anti war from what I've listened to. He has some dissatisfaction with the current mainstream lifestyle and ideals and ways of interacting with the world through greed and self interest. I'm not sure what the show is truly about but I like his political viewpoints and ideas about life and self improvement. He has had some cool guys on to interview.

    Finally I like The Secular Buddhist sometimes because of the bent toward harmony, meditation, etc but sometimes it gets a little too Buddhist for me. (By that I just mean that I like Eastern philosophy but don't consider myself a Buddhist so some episodes talk about strictly Buddhist concepts more than I need to hear.)

    A shout out to "My Brother, My Brother and Me" because they make me laugh.
    Not sure how alternative these are but I just got into podcasts too so I'm interested in what everyone else is listening to.

    • I like My Brother My Brother and Me as well a Sawbones! Maximum Fun has some great shows now.

      Try Buddhist Geeks if you're into some eastern religion perspectives. I find it really interesting about 99% of the time. (I consider myself Buddhist but I really know what you mean about Secular Buddhist. He gets a bit into the weeds for me sometimes.)

      • Yes to Sawbones! It's a show about medical history that manages to be light, cutesy and not too gross… and each episode still covers a lot of material. It's hosted by a doctor and her husband, which is really sweet.

  8. An artist/children's book author and her husband the sysadmin eat Wal-Mart food while accidentally discussing: life as a telephone dominatrix, monarch butterfly migrations, the terrors of gardening, offerings of butter and cattle mutilation.

    Kevin and Ursula Eat Cheap is a podcast I refuse to miss.

    They're inclusive and somewhat alternative by default.

  9. I love Risk! It advertises itself as "True Tales Boldly Told" and they often cover alternative lifestyle/sexuality (I definitely just listened to one about a man with a gnome fetish.) and they manage to make it more about the human experience of it than "gawking at the weirdos" which is really nice.

    I also love Buddhist Geeks for my tech-meets-worldview fix & Destination DIY for my non-consumer-lifestyle fix. If you like quirky stories, try 99% Invisible which is about the hidden world in the buildings around us. Not "alternative" per se, but it's so fascinating to hear these stories that I canNOT resist giving it a mention.

    Man, I listen to A LOT of podcasts…but I'm training for an ultramarathon and they keep me company :).

    • I love RISK too! and Snap Judgement and The Moth podcast (basically I loves me some storytelling pod casts)
      Good job Brain is great too if you love trivia. 🙂

      • I love Good Job, Brain! My husband and I mainlined it for about 18 hours driving from ATL to Denver. Ask Me Another is also great for trivia buffs

        • Melissa! It's Karen from Good Job, Brain! Fancy meeting you here. Thanks for listening to the show. 🙂

          An offbeat trivia fact: I was once featured in Offbeat Bride for my videogame zoo wedding.

          • Karen! I love you guys!

            I'm also an avid runner/marathoner and love hearing your stories about races. I just started listening last summer when we were on our cross country roadtrip honeymoon. Y'all were a huge part of our trip and a lot of my fond memories of it involve my husband and I trying to beat each other to an answer on a quiz while navigating some crazy roads through Colorado's parks.

            I've been saving the new episode "Cracking the Code" for our road trip to NC this weekend. In a past life I was cryptographer in the Navy and have been able to see an Enigma machine when I was stationed at NSA. They are crazy looking and the story just makes it that much more fascinating. I can't wait to hear y'all's coverage of it! Keep up the killer work!

  10. My favourite podcast series is The Moth, which is "true stories, told live without notes". Some stories are hilarious, some are harrowing, and some may not be of particular interest to you, but they're all told well. The creators describe it as the kinds of stories that you wouldn't hear unless you were friends with this person for a decade, and it's wonderful to hear about really unique experiences that other people have encountered.

    I've only heard a few episodes of Risk! but that is also fun. When one woman described her first experience in a lesbian kinky poly community, I felt so chuffed because she was essentially describing the kind of people I live with.

    And yeah, I can't rate Welcome to Night Vale highly enough. Stop reading me yammer, go download and be soothed by Cecil's voice. (My metamore often uses Night Vale to ease herself out of anxiety attacks, or to ease her insomnia.)

    • The great thing about The Moth, is that they travel around to different venues for different kinds of stories. I have had several Moth nights within an hour's drive from me (although I've never been able to get tickets to go).

  11. We've mentioned the Smart Bitches, Trashy Books blog before. http://smartbitchestrashybooks.com/ Their podcast is great! Really smart, totally frank discussion about romance novels. They are not shy about the kinds of books they read, either – erotica, BDSM, LGBT, teen romance, paranormal romance… it runs the gamut!

  12. My favorite podcast is Skeptoid. It takes things like urban legends, mysteries, conspiracies, and alternative medicine and gives them a scientific break down.

    Penn's Sunday School is a good one for atheists,Bullshit fans, Penn and Teller fans, fans of Jillette's books, or people who like to hear wacky stories from behind the scenes in Penn Jillette's career.

  13. the mental illness happy hour hosted by paul gilmartin is fantastic. he interviews all different types of people-some are famous, some are listeners who have contacted him. it ranges from people who have suffered severe trauma or who have been diagnosed with specific mental health issues, to people just talking about everyday struggles with negative thinking or anxiety. it's so compelling, i just started listening to it maybe a month or so ago and i am absolutely hooked. it's a good balance of heartbreaking and hilarious. another favorite of mine is literary disco, about books, and one of the hosts is rider strong from boy meets world! the book recommendations are great, and the show is really smart and really funny.

  14. I sometimes like the Chainsawsuit Podcast by Kris Straub and Mikey Neumann. Kris Straub is a great webcomic artist, and their podcast is part sketch comedy, part geek culture discussion. Sometimes the humor is a bit too silly for me, but sometimes they say really smart and interesting things about art and creation, the internet, and movies and tv. They also share things about their lives. The quality of the episodes can vary, but even if you don't agree with some of their opinions, it might still give you some interesting topics for further thought or discussion.

  15. It's not offbeat but I really love the BBC series the infinite monkey cage. It's Brian Cox and Robin Ince with panelists each week to talk about different science things.
    The best one ever was about space tourism and featured Brian Blessed

  16. Not exactly lifestyle, but the podcasts I frequent are nerdist, wtf, welcome to night vale, thrilling adventure hour. My absolute favorite is pop culture happy hour which covers movies, books, television, music, games, podcasts, comics… I love it I love it I love it I love it.

  17. I really enjoy Radiolab. They cover a mixture of science/philosophy/psychology/the human experience. Personally I enjoy the more science-y episodes. That being said I'm still a newb to the world of podcasts… On road trips the future-husband listens to Freakanomics (which I like) and show about sports gambling (which I do my best to sleep through).

  18. My partner and I listen to the podcasts put out by the Nerdy Show a lot. They have quite a wide variety. Nerdy Show prime talks about a wide variety of pop culture. There's an all-gay podcast called Flame On that discusses a LOT comic books, and they're pretty damn funny. There's the Real Congregation where the host basically picks an artist he likes and plays music and talks about the artist's history (we listened to the ones about Pete Townsend both to and from Vegas last time we took a road trip). The website's got all their shows available here: http://nerdyshow.com/

  19. I don't know if you'd consider it "alternative lifestyle," but me and my husband are on a Smodcast kick right now – specifically Jay and Silent Bob Get Old. It is fucking hysterical and disgusting, and we love it. My husband is also into Kevin Smith's comic book podcast (Secret Stash, it's probably called?) but I've never listened to that one. But yeah…Jay and Silent Bob. Still classic.

  20. It may not be alternative but it's definitely a niche podcast- StarTalk hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson. I was bored to tears by science throughout high school but I love this show. It's funny and interesting and informative and awesome. Plus his guests are often comedians or just plain awesome people.

  21. For the history buffs out there, I strongly recommend Hardcore History. Dan Carlin is a journalist who really delves deeply into his topic of choice and he often highlights how past events (even those that took place in the days of ancient Rome, for example) relate to modern life.

  22. Some of my favorites are: Godless Bitches (an atheist feminist podcast), The non-prophets (another atheist podcast), and "Our Hen House," an awesome podcast about vegan issues

  23. Bitch Magazine has a podcast called "Popaganda". It's very listenable and the topics are always intriguing. I would say it is my favorite feminist podcast out there, right now.
    I also agree with others that "Risk" and "Snap Judgment" are fantastic.

  24. One that I found captivating is a 35+ LGBT single mother's telling of her choice to get inseminated called "Not by Accident".

    I can't recommend "My Dad Wrote a Porno" enough. Obviously VERY NSFW, a dude's dad retires and decides to self publish erotica. The son and two friends read a chapter per episode. You will laugh your ass off and I'm still not convinced the dad has ever seen, touched, looked at a woman — it's so bad.

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