Although my favorite meme account on Instagram is @girlwithnojob, this summer, I was the opposite of that: I was a girl with a job. Well, actually, a girl with an internship. Although I enjoyed it, sometimes I felt like I was stuck in that office all day. As Dolly Parton would say, I was really working 9 to 5. What helped me through the days was listening to podcasts—and lots of them. Whether it was a true crime podcast, a beauty podcast, or a sex podcast, they never failed to make my day a little better. Whenever you find yourself buried in a mountain of homework in Exley, I promise these podcasts will help you push through.

Absolutely Not 

Comedian Heather McMahan’s motto is that she likes to “do the most and the least at the same damn time,” and let me tell you: That should absolutely be everyone’s motto this upcoming school year. When I discovered her Instagram page (@heatherkmcmahan) during the summer, I could not stop laughing. Between her Instagram stories about Britney Spears, which she calls “Britney 911’s,” and her take on the Netflix documentary “Abducted in Plain Sight,” her pop culture commentary cannot be any more entertaining. Luckily, this past July, McMahan launched her own podcast, which kept me laughing almost 24/7. No topics are off-limits in her podcast, and she even has a hotline called the “Absolutely NOT-Line”, where viewers can call into with any complaints—my personal favorite was the person who called in complaining about people who don’t wear shoes in airports. Seriously, I had to go grab a tissue to wipe the tears from my eyes. 

A Piece of Work

I was so sad when my favorite TV show, Broad City, ended last year, but luckily I can still get my dose with Abbi Jacobson’s podcast, A Piece of Work. Her goal is to make modern and contemporary art more approachable, which is exactly what she achieves in this podcast. She explores everything from performance art to pop art to everything in between—and with so much comedy, of course.

Dear Sugars

Hosted by authors Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond, Dear Sugars is definitely one of the most interesting and thought-provoking podcasts I’ve listened to. Sponsored by NPR, the podcast gives advice for all aspects of life, varying from topics such as love, loss, and even addiction. Most recently, they just finished a three-part episode about consent, where they read experiences from people who were experiencing harassment in their workplace. Other great episodes include “You Must Change your Life,” featuring guest host Mitchell S. Jackson, who went to prison for drug possession, and “Body Weight and Romance,” featuring writer Ashley C. Ford. Dear Sugars is extremely eye-opening, and with over three seasons available, there’s an episode for everyone to enjoy.


If you like anything that remotely has to do with politics, then you’ll love this podcast. Every week, American statistician Nate Silver and his team cover the latest in politics, tracking important issues and game-changers in the polls and beyond. With the 2020 election on the horizon, this podcast is exciting to listen to, and is quite intellectually stimulating. What I like most about FiveThirtyEight is that they discuss larger, national politics, but also emphasize the importance of state legislatures. Recent episodes include, “How Much does Iowa Matter?” and “Elizabeth Warren’s Comeback.” 

Gals on the Go 

Whenever I need a good dose of motivation, I love listening to Gals on the Go to help get me there. This podcast is hosted by two social media influencers, Danielle Carolan and Brooke Miccio, who are both in college at The University of Georgia. They share some of the best organizational and academic tips, but also share general college wisdom and advice. From covering the best academic planner notebooks, to the most effective energy drinks, to the biggest organizational bins for your dorm room, it feels a little like Marie Kondo, but the college edition. Both Miccio and Carolan are hyper-organized, so it’s helpful to tune in whenever I’m feeling particularly lazy, and they’re sure to get you feeling excited and motivated for the school year up ahead.

Skinny Confidential

If you’re looking for tips about the best vitamins, the right face mask to use, or how to make your face look less swollen after a night out on Fountain, then this podcast is for you. Hosted by Lauryn Evarts Bosstick, the creator behind The Skinny Confidential, and her husband, Michael, this podcast will tell you anything you ever needed (or wanted) to know about wellness, business, beauty, and lifestyle. Released every Tuesday, the two usually incorporate some type of guest host, such as Jessica Alba, skincare expert Dr. Barbara Strum, and celebrity personal trainer Jillian Michaels. Trust me, after listening to the Skinny Confidential, you’ll be an expert in everything you didn’t even know existed.


Jane Herz can be reached at

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