International Podcast Day

Regular readers of the blog will know how much I love podcasts. I’ve blogged about them many times, and love to create podcasts with my students whenever I can. My 70 minute commute to work is the perfect time for me to get lost in a podcast, and the return to school has given me the ideal opportunity to catch up on all of the great episodes I missed over the last year.

International Podcast Day, a celebration of the power of podcasts, is held every year on September 30th and so now is the perfect time for me to share with you some of my favorite listens. I also reached out to the amazing Christopher Pepper to see which podcasts he has recently enjoyed. As always, his suggestions are outstanding.

Maintenance Phase

This is the podcast that has been blowing up my timeline, with each episode debunking the junk science behind health & wellness fads, and decoding their cultural meaning. It was hard for me to identify a ‘favorite’ episode, but the BMI episode is a great listen. It also ties in quite nicely with our latest choice for Book of the Month, written by Aubrey Gordon, one of the hosts of the show. Her book ‘What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About Fat‘ unearths the cultural attitudes and social systems that have led to people being denied basic needs because they are fat and calls for social justice movements to be inclusive of plus-sized people’s experiences.

The Happiness Lab

In this podcast, Yale professor Dr Laurie Santos takes listeners through the latest scientific research and shares surprising and inspiring stories that will forever alter the way you think about happiness. I have chosen to share this episode featuring Jessamyn Stanley. Jessamyn identified as a “fat and awkward weirdo,” who shied away from exercise until she realized that it was her own body-shaming that was holding her back. When I shared this episode with my Physical Education students they gave it great feedback. Read what they had to say here.

You’re Wrong About

Michael Hobbes and Sarah Marshall are journalists obsessed with the past. Every week they reconsider an event, person or phenomenon that’s been miscast in the public imagination. When I was looking to improve ways in which I included social justice and experiences of inequity into my teaching, weaving the Tuskegee Syphilis study into my conversations about sexually transmitted infections seemed the perfect opportunity. There are two episodes to this story – The Lie and The Truth. Both are immaculately researched and will likely make you both angry and saddened at the mistreatment of those subjected to such an unethical experiment.

Decoder Ring

Decoder Ring is a podcast about cracking cultural mysteries. Every episode, host Willa Paskin takes on a cultural question, object, idea, or habit and speaks with experts, historians, and obsessives to try and figure out where it comes from, what it means, and why it matters. Christopher Pepper suggests you check out this episode that explores how technological innovation and clever marketing turned the concept of hydration, and dehydration into a problem to be ‘solved’ by buying plastic water bottles, sports drinks and pseudo-science wellness products.

Breaking The Boy Code

Another suggestion from Christopher Pepper, who has championed the work of Next Gen Men and their The Future of Masculinity materials for a while now. Each episode of this podcast is centered on a boy describing a single experience. This is interwoven with the perspectives of experts and leaders in progressive masculinity: writers, educators, researchers, parents, mentors. As they talk, the hidden becomes visible. The visible becomes a step towards connection. The topic of masculinity made #4 in my last Hot Topics in HealthEd blog post, and perhaps it will feature higher next time I update that post.

Shapes of Identity

One of the joys of the rise of podcasts has been seeing educators amplify their voice and the voice of others through home-grown efforts. Many educators who I hold in high regard and call my friend have appeared on, or created their own shows and Shapes of Identity is one such effort. A collaboration between SHAPE New Jersey and SHAPE Philly this new project is dedicated to breaking down the topic of identity, exploring how it is shaped and its impact on us all.

What podcasts are you checking out right now? I just blew through Firebug and started listening to season 4 of Slow Burn. Share your recommendations in the comments.

If you have a particular favorite podcast, consider sending them a tweet, or writing them a review and/or supporting their Patreon account if they have one.

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