Stitcher has a plethora of podcasts worth listening to. Each week, we’re giving you new episode recommendations from some of our top shows to help keep you up to speed and ease the pain of the pod discovery process.
iWeigh with Jameela Jamil — “Jane Fonda”
If you could choose any celebrity to interview, who would it be?
On a recent episode of iWeigh, host Jameela Jamil welcomes the legendary actress and activist Jane Fonda and admits that when she spoke to her she became a “wilting, sweating squirrel.”
Jamil opens the show asking, “how the hell has this happened?” She has been obsessed with Fonda since she was a child. “I was so in love with her.” She admires not only did she admire the actress’ beauty and talent, but her fearlessness in risking her life and sanity and “leveraging her privilege to help those who have less.”
What makes this episode so important is not just the discussion between Jamil and Fonda regarding activism and relationships, but their openness to share their personal struggles with mental health.
Fonda says she “started off handicapped” in life. Her mother was bi-polar and commited suicide when Fonda was only 12 and her father suffered from undiagnsed depression. “If there had been Prozac then our whole lives would have been different,” she says. Becoming an activist in her 30’s changed everything for Fonda because she felt she had a purpose and a “reason to be on Earth.” One of the key pieces of advice she offers to Jamil and the listeners is to continually get out of your comfort zones. “It can mean many different things.”
Throughout the episode Fonda offers several gold nuggets of advice including: tracking not only what things you’ve done, but how you felt to plan how you can better yourself going forward and that no matter what has scarred you, one can always heal.
Jamil related to Fonda’s advocacy because she says “for me what advocacy has brought to my life is that I feel better, feeling smaller, feeling less relevant, feeling part of something bigger. It makes me feel less alone. And I think thinking of causes that can shift your reality into more perspective is calming and engaging.” Fonda says collectivism became a bad word and individualism was extolled and how this was done very intentionally. There’s less power in individuals but more in collectives.
Listen to the episode to hear the two talk about being inauthentic relationships, how Fonda treated her eating disorder, and how she left a hedonic lifestyle to find meaning within activism.
The Deep Dive with Jessica St. Clair and June Diane Raphael — “We’re Off to See the Wizard! w/ Casey Rose Wilson”
It’s the first episode of The Deep Dive with Jessica St. Clair and June Diane Raphael! The Earwolf veterans known for their hit comedy podcasts How Did This Get Made and WOMP It Up! are aiming for a little more realness in their new show.
In the show intro the hosts declare that they are “heeding a call that no one has made” and that their goal is to share their fears, joys, and most of all: how to stay alive.
The podcast aims to explore what it means to be an adult woman in the world. In the premiere St. Clair and Diane Raphael talk moving past the pandemic. “I am really feeling the need to go into a hut, enter into it on a Friday night, have sex with multiple partners…because this is where I’m at,” Diane Raphael says. “I need to do that and then do a lot of hard drugs…and then check out on a Sunday by noon.” Since, like all of us, she’s been robbed of a year, she wants every sensory experience possible. The discussion then moves to Diane Raphael, who’s now in Canada, admitting she paid to have a vibrator overnight shipped to her as well as once accidentally sending a vibrator to her business manager and told him it was a prop.
There’s a nice balance of comedy as well as frank discussion as St. Clair bounces off her co-host saying, “what makes us feel less alone, especially during these tragic and horrible times is to say ‘I’m struggling, I’m having trouble, is anybody else having trouble?’ As we reenter [society] I think there’s this repressive feeling of like, ‘I should feel so happy that I can go to the grocery store now because I’m vaccinated.’” She reminds listeners you’re feeling sad and despondent it’s “normal” and it’s important to honor that.
The duo then brings on their very first guest on the show, Casey Wilson, who Diane Raphael says is “well on her way to becoming a wizard.”
Wilson talks about healing and goes into the types of healers she’s seen in her life, from therapists to astrologists, to Marianne Williamson. One of the best moments of the episode is when Diane Raphael and Wilson discuss getting into the Grinberg Method, which involved them sitting with strangers who coupled emotional pain with exaggerated physical pain. “It’s just hard to watch a stranger go into their pain drooling and shaking and screaming and having a twisted orgasm.”
Listen to the episode to hear Wilson and the hosts talk about coping with anger problems and the time Wilson sent St. Clair a 20lb bag of dark chocolate coins.
Beautiful Stories From Anonymous People — “Black Teacher In Minneapolis”
“What was supposed to happen, happened.”
It’s become redundant to say this week’s episode of Beautiful/Anonymous is powerful because every episode of the show is powerful in its own way. On this week’s episode host Chris Gethard speaks with a black teacher from Minneapolis immediately after Derek Chauvin’s conviction for the 2020 murder of George Floyd.
Gethard says it was “not an easy call,” but it was a sobering dose of reality about the way things have really been.
The caller admits soon into the call that “it’s been a weird week for anyone’s who’s paying attention.” He says he rushed home after working to watch the verdict on the news. “I was definitely expecting a range of emotions,” he says. “But I was not expecting to feel as somber as I did.” He says it’s the first time a white cop is going to jail for killing a black man and that he had been grappling with the emotional weight of the last year; the verdict caused him to feel more somber than celebratory. One cop going to prison doesn’t feel like much of an accomplishment.It’s only a step.
The conversation between the two then delves into how the caller has been living in the city his whole life and has seen the way cops treat people who aren’t white. He says that people who turn a blind eye to how black people are being treated by place are not only stalling progress, but highlighting their privilege. “Naivete is the ultimate privilege,” he says. One doesn’t have to think about something awful if it’s not happening to them.
Gethard brings up the possibility that now that the conviction has been handed down, will white people just forget about supporting those anti-racist they seemed to care about. The caller calls this “White joy,” responses that are performative and disingenuous and feeble to make white people feel better about themselves.. It makes him question if this progress is sustainable. “One new president won’t change this,” he admits.
The caller says if you give people what they need (access to mental health services, drug counseling, a place to live) then crime is likely to go down. He says it’ll take a long time for the systems to change and for the world to look equitable and just for everyone, but it’s crucial for individuals to do the work to be anti-racist “for the sake of every future american.”
— Ian Goldstein