The podcast boom has shown no signs of slowing down as we near the end of 2020, and there is no shortage of shows that relate to family care. Recognizing that not everyone has the time and energy to sit down and read a book or lengthy article, below is a selection of podcasts that complement the written resources in the FCO LibGuide and can be listened to while going throughout your day. Most of the podcasts in this list have episodes of around 30 minutes or fewer, and many also contain an extensive library of past episodes to explore if you find something you like.
New to the world of podcasts? Check out this handy guide from Discover Pods: How to Listen to Podcasts (a guide for absolute beginners).
Motherhood Sessions provides listeners an opportunity to listen in on emotionally honest conversations between psychologist Alexandra Sacks and mothers who are wrestling with relatable problems and questions. Each episode is like a therapy session that Sacks might hold in her office, as she helps guests work through the challenges of motherhood that can be difficult to talk about – such as parenting through trauma, imposter syndrome, and work-life balance.
Listen to the Season 1 episode ‘When Being a Mom Isn’t Enough,’ which discusses having to put academic and career aspirations on hold after becoming pregnant.
Launched this past July, Motherhood in Black & White is a space where “motherhood, race and culture intersect.” Mixing humour into meaningful conversations on the realities of motherhood and the goal of building a more racially just society for children, hosts Kaanji Irby and Tara Campbell discuss themes that range from the mental load of motherhood to the top TV moms.
Listen to the trailer: Flaws and All
Started in the midst of the pandemic, journalist Reena Ninan talks with psychologist Lisa Damour – The New York Times Adolescence columnist and author of the bestsellers Untangled and Under Pressure (both available as audiobooks and eBooks through TPL) – to help give parents informed and practical answers to real-life questions and struggles. Damour answers listeners’ timely questions, with a key focus on how families of all ages can get through the pandemic psychologically intact. The 30-minute episodes appear weekly, and past topics include dealing with kid’s distress about school, how to deal with conflict while stuck at home, and the pandemic’s effect on children’s social development.
Listen to the trailer: Ask Lisa: The Psychology of Parenting
Taking what they’ve learned from their audience and their work at Parents magazine, Pregnancy Confidential walks listeners through pregnancy week-by-week with fun and conversational talk about real feelings – the “joy and annoyances of pregnancy so you never have to experience any of it alone.” The show was produced in 2016, but all of their 20ish-minute episodes – ranging from Week 9 (‘OMG: I’m pregnant!’) to Week 40+ (‘To Induce or Not to Induce?’) – are available online for free and remain relevant.
Browse their podcast page to see the topics for each week: Pregnancy Confidential
Heidi Murkoff is the mind behind the What to Expect When You’re Expecting series, and she has now branched out into the world of podcasts. What to Expect brings together Murkoff and her daughter, Emma, to cover many of the same topics covered in the series, from conception, to pregnancy, to the first years of parenting. Launched this past summer, the episodes cover many of the major themes facing parents today, and the hosts often invite guests to share their expertise.
Listen to the trailer: What You Can Expect from ‘What to Expect’
This 2018 release features five “stressed, sleep deprived, yet energetic” teenagers having honest conversations that give listeners a glimpse into what it’s like being a teenager and in high school. The podcast is still going strong today, and the 16 and 17-year-old hosts are not afraid to be open with their feelings as they discuss real-world topics such as dating, depression, and social media. Teenager Therapy was also recently featured in Wired, The New York Times, and Buzzfeed.
Listen to the episode that hosts say is the best they’ve recorded: The Realities of Our Friendship
Described as a kid-friendly Radiolab (an NPR science and philosophy podcast), yet still enjoyable for the whole family, Tumble brings on scientists to discuss science discoveries, share mysteries, and talk about what makes science so fascinating. Nearly all episodes are 20 minutes or fewer – with some including interactive elements – and recent topics include volcano eruptions, the physics of basketball, and how whales use their blowholes.
Listen to the Season 6 Trailer (which includes tips for parents on how to keep kids engaged in online learning): Season 6 Preview
Meant for children aged 4 to 10, NPR’s Circle Round adapts folktales from around the world and brings on actors and comedians to bring the stories to life. The 20ish-minute episodes explore topics such as kindness, persistence, and generosity, and end with an activity to help kids better understand the story’s message and value. However, there are ads throughout the episode.
Listen to ‘Grandfather Stone,’ a Seneca tale from Season 2 about the origin of stories.
A sketch comedy podcast for kids aged 7-12, The Plop strives to provide quality content from Canadian comedians via a screen-free alternative. From the team who created CBC’s This is That, this new venture only has one episode so far, but they reached their summer fundraising goal and have at least 10 more episodes in the works. In the meantime, check out their earlier podcast Road Trip Radio, another family-friendly show that celebrates all things Canada.
Listen to the trailer: The Plop
Created at the start of the pandemic, Home Cooking sets out to help listeners who are stuck in isolation, stuck on what to make, or stuck with way too much or not enough of an ingredient (perhaps you still have that giant bag of lentils you rushed to buy in March). Hosted by chef Samin Nosrat – author of the bestselling Salt Fat Acid Heat, which is also now a Netflix series – and producer Hrishikesh Hirway, the series answers listener questions also brings on guests such as Nadiya Hussain and Yo-Yo Ma to discuss their own cooking tips and favourite recipes.
Listen to the trailer: Home Cooking
Featuring the soothing voice and wisdom of radio broadcaster Laurie Brown and the calming electro-acoustic tunes of Joshua Van Tassel, Pondercast helps listeners take a step back from the hustle and bustle of life and put things into perspective. With guided meditations every Monday, grounding thoughts and explorations on Fridays, and occasional new music playlists, Pondercast episodes provide a multitude of ways to relax and recharge.
Listen to Grounding Thought 03: Finding new pleasures in a semi-lockdown world.
Goodbye to All This is a new podcast from the BBC that tells “a love story about life, loss, and grief and coming back out the other side.” Radio producer and audio storyteller Sophie Townsend writes and narrates a memoir about attempting to move on as a widow and a mother after her husband died of cancer. Through this story, she hopes to connect with others who have experienced the death of a loved one. The 12-episode season started in early October, with new episodes appearing each Sunday.
Listen to the trailer: Prologue