United We Listen: Podcasting During Quarantine

Hi pod pals,
I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy out there. It’s an interesting time for podcasters, and well, really everyone living in our quarantined world. We have been so inspired by all of the uplifting podcasting efforts that have come out of this moment of isolation. Instead of taking a hiatus from our feeds, we have spent our time putting out content. Thank you to all of our content creators out there—you’re doing a great service.

In an effort to highlight these podcasts, both new and old, we put out a call for anything cool happening in the WFH podcasting world. We had so many great responses! Find out about these efforts below. I think it proves that beauty, creativeness, and resourcefulness can come out of a difficult situation. If you want to submit a podcast that is working hard during the quarantine, send us a email at [email protected].

  • We loved to learn about several cool podcasting efforts from Columbia Journalism Review, including that “Phoebe Judge, host of the award-winning podcast Criminal, has started reading from an Agatha Christie novel.”
  • How about this amazingly resourceful teen from Oregon who started a sports commentary podcast while at home called ZTS?
  • The Social Distance Assistance podcast highlights creative ways people are helping each other during the quarantine. Kelly Jones hosts the show with her lovely 8-year-old daughter, June (adorable!). Every Tuesday, they explore the positive ways people are helping during the pandemic and answer your questions about life in the era of social distancing.
  • Gail Shalan and colleague Justin Spencer have started The StoryLight Podcast. It’s a podcast of their favorite childhood classic stories offered to make these days a little brighter. Stories are bright lights that can drive away darkness, and they hope StoryLight brightens your day. It sparked from Justin’s observations of how story-time always brings engagement and peace to his two young children. They release an hour-long episode every Monday and Friday with two books in rotation. Currently the books are The Wind in The Willows and Peter and Wendy
  • When the news came down about the mandate to shelter in place, Bay Area writer Laura Joyce Davis decided to mark this moment in history by chronicling her daily experience with the new podcast Shelter in Place. The short, daily episodes often feature other artists, scientists, therapists, and those whose work pushes us towards faith, contemplation, and hope.
  • Check out the episode “Rebuild” on the podcast A Single Thing. This is usually a storytelling/memoir podcast about the benefits and difficulties of being single. Host Natalie Karneef just updated the “Rebuild” episode to include discussion relating the current climate to the guest’s story (about hitting rock bottom), and loneliness during this time.
  • In a time where we are all using the phone as a link to our friends and family, Helena de Groot used her poetry podcast, Poetry Off The Shelf to call some of the poets who were previously on the show on the “Our New Reality” episode.
  • We love the way podcasters are including smile-inducing episodes into their rotation. Business Wars Daily has started: “Feel-Good Fridays,” about more hopeful business news. For instance, the first one focused on customers supporting local booksellers, giving them hope of survival. Another is about the pet food industry, and how pet lovers stepped up to adopt millions of stray animals. 
  • LoveSick is a podcast about dating in the time of COVID-19. You’re set up on a blind date via video chat and the audio is used on the show!
  • Snap Judgment is producing a series called Letters from Lockdown, featuring advice from people who have experienced other lockdowns previous to COVID-19. The first episode features voices from Gaza, Myanmar, and at sea.
  • On Telescope, Neon Hum’s Jonathan Hirsch brings you stories of people who are far away…up close. Each story covers how people are learning to live through this pandemic.
  • A parenting podcast that will be continuing during lockdown The Checkpoint. Anna Cunningham and Linda Freund wanted to create an outlet for moms across the world to vent and inform. With so many questions coming out of this uncertain time, they wanted to give moms confirmation that everyone is asking the same questions and remind them that it is totally okay not to be okay right now. 
  • Lots of kids at home means lots of parents are looking for ways to entertain them and keep them emotionally tuned in. Parents should check out The Imagine Neighborhood. They use zany stories to help kids and their grown-ups talk about big feelings. It’s based on a social-emotional learning curriculum, and the schools that use it have asked for additional episodes for the current moment. Episodes include: finishing up screen time, being stuck at home, calming down, solving problems, feeling scared, and many more!
  • Hear Her Sports is a podcast that features interviews with female athletes and women in sports. For the past month, they’ve talked to athletes about how they are dealing with cancelations in sports, the Women’s Sports Foundation about how they are pivoting to continue their work, and a trainer who has always focused on body weight workouts about how to design terrific at home fitness programs.
  • We always discuss how podcasts serve as living archives to capture the voices of today. Well, now Transmission Times Archive has made a literal archive of voices! Record audio diaries, send them in, and your voice becomes part of the Transmission Times Archive. It may also become part of The Transmission Times podcast.
  • Emily Shaw put together this global sound collage: “Sounds of Comfort During Quarantine: A Global Audio Experiment”.
  • The New York Public Library and WNYC has joined forces to bring you a virtual stay-at-home book club experience on their Get Lit series on the podcast All of It. This month’s selection is Deacon King Kong by James McBride.
  • Vice’s The Distance features “short, first-person stories from all over the world about how the pandemic is changing the way we live. Each episode is a dispatch about one or two people and a brief window into their life, right now. ” It comes out every week day.
  • NPR has made a podcast specifically for updates during the pandemic. Coronavirus Daily is a “daily news podcast…covering all dimensions of the story from science to economics and politics as well as society and culture.” Each episode is about 10 minutes and comes out every week day afternoon.

Thank you to everyone who submitted a podcast! You answered the call when we all needed a friendly voice during this crazy time. Thank you for all your hard work.

We are updating this list, so be sure to send in any podcasts that are doing something cool during quarantine by emailing us at [email protected].


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