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I’m a sucker for advice podcasts. If I find a new advice podcast that I like, I’ll listen to the entire feed from the first episode until I’m up-to-date, and then wait excitedly for new episodes every week.
What do I like about advice podcasts so much? A few things. First, I like it when I hear that someone has the same issue/problem as me. I get free advice. It’s an easy win.
Second, I like hearing what other people consider to be “problems” (sometimes the answers are so obvious!) It helps me to keep my own stuff in perspective and avoid over-reacting to little things.
Finally, I love hearing how the podcast hosts approach and handle the questions. When someone asks me for advice, I can draw on these examples.
Here are the top 3 advice podcasts that I subscribe to and devour every week.
3 Awesome Advice Podcasts
1. Dear Prudence
“Prudence”, aka Mallory Ortberg, and her weekly guests, read letters from listeners who have a variety of problems. Each episode of Dear Prudence includes three to four letters on completely different topics. They might include advice about dealing with a stinky co-worker, overcoming PTSD, and how to speak to a neighbor who neglects his cat (and whether or not you should just steal the cat).
Ortberg is a character, with strong opinions and a serious sarcastic streak, but it’s clear that she puts some real time and energy into providing thoughtful, helpful advice. She might start out with jokes or a rant, but eventually talks through the problem from all angles. I admire her ability to be comedic, straight-forward, and serious all at the same time.
Dear Prudence is suitable for adult listeners and older teens.
2. Savage Lovecast
The Savage Lovecast podcast has been around for more than a decade, before I even knew what a podcast was. It’s safe to say that the show has a massive following. In each episode, host Dan Savage (who is an author and sex-advice columnist) plays call-in questions from listeners and then doles out his advice.
All questions in this podcast are about love and sex, so it’s not kid-friendly, and sometimes it’s not safe for work. Which is not to say that it’s always vulgar and obscene; it’s just real. And so is Dan’s blunt, tell-it-like-it-is advice.
Sometimes it can be hard to hear everything the callers are saying (they speak in low voices or mumble), which can be annoying. You can get the gist of each question from the episode descriptions, which are hilarious. Sometimes I’m even more excited about reading the description than I am about listening to the podcast itself!
3. Dear Sugar Radio
Both of the hosts of the Dear Sugar Radio podcast, Steve Almond and Cheryl Strayed, have played “Sugar” for the Dear Sugar online advice column. The show’s tagline says that they provide “radically empathetic advice”, which certainly sets the show apart from most advice podcasts. You can literally feel the emotion pouring out of the hosts as they address each letter writer.
The letters and issues discussed on this podcast aren’t for the faint of heart. Topics include deep-rooted family issues, sexual assault, terminal illness, infidelity, whether or not to have a child, sexuality, and grief.
Cheryl and Steve do their part to relate to each letter writer on a personal level, but also bring on subject-matter experts in the form of professors, authors, psychologists, and survivors. Their discussions often bring about new perspectives or angles from which to tackle the listener’s problem.
Dear Sugar Radio is suitable for older teens and adults.
Looking for an advice podcast about dealing with your money problems? My post about the Top 5 Podcasts To Help You Save Money can help you get your finances on track.
Do you have a favorite advice podcast? Leave a comment below and tell me what you love about the show and why.