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Need A Break From The News? Listen To These Podcasts

Image of a person sitting on a couch listening to headphones.
In the midst of so many anxiety-inducing headlines, these stories remind us there are lots of good, joyful, curious and calming things in the world.

We here at Preach are avid news consumers like you. But in the midst of so many anxiety-inducing headlines, we’re also trying to remember that there are lots of good, joyful, curious and calming things in the world. And since stress is bad for your health too, it’s OK to take a short break from the news every once in a while. 

So we’re committed to carving out some space for great storytelling and conversations that transport us to other times and places … even if we’re not leaving the house. 

And we’ve been asking around the KUER office — and online — to create this list of podcasts that offer a bit of respite. Keep checking back here for more recs from our team. 

Got a rec? Let us know and we might add it to this list. 

Reply AllThe Case of the Missing Hit

I don’t want to say too much about this episode, out of fear of spoiling any part of it. Basically a Reply All listener gets a song stuck in his head and PJ Vogt helps him track it down. It is a WILD ride from start to finish and I think I had a goofy grin on my face the entire time. A must listen. 

— Lee

Mystery ShowCase #3 Belt Buckle

During a cross-country road trip, my co-pilot introduced me to this show, and it really helped the time pass. I became engrossed in this mundane mystery surrounding a lost treasure. It’s wholesome and told in a playful manner — and you shouldn’t feel guilty about satisfying your cravings for more Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew. — Roddy

Commons: DYNASTIESThe Harts

From Canadaland, DYNASTIES is a podcast about the powerful families that run Canada and its provinces. The episodes profile different Canadian family dynasties from politics to brewing to professional wrestling. (Remember former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford? See, The Fords). I’ve found this podcast to be a not-so-gentle reminder that I have no idea what is going on in Canada. — Ali

SoundBitesA Quest to Find God and Win a Girl

SoundBites is a live, local storytelling series akin to The Moth Radio Hour. This story stands out to me as particularly pertinent to Preach fans. Much like Dante Aligheri, Max García Conover’s awkward middle-school crush leads him on a mediocre pursuit of the divine. (To be candid, I totally produced this story that I’m recommending.) — Roddy

Heart and SoulJoining the mosque I planned to destroy

I only recently discovered this BBC radio show that thoughtfully explores faith and spirituality on a global scale (right up my alley, obviously). In this episode a BBC reporter visits Muncie, Indiana (for Parks and Rec fans, that’s Jerry Gergich’s favorite vacation spot) to talk with a man who recently converted to Islam AFTER his foiled plan to blow up a mosque. Yes, you read that right. This show is very BBC in the sense that it’s not rushed, it’s thoughtful and there are plenty of pleasing British accents. — Lee

NancyDress of Choice

One of my very favorite shows is back for a new season, and kicking things off with an episode featuring utterly delightful kids who do drag. As co-host Tobin Low says, “for some of these kids, drag is just a fun excuse to play dress up. But for others, it’s a real chance to explore some of the questions they may be having about their gender. So it’s lovely to see this crowd going wild for them.” — Tricia

Radiolab — A Very Lucky Wind

Radiolab will always be one of my favorite public radio programs (next to Wait Wait... Don’t Tell Me!). The producers’ audacious audio editing techniques keep me engaged and tell stories in such a fascinating, nontraditional way. This episode unravels the curious phenomenon of chance — something of a modern homage to the goddess Fortuna. — Roddy

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