Grow Your Brain: 5 Podcasts to Check out in 2019

It’s the new year, so theoretically it’s the perfect time to add a bunch of overly ambitious things to your resolutions list. I am here to suggest you add one more thing.

Over the holidays, I had the chance to catch up on some new and old podcasts that I discovered or had been recommended in 2018.  Since I was in grad school for half the year finishing up my thesis and started at The Spark Mill, by the time December rolled around I had an ever-growing list of books and podcasts to begin so it was nice to have a few weeks off to reintroduce myself to them.

So, if you are into podcasts or find yourself always in your car in need of some new things to listen to in the coming year, here are some recommendations:


Equity and Social Justice

1.     Why Isn’t Anyone Talking about This?  - This podcast looks at the relationship between social justice and the built environment and shares viewpoints from activists, organizers, urban planners, and other everyday people working to create change in their communities. Some of my favorite episodes are “What is Equity?” which talks about the definition of the word and explores how communities are tackling equity work and “A Sitdown with Tamila Butler and Keyonda McQuarters,” which explores how black women experience spaces in the seemingly progressive Portland, Oregon.

2.     We Live Here - Produced by St. Louis Public Radio, this podcast explores various urban planning issues from the lens of race and class throughout St. Louis. Some of my favorite episodes include the “Nuisance or Nonsense” episodes, which explore how local nuisance ordinances are being used to create segregated neighborhoods.


Self Care

3.    Therapy for Black Girls - Being a person of color is wonderful, but it is also exhausting at times. I’ve recognized that having various systems of support and care is crucial to just making it through the day. This podcast discusses all things mental health and personal development. As someone who is working through anxiety, I enjoy the episodes that provide tools on managing it, including episode 38, “Slaying Your Anxiety.”

4.    The Black Girl Healing ProjectSimilar to Therapy for Black Girls, this podcast explores all aspects of social, emotional, mental, and physical wellness for women of color. I love that it works to combat the stigma against mental health within communities of color and encourages us to focus on holistic wellness.


Politics and Culture

 5.    Codeswitch – The term codeswitch refers to how people switch their language and ways of speaking depending on their environment. Although some code switching is unconscious, consciously code switching has often characterized the lives of people of color, as many of us have been taught to change who we are, particularly in predominantly white spaces.  This podcast expands this definition by exploring how we shift between social and cultural spaces in different aspects of our lives through the lens of race, ethnicity, and culture.  


As you head into the new year and think about your personal and professional development, these podcasts may help. Enjoy!