We all know “love is in the air” this season and trying to snag dinner reservations at your favorite Italian restaurant this Valentine’s Day is going to be a fight to the death. But whether you are planning on celebrating with your significant other or you can’t stand the chocolates and red roses poking out of every CVS right now, the Hallmark holiday is also a chance to consider all the other types of love that we can cultivate in our everyday lives. From queer love to self-love to the relationships between colleagues, these five podcast episodes will help expand your definition of love.
On Purpose with Jay Shetty: 7 Ways Break Ups Don’t Have To Break You & Building Your Confidence Back
This can be a tricky time of year for those of us who are newly single or still reeling from a not-so-recent heartbreak. Combine the winter blues with the reminder that you don’t have a significant other to celebrate Valentine’s Day with this year, and you may be feeling low. But a great pick-me-up is the podcast On Purpose with Jay Shetty. His work is focused less on the soft emotional aspect of difficult situations, and instead provides concrete instructions and advice for a number of problems. Shetty creates bite-sized episodes, usually ranging from 30-40 minutes, filled with content that’s worth you grabbing a pen and paper to jot down your key takeaways.
In his recent episode about building up your confidence after a breakup, Shetty explores how we can learn to detach from our emotions and the narratives we’ve built in our heads. “They can’t break you because they never actually had you” is one of our favorite quotes from this episode, and we recommend a listen. It’s even relevant if you’re dealing with a non-romantic break up with a friend or coworker.
Partners: Samin Nosrat and Wendy MacNaughton
For many of us, it’s a common occurrence to spend more time with our coworkers than with our family members or close friends. It’s crazy to think about it, but keeping these more business-focused relationships healthy is arguably just as important as our romantic and familial ones. We’re always fascinated by how creatives partner to develop something unique, what difficult conversations were had and how artists of different mediums learned to collaborate.
In Mailchimp’s new podcast Partners, we’re getting our fix with their first episode of a discussion between Samin Nosrat and Wendy MacNaughton, the author and illustrator respectively of the popular cookbook, “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking.” The interview highlights the potential pitfalls of a creative partnership, the publishing world’s trend of valuing authors over visual artists, understanding different collaborative mindsets, and finding the space and empathy to have difficult conversations around money. Partners is a brand new podcast that’s delving deeper into all the types of working partnerships that often go unanalyzed, and we’re excited to hear who they interview next.
Food 4 Thot: Wuts Luv Got 2 Do With It?
So much of the romance our culture discusses during this season is heteronormative, and it’s time we make more space for LGBTQ platforms to share their voices during Valentine’s Day. Food 4 Thot is a hilarious podcast made up of a multiracial and queer cast of men. They go from extremely inappropriate (and humorous) quiz questions about each other’s habits and histories, to discussing meatier topics around race, identity, sex, and culture.
In Wuts Luv Got 2 Do With It? the hosts question what the definition of love is in 2020, and what “queering” love means: to break the socialized version of traditional romantic love that for so long simply meant a relationship between a man and a woman leading to marriage and then a baby. And beyond breaking the stereotypical norms, they go deeper into understanding from past experiences, some traumatic, what love is not, as they suss out what love actually is for each of them.
Short story self-love: Dipsea Audio Stories
Sometimes you aren’t even hoping for Cupid’s arrow to hit anybody, and you’re ready to skip the relationship stuff and head right to self-love. Dipsea is a new female-founded story studio that brands itself as the first audio platform for sexual wellbeing. It aims to help women tap into their own sexual power and get in the mood by making erotica that’s accessible to all (though its intended audience appears to be millennial women).
As a subscription-based service, we recommend listening to a few samples to get a feel for the types of stories they offer and check out a blog post on the Dipsea team’s favorite audio stories of 2019. We are big fans of finding ways for people to connect with the sexual part of themselves, and as this topic makes its way out of the taboo closet, we can’t wait to see more of what Dipsea does.
Dear Sugars: Emotional Labor
You’ve probably heard of Cheryl Strayed, the author of the New York Times Bestseller Wild. But did you know she was also an anonymous advice columnist at The Rumpus before her critical acclaim? Elaborating off of years of writing her “Dear Sugar” column, Strayed and cohost Steve Almond (founder of The Rumpus) produced Dear Sugars for over four years, a weekly advice podcast for “the lost, lonely, and heartsick” with Strayed and Almond tackling a new letter-writer or two each week.
One of the less glamorous aspects of maturing within a relationship is the division of labor, both seen and unseen. The episode Emotional Labor tackles the topic of this invisible work that is often carried about by women in heterosexual relationships. We loved this episode because it was one of the first times we had heard people discuss emotional labor in such a clear, informative way. While Dear Sugars is no longer running, there are so many rich episodes to dig into on themes ranging from family issues to body acceptance to libido.