Entertainment

6 advice podcasts to navigate the weirdness of daily life

NEW YORK (NYTIMES) – American life is largely returning to what it was in early 2020, with even the most cautious states rolling back their Covid-19 restrictions.

Though the return to normalcy is a relief, the abrupt shift feels unsettling to many. After two years of clear guidelines and restrictions, everyone has to figure out how to be people in the world again.

Luckily, there is a whole category of podcasts devoted to just that topic. These six shows, covering sex and dating, office politics, family dynamics and table manners, will help you navigate the weirdness of daily life.

1. Were You Raised By Wolves?

This light-hearted etiquette podcast is packed with useful tips, but also makes for easy listening, thanks to the rapport between the hosts, journalist Nick Leighton and comedienne Leah Bonnema.

Each episode is highly structured, usually beginning with an “amuse-bouche” – that is a snappy explanation of a hard-and-fast rule, such as which way you should pass the dishes at a dinner party (counterclockwise, for your information).

Leighton and Bonnema then delve into a more nuanced subject, like tipping, table manners or entertaining, and answer listener-submitted questions.

The show also features several recurring segments, such as Vent Or Repent, where the hosts can either rant about an etiquette violation they have recently experienced, or confess to one they have committed.

Starter episode: Declining Double Dates, Gifting Unwanted Jams, Bailing on Weddings, and More

2. Am I Normal? With Mona Chalabi

This affable, thought-provoking show from the TED Collective takes an empirical approach to one of the most subjective areas of all: normalcy.

In each episode, British journalist Mona Chalabi tackles a different “should”.

For instance: How many friends should I have? Or how long should it take to get over a break-up?

What sets this apart from most advice shows is that Chalabi is a data journalist, so she starts out by examining what statistics can objectively tell people about a topic, before consulting experts – and sometimes, her mother, a retired doctor – to dig into the grey areas that numbers cannot touch.

Starter episode: How Many Friends Do I Need?

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