Body positivity focuses on the belief that every body is a great body, no matter its scars or history. While this movement has a profoundly intimate meaning for each individual, at its root, it is about self-love and acceptance.
And while there exists an overabundance of social media accounts, media outlets and novels through which we can indulge in politics, feminism and body-positive conversations, one outlet is often overlooked: podcasts.
Body-pos podcasts are an excellent way to gain perspective, calm racing thoughts and help you to realize your full potential, which is so vital in a world of media fluff and celebrity diet culture. The recorded personal mantras, interviews and discussions are readily available at the press of a button and a swipe of the thumb, and the seven below are our top picks for listening on your commute, or even wrapped up in your blankets at home.
If you need to reevaluate your inner dialogue:
Hosted by Katie Horwitch, writer, speaker and founder of WANT: Women Against Negative Talk, the podcast is a smart, insightful look at the concept of self-talk (our internal chatter and inner voice) and the inner language we teach ourselves. Self-described as “a podcast to redefine what it means to want your body, your work, your love, your community,” Horwitch brings admirable women and honest conversations to the forefront, while backing it up with hard-hitting realizations about self-constructed concepts, authenticity and overcoming personal challenges. This podcast will make you think all the thoughts you may have been trying to avoid — like past traumas, your tight comfort zone and letting go of the need to control — but shouldn’t.
A standout episode? When Abiola Abrams — award-winning advice columnist and motivational speaker — steps in to talk about breaking out of your comfort zone and remaining enthusiastic even when life is the most demanding.
If you need to redefine your own expectations:
Cara Carin Cifelli is, by her own confirmation, an avocado toast lover, holistic health coach, author and nutritionist aiming to deep dive into diet culture while creating a place to honestly discuss disordered eating and mental health. “Love Your Bod Pod” takes a direct aim at the diet industry and its subliminal lure, along with society’s push toward numerical perfection and our obsessions with food, shape and scales by challenging listeners to redefine society’s expectations of our bodies.
A great episode to start with is “How We Hold Ourselves Back From Cultivating Body Wisdom” and learning how you can tune in with your inner intuition and your body’s natural cravings.
If you need early morning meditation:
Part meditation guidance, part podcast, the “Befriend Your Body” podcast intertwines neuroscience, attachment theories and physiology through each episode. Hosted by uber-intelligent trauma therapist Wanda Brothers, the podcast explores tools, exercises like guided listening and energy focusing and stimulated visualizations, and practical knowledge that will enable you to live your full potential, while listening to your body’s messages and decreasing anxiety.
A notable episode to begin with is “A Page from Our Bodies’ Owner’s Manual: Physiology 101,” in which Brothers discusses the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and its correlation with your inner well-being. It dives into thought-provoking facts about the way our bodies naturally react to stress, anxiety and depression, and how those with hyporeactivity or hyperreactivity of the ANS have different reactions.
If you need to commit to your personal goals:
Taking the notion of social media and dissecting all the problems associated with the internet age, “This Life is Unfiltered” brings awareness to a world of Facetune, filters and the Instagram-age of self-presentation. Influencer and blogger Alexa Curtis uses her platform to inspire and educate — all while telling it like it is.
Real-world advice and mental health awareness come together with sparkling episode titles such as “When Does The Hustle Go Too Far?” and “Knowing When To Take A Step Back.” So, when does the hustle go too far? When you expect to become an overnight success and are left overworked, over-exhausted, unbalanced and uninspired.
If you need the inspiration to keep pushing forward:
Potential trigger warning! The body positivity movement is not just about acknowledging different shapes, but also about learning how to overcome years of self-denial, self-hatred and internalized coping mechanisms. “The Recovery Warrior Show,” hosted and founded by Jessica Flint, an eating disorder survivor and CEO of True Warrior, features interviews, diet culture myths from fasting to weighing yourself weekly, and the real meanings (like childhood trauma, anxiety disorders, deep inner self-loathing) behind anorexia, binge-eating disorder and bulimia.
If you have experienced any sort of disordered eating, are in recovery or are currently struggling with an eating disorder, this podcast is more than worth your time and ears. It is not just focused on overcoming your insecurities regarding your shape; it is focused on overcoming eating disorders and living life in recovery.
If you need a laugh and a feminist conversation:
Hosted by comedian and feminist author Deborah Frances-White, “The Guilty Feminist” podcast might not be your traditional body-pos listen, but it combines body politics with the insecurities and fears of being a “bad feminist” through weekly episodes. Frances-White approaches each subject with wit and honesty. Each podcast, like in her book “The Guilty Feminist: From Our Noble Goals to Our Worst Hypocrisies,” begins with the line “I’m a feminist but…”, followed by flawed human confessions like, “I’m a feminist but … I currently have five unread feminist books on my bedside table.”
If you can identify with wanting to look good sitting down naked, but also with feminist structures and remorse, then this podcast is your new best friend.
If you want to feel confident and comfortable at any size:
Funny narrations and embarrassing moments harmonize as Jessica Torres, a style blogger, and Liesl Binx, a plus-sized designer, navigate their everyday lives as “two fat best friends.” Fashion, love and everything in between can be found in the enjoyable and laugh-out-loud body positive episodes — and these BFF’s do not hesitate to give ample details.
How much detail, you might ask? In the episode “Dating While Fat,” the girls discuss sexual encounters, body discomfort in their early years and blind dates. While listening, you will feel like you just had an honest discussion with a close friend, which is all we can ask for in a podcast. Conversations include plus-sized talk about making music, self-care, “fat stigmas” and “fat girls traveling” — just to name a few.
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