Media Recommendations

8 Podcast Recommendations for Winter Break

Delaney Ruston, MD
December 5, 2023
The words "Podcast Recommendations" in front of a podcast microphone on a blue background

Whether you are headed off on vacation journeys or just spending time at home during the holidays, I have some mind-opening podcast suggestions to listen to with the whole family. It can be fun to listen to only parts of any of these suggestions to allow more time for talking and then finish them at the next drive or sitting.

Here is my list:

1. My top choice for the whole family 

Dolly Parton’s America. 

This recommendation came from a spunky podcast creator in her mid-20s who said this was her favorite-ever podcast series. Produced by Jad Abumrad, the mind behind RadioLab, Dolly Parton’s America is like comfort food for the soul. Her voice melts like butter as she tells stories about her life and experiences in the 9-part series. Her attitude towards her experiences is the real shining star throughout the series. 

I found gold in all the episodes. My favorite, though, is the third. It’s about Dolly’s time working on a TV show with Porter Wagoner, a country singer famous in the late 1960s and ‘70s.  What struck me most was when she spoke about deciding to leave the show and go out on her own. When Dolly says, “Forgiveness is all there is,” your heart will surely miss a beat as it did mine. 

2. For listening with elementary school-age kids 

The Big Fib  

In an era of fake news, young, growing minds need to be able to determine what’s true and what’s false. Each week, a kid interviews two experts on a particular topic, one of whom is a genuine, credentialed expert, the other a liar. Hilarious and fast-paced, the show teaches kids to ask insightful questions, weigh the evidence before them, and trust their gut.

I listened to Episode 216, called “YouTube.” Skip the first part and start five minutes in. There are hundreds of topics to choose from, such as Minecraft, chocolate, robots, drones, and nutrition. 

3. For listening alone or with teens

Anything Goes with Emma Chamberlain

I always ask my kids what they are listening to, and Tessa highly recommended Anything Goes with Emma Chamberlain on Apple or Spotify. Emma, who rose to fame as a YouTuber, is not surprisingly crushing it as a podcaster. She tells it like it is. 

Episodes I recommend listening to with teens (and be forewarned she does swear at times) include:

Emma’s journey with vaping and reasons she wants to quit, plus the follow-up she recorded discussing how hard it has been to quit. 

I also really loved her interview with Anna Lembke. I was jazzed that she chose to have the author of Dopamine Nation for her first interview-style podcast (normally, she is just speaking to the audience). I went to medical school with Anna, and she is in our latest Screenagers film, Screenagers Under the Influence: Addressing Vaping, Drugs, and Alcohol in the Digital Age. Tessa told me about this episode and raved about how much she liked it. 

I just listened to a chunk of Emma’s interview about how to handle embarrassment. Getting mental health skills is a focus of Screenagers Next Chapter, so this episode is right up my alley of what I want teens to hear about. I suggest using it as a way to talk about how you handle yourself when you feel the sensation of embarrassment arises within you. 

4. For insight into healthy relationships

ReThinking with Adam Grant - The science of healthy relationships

In this episode, Adam interviews Julie and John Gottman. The Gottmans are experts in the field of relationships. You may have heard of the Love Lab. In the interview, they talk about how masters of relationships work hard to point out positives in others. Focusing on the positive more than the negatives is a good reminder for all of us who are parents. I loved spending the afternoon with the Gottmans when I filmed them for Screenagers Next Chapter. Their advice is priceless. We  just released a new clip from our interview with the Gottmans on our YouTube channel:

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5. For learning about a wide range of lived experiences

What It’s Like To…

This is an excellent Podcast by a long-time friend and deep thinker, Elizabeth Pearson Garr. She talks to people about what it’s like to live through a wide variety of experiences, from being on a reality TV show to living with grief. The episode, What It’s Like to Start a College, is one of my favorites to listen to with your teens. Adam Braus started a new college and talked about his experiences. I highly recommend it.

6. To learn how money and the economy works in an entertaining way

Planet Money

Episode: Nov 10, The alleged theft at the heart of ChatGPT.

This episode begins with author Douglas Preston realizing his book is part of the makeup of ChatGPT. At first, he was flattered, but then went on to be angry about and in the podcast, he explains why he and 15 other authors are suing ChatGPT. It is a fantastic way to delve into some of the ethical issues surrounding our AI revolution.

7. For unexpected but insightful new knowledge

Search Engine

My son Chase recommended this podcast series to me. The episode I recommend is called Is There a Sane Way to Use the Internet — it is a bit heady, so this one may be best suited for your older teenagers. Ezra Klein, one of today’s greatest thinkers, is interviewed and talks about why he and millions of others have abandoned using X (formally Twitter), something I was very glad to hear.

8. For shared family learning (and supporting us!)

The Screenagers Podcast

Through interviews with researchers, thought leaders, and young people, The Screenagers Podcast delivers the latest in science and practical tips you can use. Most episodes are geared for parents, kids, and teens to listen to and spark common ground for inspired conversations. Two episodes will be released every month. Many are short, no longer than 20 minutes, and are all meant to be listened to with the entire family. 

This week, we have a new episode titled:A Teen Run Instagram Account Shook a School and the Lessons Learned: An Interview with author Dashka Slater.”

In this episode, I interview journalist Dashka Slater about her new book, Accountable, where she writes about the true story of a social media account run by a small group of teens who posted racist and sexist memes. The account spread quickly, and as it grew, the content grew more disturbing. The book follows the social media account’s profound effect on the teens who created it, their friends, and the entire high school community. In my interview with Slater, I dive into issues like online racism, the difference between guilt and shame, and transformative justice. I also share advice for parents and teens on dealing with the repercussions of online racism and the complexities of forgiveness and empathy.

Listen here on our website, at Apple Podcasts or on Spotify

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Here are more podcast recommendations I’ve suggested from previous years:

Screenagers Blog | Best Podcasts for Families 2020

Screenagers Blog | 11 Podcasts for Family Summer Car Trips

Screenagers Blog | Podcasts And Books I Recommend Right Now

Screenagers Blog | 7 Podcasts I Recommend for The Whole Family This Summer

Screenagers Blog | 10 Family Podcasts Great for Summer Car Trips

Screenagers Blog | Books and Podcasts List To Help With Parenting

Screenagers Blog | 22 Podcasts kids and teens are listening to right now

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With new videos posted every Tuesday and Friday, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel! Here's what we published in recent days!

*This is a 10 minute preview of our latest podcast episode. Click the links above for the full episode.

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Available now - Parenting in the Screen Age, from Screenagers filmmaker Delaney Ruston MD

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Available now - Parenting in the Screen Age, from Screenagers filmmaker Delaney Ruston MD

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Free Book Preview - Download a free preview of "Parenting In The Screen Age" by Delaney Ruston, MD

Learn More

Join Today - Members can screen and view our movies year-round, access new lesson plans, resources and much more!

Learn More
Screenagers Under The Influence Banner

Our New Movie - Learn more about the third movie in the Screenagers Trilogy

Learn More

The Screenagers YouTube Channel - Subscribe for new videos and content from our team weekly!

Learn More
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Community Screenings - Learn more about hosting your own Screenagers community screening event!

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Find a Screening - Find a screening of our movies in your local community

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Screenagers Podcast - Join Screenagers filmmaker Delaney Ruston MD for the latest Podcast

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Available now - Parenting in the Screen Age, from Screenagers filmmaker Delaney Ruston MD

Learn More
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Community Screenings - Learn more about hosting your own Screenagers community screening event!

Learn More
Parenting In The Screen Age Book Cover

Free Book Preview - Download a free preview of "Parenting In The Screen Age" by Delaney Ruston, MD

Learn More

Join Today - Members can screen and view our movies year-round, access new lesson plans, resources and much more!

Learn More
Screenagers Under The Influence Banner

Our New Movie - Learn more about the latest movie in the Screenagers Trilogy

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The Screenagers YouTube Channel - Subscribe for new videos and content from our team weekly!

Learn More
Media Recommendations

8 Podcast Recommendations for Winter Break

Delaney Ruston, MD
December 5, 2023
The words "Podcast Recommendations" in front of a podcast microphone on a blue background

Whether you are headed off on vacation journeys or just spending time at home during the holidays, I have some mind-opening podcast suggestions to listen to with the whole family. It can be fun to listen to only parts of any of these suggestions to allow more time for talking and then finish them at the next drive or sitting.

Here is my list:

1. My top choice for the whole family 

Dolly Parton’s America. 

This recommendation came from a spunky podcast creator in her mid-20s who said this was her favorite-ever podcast series. Produced by Jad Abumrad, the mind behind RadioLab, Dolly Parton’s America is like comfort food for the soul. Her voice melts like butter as she tells stories about her life and experiences in the 9-part series. Her attitude towards her experiences is the real shining star throughout the series. 

I found gold in all the episodes. My favorite, though, is the third. It’s about Dolly’s time working on a TV show with Porter Wagoner, a country singer famous in the late 1960s and ‘70s.  What struck me most was when she spoke about deciding to leave the show and go out on her own. When Dolly says, “Forgiveness is all there is,” your heart will surely miss a beat as it did mine. 

2. For listening with elementary school-age kids 

The Big Fib  

In an era of fake news, young, growing minds need to be able to determine what’s true and what’s false. Each week, a kid interviews two experts on a particular topic, one of whom is a genuine, credentialed expert, the other a liar. Hilarious and fast-paced, the show teaches kids to ask insightful questions, weigh the evidence before them, and trust their gut.

I listened to Episode 216, called “YouTube.” Skip the first part and start five minutes in. There are hundreds of topics to choose from, such as Minecraft, chocolate, robots, drones, and nutrition. 

3. For listening alone or with teens

Anything Goes with Emma Chamberlain

I always ask my kids what they are listening to, and Tessa highly recommended Anything Goes with Emma Chamberlain on Apple or Spotify. Emma, who rose to fame as a YouTuber, is not surprisingly crushing it as a podcaster. She tells it like it is. 

Episodes I recommend listening to with teens (and be forewarned she does swear at times) include:

Emma’s journey with vaping and reasons she wants to quit, plus the follow-up she recorded discussing how hard it has been to quit. 

I also really loved her interview with Anna Lembke. I was jazzed that she chose to have the author of Dopamine Nation for her first interview-style podcast (normally, she is just speaking to the audience). I went to medical school with Anna, and she is in our latest Screenagers film, Screenagers Under the Influence: Addressing Vaping, Drugs, and Alcohol in the Digital Age. Tessa told me about this episode and raved about how much she liked it. 

I just listened to a chunk of Emma’s interview about how to handle embarrassment. Getting mental health skills is a focus of Screenagers Next Chapter, so this episode is right up my alley of what I want teens to hear about. I suggest using it as a way to talk about how you handle yourself when you feel the sensation of embarrassment arises within you. 

4. For insight into healthy relationships

ReThinking with Adam Grant - The science of healthy relationships

In this episode, Adam interviews Julie and John Gottman. The Gottmans are experts in the field of relationships. You may have heard of the Love Lab. In the interview, they talk about how masters of relationships work hard to point out positives in others. Focusing on the positive more than the negatives is a good reminder for all of us who are parents. I loved spending the afternoon with the Gottmans when I filmed them for Screenagers Next Chapter. Their advice is priceless. We  just released a new clip from our interview with the Gottmans on our YouTube channel:

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parenting in the screen age

for more like this, DR. DELANEY RUSTON'S NEW BOOK, PARENTING IN THE SCREEN AGE, IS THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE FOR TODAY’S PARENTS. WITH INSIGHTS ON SCREEN TIME FROM RESEARCHERS, INPUT FROM KIDS & TEENS, THIS BOOK IS PACKED WITH SOLUTIONS FOR HOW TO START AND SUSTAIN PRODUCTIVE FAMILY TALKS ABOUT TECHNOLOGY AND IT’S IMPACT ON OUR MENTAL WELLBEING.  

ORDER HERE
Parenting in the Screen Age book cover