Top 5 Podcasts for 2017

As many of you know, I have a pretty long commute these days. On any given day I spend an average of two hours in my car (on a good day) driving to and from work. When I think about how much time that all adds up to; an average of 2-5 hours a day spent driving it sometimes makes my eyes bug out of my head. That’s a lot of hours!

Top 5 Podcasts for 2017 | malarayofsunshine.comAs someone who is between creative endeavors constantly, making time for relaxing hobbies and “me” time can be difficult enough as it is, there is always something else I “should” be doing!

Baking, cooking, scrap-booking, sewing, working out, and reading are all things I find a lot of joy doing. They’re all pretty time-intensive hobbies, though, so in order to make time for them I have to get creative.

Sometimes I’ll bake and cook while I have laundry going, or I’ll scrapbook and craft while I’m watching a show. I’ll often stay at work after my workday is over so I can walk or run which helps me bide some time while traffic (in theory) dissipates some. As far as reading goes, audio books are my saving grace.

I’ve been reading a lot of non-fiction lately. Something clicked in me after the election and I’ve had a difficult time doing things that don’t feel like they “matter” in the grand scheme of things. (Which is a sort of ridiculous notion, but more on that later.) Because of this draw toward the non-fiction genre I’ve also found myself drawn more and more to podcasts and over the summer I finally branched out from The Rachel Maddow Show.

Today I’d like to share with you the top five podcasts I’ve been digging into on my commute!

5. Lore

Average run-time: 30 minutes or less
Summary: This podcast explores the strange folklore that exist, why people believe in it, and how the legends came to be. Each topic is extremely well researched. The subject matter is fascinating, the short format makes it easy to listen to almost anywhere, and he has a really soothing voice!
Guests of note: He doesn’t really have guests on that I’m aware of! It’s a one-man production.
Favourite episode: I don’t have a favourite yet, but the first one I listened to is They Made a Tonic. It is the first episode of the series and the subject matter is vampires.

4. Bad With Money With Gaby Dunn

Average run-time: 1 hour
Summary: This podcast features conversations about money, budgeting, and adulting. Gabby Dunn is an engaging host and conducts her interviews well, including her funny narrative on the side. I started listening because I know I could be better with my money and I stayed because this podcast is super informative and interesting. It is less overtly about money than the subject might lead you to believe, but pretty much everything in life comes back to money, so in most ways it is covertly about money.
Guests of note: Mara Wilson, budget gurus, social warriors
Favourite episode: Who Can Afford to Have Sex? (aka Babies) and Queering Money (aka God Forbid We Have to Think About Something (both of these links lead to YouTube, because it’s the easiest way I could find to link to her, but it’s much easier to just look her up in the Apple Podcast app or your podcast app of choice.)

3. Hello From the Magic Tavern

Average run-time: 30 minutes
Summary: About a man called Arnie who fell through a magical dimensional portal behind a Burger King in Chicago and into a magical land called “Foon” – he had all of his podcasting equipment and hosts a weekly podcast from the tavern called the Vermilion Minotaur – he interviews monsters, wizards, and adventurers Usidore the Wizard and Chunt the magic beaver. This show is definitely explicit, but it’s so worth it – hilarity ensues! The most impressive thing about this podcast, to me, is the fact that it is an improv show. It’s crazy! I like to describe it as: if Homestar Runner were a podcast.
Guests of note: There are guests from within Foon, but no “real life” guests of note that I am aware of.

Favourite episode: Start from the beginning, but if you can’t, I recommend episode 3; Flower.

2. Nancy

Average run-time: 30 minutes or less
Summary: “Nancy” is 100% queer awesomeness. This show has a journalistic style, with live and in-studio interviews woven in with multiple narrative points-of-view each episode. The hosts are Kathy and Tobin, both hilarious and endearing, and they discuss real queer topics from the news, world around them, and their own lives.
Guests of note: Mara Wilson, Alaska Thunderfuck, Ru Paul
Favourite episode: #5: There Are No Gay Wizards and #10: Dear Nancy.

1. The Fizzle Show

Average run-time: 1 hour
Summary: This is a hilarious, jam-packed with information podcast that focuses on small business insights. They are a no-nonsense, “anyone can be anything, but we aren’t going to sugar coat how much work running your own business takes” group of entrepreneurs. Together the hosts Chase Reeves, Corbett Barr, and Steph Crowder share from their own personal experiences. They host other entrepreneurs from all walks of life and business and foster real, genuine, and inspiring conversation with actionable items outlined in the show notes every single time. As a person who is passionate about creating a life and business I am proud of so I can support myself, live life with my family, and travel – they really pump me up. Plus, I really dig how not sleazy they are. Chase ends every episode with this tagline, and it resonates with me big time: “Find care, take care, serve hard, and dig in.” That’s good stuff.
Guests of note: Minimalist Baker, entrepreneurs of all sorts (there are too many – I’ve listened to so many episodes I’ve lost count!)
Favourite episode: 10 Killer Links for Entrepreneurs in 2017 (FS226)Why “Follow Your Passion” is Essential But Terrible Advice (and What to Do Instead) – FS201, and A Walk Through Making Your First Product in 7 Steps (FS027).Hopefully you find something new and interesting to listen to in this assortment of podcasts. What are you listening to lately? Let me know in the comments below or a Tweet!xo,





  1. Absolutely love Lore! I found it and binged the entire podcast! My most recent find and also binging is And That’s Why We Drink. Similar to Lore in there are paranormal stories involved. It’s two podcasters Em who loves milkshakes and the paranormal. Her cohost Christine who loves wine and true crime stories. Each tell you what they are drinking, fun facts about the drinks and of course the intriguing stories! There is very colorful language by the way. Lol