What to Listen to This Year When You Need a Mental Boost

The Call podcast season 3 farewell roundup man repeller erica williams simon

Doesn’t it feel like 2019 is going to be a big year? I know people say that every year, but I swear this time feels different. Everyone I know seems to be writing a book or pursuing a promotion or considering a leap of some kind — even if the leap is simply letting go of something that’s no longer serving them. The energy swirl surrounding 2019 feels unusually electric.

When 2018 was wrapping, I was reflecting on my time creating The Call, the podcast for “women on a mission” I’ve been hosting with Man Repeller since March 2017. As the reflection turned into a deep-dive, I thought about how many lessons from the show I plan to carry with me into the new year.

If you’re anticipating a lot of growth and exciting change this year (as I am with The Call — make sure you’re subscribed and following me for updates), here are 10 episodes from the past three seasons that might come in handy this year:

1. For when you feel self-doubt

Season 2, Episode 1: Melody Ehsani

The designer (who just made Hypebeast100’s list) talks about the conversations that she has with the insecure, self-doubting voice in her head and how giving it an actual name has helped her call it out and fight back.

2. For when you’re afraid to tell the truth

Season 3, Episode 7: Glennon Doyle

Glennon’s episode is a gold mine of lessons, but the way she talks about bravely telling her truth and dealing with people who just don’t like it is unforgettable.

3. For when you’re creating something

Season 2, Episode 11: Tarana Burke

Tarana talks so lovingly and passionately about her baby, the #MeToo movement, that you’ll come away remembering that it’s the why of what you build and who you’re building it for that really matters.

4. For when it’s time to move

Season 1, Episode 5: dream hampton

Like Glennon’s episode, dream’s is too full of brilliance to summarize, but listeners have said over and over again just how much her talk about geography and moving — leaving what feels safe and stable and creating new dreams in the process — stuck with them.

5. For when a big opportunity comes your way

Season 1, Episode 1: Jenna Wortham

Who would say no to their dream job? And why? Jenna Wortham — our very first guest on the show! — actually did. She had to be convinced that she actually deserved it and was ready. And she doesn’t want that to ever happen to you.

6. For when you feel like giving up

Season 3, Episode 6: Dascha Polanco

After hearing The Orange Is The New Black actor walk us step by step through her journey as a single mom working nights in a hospital while still pursuing her dream, I dare you to give up on yourself, no matter how hard things get.

7. For when you need a break

Season 2, Episode 3: Latham Thomas

The celebrity doula reminds everyone that self-care is a political act and walks us through how doing things for ourselves is a non-negotiable.

8. For when you need to take a big, scary leap

Season 1, Episode 3: Wendy Carillo

When I sat down with Wendy, she was running for Congress — with NO prior political campaign experience. Talk about a big leap. She ultimately lost that election but turned right back around and ran a winning campaign for Assemblywoman.

9. For when you need to reinvent yourself

Season 1, Episode 10: Bevy Smith

Auntie Bevy as I now call her was a wildly successful style editor who one day decided that she wanted to do television. So she quit. And worked like crazy to figure out how to become something — and someone — new.

10. For when you need a reminder of how good you look

Season 3, Episode 9: Jameela Jamil

I never talked or thought about my body the same way again after hearing The Good Place actor and body positivity activist get real about self-image. (I also can’t look at a curling iron without thinking about…well….you have to listen.)

Illustration by Anne Bentley

Erica Williams Simon

Erica Williams Simon

Erica Williams Simon is the host of The Call.

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