In the last few years, our pop culture has largely become brighter, kinder and more focused on empathy. The curve towards the positive has been dubbed “hopepunk,” inspired by a viral Tumblr post, with media like Steven Universe, Undertale and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before all responding to a grimmer real world with a mission to mine joy.
One of the most prominent surges of hopepunk is in podcasting, both in fiction and nonfiction. Because podcasters usually don’t have to answer to a traditional network, there’s more room to try stories that have different types of stakes and protagonists. When you look past the politics and true-crime genres, the state of podcasting right now can be downright therapeutic, and completely free.
We’ve compiled a list of podcasts to start with to bring in the good vibes, practice radical empathy and help remind yourself that, sometimes, the world can be pretty okay. Make sure that you listen to the fiction in order starting from their first episodes, but the nonfictions can be listened to however you choose.