From The Regulars Podcast to Taylor Swift’s surprise album drops to Glennon Doyle’s life-changing book Untamed, let’s talk about the podcasts, music, and books that dramatically made 2020 a little bit easier to handle.
First up, Podcasts. I don’t listen to a TON of podcasts, but I have two that I absolutely love and listen to daily, and I’ve definitely talked about them more than once before, but honestly, I’ll never stop.
My number one: The Regulars Podcast. I did an entire post all about how much I adore this podcast, its hosts, the community it’s brought together, and you can read that here: https://missraee.wordpress.com/2020/09/21/the-regulars-podcast-get-your-ears-and-eyes-on-it/ . Since that post, The Regulars Podcast has found even more ways to grow and connect with the community they built. They’ve set up a Patreon for special additional content and put together a discord chat to keep the chat going even when they’re not live on youtube. Speckspookulars, movie nights, special guests, or just Stacey and Jason, this podcast has been the saving grace of 2020 for me. It’s what I look forward to after a long day in retail. It’s my go-to, whether re-watching the youtube feed or listening to it as audio when I’m having a super soft day and need a pick me up, The Regulars does the trick. I cannot recommend this podcast enough, come for the laughs, come for the community, come for the fuckery and long walks, just come hang out. No Pervs, not now, not ever. 😉
The second podcast that fills my days is The Office Ladies Podcast—hosted by Jenna Fisher (Pam) and Angela Kinsey (Angela). They go episode by episode of The Office, giving backstage information, tidbits, fun facts, and break down the episodes in a way that only two people who were on the show can do. Working in retail can be pretty overwhelming for my anxiety on many occasions, so my lunch break is very important. It’s 30 minutes of no one asking me questions. To protect that, I started wearing headphones in the break room so that no one would talk to me because I needed that space and that quiet. I started with music, but then I started listening to Office Ladies, and it has done wonders to help bring me down, calm me during those breaks at work. Every day at work for my lunch break, you’ll find me minding my own business and listening to Office Ladies. It was so much fun to listen to; I love all the BTS, guest star commentary, and the occasional long walk off topic!
Let’s talk about music. Music is everything to me. I literally had an incredibly embarrassing screen name just like that back in the day, but as embarrassing as it is to think back on, it’s also very true. I need music when I’m driving; I listen to music when I’m cooking, when I’m doing schoolwork, when I’m anxious, when I’m happy, when I’m cleaning, and so on. In 2020 it’s been extra important as it also helps keep my mind quiet or at least… distracted. As usual, my soundtrack to 2020 was all over the place, which is exactly how I like it.
First is the obvious; Taylor Swift. I can listen to Taylor Swift in any scenario. I find more of her earlier stuff on my playlists, but there are always a few RED or 1989 songs thrown in too. But with her dropping Folklore AND Evermore, surprisingly, this year has been a gift that no one expected, everyone wanted, and that we all fell head over heels for. I cannot stop listening to either one. Not only do I love the lyrics and the melody, but the entire vibe surrounding both albums is just *chefs kiss*. Taylor Swift stan forever.
On top of Swift, we have a whole lot of the Hamilton soundtrack blessing our eardrums. I’ve watched Hamilton a million times since it hit Disney Plus, and I’ve listened to the soundtrack just as much. Songs such as Wait for it, helpless, What did I miss?, and Satisfied were constantly on repeat. Fletcher is my absolute favorite new artists; I’m genuinely in love with her and her music. In her older albums and especially her latest album, The S(ex) Tapes, her sound is incredible. The S(ex) Tapes album might definitely be my favorite one, and I’m proud to say I know every freaking word to all the songs. When Miley Cyrus dropped her new album, I practically screamed. I’ve been listening to her since Hannah Montana, and I’ve loved the wild freaking ride it’s been, but there is something really special about this newest album, and it’s been on repeat since the drop.
I have also jumped on the Harry Styles train full speed. I always liked him, but I really dived in this year, and I love, I love, I love. Luke Combs and Kelsea Ballerini were the allstar country stars for me this year. I could listen to Luke Combs sing all day, every day, and Kelsea vibe is absolutely everything. I have found myself on a Fleetwood Mac kick recently; I love when a good Shawn Mendes song comes on, Halsey is ALWAYS a good time, Louden Swain always puts me in a good mood, and Radio Company just has this sound that makes me equally calm and happy.
And now, one of my favorite things ever… books. In 2020 I made a point to find more time for myself, quiet time, and I found that time in the mornings of my days off. I would wake up usually around 7 or 8, get some coffee, during the holiday, I’d turn on the Christmas tree, light my candle, curl back up with my blanket and my book and try to get at least an hour in. It not only gave me more time for me, but it could also change my moods around and the energy around my whole day. I didn’t read many books, but the ones I did read have become my all-time favorites.
Untamed- Glennon Doyle. From the moment she announced she was releasing this book, I could not wait for it, but when I finally got my hands on it, I could never have imagined what I was going to be in for. The way that Glennon breaks things down is mind-blowing; I feel seen, I feel heard, I feel BETTER reading her words whether our stories match exactly or simply share similar thoughts, ideas, and struggles. To read a complete review of this outstanding book: https://missraee.wordpress.com/2020/03/29/glennon-doyles-untamed/
Imagine Me. Tahereh Mafi has written a book series called Shatter Me, and the entire series is one of the greatest stories I’ve ever read, and the final installment of that series was no different. I was so excited when I got it on release day that I read it all that day! I could not stop.
City of Girls was a book that took me forever to read. When it was released in 2019, I got it right away because Elizabeth Gilbert is one of my favorite authors, and I was looking forward to this kind of book from her. It took me so long because I was giving myself time to sit and read it, but finally, I did; and it is such a special book with a special perspective, and I just cannot recommend it more.
There’ll be peace when you are done. Edited by Lynn Zubernis with contributions from the Cast, Crew, and Fans of supernatural, Lynn helped bring some additional peace to Supernatural fans dealing with our beloved 15 year run of a show ending… for good. I loved reading the different perspectives on how the show changed, transformed, and saved people’s lives, and how even though the show was ending, the community and the love within weren’t going anywhere. It was and still is a saving grace.
I’m obsessed with anything that Nora Roberts writes, but when she adds a supernatural type element to it, oh, I am IN. This year I read Year One and Undercurrent. Year One had the supernatural element but was a little hard at first because it mimicked a lot of what we were actually experiencing in this pandemic. It was almost too much, but I’m glad I pushed through because it took so many twists and turns, and I can’t wait until I can get my hands on the next one in the series. Undercurrent gave me my dose of angst, suspense, and romance. I was so obsessed with this book. I read it so damn fast. I’d definitely call it one of my favorite Nora Roberts books I’ve read thus far.
I FINALLY bought all of the Harry Potter books. I have seen the movies a zillion times, could recite most scenes in my sleep, but it came to my realization that if I had read the books, it was a LONG time ago, and I couldn’t remember anything from them! I had to change that immediately. I am now on the Prisoner of Azkaban, and I’m loving working through them and catching the differences between the movies and the books.
The last one I’ll mention is Lili Reinhart’s poetry collection called “Swimming Lessons.” I wanted to get this collection for a few reasons. One, I wanted to support Lili as she’s one of my favorite TV actresses at the moment with her work on Riverdale. I wanted to read it because I love poetry, and I wanted to read it because I feel a lot of the same energy in myself that she puts out on social media, as well as how she’s been open with her mental health struggles, which of course is something we both share. Her work is absolutely incredible, whether it was a few lines or a page of words; I felt something different with every turn of the page, and I loved it.
In 2021, I hope to find some more podcasts to get my ears on. I have a few lined up, such as Renee Young’s oral sessions, Michelle Obamas podcast, Peter n Chris’s; this time, it’s different podcast, Stacey Gets Ri$h podcast, and more. I love finding new music every year, and I hope to top my 2020 Spotify wrapped with finding more than 200 new artists in 2021. I hope to read more Nora Roberts in 2021, including more of the Year One series. I’m sure I’ll be doing an Untamed re-read because it deserves to read over and over. I hope to finish Michelle Obama’s book finally and pick up Barack’s. I cannot wait until it’s safe to go to a bookstore and walk around aimlessly for hours.
What did you have your ears and eyes on the most in 2020? What are you hoping to discover in 2021? Let me know!