By the Book with Jolenta Greenberg and Kristen Meinzer has quickly become one of my favorite podcasts.
It’s a great premise: two friends, one desperate for the self-help book that will change her life and one deeply skeptical of any pop psychology or new age bullshit. Each episode, they tackle a popular self-help book and live its tenets faithfully for two weeks, then report back on whether or not the book changed their lives.
Kristen and Jolenta’s courageous vulnerability takes this podcast from fun idea to excellent reality. They aren’t afraid to be brutally honest with themselves, laugh at their mishaps, and rope their husbands into their schemes (Kristen’s husband Dean is the breakout star of the show and has gained his own fan club). Their banter is hilarious, but it also frequently veers into the heartwarming: the French Women Don’t Get Fat episode turns into a surprise tearjerker.
These episodes are great because Jolenta and Kristen cut through the fluff to glean the actually effective bits of advice in popular self-help books, creating a podcast that’s not only funny but smart and useful, and far more well-rounded and practical than any self-help book on the market.
Also, not for nothing, the theme song of this podcast, though polarizing among listeners, gets stuck in my head every time I think about it.
Listen if you like: Happier with Gretchen Rubin, self-improvement, wholesome female friendship