It seems like when you search for a good podcast, there are millions to choose from, and sifting through them all can be overwhelming and exhausting. There's something there for everyone, from music to politics to history to comedy to late-night raunchy. Well, if you want to get a good start of a few worth checking out, we got it for you. Check out 10 podcasts that uplift, inspire, inform and empower:
Passing Through Podcast
Nneka Julia's Instagram page gives enough clues as to why you'd want to know more from just one glimpse of something. Her photos from her off-the-beaten-path travels around the world---from Oracabessa, Jamaica to Abua, Nigeria to Havana Cuba, to Siem Reap Province, Cambodia---have allure and mystique that she further excites via the captions. So it's no surprise that her podcast would do the same, offering clever storytelling and intriguing nuggets of wisdom.
If you want to hear discussions from super-smart journalists about race and current events, this is a good one. What's great about this is that it includes both female and male perspectives and puts things in a historical context so that you'll feel like you've been schooled after every episode. One recent episode about the agitators within protests had me rethinking my opinions about the moving parts of a successful activist movement.
Therapy For Black Girls The Podcast
This isn't your usual chat about mental health and therapy. This podcast makes the subjects less taboo and more relatable. Hosted by Dr. Joy Harden Bradford, a licensed psychologist and speaker, the podcast covers hot topics like Insecure's inclusion of Molly's pursuit of therapy, managing anxiety related to COVID-19, coping with workplace stress, and how to talk to your children about race.
Nicaila Matthews Okome features candid conversations with women entrepreneurs, and past guests have included Myleik Teele of CurlBox, Lisa Price of Carol's Daughter, and Nicole Walters of The Monetized Life. The show promotes the impact of small steps that lead to big results, whether in launching that new idea, business or upgraded life.
Sip On This
Ashley Nicole Black, an actress, comedian, and writer, is that breath-of-fresh-air coworker at the new job who actually tells you why you shouldn't ask too many questions at the first staff meeting and point out who will actually answer your emails. She covers topics like how to channel anger, find work-life balance and survive struggle jobs. Yeah, thank me later sis.
If you don't know by the title what you're in for, you might want to go ahead and consult your urban dictionary and then review the expiration date on your Black Card. Veteran blogger Kid Fury and co-host Crissle give us real talk and raw opinions on every day issues like responding to cities opening back up, celebrity Internet beefs, and the prevalence of white privilege violations. These two would make any salon, coffee shop, bar lounge or barbershop visit a treat because this is the type of when-keeping-it-real-goes-right that makes any conversation that much more enjoyable.
Ikhlas Saleem and Makkah Ali talk race, gender and life as Muslims in America in a way that not only invites understanding but puts them among the ranks of friends in your head. (Am I the only one who does that? Wendy Williams, Tracee Ellis Ross, Shioni Turini, and Janelle Monae are on that list, too, but I digress). Whether you share their faith or not, you'll find so many similar issues to evoke "Yasss, sis," that you won't want to stop listening once the episodes are done.
Pilot and explorer Kellee Edwards talks with guests about what their travel experiences have taught them about life, people, purpose, and choices. Kellee has traveled to more than 50 countries herself, built a huge following on YouTube before joining the team at The Travel Channel and has redefined what it means to be a black traveler. This podcast just launched June 10, but if it's anything like her previous shows, you won't want to miss it.
Monique Koch, a vegan family coach, shares how to transition into a healthy lifestyle, and even if you're still not too sure about cutting your favorite jerk pork or fried chicken from your diet, you'll find more information from featured guests about the specific health benefits of using essential oils, incorporating adjustments for fitness goals, or adding more interesting seasonal veggies to your meals.
Anytime you hear the words "one night stand", "on her face", "got a rash", and "parasites" in the same sentence, you know it's going to be an interesting night. This is definitely NSFW, but once you get a private moment and hear hosts Mandii B and WeezyWTF break down the tea and crumpets on trending news, celebrity shenanigans, girl-did-you-know wise cracks, and issues of sex and love that raise more than an eyebrow.
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This post is in partnership with SheaMoisture.
When it comes to healthy hair care, there are a few things that will help you achieve healthy strands: a healthy hair care regime, hydration, consistent treatments, and scalp care. While scalp care is one of the most neglected practices, it is also one of the most important. Why? Because it helps promote healthy hair growth, clear hair follicles, and remove build-up.
When it comes to creating a healthy scalp routine, it helps to know exactly what you’re up against so you know how to specifically treat it. Two of the most common concerns are dandruff and dry scalp. It can be tough to decipher which is which, but here’s a quick breakdown: dry scalp is caused by a lack of moisture in the skin, while dandruff is caused by an excess of oil and yeast buildup on the scalp. Knowing that both of these are big concerns, SheaMoisture released two separate product lines to address both issues: the Scalp Moisture collection and the Anti-Dandruff collection.
Needless to say, if you tend to experience dandruff then I’d recommend you try the Anti-Dandruff collection. However, my biggest concern has always been dry scalp. A lack of moisture on the scalp can be caused by several factors like weather, age, and hair products to name a few. I’ve noticed that when I use certain gels or skip out on a deep scalp cleanse, my roots feel itchy and dry nonstop, which is uncomfortable.
The only way to relieve the discomfort is to properly wash and moisturize my roots, so I tried the Scalp Moisture collection and this is what I thought.
Krissy Lewis for xoNecole
First, What’s In The Collection?
The Scalp Moisture collection is a four-product line that includes a pre-wash masque, a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner, and a moisturizing scalp cream. Each product uses moisturizing and strengthening ingredients like aloe butter and vitamin B3 as active ingredients to provide eight times the moisture. Together, aloe butter and vitamin B3 work to restore dry and brittle hair, as well as add relief to the scalp.
Now, let’s break down each product…
Krissy Lewis for xoNecole
Scalp Moisture Pre-Wash Masque
The SheaMoisture Scalp Moisture Pre-Wash Masque may actually be the all-star of the collection. Using this deep conditioning masque is one of the best ways to target your dry scalp, restore hydration, and nourish your strands before shampooing.
I started by completely saturating my hair and scalp with water, then making small sections to apply the masque directly to the root. For my girls who have experience with relaxers and perms, it helps to apply the masque to your roots just like you would do with a relaxer. This way you can make sure you’ve covered as much of your scalp as possible while minimizing any breakage.
Pro tip: you can also use a color application brush to make this step easier.
After I completely covered my scalp, I massaged the product into my roots, used any excess on my strands, then left the masque in for 30 minutes. I was shocked by how moisturizing and clarifying my scalp and hair felt. One of the things that I love about the masque is the slip and how much softer it made my hair. While this is marketed as a scalp care product, it can completely transform your hair from dry and parched to completely hydrated.
In my opinion, the downside of this masque is that the quantity is too small for my liking. Truth be told, naturals go through deep conditioners faster than any other product (especially when it’s this good.) So SheaMoisture, if you’re reading this, we’d love a bigger jar.
Krissy Lewis for xoNecole
Scalp Moisture Shampoo
The SheaMoisture Scalp Moisture Shampoo is a gentle cleanser packed with the same moisture as the masque. The pearl-colored shampoo is lightweight with a serum-like consistency and a light and clean scent. The smell is pleasant, subtle, and not overbearing. When I applied the shampoo, I noticed immediately that it foams and lathers up very quickly, so less is more.
After applying the shampoo, I parted my hair and started at the roots to target as much of my scalp as possible. I recommend really taking the time to work the product and massage your scalp as much as possible.
Pro tip: using a scalp massager makes it easier and it feels amazing.
Once you start to massage your hair you’ll feel the product start to work. There’s a tingling sensation that might catch you off guard if you’re not used to it, but it’s not nearly as strong as other scalp products I’ve tried. I know some may not appreciate the sensation, but I loved it! My scalp felt clean, light, and breathable.
Krissy Lewis for xoNecole
Scalp Moisture Conditioner
Like the shampoo, the SheaMoisture Scalp Moisture Conditioner shares that pearly color and serum-like feel. It applies very easily while softening and moisturizing your hair. When I applied it to my hand, it gave my hands a lotion-like feel, which speaks volumes about its hydration capabilities. I also loved that the conditioner comes with a pump, instead of having to squeeze the product out – to me, it makes application easier.
I typically apply my conditioner to the ends first but because this is a scalp care product I started at the root and worked my way down to my ends. I did leave the conditioner in for ten minutes, although the bottle recommends leaving it in for three. The conditioner also provides that same breathable feel to your scalp. I honestly loved the relief.
Krissy Lewis for xoNecole
Scalp Moisture Cream
The SheaMoisture Scalp Moisture Cream is more of a daily relief product for your roots rather than your overall hair. It’s great for providing moisture and immediate relief to a dry and itchy scalp. Just like most of the collection, it gives a light and breathable feel – without the tingle. The applicator bottle targets specific parts of your scalp and makes applying easier.
Pro tip: I typically just squeeze the bottle to wherever I need the relief and use the tip to massage it into my scalp so it doesn’t mess up the hairstyle.
Overall, SheaMoisture’s scalp care line lives up to its claims – it moisturizes, strengthens, and provides immediate scalp relief. I definitely recommend trying the Scalp Moisture collection for an affordable way to treat itchy and dry scalp.
Featured image by Krissy Lewis for xoNecole
We’ve all heard the age-old adage, “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” But have we ever considered an amendment to the rule when we’re in the safe and confiding space of a close friend?
As humans, we share information — it’s what keeps us connected with the world around us. And women, specifically, have a special way of forming connections with their friends through deep emotional support, bonding complex experiences, and seeking advice as a means of problem-solving and processing information.
However, without the proper conversational boundaries in place, these seemingly harmless moments of friendly banter can easily drift into a space we know as gossip.
All across TikTok, users are stripping the veil between casual chit-chat and juicy tea-spilling by partaking in a viral trend where friends ask one another, “Can I be mean for a second?” to which their request is met by their circle of friends being revived by the enticing invitation.
“Can I Be Mean for a Second?” TikTok Trend
But what differentiates an everyday catch-up session with a friend from all-out gossiping that you may or may not have intended to participate in? And once we're there, why does it make us feel so bad?
"The reason we feel guilty about [gossip] is because we misunderstand it," says friendship coach Danielle Bayard Jackson. "Gossip simply means you are talking about people who are not in the room, who are not present. That's it. But it has taken on a negative connotation, and if you have people saying gossip is bad, then whenever I talk about people, I'm going to feel bad because I've been told, culturally, that it's wrong."
The self-described "Female Friendship Educator" and creator of the Friend Forward podcast explains that gossip isn't inherently "negative" and can, in fact, be positive or neutral.
And while this form of conversation helps us to determine and establish cultural and social norms, there is a clear distinction, coined by author Deborah Tannin, that Danielle says can detect what direction your next convo might be headed in. "Ask yourself, 'Am I talking about her, or am I talking against her? If you're talking against her, ask yourself, why do I take pleasure in making her look bad?"
"Ask yourself, 'Am I talking about her, or am I talking against her? If you're talking against her, ask yourself, why do I take pleasure in making her look bad?"
What makes gossip so traceable is the impact it has on those who find themselves partaking in the negative end of it, not just the subject of conversation. "Some of us feel bad even when we don't contribute to the gossip just by being in the room while it happens. And that's one of the impacts of gossip: it makes the bystanders still leave feeling complicit because they didn't necessarily stop it," Danielle says.
Because we've been culturally and socially conditioned to demonize this form of discussion as opposed to understanding it as a social skill, it's natural to have "good gossipers" and "bad" ones, i.e., mean girls, within our many different circles. If we tend to find ourselves in the company of people who take part in bringing a person down, disparaging someone, or trying to tarnish her reputation, what we might be experiencing is something Danielle has coined as "sophisticated stealth."
Sophisticated Stealth: The Art of Mean-Girling
The most effective mean girls use “sophistictaed stealth”. You may not have heard of the term, but you will when my book comes out next spring! Love having this discussion.
"Sophisticated stealth is an elevated version of 'mean girl tactics,'" Danielle explains. "The whole idea is to hit somebody without landing or without throwing a punch — it's the psychological warfare that causes emotional harm to someone."
It's a style of communication that's laced with veiled insults like comments on one's appearance, downplaying a recent accomplishment, or packaging gossip as a noble gesture in order to maintain an appearance of cooperation.
"That's the number one rule in sophisticated stealth: I'm going to hit somebody while keeping myself looking good because we know there are social consequences," she explains, "If I do that, then I look bad, I look petty, I look vindictive, and I have to maintain my reputation. This is why the women with some of the best reputations can also be some of the meanest women."
There is an art to this. So much so that we can find ourselves in the midst of this tactic and not even know it's being done. And while this is often sparked by deep-rooted insecurities and feeling threatened by someone else's success or status, it's important to know how to get yourself out of a negative-leaning conversation when you notice the signs.
How To Get Good at Navigating Gossip
Be a Bore:
"Remember that you don't have to respond to make negative gossip stop. You just have to be very unfun to tell it to."
Sympathize With the Subject of Gossip:
"You might say, 'I feel bad. Because I know if people were talking about my business, I'd be so embarrassed." Show empathy. Showing solidarity with the person they're talking about.
Use a Playful Excuse:
"This helps to not come off as self-righteous by correcting them. Playfully excusing yourself, say, 'I'm your peer, I'm with you, but I can't contribute to this.' It shows you're not participating and signals that you believe that it's not a thing we should be participating in."
Call It Out:
"I strongly encourage you to call it out one on one because if you call out a girl with sophisticated stealth in front of people, you run the risk of people being like, 'What are you talking about?' Okay, because it's so elusive. But one on one, you would say, 'Hey, what did you mean by that comment that you made yesterday?'"
Set the Tone:
"Front load the conversation with your purpose so that nobody misunderstands your intentions. This shakes off some shame so you don't fear your friends leaving, thinking you initiated negative talk."
"The whole point is for the insult/gossip to land, make you be impacted by it, or hurt your feelings. So if you don't react, like you're not even registering, it has less of a hit."
Understanding these moments of conversational transparency and the type of gossip you're participating in is a vital skill to master as society continues to become more connected again. And as we find our way in forming and maintaining new bonds with people, it's good to know who we can confide in and who might take advantage of our vulnerability by understanding what company we're in.
"I think some of the reason why that trend is so popular is because we do that with girls who are our vault. We do that with women we know we're in a safe space with," Danielle says. "I know I'm with girls who understand this as a part of my process to get my feelings out. I understand I'm with women who are not going to go and tell this person.
"Keeping entrusted company around you that's non-judgemental and open-minded promotes an environment where "good" and healthy gossip can be processed and, ultimately, released.
Because we all need a safe space to pop off.
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