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With so many changes in our holiday traditions this year, here at Dandelion Chandelier, we’ve been feeling the need for some good old-school Thanksgiving feelings. And happily, we’ve found music, books, movies, and fragrance to get us into a Thanksgiving groove. Now we’re turning our attention to podcasts that can help us feel the warmth and gratitude of the season. We have curated a list of the 10 best Thanksgiving podcasts to listen to right now.

10 best podcasts to get into a good place for Thanksgiving 2023

Thanksgiving celebrations can be wonderful. They can also be extremely stressful. So some greet the onset of Thanksgiving season with joy and excitement. While others dread it.

Basically, many of us need something to help us get in the spirit of things. Something comforting and warm. Something that reminds us of the unconditional love we receive at home. Our real home, not necessarily the one we grew up in, or even the one we live in right now. 

And that’s why we’ve assembled a list of the ten perfect Thanksgiving podcasts. All of them will remind you of your loved ones, of better times, and of reasons to feel thankful.  If you need something to do while in transit, or if you’re unable to reunite with friends and family this year, give these feel-good shows a listen. They’re sure to offer some light.  

1. This American Life 

Even if you’ve never listened to a podcast before, you are probably still familiar with This American Life. First started in 1995 as a radio show, they have since produced more than seven hundred episodes, and each one is an hour of pure, wholesome emotion. Though not every episode is happy, every one contains a glimpse of humanity that will make you feel warm and cozy this Thanksgiving day

best Thanksgiving podcasts

The best Thanksgiving podcasts to listen to right now: This American Life. Courtesy Photo.

After all, the best part of heading home for the holidays is sharing stories and connecting with the people you loveIf you’re unsure of where to start listening, check out this list from host Ira Glass. These will certainly keep you occupied through the rest of the month – and all of the months to come  

2. The Moth 

If you’ve decided storytelling podcasts are for you, check out The Moth – another award-winning podcast that you may have already tried. But if you haven’t yet, we highly recommend making this the moment you press play. Every podcast contains one or more stories on a central theme, and they range from the humorous to the heartbreaking. 

best Thanksgiving podcasts

The best Thanksgiving podcasts to listen to right now: The Moth. Courtesy Photo.

If you are looking for reasons to feel grateful right now, these are exactly what you need. And The Moth must have read our minds: they’ve begun a series of stories called Near and Far: Stories of Explorationdesigned for those who are stranded without plans for the holiday.  

3. LeVar Burton Reads 

Maybe you want to listen to a good story, but you don’t necessarily want to hear another word about the real world right nowWe understand, and we’ve got you covered. LeVar Burton Reads is exactly what it sounds like: LeVar Burton himself, reading the best short fiction aloud, on-air.

best Thanksgiving podcasts

The best Thanksgiving podcasts to listen to right now: Levar Burton Reads. Courtesy Photo.

If need a pick-me-up, or if you’re feeling a little homesick, then this is definitely the Thanksgiving podcast for you. Think of it as the best bedtime story in the world. Next out is a miniseries featuring stories by Nnedi Okorafor, on November 17th.  

4. Best Friends with Nicole Byer and Sasheer Zamata 

Don’t underestimate the power of the hang-out podcast. While structure and stories are both wonderful show elements, there is also immense comfort in the simplicity of listening to people spend time together, having a totally normal conversation.

best Thanksgiving podcasts

The best Thanksgiving podcasts to listen to right now: Best Friends. Courtesy Photo.

In this podcast, you get to be the fly on the wall for the fun and funny conversations between famed duo Nicole Byer and Sasheer Zamata. If you miss your own friends, or if you need something to take your mind off of everything for a while, then this is the show for you.

5. Call Your Girlfriend 

In a similar vein, Call Your Girlfriend is “a podcast for long-distance besties everywhere” and it is exactly what we need right now. Since best friends Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman live on opposite coasts, they have been doing social-distanced friendship for a lot longer than quarantine. 

What to listen to

The best Thanksgiving podcasts to listen to right now: Call Your Girlfriend. Courtesy Photo.

And through their podcast, you get to eavesdrop on their weekly catchup phone calls as they discuss pop culture, current events, and everything in between. And if you love what you hear, their hit book Big Friendship: How We Keep Each Other Close  was released this summer.   

6. My Brother, My Brother and Me 

Maybe you’re really missing members of your family right now. If so, it might feel nice to drop in on somebody else’s sibling dynamic for a little while.

best Thanksgiving podcasts

The best Thanksgiving podcasts to listen to right now: My Brother, My Brother & Me. Courtesy Photo.

The McElroy’s have several well-loved podcasts. This is still our favorite: three brothers getting together to give warm, funny advice to their listeners. Its five hundred episodes are light-hearted, making them the perfect reprieve this Thanksgiving.

7. Dear Hank and John 

Since family is such a big part of Thanksgiving celebrations, we couldn’t include just one family podcast. You may know Hank and John Greenf rom their respective best-selling novels, or their well-known YouTube channel, Vlogbrothers

The best Thanksgiving podcasts to listen to right now: Dear Hank & John. Courtesy Photo.

Well, their podcast is here with all of the same heartfelt content. The brothers answer questions, report on their favorite topics, and spend time together, on-air. If you can’t get home to see your own family, celebrate this holiday with theirs 

8. Good Life Project Podcast 

Thanksgiving is all about gratitude, and you may be looking for some inspiration. Welcome to Good Life Project Podcast, where inspiration is their specialty. Listen each week for conversations with some of the most intentional, successful people around, and let their wise words show you the way.

The best Thanksgiving podcasts to listen to right now: Good Life Project. Courtesy Photo.

Guests have included Elizabeth Gilbert, Carla Hall, Tim Ferriss, and many, many others, all of whom have lessons to share with listeners looking for guidance.

9. Strangers 

If you can’t get enough of stories about ordinary people, make sure to check out Strangers, the podcast from the Moth’s former director, Lea Thau. The idea of the podcast is to encourage empathy by having us hear each other’s stories: stories of connection, of heartbreak, and of kindness.

The best Thanksgiving podcasts to listen to right now: Strangers. Courtesy Photo.

Nothing is as valuable as remembering all of the beautiful people who exist right outside our doors. Listen this Thanksgiving to feel the love.

10. The Kindness Project 

This is a podcast with a goal: to help all of us be a little bit kinder to each other. They do this by sharing stories of kindness, and showing how it can make tangible, positive change in all of our lives.

The best Thanksgiving podcasts to listen to right now: The Kindness Project. Courtesy Photo.

best podcasts to get into a good place for Thanksgiving 2023

If you’re feeling down, or if you need a dose of optimism, start right here.  It will have you feeling thankful in just one episode. Have a lovely holiday, dear reader.


Abbie Martin Greenbaum

Abbie Martin Greenbaum is a writer, reader, and pop culture connoisseur, who loves storytelling, coffee, and dessert. Her work has also appeared in Playbill.