I used to cherish my commute to and from work. I don’t live far from the office, but I could count on a solid 25 minutes of podcast listening everyday. Podcasts are my happy place. I’ve been making them for several years and listening to them for even longer. But as our collective hibernation began in March of last year, my commute time shrunk to nothing and with a young, rambunctious child craving my attention, so did my at-home listening time.
As we all were (and continue) to figure out the new, unexpected rhythms of work/life, I began to develop my own podcast; something that would enable me to stay connected to the outside world and to give listeners something that they could find value in — even just in the time it takes to brush their teeth or take out the trash.
Enter “The Best Advice Show,” the ridiculously short podcast I’ve been producing since April 2020. Each 3- to 5-minute episode contains one succinct piece of advice. It’s never my own but rather strangers, friends, heroes, and hopefully yours sometime soon as well! (Call me on the advice hotline at 844-935-BEST). Three days a week, you’ll hear someone offer their own personal take on what they do to make their life better, healthier, saner and more livable and it’s likely going to be be something you can try today, if you want!
The power of Zoom has enabled me to connect with folks all over the world, but TBH, some of my favorite episodes feature the hard-won wisdom of our neighbors here in Detroit. They’ve shared lessons from their own lives on existential topics like the dissolution of self; how to get along with friends and foes and the daily essentials like making a perfect egg salad.
Learn from them with this playlist of advice from Detroit:
Detroit Justice Center’s Amanda Alexander on practicing freedom:
“I want to make it clear this is not a to-do list. This isn’t a list of things I should do but it’s a list of things that if I really listen deeply to my gut and to my intuition, it’s what I want. Today I want to be by the water or I want to take a walk through tall trees or I want to hear my friend’s voice. And it keeps me in the habit of being guided by my intuition and making sure that I know what I want and I know what it feels like to practice my freedom and making sure there’s a distinction between that and the imposition of someone else’s will.”
Allied Media’s Jenny Lee shares a nighttime ritual that could be yours too:
“It kind of feels like the equivalent of flossing your teeth. It’s this way of scraping off the psychic residue of the day.”
Artist Nichole Christian on the counter-intuitive power of killing comfort:
“So, what if you didn’t choose the thing you always chose? What if you didn’t say the thing you always said? What might that teach you?”
Sound artist and bodhisattva Stealing Toles on the dissolution of self:
I don’t see people as being other. I’m looking at me. You know? I never see my peace or my joy or my inspiration as being independent. Like, their well being matters for me to experience well being for myself.
Detour collaborator Aaron Mondry on SHUTTING THE F*CK UP!:
“I think a lot of people, when they’re listening to someone talk. They’re thinking of the next thing they can say instead of genuinely responding to what was just said to them.”
Freep opiner Nancy Kaffer with the perfect egg salad recipe:
“I make my egg salad while the eggs are still warm and everyone I’ve ever said this to thought it was disgusting and then as soon as they ate it they’ve been a convert to the warm egg salad theory.”
Boggs School co-founder Julia Putnam on why, maybe, you shouldn’t offer advice to begin with:
“My advice is that you should never give unsolicited advice. My theory is that most people already know what they should do or want to do in any given situation.”
Zak is the host of “The Best Advice Show” and Director of Podcasts at Graham Media Group. He’s also the producer/editor of “How to Survive the End of the World” and the creator of “Pregnant Pause with Zak and Shira,” which chronicles his and his wife’s decision to bring a child into this strange world of ours. His radio features have been heard on NPR, CBC, BBC, PRI, APM, Deutsche Welle and Radio Helsinki. He was a staff producer on NPR/PRX’s State of the Re:Union and before that, a co-founding producer of WDET’s Detroit Today.