America’s life pretty much goes back to what it was in early 2020, and even the most cautious states are lifting their restrictions. Although a return to normal life brings relief, the sharp shift is alarming to many. After two years of clear recommendations and limitations, we all need to figure out how to be human in the world again.

Fortunately, there is a whole category of podcasts dedicated to this very topic. These six shows, covering sex and dating, office politics, family dynamics and table manners, will help you navigate the amazing things of everyday life.

‘Were you raised by wolves?’

This easy podcast about etiquette is full of useful tips, but also makes listening easy thanks to the interaction between the presenters, journalist Nick Leighton and comedian Leah Bonham. Each episode is very structured, usually starting with “entertainment” – this is a quick explanation of a hard rule, such as how you should hand over the dishes for dinner (counterclockwise, of course). Leighton and Bonham then delve into a more subtle topic, such as tips, table manners or entertainment, and answer listeners ’questions. The show also has several recurring periods, such as “Weathered or Repent,” where presenters can either swear about a etiquette violation they’ve recently experienced, or confess to something they’ve committed.

Initial episode: “Rejection of double dates, gift of unwanted jams, refusal of weddings and much more”

“Am I normal? With Mona ChalabiThis polite, thought-provoking show from the TED Collective uses an empirical approach to one of the most subjective areas: normality. In each episode, British journalist Mona Chalabi decides a different “should”. For example: how many friends should I have? Or how long does it take to bridge the gap? What sets this apart from most recommendations is that Chalabi is a data journalist, so she starts by exploring what statistics can objectively tell us on a topic before consulting with experts (and sometimes with her mother, retired doctors) to delve into gray areas that figures cannot touch.

Initial episode: “How many friends do I need?”

“Great mood, little mood”Slate was one of the first players in the podcast game – his Political Gabfest began in 2005 – so it’s no surprise that his long-standing column with “Dear Prudence” tips has successfully switched to audio. Between 2016 and 2021, in this podcast, Daniel M. Lavery (who at the time wrote as Prudence) responded to listeners ’letters more deeply than a regular column allows. But after Lavery switched from the role of Prudence last year, his podcast changed to “Great Mood, Little Mood”. In the new program, Lavery continues to give advice to the authors of the letters, but in the context of lengthy conversations with various guests, including writers, comedians and even fellow columnist Heather Gavrilevsky.

Initial episode: “Sick loser”

Savage LovecastDan Savage has been one of the leading observers on sexual advice in America for more than three decades, and his leading podcaster on sexual advice for half that time. When it started back in 1991, the printed column “Wild Love” was conceived as a mocking antidote to major consulting dispensaries; Savage, who is gay, planned to “treat gamers with the same contempt with which commentators with regulatory advice have always treated gays”. But it turned out that Savage could share more insight than contempt, and his branded dull, obvious advice continues to resonate. In the audio version, Savage receives voicemail messages from listeners on topics such as monogamy, infidelity, and navigation, and although not all of his advice is outdated, he is usually honest about these mistakes.

Opening Episode: “Savage Lovecast, Series 799”

“Great etiquette”No list of shows about manners would be complete without this 8-year-old series, which comes from the great lady of American etiquette Emily Post. The “Amazing Etiquette,” organized by her great-grandchildren, Lizzie Post and Daniel Post Senning, is a haven for those seeking advice on social morals. The posts covered just about every issue imaginable in the long run of the show, such as how to properly tip when booking out (it’s optional, but they offer 10%) and how to approach dinner if your diet is different from the presenter’s diet. (warn them a lot, and if it’s an advantage rather than an allergy, be prepared to be flexible). And as the last two years have changed the world, introducing new layers of planning and risk into the simplest social challenges, their soothingly structured advice has never felt more desirable.

Initial episode: “Episode 385 – no problem”

“How are you?”Esther Peral, a renowned pair therapist and author, has become an expert in sex and relationships. This is largely due to her hit podcast “Where Should We Start?”, Which allows listeners to be a fly on the wall during therapy sessions of real couples. Her second series, “How Are You?” Has a similar approach, but instead of romantic partners she covers sessions between colleagues, co-founders and even family members working together. As Perel explains in the first episode, we all have a “pattern” of relationships that manifests as much in the workplace as in romance and friendship. Now that many Americans are returning to the office, this should be a particularly bright hearing.

Initial episode: “My promotion ended our friendship”

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