I Am Not a True Crime Mom. Lighter Fare for a Lighter Heart.


I haven’t hopped on board the true crime bandwagon. In fact, I haven’t stepped foot near it. I am not a true crime mom. Though some accounts seem to suggest that true crime podcasts and shows are not very popular, I’d definitely consider it a bonafide trend, especially among women.

Ever since my last pregnancy, which happened to coincide with a lot of political turmoil in this country, I’ve almost completely lost my ability to watch (or listen to) anything even remotely stressful or violent. My anxiety during pregnancy and postpartum hasn’t helped, either. The occasional superhero movie makes the cut when my husband makes a good case for it, but otherwise, I have to find lighter fare.

By now I’ve proven to myself time and time again that self-care does not equal binge-watching TV shows and eating junk food. But there’s a time and a place for consuming media to help drown out a stressful day. I also do a fair amount of scrolling on Instagram, but I’m trying to limit my time there as it tends to suck me in for longer than I intend.

The truth is that I do believe I need to read and listen to the news and be involved with and support my family, community, state, country, and world at large, but everyone needs a break now and then.

In this political and social climate, and this season of life with little kids, a lot of things that used to be “turn my brain off media” have turned into minefields of stress. When I want a bit of escape, these are the shows, movies, podcasts and playlists I’m turning to… for now.

Television in a clean living room

Reality TV

I can’t be alone in thinking reality television can be upsetting to watch. Sometimes it’s nice to be a spectator of other people’s drama, but when the Housewives of wherever are flipping tables, it’s not relaxing at all. My favorite reality show of late is Love Island, a dating show from the UK. I’m not ashamed to admit (well, maybe a little…) that I watch it with subtitles in order to be able to follow the fast-paced dialogue. Bruv, you’ve got to watch. It’s proper wild. The guilty pleasures I’m sharing here are not without problems, certainly. Love Island is about a group of bikini-clad, homogeneous, predominantly white, hetero-normative couples. I wish it was way more inclusive. But for some reason, I can still enjoy it. There are sweet and silly moments that I haven’t found in other similar shows that air Stateside. Maybe you’ll watch and think I’m nuts, but we’re all different.


It used to be Friends and How I Met Your Mother 24/7, but now I can’t help but bristle and be annoyed at the outdated and sometimes offensive parts of these shows. I’ll still throw them on, “In the background” but they’re not my go-to. Parks and Recreation is on repeat for me now. Give me all the Leslie Knope. The Good Place is fantastic. Lastly, New Girl and Happy Endings are in my regular rotation.

Cooking Shows

The Great British Baking Show is a treasure. Enough said. While we’re on Netflix, Nailed It is pretty great, too. And re-runs of Top Chef can’t be beat. Pretty much any show on The Cooking Channel (I prefer it to Food Network) will keep me entertained and chilled out. These are also shows that I can watch with my kids around if we all need to relax.


keep it podcast on an iphone

We all need a break from the news. And news-dissecting podcasts. Sometimes, the only current events I want to hear about are in pop culture. Keep It is my go-to round-table discussion on all things entertainment and celebrity. I trust the hosts and it’s just as plugged into current affairs as the rest of the Crooked Media podcast and show line-up.


I like having music playing in my house and car almost all the time. Without commercials, if at all possible. Pandora and Amazon Music playlists are my favorite. I create mixes on my own with songs spanning a huge range of genres so the whole family is happy with the selection. Or I go for a playlist so I don’t have to put in the up-front time curating. One genre we’ve been enjoying lately is Classical. On Amazon Music, you can select an existing playlist created by someone else or a radio-style station that fits the vibe you want. On Pandora, I’m loving “Classic Indie” for favorites like The Shins, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Spoon. I could do without the “Classic” word making me feel unnecessarily old though, oof


I’ve watched my fair share of new movies and documentaries. RBG was particularly good and certainly didn’t shy away from difficult topics. While new movies are sometimes entertaining, the potential minefields tend to push me towards old favorites. Almost Famous and Empire Records have never let me down. I’ll spare you right now, but if you ever want to over-quote those movies with someone, I’m your gal.


I’m hoping to add in a bit more fiction soon but currently, I’m enjoying reading non-fiction. Currently at my bedside table are Yes, And and my well-loved copy of Simplicity Parenting. Inspiring words that entertain and keep my attention but also motivate me to take positive action. I love reading but in recent months, if I’m in need of winding down, sometimes it’s hard for me to focus on the pages. I’m hoping to get back to bookworm status someday soon.

Please share what you’ve been watching, reading and listening to unwind!



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