Former first lady and best-selling author Michelle Obama is launching a podcast with Spotify on July 29 that will delve into the complex and important relationships that define people. Each episode of the series, which will be available for free on the platform, will showcase a different kind of relationship (parent-child, mentorship, romantic) as Obama engages in candid conversations with guests ranging from her mother, Marian Robinson, to late night host Conan O'Brien. If you've ever dreamed of getting relationship advice from the First Lady, now is your time.
The Michelle Obama Podcast's goal is to encourage people to have tough conversations with those closest to them. In the official press release, Obama shared that she hoped her new project will help listeners "build more understanding and empathy for one another" through better communication. "My hope is that this series can be a place to explore meaningful topics together and sort through so many of the questions we’re all trying to answer in our own lives," she said. "Perhaps most of all, I hope this podcast will help listeners open up new conversations — and hard conversations — with the people who matter most to them."
Spotify also released a video message from Obama that offers more insight into what listeners can expect from the podcast when it launches later this month. "I hope this podcast sparks ideas and topics that you can open with within your own circles," she said, while also noting that the topics she'll be discussing are ones that "we're all dealing with no matter what's going on... whether that's a global pandemic or a nationwide reckoning with race."
Having Obama act as a guide to navigating meaningful and productive conversations with your friends, family, and co-workers might be just the thing to save 2020 from taking home the crown for "Worst Year In Modern History." Now more than ever before, everyone seems to be thinking about how to talk about big topics like anti-racism effectively, while also trying to maintain connections at a time when social distancing can strain friendships and familial relationships. Over the years, Obama has proven herself to be a true advocate for communication and crossing divides, as seen in a recent interview for O Magazine in which late night host Stephen Colbert asked the author what is the greatest gift people can give to each other. "Sharing our stories—in all their messy, broken glory," she responded. "When we stand in the truth of who we are, we invite others to do the same."
With The Michelle Obama Podcast, Obama is following through with that sentiment, challenging herself and those closest to her to have open, honest conversations, and by listening to her and her guests, listeners will likely be inspired to have those same kinds of meaningful discussions with the people in their lives, too.