As one of the most successful internet hosts of the moment, Morgan Absher discusses the story of her viral podcast show "Two Hot Takes" and how she's brought it to the top.
What is the inspiration behind your podcast “Two Hot Takes” and how would you describe it to a new fan?
The podcast started out of a love for internet discussions and needing a creative outlet during the pandemic. I graduated with a doctorate in occupational therapy in April 2020, right as Covid-19 spreading and our world was shutting down. After things opened back up, I was still struggling to find a job in healthcare which caused me to fall into a blue place with mental health. Luckily, my boyfriend was kind enough to gift me the necessary podcast equipment which aided me in getting started and the rest was history! If you’re looking for an escape, a place to feel like you’re spending time with friends, or a little bit of drama that isn’t your own.. then the podcast is for you. We share our takes on crazy relationship/life problems we find on the internet, along with a few wild stories of our own that relate to the issues at hand. It’s become a fun, inclusive community with a lot of different, diverse people starting to come on and get in on the stories.
What is the hardest part about hosting a podcast? Do you have any advice for people who want to start one?
The hardest part for me has been having the courage to put myself “out there.” Putting your intimate thoughts and feelings out on the internet can be scary and a little overwhelming when you’re not used to it. It can be discouraging at times when I receive negative comments. What I started doing to combat the negative is pay extra attention to the positive. I highly recommend creating a folder with nice comments, messages, or anything else your listeners send to you. It puts things into perspective that there’s 10 nice things for every mean one. It solidifies the idea that what you’re doing is resonating with people and maybe even helping them. Your people are out there, so don't let a few sour ones discourage you from finding them and pursuing your passions.
"Two Hot Takes" has consistently been in the Top 50 podcasts on Apple & Spotify. When you first started, did you think it would be as successful as it is?
I’d be lying if I said I knew the show would be where it is today. I believed in it from the start and treated it as my baby. It did take a lot of convincing to even get a friend to join me on it. When we did start the podcast, the thought was, 'oh it’s just going to be family and maybe a few friends listening.' Luckily, that was not the case since it resonated with quite a few people and has since become a community. I think the best way to go into any new project is to try and put expectations aside and enjoy the ride because then no matter the result you'll be happy.
What are 3 facts about you that your fans may not know?
I once got on stage with Justin Bieber. In one of his tours, he had a “one less lonely girl” and during a performance in Louisville, Kentucky I was asked to go on stage and be a part of the show. It was quite the experience.
I’m obsessed with estate sales and collecting mid-century modern furniture pieces. I love thrifting and giving a second life to things that may otherwise end up discarded.
Chip and Joanna Gaines' show Fixer Upper has become my boyfriend and I's go-to get-happy show, and we'd love to work with them on a project someday. I'm a sucker for a good HGTV/Home improvement show.
As a female entrepreneur, who is your inspiration for being a “girl boss” and who would be your dream guest on your show?
My mom was a big inspiration in striving to become my own person and being financially independent from anyone. She was a single mom who worked extremely hard to make sure my brothers and I had everything provided for us. She really pushed me to pursue my passions. As far as a dream guest, I’m working on convincing my mom to join me on an episode but if she continues to decline, I’d have to say Taylor Swift. I think Taylor would offer listeners some great advice and spicy takes on friendship struggles, relationship issues, and not settling for anything less than you deserve.
As a mental health advocate, what is one thing that you do daily for your personal mental health?
Practicing mindfulness has been a big thing for me, and it's nice because you can do it in so many ways. It can be done while working out, going for a walk around your neighborhood, doing a craft, cooking, or just about anything else. But essentially just practice being in the moment as much as you can and really bringing your awareness to the task you’re doing. I think the best example I can use is eating. How many times have you eaten something, and you just scarf it down, get to the end, and don’t even remember how it really tasted? In being more mindful you’d acknowledge each bite, every flavor, the textures, where it came from, etc. There’s an unlimited number of activities and tasks you can incorporate mindfulness into. As an occupational therapist, my favorite part about it too is that there’s a lot of research coming out to even prove its effectiveness.
How is self-love important in our daily lives, and what are some suggestions you have to build more positive thoughts towards ourselves?
Self-love is something I work on daily. If we’re not comfortable in our own body and mind, it can impact who we are and everything we do. One thing I highly recommend and something I’ve recently started to do is journaling. It doesn’t have to be an excessive amount, but I try to write down one thing a day I’m grateful for. Something I’ve been struggling with lately is body image issues, so to address that I focus on what my body can and does do for me. Engaging in gratitude is another practice that is being studied more recently. Studies have shown that practicing gratitude can offer many health benefits like better sleep, less depression, and even decreased inflammation. I’m getting a little nerdy over here but find one thing each day you're grateful for and write about it. I think the more grateful we are for our bodies, people in our lives, activities we're passionate about, the easier it is to love ourselves and our lives.