Podcasting grew in popularity during the pandemic as a way to pass the time and communicate with others while cooped up at home, and sometimes even to find a few laughs. 

Among the many pandemic-inspired podcasts was “Sisters Cracking Up,” started by Rhode Island natives and University Of Rhode Island graduates Julie Howard and Abby Rodman. The duo recently celebrated the podcast’s one-year anniversary of showcasing fascinating midlife voices, including relationship experts, stylists and working moms.

During the pandemic, both Howard, a beauty expert, and Rodman, a psychotherapist, had time on their hands while working from home, and they spent more time talking with each other about various topics than they had in years.

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“We have always wanted to do something together, and it really seemed like the right time,” Howard says. “We also both tend to be very curious. We love to meet people, hear their stories, and dig into the ‘behind the music’ stuff. I’m a marketer and Abby is a psychotherapist, so we thought our skills were synergistic as well.

“When we told people about the idea of the podcast, the typical response was, ‘Oh, absolutely. Makes total sense,” Rodman adds. “One friend said, ‘What took you so long? This has been years in the making!’ We’ve always been very close and have a deep friendship and loads of mutual respect. Also, no one makes me laugh as hard as Julie.”

Topics include relationships, divorce, parenting and aging

Before pursuing a career as a psychotherapist, Rodman majored in journalism at URI and spent several years as an assignment editor at WPRI-TV in Providence. Both she and Howard have backgrounds in writing from being self-published authors, which smoothed the transition to the podcast format, even though they initially had a lot to learn about it.