Dating, break-ups, falling out of love, getting rejected, being ghosted — all of this happens, and fairly regularly. What doesn’t happen regularly is an open and honest conversation about it. That’s what “Girls Gotta Eat” podcast hosts Rayna Greenberg (RG) and Ashley Hesseltine (AH) are here to change, and with 1.5 million downloads a month and 90,000 followers under their belt, both talented ladies are achieving just that. Both Greenberg and Hesseltine sat down with Metro to talk about their hilarious and real podcast, their favorite guests they’ve had on, and what they hope audiences get out of the openness of their own lives.
What brought you two together to get “Girls Gotta Eat” started?
AH: Rayna and I met on a press trip in Aruba. We had a candlelit dinner on the beach and became immediate friends. Then, when we came back to New York, we started talking and sharing our own adventures, nightmares and everything else. I had this idea to do a podcast about dating and relationships and I wanted to do it with another powerful woman — somebody who had a flexible schedule was ideal and I just thought Rayna was really funny. So I asked her if she wanted to do it, she said yes, and the rest is history. We started it in February 2018 and we had only been friends for a few months, so we kind of bonded immediately and began to build the rest of our lives together.
With so many podcasts out there nowadays, what has made “Girls Gotta Eat” so successful?
RG: A number of reasons. We’re super open and honest about our own lives, so I think people think that they really know us and have a lot of information on us — hopefully that creates a really dedicated audience. I think that on top of the comedy, the show is really diverse as well. We switch up all of the topics and guests every single week and we try to make it as dynamic as any person is, so it’s not just always serious relationship topics or silly sex topics. We try to always focus on what people want to hear, week to week.
This must be cathartic for both of you since you get to be so open about personal experiences.
AH: Yes, a million times yes. We feel so lucky that we can take the bad stuff that happens or the negative experiences that a lot of people would have to internalize or get sad over, and we get to talk about it and make jokes about it. We get to turn it not only into comedy but into a learning experience for listeners. There is no experience that can be more cathartic. We just feel so lucky that every time one of us gets rejected, or something crazy happens or a break-up, we just think, well, at least we have content. I hate to use the word “blessing,” but this is a blessing.
RG: I think that something people take away from us is that they realize they are not alone in these crazy situations. These things happen to everybody — getting rejected, getting dumped, falling out love — so if you can add a little comedy to that to make people feel less alone, I think that it creates a cool community. But yes, Ashley and I definitely get to talk about all of the stuff that happens to us and make light of it.
What kind of feedback do you typically get from listeners?
RG: We get more feedback than we could ever hope for. We get a lot of questions and we ask for feedback sometimes on our Instagram stories. But we also get hundreds of DMs and emails from people really just sharing their entire life with us — we are super grateful for that. It certainly helps drive the podcast and they let us know what we are doing well and maybe what we’re doing not so well.
Now jumping to some of the guests you’ve had on, who have been your favorite or most memorable on the show?
RG: I really like people that can be funny but who can also bring a really hot take on whatever we are talking about and offer a different perspective. And obviously, anybody that can be really open. We’ve had Mark Manson on, who is one of my favorite authors, and he talked about dating from a man’s point of view and I thought that he was really able to give sound advice and also be super funny.
Are there any dating trends that surprise you nowadays?
AH: I don’t think anything could surprise us at this point, we’ve heard it all. I think that now there are just all of these cute little names for all of the terrible things that people do — ghosting, helicoptering, breadcrumbing, haunting — all these terms are super clickable but they are nothing new. It’s stuff people have been doing forever. But, you know, it’s rough out there.
For more information on “Girls Gotta Eat” and to view their North American tour dates, visit girlsgottaeatpodcast.com.