"It sums up that a lot of us are worried about the same things and going through the same experiences," Hillary Clinton tells PEOPLE exclusively

By Michelle Tauber
September 22, 2020 09:00 AM
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Hillary Clinton recording her new podcast at home.
Oscar Flores

Hillary Clinton is opening up in a new way — from the cozy, book-filled attic in her Chappaqua, N.Y., home — and she's not just talking politics.

The 2016 Democratic nominee for President is launching her first podcast on September 29 in partnership with iHeartRadio. The 24-episode show, You and Me Both with Hillary Clinton, takes its title from something the former First Lady realized she had been saying a lot lately.

"Over the last few years, when people would talk to me about a concern of theirs or a problem that they faced, I found myself saying, 'Well, you and me both!' " Clinton, 72, tells PEOPLE exclusively. "It became a catch phrase to sum up that a lot of us are worried about the same things and going through the same experiences."

The new podcast — which Clinton recorded from the New York home where she has been isolating during the pandemic with her husband, former President Bill Clinton — features a wide range of guests covering everything from the upcoming election to cooking in quarantine to themes of grief, resilience and mental health.

Hillary Clinton's new podcast, You and Me Both.
Courtesy iHeartMedia

In one episode, Clinton speaks with Sybrina Fulton, who became an activist and advocate following the 2012 death of her son, Trayvon Martin.

"Talking with Sybrina was humbling, because she went through what I personally think has to be the worst tragedy any of us can experience: the loss of a child, and in such terrible circumstances as her son was killed," says Clinton. "We talked about being able to find moments of joy in the midst of grief. Finding reasons to get out of bed. Her faith was instrumental to her in being able to continue. Her family. People who rallied around her. It was literally one step at a time, one day at a time. I found it reassuring and also teachable. Maybe somebody who listens to this episode of the podcast needs to hear what she says. I think we need conversations like these."

There are also lighter moments throughout the series, including an interview with Salt Fat Acid Heat chef Samin Nosrat in which Clinton admits her struggle with a common pandemic kitchen challenge: dried beans.

"I said, 'It's the only thing that will last in your pantry. But I don’t really feel like I know how to cook beans very well!' " says the grandmother of three. "And she gave me some tips about soaking beans and adding baking soda to alkalize the water and make the beans softer. It was an entertaining interlude amidst all the other serious challenges we’re facing in our country right now."

The show, which was produced remotely by executive producer Kathie Russo and producer-editor Julie Subrin, opens a window onto a Hillary Clinton who has swapped her signature pant suits for athleisure and relishes her down time.

"I was surprised by how unfiltered and off-script she is," says Conal Byrne, president of the iHeartPodcast Network. Byrne notes that the show's relaxed vibe echoes the viral photo of Clinton taken on a hike just days after her 2016 election loss.

"This show is like the podcast version of that picture," says Byrne. "A lot of the world took solace in that picture, for a million different reasons. But there is a spirit in that picture that I feel like is a lot of the [show]."

Hillary Clinton recording her new podcast.
Oscar Flores

Adds Clinton: "I think we all need to feed our heart, our mind, our soul and our body. All of us, every single day. And yet we don’t have to do it all at one time."

The avid reader spoke with Fair Fight Action founder Stacey Abrams for one episode, and along with a discussion of current events, the pair also chatted about Abrams' work as a romance novelist under the pen name Selena Montgomery.

"It was just a nice break from the incoming that we all face every day," says Clinton. "And the opportunity to say, 'You know what? I’m going to go read a book.' Or, 'I’m going to go for a long walk. Or cook some beans.' Whatever it might be."

You and Me Both with Hillary Clinton will be available beginning September 29 on iHeartRadio and everywhere else podcasts are heard.