Not so long ago, I’d never listened to a podcast before. Once upon a time, my listening was dominated by Spotify, in particular the #ThrowbackThursday playlist (still epic) or Heart radio and Kisstory (also, still epic).
My love affair with podcasts started after we discovered, and subsequently became addicted to, one of the most popular podcasts of the last few years: Serial. Everyone was talking about it and telling us that we “have to listen to it” and that we “would absolutely love it”. They weren’t wrong. We rattled through the series in about a week.
Since then, I’ve paid much more attention to the world of podcasts and have been making more of an effort to discover new people, learn more, switch off from social media and just enjoy listening – which, if you’ve read my recent post about doing more this year, is one of my personal goals. I wanted to share the love and hopefully introduce some of you to some brand new listening, so here are six podcasts that I’m currently loving and that I’d highly recommend:
Ctrl Alt Del
I discovered Emma Gannon through her very first podcast with my ultimate YouTube fave Zoella. Emma (great name) is one seriously awesome lady. She interviews, or more like “chats to over coffee”, inspiring, influential women in the digital and creative worlds about subjects that really matter to me such as feminism, social media, writing, creativity and mental health. She’s interviewed some pretty awesome ladies, such as Tanya Burr, another YouTube fave, Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love, and Mara Wilson, the one and only Matilda. Perhaps my favourite episode was that with fitness blogger and new girl crush Zanna Van Dijk; a motivating and uplifting episode that I actually listened to in the gym and swear made me push myself that bit further.
It’s informal, it’s insightful and it’s incredibly inspiring: you absolutely must give it a listen.
London Real was introduced to me by Toby who has listened for a while and to start with, I wasn’t sure it would be my thing as a lot of the guests aren’t as “well known”, well, certainly not to me anyway. A lot of sport stars are featured guests and while I get that’s why Toby loves to listen, I wasn’t sure how interested I would be. But Brian Rose, the podcast presenter and generally awesome guy, is such a brilliant interviewer that I became immediately hooked. It’s his interview with Will Young that really put this in my top six: he sat with the Pop Idol star for a frank chat about Will’s somewhat unknown mental breakdown and the honesty that shone through in the interview was truly astounding. I feel like Brian’s ability to talk about real shit in an open, honest, humble way is quite unique.
If you listen to any episode, as well as that with Will Young, I highly recommend listening to the London Real podcast with Dandapani:a Hindu priest and speaker on self-development. It made me think, laugh, cry and feel altogether humbled.
This is my guilty pleasure and might seem odd to some. Casefile is a series of real life crime stories told by “Anonymous” (which kinda makes it more appealing), who’s voice I’m ever so slightly in love with. Many of the cases occurred in Australia, which is where the narrator is from, but occasionally the series throws in an American or even British crime story such as the Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman murders back in 2002. I’ve always been fascinated with criminal psychology and podcasts like these feed my interest and leave me feeling suitably creeped out at the same time.
Perhaps not one to listen to if you’re home alone, but I personally love listening to this kind of podcast. Although I do now freak out at the smallest sound in the house if I’m there on my own…
They Walk Among Us
This is a recent discovery and yet another true crime podcast that I can’t get enough of. Covering everything from the sinister to the surreal, each episode focuses on a British case, making it that much closer to home than Casefile, and every episode is no more than 30-40 minutes long, making it perfect to listen to in the car on my way to work. From cases like John Darwin, otherwise known as ‘The Canoe Man’ who faked his own death, to the disappearance of nine-year old Shannon Matthews back in 2008, most cases featured are those that I remember seeing on the news or have read about before, yet the podcast delves a little deeper and offers a brand new perspective to some of the most disturbing, strange and memorable crimes in the UK.
It will make you look over your shoulder, question our society and leave a chill down your spine. If that doesn’t convince you to listen to it, I don’t know what will….
If you’ve seen the documentary Minimalism on Netflix, you’ll get why I love this podcast series so much. Hosted by ‘The Minimalists’ themselves, Joshua and Ryan spend their time on the podcast talking about ‘decluttering’ and ‘simplifying’ and ‘essentialism’. I’ve only listened to a couple, but I was left feeling truly inspired and desperate to declutter my own life. I’m going to write a post soon about my thoughts on minimalism and how the film affected me on a personal level, but for now, I’d recommend listening to a few of these episodes; the Mental Clutter one in particular is not only interesting but pretty eye-opening too.
Most episodes are an hour or so long, so I love listening to them in the gym. They help me keep focused and give me a great excuse for a good tidy up once I get home.
Get It On
This is perhaps my most recent discovery when it comes to the world of podcasts, but I’m already running out of episodes to listen to. Hosted by the ever-so-wonderful and frankly bonkers Dawn O’Porter, this is a podcast all about fashion, style and self-discovery, and I absolutely adore it. Perhaps the best episode I’ve listened to so far is Dawn’s interview with the equally fabulous Dawn French, undoubtedly one of my heroes. I was listening to it at work one day and had to stifle so many laughs; it was hilarious and heart warming. I’m not a huge fashion follower so wasn’t sure if I’d like this or not before giving it a go, but it offers so much more than talk about the latest trends and what’s in people’s wardrobes: it seeks to define how our identities can be created and moulded by personal style and preaches that everyone is entitled to be whoever the hell they want to be, regardless of fads and fashions. Just be you.
Dawn O’Porter has since become one of my heroes, girl-crushes, all round favourite woman on the planet. If you love her, you’ll love Get It On.
What podcasts are you loving at the moment? Leave me some recommendations in the comments! xo