I’m obsessed with podcasts. Whether I’m commuting, at my desk, or chilling at home, I will have a show going. I was introduced to podcasts a few years back and I have been keeping up with my favourites, as well as looking for new finds, ever since.
Podcasts are creative and intimate. They suit almost any interest, can tell a great story and teach you something new. It’s easy to multi-task whilst listening, which makes podcasts fit into the busiest of schedules.
I find my favourite shows tend to have one thing in common; they are laid back and chatty, creating a sense of people coming together to share opinions. This is something you just can’t get with radio or music in the same way.
I am not the only one loving podcasts. Recent research from Rajar found that six million Brits listen to a podcast each week. Two-thirds of those surveyed started listening within the last six months, and two-thirds of listeners are also aged between 16 – 34. This seems like one millennial trend that isn’t going away in a hurry.
So even if you are already a podcast expert, or are curious about listening, take a look at my top ten podcasts you should listen to (with some sent in by my lovely friends):
If you want a glimpse into what it would be like if your dad wrote some erotic fiction, listen to this podcast. Hosted by Jamie Morton, James Cooper, and Alice Levine (of Radio 1 fame), each episode is Jamie reading out a chapter of his dad’s self-published release: Belinda Blinked, while he and his co-stars react to it.
Don’t listen to it on the train, at work, or generally anywhere in public, as it will have you snorting with laughter (from Tom Fish).
Put off by politics? Reasons to be Cheerful keeps it simple. Ed Miliband and Geoff Llyod offer an uplifting take on current issues, as they chat with guests about solutions to the problems we face. I find this one good to work to (actually a compliment) as it’s informative without being intense.
Bonus Tip: listen to the episodes The Only Way Is Ethics, Smooth Co-Operators and Taking It To The Streets for an interesting look at social enterprises as alternatives to traditional business.
From the team behind Making Oprah comes the series about Obamas early years, charting his humble beginnings as a community organiser to the national figure we know today.
No matter your opinion on Obama, it was interesting to know more about the inner workings of politics and the moves he had to make to become president. This podcast is about race, society and above all, what we can learn from our leaders.
You may also like: About Race with Reni Eddo-Lodge
True crime is a huge podcast genre. I couldn’t settle on one until I listened to Karen and Georgia host this chatty show. Every week they describe gruesome and fascinating true stories in line with the theme of the episode.
What really makes this show is the improvisational style and the chemistry between the two hosts. Have a listen and remember, “stay sexy, don’t get murdered”.
You may also like: Serial, Generation Why, Last Podcast on the Left
Lore has the spooky feel of true crime but instead explores dark historical tales. Aaron Mahnke clearly puts a ton of research into every story and is good at exploring the cultural context of folklore. If you are looking for something a little spooky whilst learning something new, give this one a go.
Bonus Tip: check out Episode 23: Rope and Railing. Creepiest story EVER.
Women & lifestyle
My reliable favourite. This was one of the first shows I picked up and have listened to all the way through. Deborah Frances White hosts an all-female panel each week, and they discuss their (not so) noble goals as modern feminists.
The best part is when the guests start telling stories starting with “I’m a feminist, but…”. This is when they admit to moments where they have done/thought something an ideal feminist wouldn’t, which makes for some hilarious sketches.
You may also like: Unladylike
Podcasts offer space for diverse voices, often more so than traditional media. I used to listen to Melanin Millennials before the show was cancelled (wah), and I was on the lookout for a replacement. That’s when I found 2 Dope Queens.
Jessica and Phoebe invite guests to chat about “race, gender, sex and other less serious topics”. It’s all about culture and navigating modern womanhood.
Every week Nicole Byer chats to her friends about why she’s still single, sharing awkward online dating stories, and finishing with the question, ‘why won’t you date me?’. Her honesty makes for a relatable show for anyone who knows the struggle of today’s dating scene.
I love the humour and have embarrassed myself laughing in public whilst listening, but it’s the discussion of body positivity, discrimination in Hollywood, and the importance of staying true to yourself that have kept me listening (from Sam Hunter).
You may also like: Modern Love
Oenone Forbat is trying to find her way through her mid-20s and Adulting discusses all the things us millennials thought we would know by now, but don’t. In its first 12 episodes, Adulting has covered female health, friendships, money, and feminism.
A witty and intelligent podcast, that is relatable for 20-something-year-olds trying to navigate feminism, race, relationships, sex and why our parents could buy a house at our age (from Lydia Isherwood).
You may also like: Wanna Be, The High Low
Another big celebrity talking about wellness, how remarkable could this be? Fearne Cotton proved me wrong with Happy Place, a show in which she chats with some well-known names about what makes them happy. Think hot drinks and cosy vibes with this one.
Bonus Tip: you need to listen to the Gok Wan episode. Don’t forget tissues!
So, what’re you waiting for, start listening! Feel I’ve missed any from this list? Let me know your podcast favourites.
Featured photo credit: reviewgeek.com