Posted on Wednesday, 18th April 2018
Over the last year or so I have really got into listening to podcasts. In fact, I’ve become rather conscious that I now often start a sentence with, ‘I was listening to this podcast..’. I listen to at least one a day. For me they serve many purposes. When I have to do a fairly boring task like laundry, they provide an interesting soundtrack which I can become absorbed in. When I was working in an extremely stressful job, listening to podcasts provided me with some calm on my commute in, and some distraction to wind down on the way home. When I want to go on a long walk, I find I can always go that bit further if I’m engrossed in a podcast. When taking part in my favourite flow activity; cooking in the evening, I am usually doing this to a podcast.
I love that there is always one to suit your mood. Sometimes I just need something silly to make me laugh. Sometimes I really want to be educated.
My counselling clients often talk about how difficult they find it to just sit and be still, without really ‘doing’ anything. I think podcasts are a great way to help you ease in to this. They can keep you engaged, so for people who find just listening to sounds of nature or even music too difficult, it can provide you with that extra bit of gentle stimulation. But if you do want to drift off and zone out, I think it’s possible to do this with podcasts as well, as opposed to something like reading.
So, without further ado, here is a list of podcasts I have been loving.
This is hosted by Dolly Alderton and Pandora Sykes. They discuss all the things they have loved reading, watching and listening to in the week, and also discuss current affairs, from the silly to to serious. I have read so many brilliant articles or books off the back of their recommendations.
I love cooking and all things food. Margie Broadhead interviews guests asking them all about their food memories, from childhood dishes, to favourite ever meal. It is a play on the radio 4 show Desert Island Discs, and much like this, the conversation provides a lovely insight into the guests’ lives.
This is hosted by Fearne Cotton. She talks to her guests openly and honestly about life and mental health. My favourite episode was with Dawn French. I don’t know if I’ve ever heard someone talk about divorce so eloquently.
Psychotherapist Susie Orbach delivers therapy to clients in this radio 4 series. The clients are actors, but there is no script. Susie does not know what the actor/client is going to bring. She treats it exactly as she would a genuine therapy session. I think it provides a brilliant insight into how therapy can be and I really admire Susie’s work. She has since written a book about the experience of recording this and I enjoyed this piece about Susie talking about both the book and the radio series.
This is hosted by Dolly Alderton (again!) She interviews her guests about all things love. I can’t get enough of this podcast. I especially love that this speaks about all kinds of love; friendships, families, marriages, even celebrity crushes.
Another food one! Venetia Falconer talks to her guests about all things food. Her guests are all either chefs or have involved food in some way into their professional lives. My favourite episode is with Jasmine Hemsley where she talks about Ayurvedic Living, which I found so interesting.
Esther Perel is a Couples Therapist. In this podcast we hear her in therapy sessions with real couples. It is educational, humbling and fascinating.
The Adam Buxton Podcast This one has made me laugh out loud so many times. Adam is such a brilliant interviewer. Asking really interesting and important questions, but never offending and always coming across as a lovely person. I am always recommending this one to people as I think it is one that nearly everyone would enjoy.
This is hosted by Tessa Coates and Stevie Martin. They tackle common issues and topics that young people face on a day to day basis. Their friendship and chemistry is contagious and this podcast always makes me smile.
Originally part of The Pool’s podcast, agony Aunt Viv Groskop provides advice for people who have written in. This is not therapy, but Viv’s answers are always so well thought out and considered, it’s a lovely listen. They are 15 minutes long, so perfect if you just want something quick.
So that’s it! Are there any others that you’ve been loving?