I listen to podcasts constantly. When I’m cooking, when I’m running, when I’m driving, when I’m putting on make-up. There’s a podcast for every occasion; they can be funny or educational or entertaining or a mixture of all of those things. I thought I’d shared my favourites with you on numerous occasions, but since I first posted about podcasts back in 2014 and again about book-ish podcasts earlier this year I’ve discovered so many new ones so I thought I’d give you a little update on what I’m listening to right now. I’m always looking for new ones to follow, so do leave your suggestions for me, too!
I want to be best friends with Amina and Anne, the hosts of this podcast. These two long-distance besties talk about everything from pop culture and periods to politics, and I could listen to them chat for hours (and have done, on occasion!). They describe themselves as ‘highbrow and lowbrow, unapologetically feminist, and not afraid to realtalk each other about everything from menstrual cycles to workplace dramas’. Listening to Amina break down the Kanye/Wiz Khalifa situation is one of the highlights of my life so far. Every other week they interview another awesome lady about her life and work, and they’ve all been fascinating. If you’re a feminist on the Internet, you’re gonna wanna check this out.
Each episode, Cristen and Caroline tackle a different subject from a feminist angle. The topics are wide-ranging (some of my favourites are on cults, Taylor Swift, knitting and The Gilmore Girls) and there’s almost nothing they haven’t covered in their years of podcasting. These episodes are definitely more on the educational side, and are really well researched with lots of sources if that’s your bag (it is mine), but Cristen and Caroline are charming hosts so it’s never dry. Obviously I’m a feminist geek, so Stuff Mom Never Told You is totally my jam.
Need some real talk, no-nonsense advice from two sassy ladies? This is the place to come. Bangs and a Bun and Lemara will give it to you straight. No BS, just like the title. This podcast is focused on life advice, but it’s also a chance for Bangs and Lemara to share their own anecdotes and problems, so it’s definitely not preachy! I particularly enjoyed their episode on friendship.
This is maybe cheating a bit, as I’ve only heard the trailer but Emma Gannon’s new podcast is going to be focused on interviewing inspiring women, with a particular focus on how the Internet and social media has influenced their stories. The first episode is an interview with Elizabeth Gilbert, so you know that shiz is gonna be good.
I’m a big fan of Lena Dunham’s other projects, so there’s no surprise that I’m a little bit obsessed with her podcast. Each episode has a broader theme like work or friendship, but there is so much scope for exploring these topics and Lena brings in some excellent guests to help her navigate and unpack some pretty big issues. I’ve cried more than once listening to this podcast, which is warm, friendly and honest. It’s exactly the kind of conversations I would like to have with everyone in my life. My favourite section, however, is when Lena tells the story of a forgotten woman from history – trailblazers who have lived incredible lives and that I’ve never even heard about. The word inspirational is bandied about quite liberally, but this podcast truly has inspired me.
Another newbie on the block, Laura Jane Williams is sitting down with some incredible women and finding out how exactly they became who they are. It’s all in the lead up to her book, Becoming, which is out later this year and I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy. I listened to the first episode of this podcast yesterday – an interview with Daisy Buchanan who Laura describes, quite accurately I think, as the ‘big sister of the Internet’. It was exactly what I wanted and needed to hear – two smart women discussing body image in a way that had me nodding my head at every other sentence. I’m excited to see (hear?) what else is to come on this one.
If you don’t want to listen to Alec Baldwin telling you stories, then I don’t think we can be friends. He just has the best voice, but he’s also a really good interviewer and has access to some brilliant guests. I love his interview with Lena Dunham, Lorne Michaels and the makers of Making a Murderer. There are lots of SNL-ers in the back catalogues and some pretty famous names, too.
In this podcast Anna Faris invites other lovely celebrities to come on and be interviewed, and to help give advice to listeners. She may be unqualified to give relationship advice, but she’s also completely adorable and so lovely to the people that call in. This podcast is funny, light-hearted and witty, and has some great guests, including Lisa Kudrow, Aubrey Plaza and Ellen Page.
A book-ish podcast that I discovered after I wrote my last list. This podcast is run by Penguin Random House, hence the ‘beaks’ (!), and bills itself as candid conversations with authors, which in my experience is pretty accurate. The interviews range in length, and I tend to only tune into the authors that I’m already interested in (Margaret Atwood, in particular, was excellent, as was Emily St. John Mandel) but if you’re into literary things then this is definitely one for you!
This one is for the geeks amongst us! Lore explores the frightening history behind common folklore, from werewolves and vampires to more specific spooky tales. As they say, sometimes the truth is more frightening than fiction, but also more interesting and I love finding out the human stories behind what we believe to be supernatural. Each episode is quite short, and there are some really unusual topics, too.
Most of you are probably familiar with Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild, and here she and co-host Steven Almond give ‘radically empathic’ advice in an agony-aunt style podcast that will tug at your heart strings. It’s almost the polar opposite of Savage Love, who I also love and would recommend highly. I think we all have a bit of a fascination with advice columns (or is that just me?) and this one is a good’un.