I think we’ve officially hit peak podcast. It seems like every week there’s a new podcast everyone is talking about and every blogger/creative/writer/journalist/creator is doing a podcast. Serial has a lot to answer for in my book.
That said, the podcast has become one of my favourite mediums. I love that there’s a podcast for any mood and any time – from when you’re so confused by what’s happening in politics, to when you want to learn a skill, to when you really just need a laugh. I’m spending a lot of time at home alone at the moment, and some of my favourite podcasts are simply friends talking about the things that interest them. They help with making home a little less lonely. The right podcast can also be a soothing voice in your ear when you’re making your way through tedious tasks at work.
Below is a starter pack of my go to podcasts. There are definitely others in rotation that I haven’t listed here, and I’d love to hear your favourites too!
Journalists and good friends Dolly Alderton and Pandora Skyes give their spin on the news of the week, what they’re reading and watching, and dole out really great advice in an agony aunt style segment. I wait for the latest episodes every week and am always sad when I’m done with it. The only drawback of this podcast is that it does focus on the news of the time, so some episodes date quickly. For that reason I wouldn’t worry about going through the archives.
+Where to start: with the latest episode, for Dolly and Pandora’s take on current affairs.
Also features two friends who happen to be high profile journalists. Annabel Crabb and Leigh Sales chat for 30 minutes every couple of weeks about what they’re reading, cooking and watching. Plus there’s lots of banter and inside jokes – start at the beginning and learn the jokes along the way.
+Where to start: from the very beginning, a very good place to start (Sound of Music, anyone?) Seriously though, go back to the beginning and listen all the way through, the jokes are so much funnier with context.
Richard Fidler sits down with people from all walks of life for a frank conversation about their life or work. Hot tip on this one is to listen to the episodes that you’re not too sure about – I always find I’m most intrigued and entertained by the least likely suspects.
+ Where to start: anywhere. Pick an episode and just get going – the more obscure the topic, the better. Recently I enjoyed the Tara Westover interview.
If you’re a Garance Dore/Atelier Dore fan or just generally interested in stylish living, this one is for you. Dore interviews tastemakers, writers, and generally really interesting people. Also her French accent is so great.
+Where to start: This is another one you can jump into on any episode that takes your fancy, but being a writer I loved the episode about storytelling, with Tracy McMillan.
5. Bad on Paper
Best friends Becca and Grace (Atwood, of The Stripe) sit down weekly to discuss young adult books, beauty recommendations, the highs and lows of their weeks, and their favourite instagrammers. I don’t even read young adult novels and I still listen to this podcast. The dynamic between Becca and Grace is really fun and they do discuss non YA novels from time to time, but it’s mostly just entertaining. You should also sign up for their newsletter even if you don’t listen to the podcast.
+Where to start: from the beginning. Do it now and you’ll only need to catch up on ten or so episodes.
Maybe the OG podcast, this one never gets old. Hosted by Ira Glass (did I ever mention I met him on a flight to New York once? He was lovely and very tall and his voice sounds EXACTLY the same as it does on radio/the podcast), this podcast is a unique look into the lives of people all over the world. Typically there will be three stories loosely grouped around a theme. I love this podcast so much. It’s heartwarming, devastating, touching, surprising, funny – everything that great storytelling should be. You might laugh and cry in the same story.
+Where to start: you can jump in anywhere on this one and be guaranteed a great story. Sometimes episodes are repeated though, so beware.
I lied. I think this might be the OG podcast. This pod got me through the process of packing up our apartment in Sydney by myself. The basic premise is what eight pieces of music you’d want if you were stuck on a desert island. It’s been going for years though I’d never heard of it until recently and now it’s popping up everywhere – you know when someone mention a brand you’ve never heard of and then you see it EVERYWHERE? Yah, that’s this podcast for me.
+ Where to start: I particularly loved David Beckham and Ed Sheeran’s eps.
Oh Alec Baldwin, you might come off as strangely arrogant and actually kind of weird looking, but your voice is rich caramel and I think you’re pretty smart. Be whisked along as Alec Baldwin interviews your favourite celebrities and people of note – he’s a skilled interviewer and can tell a cracking story.
+ Where to start: Jimmy Fallon. He’s my ultimate dinner party guest.
UK Writer, journalist, multi-hyphener and mega-talented Emma Gannon interviews people about their relationship with the internet.
Where to start: jump in anywhere.
Please share your favourite podcasts! I’m always looking for new ones.