culture lifestyle

7 Podcasts to keep you sane In lockdown

Written by Elena Vardon

Listening to podcasts used to be commuters’ favourite activity. While we are obviously less on-the-go nowadays, podcasts remain a welcome presence and source of knowledge. Podcasting is more and more popular — even Joe Biden seems to be recording his own from his basement discussing the presidential campaign. From the tons of shows out there, I have compiled a round-up of some podcasts that might help pass time and ease your worries in the current global crisis.

The coronavirus phenomenon is a curious one in the sense that its consequences and measures affect everyone everywhere at some degree. Thankfully, the hosts of these podcasts record remotely and air their episodes regularly, addressing the situation in real-time and sharing everyday experiences a lot of us can relate to.

Tune in for reassuring conversations and friendly (admittedly mostly female) voices. Can become essential in times like this, especially if you are isolating alone or want to spice up your daily routine.

Checking In With Susan David

Checking In With Susan David / Via Spotify

“An urgent response to an urgent moment.”

A global pandemic podcast specially produced to help us navigate through all the feelings we are encountering in the last few weeks. Harvard Medical School psychologist Susan Davis offers a sympathetic voice, the perfect fix for when you need a break from it all.

New episode every Monday.

Squiggly Careers

Squiggly Careers / Via Spotify

“A weekly podcast that will help you take control of your career.”

Even in normal times, when the job market is already complicated, there is no one direct path to your dream job. Helen Tupper and Sarah Ellis offer advice on manoeuvring all aspects of our personal and professional lives. They draw from their own experiences in the workplace, practical tips and ideas, and coaching through these uncertain times.

New episode every Tuesday.

The High Low

The High Low / Via Spotify

“A weekly pop-culture/news podcast.”

Dolly Alderton and Pandora Sykes examine current events, conversations and the latest lockdown crazes. The result is a healthy mix of trivial and political takes on topics that are trending nowadays. They are funny, they are witty, they are authentic.

New episode every Tuesday.

Culture Call

Culture Call / Via Spotify

“You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll take notes.”

A transatlantic exchange with a smart take on culture, from London to New York. Lilah Raptopoulos and Griselda Murray Brown analyse the latest trends on both sides of the pond, from theatre to fashion to lifestyle to literature. With most shows and concerts happening online these days, events are more accessible to broader publics. The hosts’ recommendations on what to watch or listen are especially invaluable. Produced by the Financial Times’ Life and Arts section.

New episode every other Friday.

Call Your Girlfriend

Call Your Girlfriend / Via Spotify

“A podcast for long-distance besties everywhere.”

Ann Friedman and Aminatou Sow’s chats make you feel like you are right there with them enjoying a girls’ night. As the world quarantines and most of our relationships have become long-distance, it is reassuring how friendships do successfully survive being apart. Their farewell “see you on the internet” is more accurate today than ever.

New episode every Friday.

How To Fail With Elizabeth Day

How To Fail With Elizabeth Day / Via Spotify

“A podcast that celebrates the things that haven’t gone right.”

The comforting voice in your head telling you everything will be ok. Elizabeth Day invites guests to explore their formative failures. Throughout their stories, they share lessons and advice that have allowed them to be where they are today. Incredibly comforting in the present climate, when it can be easy to spiral and need reassurance.

Five bonus lockdown episodes. Next season starts in June.

TED Talks Daily

TED Talks Daily / Via Spotify

“Thought-provoking ideas on every subject imaginable.”

The diversity of the talks available is impressive, as they make available the recordings of the many bright and inspiring people who have spoken in TED conferences around the world. Stumble across exciting topics and perspectives that will inevitably entice your curiosity.

New episode every weekday.

A few more suggestions: news podcasts. It is almost impossible to be aware of what is happening out there. Everything is tainted by the virus, we are constantly at risk of getting sucked into the overwhelming online media vortex. The FT News Briefing, The Economist Morning Briefing, the BBC Global News Podcast and The Daily from the New York Times, are a great way stay updated, catch the highlights of international events and move on with your day.

So if you fancy listening to a podcast as an escape from work calls, as background noise while cooking or if you crave hearing a different conversation, give these a list. Let me know any recommendations to add to this list.