What are you listening to: Podcasts for life

Written by Harriet Clifford

Podcasts are like friends. We all need that one who whips us into shape and tells us to get a grip when we’re having a meltdown, but we also need the one who just listens, nods and hands over the spoon for the ice cream. Much in the same vein, we need different podcasts for different things, so I’ve come up with a podcast for every occasion, whether you’re looking for some light relief or your next dinner party fun fact.

The one who’s a bit of a nerd but makes you laugh and always hangs out with the cool kids: The Adam Buxton Podcast

Adam Buxton begins every episode on a walk with Rosie the dog. If you’re anything like me, then this really sets the tone for an excellent podcast. Adam calls his listeners ‘podcats’ and creates hilariously random jingles, which play intermittently throughout each episode. And of course, he interviews some really great people. Just some of the names include, Louis Theroux, Simon Pegg, Bob Mortimer, Simon Amstell, Lolly Adefope, Zadie Smith and Romesh Ranganathan. Each episode is at least an hour long, so there’s plenty of time to delve deep. Adam manages to get his interviewees talking and you’re left feeling as though you’ve been eavesdropping on a private conversation. Perfect podcast material, basically.

The one who’s actually doing something useful: Feminists Don’t Wear Pink

Hosted by journalist and activist Scarlett Curtis, this podcast is new and is based on the book Feminists Don’t Wear Pink and Other Lies, which is a collection of essays written by awesome women about what feminism means to them. As the curator of the book, Scarlett interviews some of the contributors and asks them to bring their pieces to life. Some of the interviewees include Saoirse Ronan, Jameela Jamil, Lolly Adefope (again) and Elyse Fox. If you’re looking to learn more about feminism, or just want to hear some amazing women talking about their lives, then this podcast is for you. Each episode is only about 30 minutes, so they’re perfect for listening to on your commute or at the gym.

The one who’s always geeking out on books: You’re Booked

For any book nerds out there, this podcast has got to be part of your life. Calling herself ‘The Book Inspector’, journalist Daisy Buchanan visits writers and readers in their homes and inspects their bookshelves. She uncovers all their bookish secrets, from their guilty pleasures to the books they like to say they’ve read but have never actually opened. She finds out which books shaped their teenage years, and which books they re-read over and over again. For at least half an hour, books are the only thing on the agenda. Some of the inspected include, Dolly Alderton, Lucy Vine, Robyn Wilder and Stuart Heritage. This is quite a new podcast too, so watch out for the latest episodes and more geeky chats.

The one who’s always reading/listening to/watching/talking about the latest thing: The High Low

One minute they’re talking about Baby Shark, the next minute they’re talking about FGM. Hosted by Dolly Alderton and Pandora Sykes, this podcast really does live up to its name. Informal and chatty, each episode includes insightful and witty commentary on current affairs, such as news stories, new books, TV shows and the latest films. Dolly and Pandora discuss their views without ramming them down your throat and intersperse the more serious topics with the light-hearted banter that flows easily between good friends. If you want to keep on top of what’s going on in the world and wouldn’t mind a good book/TV/film recommendation to go along with it, The High Low is for you.

The one who actually makes you feel good about life: Happy Place

Fearne Cotton’s podcast also lives up to its name, with its wholehearted promotion of self-care and personal development. It’s done well, with each guest talking openly about their own struggles with mental illness and other issues. Discussions range from depression, anxiety, eating disorders and addiction, to relationships, exercise and yoga. Whether you can relate to any of the issues or not, the interviews with guests such as Russel Brand, Stephen Fry, Matt Haig, Dawn French and Paloma Faith, are interesting and inspirational. It’s refreshing to hear highly successful people talking honestly about the challenges in their lives. Fearne is also an excellent host, sharing her own stories and thoughts. Far from being heavy or depressing, this podcast will leave you feeling lighter and, believe it or not, happier for having listened to it.

Have you got a favourite podcast that hasn’t been mentioned? Let us know in the comments below or let me know on Twitter @hClifford29.