Hello there, and happy Thursday my feathered friends. (Try saying that after a glass of wine.)
I wasn’t too sure what to write about this week, then it occurred to me that it might be good to write about my favourite podcasts, as I’m currently really hooked on them. I used to listen to audiobooks a lot when I was driving more for work, but now I’m working more from home and driving less, I found myself tuning into audiobooks and being like “what the hell is going on?” and found it really hard to follow the plot when I was listening in smaller bursts.
Enter the humble podcast. For those who don’t know, they are like radio shows that you download for free onto your phone. The range of topics is literally endless, so there’ll certainly be something for everyone.
Here are my favourites:
This is the one podcast that I always want to recommend to people but always forget the title of. It is absolutely brilliant. On a remote mountain in Hawaii, there’s a fake planet Mars. Six volunteers are secluded in an imitation Mars habitat where they will work as imitation astronauts for one very real year. The goal: to help NASA understand what life might be like on the red planet.
I found this absolutely fascinating. It’s just a massive social experiment, and it was so interesting how six strangers interacted when they had to spend all day every day together.
Below is a picture of the habitat:
The High Low
The High Low is a weekly pop culture and news podcast ran by journalists Dolly Alderton and Pandora Sykes. I adore this podcast. It gives you a good dose of current affairs, interesting interviews, and ideas for what to be reading, watching and listening to. I’m always pleased when I see a new episode appear on my phone each week.
The Adam Buxton Podcast
British comedian Adam Buxton interviews people. It sounds boring, but each episode is interweaved with bizarre little songs created by Buxton which really appeal to my sense of humour. I often find myself wandering around the house singing to myself: “my name is Adam Buxton I’m a maaaaaan! I hope you will enjoy this, that’s the plan!” Highly recommend to anyone who likes the silly things in life.
The Ground Up Show
A recent discovery of mine, the Ground Up Show interviews entrepreneurs and business owners. I always find something useful to take away each episode, and it gives me a good kick up the backside to stay motivated as a self-employed human.
The Butterfly Effect with Jon Ronson
Some of you may know Jon Ronson from his books “The Psychopath Test” and “The Men Who Stare at Goats.” He is a brilliant writer and this podcast is a fantastic piece of journalism. Here he traces a very strange butterfly effect. A teen in Brussels had an idea – to make porn free and easy to stream online. The consequences of that idea are mysterious, delightful, surprising, and sad. As it’s quite controversial, I’d recommend listening discreetly… maybe not in the car with your windows down, as I did, and surprised some innocent pedestrians with some loud moaning coming from my speakers. haha.
Today in Focus
As someone with their head constantly in a book, I have a slight aversion to reading the news. I find this guardian podcast really informative, and its short daily episodes keep me up to date with current affairs.
This American Life
I’m sure anyone who listens to podcasts already knows about the hugely popular This American Life. But hey, it’s popular because it’s brilliant. Each episode centres on one theme, for example “coincidences” (one of my favourite episodes) and then tells a few short stories on the theme. Brilliant writing.
Where Should We Begin?
And finally, “Where Should We Begin?” is another completely absorbing listen. Esther Perel is a relationship counselling expert, and each podcast is a real recording of one of her couples therapy sessions. Really insightful.
So, there we have it. I hope this inspires you to give something new a try.
Please, do recommend any podcasts that you enjoy. I’m alway on the hunt for new ones!