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My Must Listen Podcasts

Author: Lauren Coleman

I’m quite late to the podcast party. I must admit for a while I didn’t have a clue how to access one and thought it was for someone far more techy than me. Once I realised all I needed was my phone I jumped straight in although I have to say I find the in-build podcast app on my iPhone a pain to use. Maybe it’s just me but I don’t find it particularly intuitive. James introduced me to Overcast which I dowloaded from the app store, though most of the time I listen to podcasts directly through my laptop. We also have one of those Alexa things in the kitchen and on the 2 of out 10 times she understands my accent, she’ll serve me up an episode to listen to while I’m prepping dinner.

Comedy

My Dad Wrote a Porno was my first foray in to podcasts. The concept centres around a group of three friends analysing an erotic fiction novel allegedly penned by the father of one of the presenters.
I have to say the first series had me flitting between fits of giggles and uncontrollable cringing. It was good while it lasted and though I don’t think we’ll be listening to series 2 and 3 I wonder if I’ve just become a bit desensitised to the humour. Do give it a whirl though if you fancy a laugh.

True Crime

In the autumn, James and I devoured season one of Serial, the tale of an unsolved murder in Baltimore. I found the whole thing gripping and unnerving though if you want closure you’re sadly not going to get it. Since then James has been listening to Someone Knows Something again covering cold cases. While we’ve been beavering away on the bathroom project we covered a big chunk of the JonesTown episodes of Casefile, the true crime podcast about the cult leader Jim Jones and the appalling massacre at a South American jungle settlement.

Women & Pop Culture

Recently recommended to me by Adam’s wife Lizzie, I’m not afraid to say I have a huge girl crush on Pandora Sykes and Dolly Alderton from The High Low. Their weekly round-up of pop-culture and politics is intelligent, witty and I find myself nodding in agreement to (nearly) everything they say. Their criticism of rebranding ‘looking after yourself’ to self care – ‘lighting a candle, doing some meditation and wiping your arse with the cushiony tissue not the standard’ had me howling with laughter.
Becky also recommended Ctrl Alt Delete where Emma Gannon interviews creatives. I loved the episode with Lauren Laverne and as a resulted have added Late Night Women’s Hour to my listen list too.

DIY

Young House Love has a Podcast, brought to you by Sherry and John Petersik, the DIYers who experienced blogger burnout several years ago after sharing every step of renovating two properties and their life. They took a break, reduced their blog content, bought another house and started a podcast. It’s VERY enthusiastic so I have to be in the right mood for it but I have a real soft spot for these two home decor bloggers who became experts in their field.

Career

Janet Murray – now this lady is very keen to bring in her own experience when she’s interviewing guests! However if you can get past this, she has a wide range of industry experts on her Soulful PR podcast who give some sound advice on getting more exposure for your business.

With these weekly podcasts, I’m very much enjoying the fact that it’s the antithesis to the binge of a TV boxset. It’s old school in the way that I have to wait for next week to listen to the next episode. It sounds like I spend a lot of time listening to podcasts, and that would be correct, but I’m tuning in while multi-tasking; doing the cleaning, making the dinner, fitting a new bath (as you do) and it makes a welcome change to listening to the same old playlist on spotify.

What podcasts do you listen to? What else should I be adding to my listen list?

{Contributors}
Author
Lauren likes Paris, Prosecco and Paint Charts
Follow Lauren on instagram @mrslaurencoleman

47 thoughts on “My Must Listen Podcasts

  1. I do love a good podcast. I think my favourite has to be the Dirty Mother Pukka Podcast. Probably quite odd as a lot of it is about parenting, and I’m not a parent, but it is hilarious and I think it’ll be useful for the future. It discusses issues from a female and male perspective which is really interesting. I follow her and her husband on instagram and think their campaign to improve women’s flexible working rights is great too.

    Also I look at the Women’s Hour podcasts and pick out ones that have topics of interest so would definitely recommend that. I’m with you on the late night one too 🙂

    My husband is obsessed with the Elis & John show podcast from Radio X. Before anyone recommends it to their other half, do beware that you may be hearing it a lot as there is a huge archive! But I have to say some items are pretty funny, and they talk quite candidly about mental health which I think is a really good thing, particularly given their male audience.

    1. Yes my husband is obsessed with the Elis James & John Robins podcast too and got me into it (although I couldn’t be bothered to start from the beginning like he did!). I thought it would be too blokey for me, but it’s very funny and the perfect thing to listen to on long car journeys together.

      1. Glad it’s not just me! Good on you for getting into it too. Perhaps I was too closed minded! My husband has now caught up with two year’s worth of their podcasts so I might be more likely to get into now he’s not got it on literally all the time!

        1. I’ve just recommended this to James now. Will it be a long time before I see him the other side of the archive?!

  2. I would recommend SRSLY for a good pop culture podcast. I now have quite a list of podcasts but great for my commute and when exercising. I do struggle to find many good UK based podcasts so hoping I may get some more from here….

  3. Will definitely try some of these out.

    ‘You Must Remember This’ is amazing if you love stories about old Hollywood! And the Adam Buxton podcast is also very funny and often have great guests on.

    1. Hey Vicky, as quite a big podcast user I’m interested to see how many of my faves will get a mention before I drop my list of recommends into the comments later on. The Adam Buxton podcast is my #1. As a long time fan of Adam & Joe it was a natural choice but I feel it’s also very accessible to new listeners. For those who are not aware, It’s a relaxed conversational interview podcast with a broad mixture of guests combined with some very funny moments.

      I would recommend seeking out the Louis Theroux episodes as a good starting point.

      1. I’m so happy you mentioned Adam Buxton, Adam! I seriously fan girl over Buckles at every opportunity. I have listened to the one with Louis Theroux when they do the vocal fry impressions about 5 times and honestly howl every time.
        The one with Kathy Burke is also great!

  4. Some of these sound great – going to look into them. I find the casefile podcasts really fascinating and Serial was gripping. My other favourite is called “Stuff you missed in history class”. Once you get past their incredibly strong American accents it is great. Both presenters are female and whole not strictly a feminist podcast as such it does cover a lot of stories about women that you’ve never heard – women who were part of significant events in history but whose story is often overlooked. There are masses of episodes – I would suggest starting with one on something you are interested in anyway to ease you into it.

  5. Desert island discs! It’s absolutely fascinating and I have discovered some music I wouldn’t have know otherwise. The Sheryl Sandberg one was brilliant – very moving as she talks about her late husband. Dawn French and Tom Hanks were also brilliant. Podcasts have saved my sanity on maternity leave!

    1. Yes, love Desert Island Discs, although no fun the way that I’ve had to listen to it where most of the music is cut? Do I need to listen to it live?

  6. These sound interesting but I don’t actually know what podcasts are. Is it like a radio show which is archived once it’s been aired?

    1. They can be archived shows, but they can also be recoded and uploaded directly and not aired on radio at all. Also, sometimes the ones that are radio shows will have extra content on the podcast that they aren’t able to squeeze into the radio programme slot.

  7. Ooh love a good podcast recommendation! Definitely will be listening to some of these over the next week when I’m packing and unpacking boxes for our house move!

    My favourites are:

    This American Life
    Reply All (it’s a tech-based podcast, but they have quite a bit of variety in terms of how they present)
    Heavyweight (it can be quite awkward listening at times, but very good!)
    Criminal (short episodes, but explore various crimes, not always in the traditional sense of the word)

    My favourite light-hearted/comedy are:
    Do The Right Thing (panellists presented with a long-winded situation and get points depending on how accurately the guess the right thing to do)
    Is It Just Me (used to be called Is It Okay when Jo Elvin was at Glamour, but now it’s thankfully continued with her at the helm with a new name but the same format of informal chat about everything and anything which I love!)

    Will check back later to pick up some more recommendations from the comments!

  8. I have just downloaded Overcast and added a whole load of these recommendations!! I got quite into Podcasts when I first moved somewhere that I was able to walk to work, but fell out of the habit for some reason. This has definitely encouraged me to give it another go! xx

      1. Thank you so much lovely! I am still able to walk, it’s actually about the same distance just in the other direction. So these podcasts are going to come in super handy!! xx

  9. Can’t believe no one has mentioned The Guilty Feminist yet! It’s a feminist podcast hosted by a comedian and very funny. My other current favourite is Where Should We Begin, it’s sessions of genuine couples therapy but really interesting and makes you reflect a lot about your relationship!

  10. The Guilty Feminist – absolute essential podcast subscription.
    Joe Rogan – incredible guests from all walks of life (just bypass the mma ones unless that’s your jam)
    Adam Buxton – especially when Louis Theroux is a guest which happens regularly
    Homo Sapians – Will Young and Christopher Sweeney gold
    What the eff -from two very strong, charismatic and independent business women
    Ted Talks are also available in podcast format
    x

  11. Another crime one…All Killa No Filla! It’s a great podcast. It’s 2 female comedians (Rachel Fairburn and Kiri Pritchard-McLean) discussing a different serial killer each episode. It is shocking but also very funny. Definitely recommend listening xx

  12. My favourite is The Moth – a weekly collection of true stories told live at events around the world. We’ve also seen the live events in New York and London and there is always such a mix of tales – funny, sad, brave, silly.

  13. I love this post. So many recommendations to try out! I don’t think I’ve listened to any of the ones you suggested Lauren! (With a special exception for My Dad Wrote a Porno of course!)

    My recs are:
    The Joe Rogan Podcast – I’m selective about which episodes I listen to, but I love his conversational and unedited style. Massive range of guests too.
    The Model Health Show – Very informative health podcast that never fails to make my grocery shop a more healthy one (put down the yumyum Naomi).
    Savage Lovecast – Very NSFW. In fact, it’s absolutely and completely x-rated sex and relationship advice podcast. It’s my go-to housework podcast, because I spend the whole time laughing and gasping. Wear headphones.
    Magic Lessons with Elizabeth Gilbert – An old one, but a great series to get the creative juices flowing.
    The Minimalists Podcast – Nice, calming podcast that focuses on a need for less stuff and a more intentional life.

  14. Mother Pukka and Giovanna Fletcher get the parenting thumbs up from me.

    As for my favourite….maybe I’m a bit of a nerd but I can’t believe no one has mentioned Desert Island Discs yet! It always has the most fascinating guests on it – I won’t pretend i’ve always heard of them before listening, but its so interesting to hear people’s choices in music and why. I’ll just climb back into my nerd box now….

  15. Oooh I love a good podcast. For a bit of a hippy vibe- super soul Sunday’s with Oprah and also Zestology- a health and well being podcast. I also find 10% happier with Dan Harris (all about meditation) more interesting than I thought it would be.

    Liz Earle has some great guests and simplifies well-being info. Her voice is lovely to listen to to.
    ‘In our time’ – is great if you like a bit of history.
    Love the Elis James and John Robins podcast. Humblebrags and the Shame well cheer me up on rubbish days.
    Kermode and mayo for film news.
    And Adam Buxton and Richard Herring podcasts are excellent.

  16. I recommend Overcast rather than the Apple podcast app, for example overcast deletes them as you’ve listened whereas the latter fills up your phone and gives problems.
    My favourites:
    The minimalists. Recommended earlier, Yes , very inspiring.
    For Young House Love fans – try also Chris Loves Julia for another DIY / style couple.
    Big Design Small Budget, interiors advice for real homes.
    The Struggle Bus – self care, mental health.
    A Well Designed Business – about running a profitable and successful interior design ( really any creative ) business. Social media, systems, strategy, planning.

  17. My Dad Wrote a Porno still brings me endless joy. My husband and I bought each other tickets to the live show for our Christmas presents. Woman’s Hour is wonderful, Savage Love Cast with Dan Savage (agony uncle podcast) is so enjoyable and obviously This American Life is the original and best. S Town was simply brilliant and Limetown is a fictional thriller that I would recommend. Fierce City has just come out with tales of different aspects of London life through history, there aren’t any other podcasts about London which seems mad. Podcasts are the best.

    1. 99% Invisible is often really interesting. I second Happy Mum Happy Baby and SRSLY. You Must Remember This. I didn’t love the second series of Serial but the first was just gripping. My husband has also become obsessed with Elis James and John Robbins, I do enjoy the Shame Well and Humblebrag. We’ve started listening to The Horne Section as we’be seen them live countless times.

  18. Hi RMS Community,

    Long time reader – first time commenter but as a lover of podcasts I felt the urge to wade in! 🙂

    I’d like to recommend ‘Levar Burton reads’. It’s a lovely Podcast which sees American actor Levar Burton (who has the dreamiest, smoothest, best voice for reading) read short fiction. Many of the stories have a slight sci-fi slant (but not all aliens and lasers – Levar had a successful run playing Jordi LaForge on Star Trek, but the stories are not usually sci-fi in that way) and the stories come from authors from all walks of life and experiences.

    I also love Casefile (as previously mentioned) and ‘They walk among us’ which is a UK based true crime podcast which features a mixture of high profile UK crimes and those you may not have heard of. The recent episode about Gareth Williams (the MI6 officer found locked in a bag in his bath) was really interesting. Up and Vanished which unravels the mysterious true crime case of Tara Grinstead is also gripping, with real-time developments that occurred towards the end of the run and gives an insight into small town rural Georgia and how an entire community can be affected by the sudden disappearance of one of its members.

    If you’re a fan of limited-run podcasts – with a fixed number of episodes, I would recommend ‘S-Town’ or ‘Missing Richard Simmons’ which are both less than 10 hour long episodes and would be considered human interest stories with a very sad look at American life and the American Dream.

    And finally, if you’re a fan of Radio 2 drive-time I highly recommend the ‘Confessions’ podcast. For those not familiar with Simon Mayo’s drivetime confessions, there is a ‘confession’ story from a member of the public read aloud and then Simon and his team, along with members of the public make a decision on if they will forgive the confessor or not. They are generally very light hearted and humorous, and the podcast includes some goody bonuses.

    As previously mentioned MDWAP is also very funny – and from reading through your comments I will have to try the savage lovecast! 😉

    Thanks to all who have made suggestions, my commute to work, daily walks and the slog on the exercise bike are all sure to be a much more interesting affair 🙂

  19. I recommend Dirty John – great criminal one and it had me gripped the same way as the first Serial!

    Good post Lauren!

  20. The Self help podcast – a psychotherapist and an entrepreneur discuss various topics each week. Bit different from the norm.

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