Podcasts: Essential Listening

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Podcasts: Essential Listening

I'm not the type of person who can sit and work in silence, concentration needs noise, so does quality procrastination time...

Spotify holds the number one spot in my heart, well it did... that was before I was introduced to the Podcast app. I have fallen, and I have fallen hard. I feel like I need to spread the joy, so here are my top ten podcasts for anyone in need of a discussion, inspiration, motivation or just in need of zoning out:


I feel like this is a tired choice, everyone knows about Serial and everyone loves Serial, but I love Serial, which is why it's here, sat right smack bang on this list. Serial takes a true story over a series and delves right into the weeds.

In season one, Sarah Koenig goes back through all the notes of Adnan Syed's case - Adnan is currently serving life in prison for the murder of Hae Min Lee, but did he do it? Listening to Sarah's exploration through the statements, talking to the witnesses and talking to Adnan will have you thinking he's guilty, he's not guilty, definitely guilty, maybe not guilty? Am I guilty? Maybe I did it? arghhhh!!

If you are currently addicted to Making a Murderer and you are into super stressful stories with literally no ending - this ones for you.


Design Life

Design Life is a new design podcast hosted by Charli and Femke - both female designers in the early years of their careers and both serial side project addicts. Their podcast is addictive, enriching and makes me want to get of my arse and tackle all of the creative projects I have been putting off. I don't think I have met (vocally...) two more motivated people. The episodes are based around the design business, how to navigate it stealthily and how to make time to do the creative things you want.

One of my recent favourite episodes was 'making and managing time' - this is a topic that I think all creatives (probably all people) fight with on a daily basis. Charli and Femke discussed how they managed their time and kept organised. The basic moral of the episode was - if you want to do something that bad, you make you make time, you get up early, you work on the way to work - no excuses...

If you are into design, witty convo, inspiration and in need a kick up the arse - get over to Design Life.


Call Your Girlfriend

Call Your Girlfriend ‘ a podcast for long distance besties everywhere’ is a new favourite, I started at episode one and I am burning through them. CYG is hosted by BFF’s Ann Friedman and Aminatou Sow - I have fallen hard, mainly due to the fact that it feels like I’m sat listening to my best friends chatting and giggling – they discuss feminism, periods, racism, rom-com’s, politics, Kimye and the mystery behind the Kardashian’s…
You will leave the episode feeling warm, inspired, pumped and unable to sing anything by Robyn’s ‘Call Your Girlfriend’. It will also make you want to call your girlfriend and discuss everything you have just listened too, job done.

Another Round

This a booze infused podcast hosted by Heben and Tracey, they are the witty, intelligent and funny people you eye up at a party and instantly think ‘I’m going to make you my friend’. If you want to sit and listen to two girls, getting tipsy and discussing (extremely articulately despite the booze… well done everyone) racism, the high and lows of social media, dating and feminism, then this is the internet place for you. They often have big hitting guests to add to the conversation and they are most definitely not scared about asking the questions people need an want to know.


Women of the Hour

Women of the Hour is everything you would want and expect from a Lena Dunham podcast – it’s honest, it over shares, it’s badass and it is full of open conversations regarding sexuality, feminism, gender, work, play and all the fun stuff in-between. 
The show is only five episodes long (series two Lena?..) with a smattering of additional footage throughout. Lena features interesting and thought provoking guests on each episode to push the conversation and thought process further, she often asks the questions that people usually shy away from, which makes for an interesting listen. The incredible Emma Stone and the unnervingly cool June Squibb are on hand every episode to offer wisdom and advice to the masses. Want to know what to do when a ‘friend’ is being less than friendly? Squibb will sort it, no worries.
Lena divides people, to use the severely overused analogy - she’s like marmite, people either love her or hate her. I love her, she says exactly what she thinks and does exactly what she likes – whether that be flashing her tits to the world or talking in depth and heartfelt about her friendships. If you love Girls and you loved Lena’s ‘Not that Kind of Girl’ and you subscribe to Lenny Letter, you will love this. Obvs.

TED Talks

TED Talks, this is on the list because it has to be. This is one I listen to on a slow work day, when I'm lacking in motivation - you need to hear the voices of the successful, the badass, the idea creators and the down right thought provokers of the world.

I have a few essential TED Talks that I have as back up for an emergency situation, a few to get you started are - Sheryl Sandberg's 'why we have too few women leaders', Ken Robinsons's 'schools kill creativity', Elizabeth Gilbert's 'your elusive creative genius' and Brene Brown's 'the power of vunerability'.

They inspire, motivate and make you want to be a better person, all round thumbs up from me.


Kermode and Mayo's Film Review

I am the annoying person / cinema goer who likes to watch a film and then dissect it fully post-viewing - irritating for some, un-avoidable for others. Anyway, Kermode and Mayo are not only my film viewing enablers but they allow me to dissect a film without annoying people.

The episodes usually focus around one film to focus on and discuss, usually with the films protagonist in tow. Each episode is around two hours long, a solid chunk of time well spent. Ultimately I trust their recommendations, I don't always agree but I always see value in what they say. They are the Simon Cowell of the film critic world - harsh but usually correct.


Monocle 24: The Monocle Arts Review

This podcast is a quick hitter - 15 minutes of art, theatre, literature, film and all the good stuff each week. I recently went to see 'The Big Short' at the cinema and pretty much adored it, in a recent episode, the arts review interviewed Tim Robey, a film critic who discusses said wondrous film - lapped it up entirely. The arts review introduces me to films, programmes, books and artists in an easy way. I enjoy the set-up, when they discuss a book, they look into the underlying themes and messages to form a deeper understanding and enjoyment. All for it.


Guardian, Science Weekly

The Guardians Science podcast is a good'un, one for expanding and boggling the mind in equal measure. One of my favourite episodes recently was 'why are conspiracy theories so attractive', it looked into our power of reasoning and why we get so drawn into a good conspiracy theory. So much illustration fodder flows freely from this podcast, I want to draw everything despite understanding very little.


My Dad Wrote a Porno

This podcast is the comedy sprinkling to my list. The host Jamie Morton reads out sections of his dads erotic novel 'Belinda Blinked', he owns the information and it's incredible. If this sentence doesn't make you want to drop everything you are doing and download, then I don't know who you are.

I don't have a huge amount of comedy podcasts on my list, they are just too distracting and usually end with me sniggering loudly rather than subtly enjoying the lol's. But if you can be better than me, whack it on.


Do the right thing, make your workday and life better with a podcast.


  1. These are great choices girl! And your blog looks lovely <3 Keep up the good work.

    xoxo, Donyelle


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