Whether you’re keen to stay in know, craving inspiration, or simply wanting to chill TF out, this mega list of podcasts is here to help
In these uncertain times, it’s understandable that many people are beginning to feel the weight of social distancing and self-isolation. With a UK coronavirus lockdown close on the horizon, gigs and festivals are postponed, venues and shops are closed. Some people are turning to online parties and streaming sessions for their cultural fix, while musicians like Christine and the Queens and Charli XCX are committing to engaging fans across platforms like Instagram Live.
For those of us who are hunkering down at home as we all should, we’ve put together a list of podcasts for every possible emotion you’ll experience in the coming weeks. Whether you’re feeling anxious and in desperate need of a breather, or you’re bored and seriously craving some inspiration, we’re here to help.
FOR WHEN YOU’RE FEELING ANXIOUS
In our latest episode Dan, James, Anna and Andy discuss dangerous Roman toilets, what shoes were thrown at a Bush, and the love life of a Lothario turtle called Diego. No Such Thing As Quentin Tarantino's Bambi, available now via @ApplePodcasts! https://t.co/KFJxeEi2JRpic.twitter.com/XSC8O5oDm3— No Such Thing As A Fish (@nosuchthing) March 13, 2020
Presumably, the brains behind BBC’s QI were so saturated with information that they decided to make an entire podcast series dedicated to Fun! Facts! Hosted by the QI “elves”, aka. the behind-the-scenes people who do all the groundwork for Stephen Fry to read off cue cards, each episode is a bombardment of trivia, like how your dog can be expelled from China for being too big, or how there’s secret flats all over the UK furnished just to catch burglars.
Also, the podcast dates back to 2014, so if we’re in for the self-isolation long haul, there’s plenty of material to keep us busy.
Nothing says calm TF down more than an uncertain future of self-isolation, so maybe now’s the time to put into practice all that meditating you’ve been meaning to do since forever. If you need some motivation, however, Untangle is a great place to start. The podcast focuses on stories of people who’ve used meditation to transform their lives, and includes interviews with experts, neuroscientists, nutritionists, and more on the benefits of the practice.
For those unfamiliar with the term, tapping is a sort of holistic healing technique that aims to resolve issues like stress, anxiety, phobias, chronic pain, and more. Hosted by Nick Ortner, The Tapping Solution podcast is made up of 30 minute episodes, ranging from quieting your inner critic to healing from sexual trauma and overcoming holiday stress.
Is working from home getting boring? Or perhaps the fun wine and crafts sessions which you planned to do with your housemates isn’t quite quenching your social thirst. In Alonement, journalist Francesca Specter asks a new interviewee about the time they spend by themselves, and why it’s so important, from models to athletes, writers and experts. Could this have come at a better time? Being alone needed a rebrand, and here it well is. Kicking things off with the very first episode is School of Life founder Alain de Botton, who suggests that we need to make the state of being ‘alone’ glamorous. Take note, folks.
FOR FEELING INSPIRED
A podcast about creative people and their lives, hosted by Misfits actor Craig Parkinson. The Two Shot Podcast speaks to TV and film stars about the highs and lows of being an actor, delivered in a laid-back, conversational style. Think Derry Girls’ Nicola Coughlan and This Country’s Charlie Cooper. Recent episodes include The Mighty Boosh’s Matt Berry and Irish actor Ruth Bradley.
We all have a story to tell, and the BBC’s podcast series Tell It gives young people in the UK a platform to share their experiences, passions, and discuss issues facing youth today. Each week, the platform drops a handful of episodes, all related to the same topic, ranging from one girl’s experience writing to an inmate on Death Row to the story of Joy Morgan, a student midwife who went missing after joining an obscure religious group. Tune in.
A collection of 31 original manifestos, speeches, stories, poems, and rallying cries written and spoken by amazing women celebrating what it means to be a woman today. From Booker Prize winner Bernadine Evaristo to Forgotten Women author Zing Tsjeng and Syrian poet Lisa Luxx, each episode focuses on a particular theme, such as staying strong, learning from failure, and dealing with uncertainty.
If you could write a letter to a woman, who would it be? This is the question author, broadcaster, and the BBC’s first director of creative diversity, June Sarpong, asks in To The Women, the official flagship podcast series for International Women’s Day.
Each episode aims to uplift women who have been vilified in the media by giving them a platform to share their deeply personal letters to mothers, friends, and other inspiration figures who’ve helped them become who they are. With over 20 contributors, previous guests include model and activist Munroe Bergdorf, Labour politician Jess Phillips, whistleblower Rose McGowan, and political activist Gina Martin.
The Last Bohemians is back with series two and an all-star cast of female firebrands and maverick outsiders in the arts and culture:— The Last Bohemians Podcast (@thelastbohospod) March 2, 2020
and Maxine Sanders https://t.co/XeRcMkjllUpic.twitter.com/rx7rufOSGs
Non-conformists, unite! Bringing together “female firebrands and debonaire disruptors”, The Last Bohemians chronicles and celebrates the stories of women who changed culture across generations. Each episode, journalist and podcaster Kate Hutchinson meets the daring women avant-gardists whose voices have been left out of cultural canon. In one episode, erotic novelist and painter Molly Parkin dissects notions of self-love and lineliness, while in another, industrial music pioneer and author Cosey Fanni Tutti shines on sex, subversion, and the vitality of working class voices. Other voices include original rude girl Pauline Black, musician and iconic groupie Pamela Des Barres, and folk music legend Judy Collins.
When the biggest risks facing the world are all to do with climate change, it’s hard to see a light at the end of the tunnel. But Outrage and Optimism is here to help. In short, the podcast does what it says on the tin, with each episode highlighting something outrageous or optimistic in the climate debate. The idea is that both outrage and optimism is needed to break through the current status quo. Recent episodes look at how we should respond to the coronavirus crisis and Stella McCartney on sustainable fashion.
The weekly roundup is followed by an in-depth interview with a special guest of the week, which has previously included the likes of David Attenborough, Greta Thunberg, and Jane Goodall.
Step into the mind of Dior with this weekly podcast series. Each episode focuses on a different individual who’s played a part in shaping the iconic fashion house, from curator and critic Paola Ugolini in conversation with The Great Women Artists podcast host Katy Hessel on increasing the visibility of feminist art, to American artist Judy Chicago on how working with Dior helped to bring a particular art project to fruition.
#CLIMATEREFRAME a new project by @MothersInvent@TheDocSociety highlights 100 UK BAME experts & community activists addressing the climate crisis by designing climate litigations, campaigning against pollution to working on a #GreenNewDealhttps://t.co/fqgFAb29mGpic.twitter.com/VkpW2G9XuO— Mothers of Invention (@MothersInvent) March 9, 2020
With its tagline, “climate change is a man-made problem with a feminist solution”, Mothers of Invention is a podcast celebrating all the amazing things women are doing to tackle climate change, hosted by former Irish president Mary Robinson and comedian Maeve Higgins.
Each episode showcases the work of climate activists, from grassroots organisations to global initiatives such as the legal challenges we must overcome to force governments to adhere to the Paris agreement. Scientists and politicians feature alongside farmers and indigenous community members across the world. If you’re looking for your faith in humanity to be restored, you’ve come to the right place.
From Elton John in convo with Alessandro Michele on artistic connection, to the iconic Dapper Dan reflecting on creating one-off outfits for hip-hop stars in the 80s and 90s, Florence Welch on her poetry, and the Gucci Beauty Network on breaking beauty norms – Gucci’s podcast channel thrives with insider stories, knowledge, and insight from across the creative industries. An exhilarating aural mish-mash for how fashion, art, music, and culture collide, we’ll give a particular shout-out for the fascinating Dapper Dan chat, and Jeremy Deller on the buzzy acid house era.
FOR STAYING IN THE KNOW
Being stranded on a cruise ship during a global health crisis isn’t anyone’s idea of fun, even more so if you’re one of the 7,300 passengers stranded on said cruise ship because of the outbreak. In this episode of Today Explained, Carl Goldman, who was on the cursed Diamond Princess cruise ship, explains what it’s like to be quarantined with coronavirus.
Similar episodes that have aired in recent weeks include what we can do to stop the spread of the disease, what life is like living in lockdown in Italy, and the ripple effect that closing schools will have in America.
For a more granular approach to staying tuned in, Coronavirus 411 provides daily updates regarding the disease. Information is pulled from the Centre for Disease Control.
In a similar strain to the above, Coronavirus Daily Briefing offers 15-20 minute updates on COVID-19, including episodes on social distancing, stories of people being denied access to testing, and what it feels like to have the virus.
FOR CHILLING TF OUT
Brought to you by the makers of Broccoli, the aesthetic AF magazine for women who love weed, this podcast is like tuning into a casual chat with your stoned besties. Hosted by Lauren Yoshiko and Mennlay Golokeh Aggrey, Broccoli Talk explores the world of cannabis through interviews, discussions, readings, and more. Recent episodes ask questions like what happens when you work in the legal cannabis industry? What do you wear to work? What do you put on your resume? Other highlights examine the effect weed has on sex and relationships, and a political unpacking on cannabis in Japan.
London Scenery is basically a localised version of Desert Island Discs. Each monthly episode sees music journalist Clare Considine welcome a key player from the British capital to chat and pick tunes. Previous guests include the likes of Moses Boyd on UK jazz, Gaika on Brexit, and BBZ on queer black art collectives. Get listenin’.
🇯🇵Ghibliotheque in Japan🇯🇵— Ghibliotheque - A Podcast About Studio Ghibli (@ghibliotheque) March 6, 2020
Our mini series recorded in Tokyo is here! In this episode:
🕰️ A giant clock designed by Miyazaki
🌳A wander through Tama Hills
🧁The hunt for the official Totoro-shaped cream puff
Listen here: https://t.co/33DAEfPqDCpic.twitter.com/6ESDrVNca3
There’s nothing more joyous than Studio Ghibli, so when you’re done watching the entire back catalogue on Netflix, kick back and enjoy this podcast by film enthusiasts Michael Leader and Jake Cunningham. The podcast looks at the history behind and making of the studio’s greatest films like My Neighbour Totoro and Spirited Away, as well as lesser-known projects such as Ocean Waves and The Little Norse Prince. More recent episodes even look into the studio’s influence within Tokyo, including a very special trip to the Ghibli museum.
Blindboy of the Rubberbandits is the plastic bag-headed comedian, author, doc presenter, and witty, acerbically-tongued commentator of our times. From mental health to housing, Irish history trivia and inventive short fiction, Blindboy covers it all. Of particular note is his incredible interview with director Spike Lee, and Northern Irish civil rights campaigner Bernadette Devlin. For when you want something more visual, his BBC doc series – Blindboy Undestroys the World – is a must-watch.