I worked out recently that I spend, on average, 20 hours per week in my car on my own, travelling to and from work. I used to spend all that time being absolutely brain dead, listening to the same 12 songs on the radio every day. The traffic is something drives me mad – pun intended – and can, frankly, make me miserable. Who knew that a podcast would save my melting brain?
I could get public transport but it takes the same time and costs three times as much. I also can’t have personal space or the temperature how I want. So I’m sticking with driving. I can’t change the traffic (the A13 is notoriously one of the worst roads in the whole universe). I can’t take away the negative time but I can change what I do with that time.
I’m not sure where I got the brainwave from but I finally decided to give in to podcasts after hearing about them since I was about 18 and had no idea what they actually are. I sound about 73, I know.
Turns out podcasts are pretty cool. They’re like radio shows but for a purpose, on a specific topic, with people who actually care about what they’re saying and don’t play the same awful re-purposed songs.
Having discovered this wonderful world, I felt compelled to share the podcasts that I’m loving at the moment, in the hopes that they bring you a level of mental stimulation too. I use the Castbox App – mostly because it’s the first one that came up in the Play Store.
From The Heart Podcast
The first podcast ever discovered was from Yoga Girl, called From The Heart. . I’ve been following her on Instagram for a long time and find her to be a breath of fresh, honest air in the confusing and somehow pressured world of yoga. She talks on everything spirituality, motherhood, current affairs. She’s moving, funny, awkward, thought provoking and generally just a beautiful, light soul.
Desert Island Discs Podcast
The next is BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs led by Kirsty Young. This is a condensed version of the radio show and it’s utterly brilliant. DID has been running since 1942 and is still wonderful, 76 years later. Guests range from Russell Brand to Professor Phil Scraton of QUB. The guests explore music that has deep meaning in their life and it’s fascinating to see the way Kirsty leads them through an emotional journey, even making Tom Hanks cry!
Super Soul Sunday Podcast
When I need motivation or a source of light in a tough day, I turn to Oprah and the podcast of her Super Soul Sunday Conversations. Her guests are of the highest calibre. They explore feminism, human rights movements, comedies, life advice. My favourite episodes so far have definitely been either Maya Angelou or Ru Paul, though I’ve hundreds of episodes to catch up on!
Talk Stew Podcast
To change things up from the female narrative (and to feed my love for him), I’ve been avidly tuning in to Reggie Yates’ Talk Stew podcast. Reggie and his BFFs sit in what sounds like a cold dank room but keep the energy light, jossing with each other whilst flowing through natural conversations with their guests. I was surprised at how articulate and well-rounded Goldie is in 2017 and discovered that Little Simz is pretty famous in Australia! I think this has been a real labour of love for Reggie and I’m really enjoying being part of his journey on my journeys.
The Guilty Feminist Podcast
Happy Place Podcast
Fearne Cotton has blossomed in the same way Reggie has and is a much more authentic person, living in pursuit of good mental and physical health, and her Happy Place podcast is another stream in her network. I’ve only listened to one episode so far, with Dawn French, which was of course enlightening and emotional. She’s only got 3 episodes so far and the other two are queued and ready to play coming home from work this week.
Lastly, and by no means least, is Will Young and Chistopher Sweeney’s Homosapiens podcast. This is based at the LGBT+ community, filling a void they felt in the market. It addresses important issues in the LGBT+ world that are not addressed enough, with equal parts compassion, respect, humour and intellect. Their informal conversations and discussions amongst the pair between their interviews and discussions with each week’s guest have me feeling like I’ve just got my mates in the car with me and make my boring journeys whizz by!