I got the podcast bug and I got it hard. You can usually find me with my headphones on, ignoring the rest of society.
I haven't been the most fun human to be around this past year. My 'sarcastic edge' has dipped well into 'complete and utter fucking bitch' territory and sometimes I just can't deal with interacting with humans.
Someone suggested that podcasts are a good way to shut yourself off when you need a bit of alone time. I dubiously dipped my toe in the water and now I'm a shameless convert!
Podcasts are good for :
Work - Ignore your colleagues (and the ringing phone)
Walking/Running - Stops you counting miles and are a great distraction.
Car journeys - I now count long distances by the number of episodes I can fit in.
Sleeping - Some podcasters have very soothing voices, it's like a bedtime story.
Social occasions - Share all your newfound information when you feel like speaking to people. This is especially fun if you fall down the true crime podcast route and like to enthusiastically discuss body disposal methods.
So, in no particular theme or order. Here are my favourites.
1: My Dad Wrote a Porno
If you can't deal with the term 'perspiring pussy' or the idea of a rotting penis enhancement then you might want to move onto the next one right now.
I binge listened to this podcast, frequently laughing out loud and dry retching. James Morton's dad decided to write a porno called Belinda Blinked, (under the frankly spectacular pen name of 'Rocky Flintstone'). Morton and his buddies, James Cooper and Alice Levine read out and discuss chapters of this kinky masterpiece each week. It's mortifying, hilarious and stomach churning in equal measures.
Why Rocky chose the porn genre is anyone's guess, I'm not convinced he's ever seen a human woman, let alone a vagina. The frequent references to 'vaginal lids' has me concerned, why doesn't mine have a lid? Do I need a refund? That said he does have a great grasp of business management and the pots and pans business. You know, the kind of credentials every good porno needs.
Follow the journey of Belinda, shagging her way up the corporate ladder and getting into some truly bizarre and often very un-sexy situations. Guys, you don't need to worry about getting a public boner listening to this. In fact if you do find yourself aroused you should probably get a new therapist!
2: The Guilty Feminist
I'm a feminist BUT if my car breaks down I will shamelessly cry until I'm rescued by a man.
I try really hard to be a good feminist, but I'm a bit shit at it. I suspect we all are sometimes and that makes the Guilty Feminist podcast so refreshing. Deborah Frances-White and her guests tackle some really deep issues but in a lighthearted and honest way.
I've learnt so much from this podcast and it's opened my eyes to so many problems women face in everyday life. It has also introduced me to wider issues, such as the plight of refugees in Calais. I was so inspired that I went to Calais to volunteer with 'Help Refugees' to get a better understanding of what's going on.
This isn't just a podcast for woman, there is no 'man bashing' and it isn't skewed to focus on the oppression of women. It's just some awesome and inspirational people discussing life problems in an entertaining, relatable and engaging way. It's very easy to dip in and out of, or pick an episode covering a topic that affects you.
3: No Such Thing As A Fish
A crapload of random facts served up with a side of laughter. Can't beat it.
I have the complete inability to retain important information and you really don't want me on your quiz team. That said I love this Podcast and love sharing the random facts I pick up (before promptly forgetting them).
QI (Quite Interesting) is a UK comedy panel quiz show, bringing together the smartest (and funniest) minds for both fun and facts. The writers of QI joined up for the No Such Thing As A Fish podcast. It's hosted by Dan Schreiber along with James Harkin , Andrew Hunter Murray, and Anna Ptaszynski. The chemistry between them is hilarious and whilst most the facts are completely useless, they are still mind boggling.
This is my favourite podcast for long car journeys, it's easy listening for your passengers and always sparks great conversations. Plus if a pub quiz ever has a question about millipede penises or something equally random then I might just know the answer!
4: My Favorite Murder
Murder. Check. Swearing. Check. Cool chicks with no filter. Check.
I'll be honest, I've fallen hard into the true crime genre. We are all a bit morbid at heart but I might have taken it to the next level. I avidly listen to several crime podcasts (listed below) but this was the first one I binged so it gets a special mention.
Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark are funny as fuck. They are open, sweary and full of 'banter' yet they manage to deliver truly horrific content in an empathetic way. Their tagline is 'stay sexy and don't get murdered' and let's be honest, that's something we should all live by.
Each episode covers two crimes, they are researched in depth but there aren't excessive gory details or any glorification of the criminals. The mini episodes cover local hometown crimes suggested by their listeners, a reminder than there is crime literally everywhere. The Murderino (My Favorite Murder listeners) community is supportive of victims and each other and groups have united over the world.
Other True Crime Podcasts worth a mention:
Red Handed: https://play.acast.com/s/redhanded
True Crime All the Time: http://www.truecrimeallthetime.com/
Serial Killers: https://www.parcast.com/serial
5: TED talks
Need to become an expert in a niche area in under 10 minutes? Boom. TED talks.
Originally focused on Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED) these bite size talks now cover anything you could imagine. Whether it’s Quantum computing explained in 10 minutes or Diagnosing a zombie, there’s always something to tweak your curiosity.
I prefer these podcast when I'm actually focused, not just as background noise. Although if you aren't concentrating an if it rolls onto the next episode you can find yourself happily immersed in a topic that you never thought you would be interested in.
The talks are split in multiple categories so you can easily navigate to topics that interest you or pick something at random and be prepared to learn something new. All speakers are experts in their fields and the passion and knowledge shines through.
6: Savage Lovecast
What the hell is a perfect relationship? Am I doing it right? Nah, no one is. Just do it.
I've never listened to relationship or self help guides so was dubious about this one but it's great. At the end of the day none of us know if we are doing relationships, dating or even just fucking around right. We all have insecurities, questions or feelings we aren't entirely sure are normal or 'acceptable'. After listening to America's sweetheart, Dan Savage, lay it all down I've realised that there is no perfect. We don't fit into a box and we just have to be ourselves and roll with the punches.
Dan's funny, blunt and makes a whole lot of sense. Listeners call in with their problem and he breaks it down and offers potential solutions. Even when you think a situation is so far from your own reality you still learn something, whether it's about other people or your own relationships.
7: The Drop Out
It seems that she's a horrible person but I kind of admire her balls!
If you follow current affairs then you'll know about the Theranos scandal which is about to go to criminal trial in America.
I don't want to give too much away but I was so drawn into this one I binged it in a whole day and then spent the following week researching it. In 2015 Elizabeth Holmes was named the youngest and wealthiest self-made female billionaire in America by Forbes. She was just 31 and had built up Theranos, a medical tech company which claimed it could test blood using just a finger prick instead of a full blood test. This product would revolutionise the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. If it worked. The real question is whether it did, or ever could, do what it said.
The podcast covers the rise of the Elizabeth's incredible success, with interviews from people who knew her best. Then it all starts to unravel. Did she just get in over her head and try to fake it until she could make it? Or was it all a massive con. I've made up my mind but you need to listen to it to reach your own conclusion. Whatever happens at the criminal trial you can bet your arse that this will be made into a film one day.
I like most of the Parcast shows including Hostage, Cults and Conspiracy Theories. They're interesting, well researched and professionally produced. At the moment I'm into a relatively new show called Survival. My first instinct in a disaster is to roll over and wait to die so it blows my mind that these people survived such terrifying situations.
Whether it be sinking ships, erupting volcanoes or being stranded after a plane crash, each episode covers a catastrophe that seems impossible to survive. Yet people did.
A lot of the episodes are in two parts so if you want to listen to the whole thing, which you almost certainly will, then you need a couple of hours. It's worth it.
I'm always looking for new podcasts so if anyone has any suggestions please drop a comment!