2019 has been the year of the podcast for me. I’m obsessed, they are part of my morning, lunch time and evening routine. I love hearing wise, woke and wonderful opinions from such a vast variety of backgrounds.
As the days are getting cosier and colder, perfect for duvet, mint tea and podcast sessions I thought I’d share some of the gems I’ve been listening to. I have split them into three categories; educational, spiritual & wholesome. Enjoy!
Today in Focus
A daily news podcast ran by the Guardian. This is always a well researched, thoughtful way to digest the news as opposed to stressful headline after stressful headline. They always go into depths about what has actually happened which is great, for someone like me, who doesn’t keep up with the news as well as I should do. It contextualises every event and helps me understand what led up to that point. Anushka Asthana is the host, she is so clever and eloquent, I’m in awe of her.
You’re Dead To Me
This podcast takes me back to the days of binge watching Horrible Histories after school as the host Greg Jenner was the historian for the BBC show. It’s lighthearted and funny yet still educational. He brings both comedic and a historic value to each episode so there is a real balance of fact and fun.
Hosted by Jonathon Van Ness from Queer Eye (side note: if you haven’t watched this yet please do. It’s on Netflix and is the most wholesome and heartwarming programme out there). Jonathon interviews a varied bunch of people, from all sorts of backgrounds. This means a broad range of subjects are discussed; healthcare, deportation, politics, climate change etc. I have learnt so much listening to this podcast because, no matter what the topic, he makes it a bright and cheerful listen.
This podcast is all about design and architecture, it explains how powerful our surroundings can be in relation to how we live our lives... without us even noticing. I recommend an episode called Peace Lines which discusses the walls which [still] physically divide Protestants and Catholic areas. This is super interesting if you are into social psychology and design.
Bridgetown Audio Podcast
Some would say the new Rob Bell, John Mark Comer is mine and Jacks' favourite pastor at the moment. He words everything in such an honest and relatable way. He addresses how complex and complicated life can be, but encourages his listeners and his church to live simply and to love more. We can’t get enough. He has caused me to actually like listening to an American accent which I never thought would happen. Not all the episodes are John Mark, other, just as woke, preachers speak too. The podcast covers all sorts of topics and normally focus on mini series', meaning you get a deep look into each subject. John Mark also has a podcast called This Cultural Moment which I haven't managed to delve into much yet. The main topic of discussion concerns how bizarre living as a christian in a post-christian society is. I admit I haven't found it an easy listen, having to constantly replay sections to understand what was said, as the discussions are often very complex. But the episodes I have listened to expertly highlighted the issues I witness in my own church community, home life and society. It carefully considers the future of the Christian Church, and particularly spoke to me as a young person.
Under The Skin
The host of this is Russell Brand. It’s not a light listen as Russell isn’t one for small talk and always jumps straight in with long and deep questions. His mind is crazy and he never strays away from saying exactly what he thinks. Often he is very thoughtful and ridiculously honest. Even though the topics discussed aren’t always to do with living spiritually, this is often an obvious undertone to his discussions. My favourite is episode 67 with Fearne Cotton called Vulnerability, Progress & Biscuits. It is well worth the listen. It's almost the most spiritual, Christian discussion without mentioning God or the Christian faith. Jack would describe it as 'all-consuming.'
Sadly his podcast is not available for free anymore (which is lowkey really annoying and not as accessible) but all his old episodes are still up and available for free!
Exploring My Strange Bible
This is hosted by Tim Mackie, the same guy who produces the The Bible Project animated YouTube videos. Truth be told I haven’t listened to many of these but I know people who listen to these regularly and can't get enough of them. He researches each subject in great depths. If you enjoy history and language you are bound to find these podcasts enlightening.
However it’s not all super knowledge based, this is a quote from episode 79 which I relate to:
‘In the last 7 days who did you lose your patience with? Who were you unkind to in the last week? Whose good fortune were you just unable to celebrate because you were so self focused? Who did you talk about yourself way to much when you were with this week? Who do you think you are way better than? And so you treat them in ways that violate their dignity. Who did you ignore their priorities so you could prioritise your own? And therefore you lost your temper with them when they didn’t think your thing was more important￼￼ than their thing. And now you are bitter and resentful about it. In what ways does your behaviour show you choose to live this way? What would it look like to celebrate the truth of who you really are, left to your own devises and in light of the love of Jesus. Who did you back out on this week? Who have you given up believing in and hoping for? Who were you not around for when they needed you? Who did you fail?’
The Open Ears Project
This is the perfect way to get into podcasts as these are only around 10 minutes. Each episode the guest shares their favourite classical track and why it means something to them. Whenever I start listening to this podcast I always end up feeling so uplifted.
The High Low
Two London based ladies, Pandora Sykes and Dolly Alderton discuss the news and pop culture. It’s an easy listen because they are funny and have such good opinions (in my opinion.) They have the best film, book and tv recommendations, always sharing content I know I wouldn’t have discovered myself. Their personalities bounce of each other in the best way and I wish I was friends with them. I would recommend listening to the latest ones as they are released, as the topics discussed concern current trends and listening to older episodes might not be as relevant.
Talking Tastebuds Venetia Falconer is amazing. She’s so woke and really tries her best to live a life that’s sustainable. The chats in this podcast are always passionate but she consistently acknowledges the privilege she has, being able to live the super ethical way she does. The main theme is FOOD, which if you know me, you’ll know how much I love talking about what I’m going to eat. Throughout this podcast I have learnt so much about the different, simple, ways I can help the planet and the people who live on it.
This podcast has made me cry one too many times in public. Each episode is a different comedian talking about their experience with grief. Which may sound like a bizarre thing to listen to but trust me it’s well worth the embarrassing public tears. It’s raw and real and talks about the struggles of loss, from family members to pets to miscarriages. It doesn’t sugar coat anything but, because the guests are all comedians, it’s not as sad as it sounds.
Adulting This is the first podcast I ever listened to and I’m still listening to it religiously now. One of the host talks about the struggles of being an adult, yet feeling like a child. Trying to get your life together but also not really having a clue. She always admits that she is still learning about anything she discusses and is completely open to hearing other opinions. I would recommend episode #42 about the science and statistics behind falling in love.
Other recommendations would be The Happy Place, Desert Island Discs and How I Built This and I could honestly add in many more as I’m such a podcast geek. So please if you have any good podcasts let me know, I’d love to give them a listen.
Love, Phebe ☀︎