There’s a good chance that someone you know is hooked on a podcast. For those of you who are not sure exactly what a podcast is then here is a simple explanation followed by some of the best podcasts that are getting me through lockdown.
A podcast is simply a digital file that is available over the Internet for downloading to your mobile device or computer. In most cases, podcasts are original audio recordings. However, they can also be recorded broadcasts of a lecture, performance, or television or radio programme. You listen to podcasts on-demand and can start, stop and finish on your own time. You also subscribe to podcasts. This allows the newest podcast episodes to be pushed to your mobile device or computer making it easy to listen to the most recent shows.
Around 7.1 million people in the UK now listen to podcasts each week. That’s one in eight people and is an increase of 24% over the past year – and more than double over the past five years.
Figures released this month show that there are over 1,000,000 podcasts with over 30 million episodes.
And just as a side note we, Annabel & Grace, have been recording podcasts for our followers for over a year. Our latest one, ‘You’re never too old to ask for help’, is available now. Just click HERE.
As we are all in lockdown still and, if like me, you are finding reading difficult because you keep getting distracted then a podcast may be the answer. I listen to them whilst doing the housework, ironing, going for a dog walk, or just laying in the sun. Here are a few of my best podcasts that you might enjoy too, some are particularly relevant to these times of isolating and lockdown.
Feel Better, Live More with Dr Rangan Chatterjee
Dr Chatterjee offers just that – practical advice and tips on how to support your health and wellbeing, both mentally and physically. A GP with over 16 years of experience, through discussions with health experts and different personalities, Dr Chatterjee cuts through the noise to provide informal yet informative content relevant to daily living. Well researched yet entirely accessible, Feel Better, Live More offers balanced, sensible and easily implementable advice on how you can improve your quality of life. The health podcast you didn’t know you needed, Dr Chatterjee explains it best himself: ‘Health has become overcomplicated. I aim to simplify it’. For those of us guilty of feeding our anxiety by overdosing on the news at the moment, it’s well worth giving the new episode on coronavirus a listen to help you manage your worries. The intro is a bit long but when it gets going the interview is really interesting.
Hosted by Krista Tippett, an American journalist, author, and recipient of the 2014 National Humanities Medal by President Barack Obama, On Being explores the big questions of meaning and life—inner life, outer life, and life together. With well-respected artists, authors, teachers, scientists, and theologians, On Being explores the intersection of spirituality, social healing, science, the arts, community, and poetry. Tippett is warm and curious in her approach, often practicing Poet Rainer Maria Rilke’s teachings of “loving the questions themselves.” The latest episode, FINDING EASE WITH LONELINESS with Buddhist writer and scholar Stephen Batchelor teaches how to approach solitude as a graceful and life-giving practice. I found this episode so helpful and it made me think about being alone and how to deal with it – we are born alone and we die alone and never before has that been so true. Do listen.
My Wardrobe Malfunction with Susannah Constantine
Clothes have the ability to make or break our day, setting the tone for how we feel about ourselves and accounting for a major aspect of our own identity. In this podcast, Susannah Constantine (What Not to Wear and Trinny & Susannah) explores the far-reaching impact of our relationship with clothes. Featuring different guests each week who talk through their fashion faux pas, comfort blankets, and naturally, wardrobe malfunctions, guests include the likes of Elizabeth Hurley, Tan France and even old friend Trinny Woodall. Warm and witty, this podcast is a safe space for all fashion blunders, with listeners writing in with their own wardrobe malfunctions each week. If you need something to ease your own regret over that outfit, My Wardrobe Malfunction is the perfect thing.
Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations
In a selection of interviews with thought leaders, experts in their fields and global stars, Oprah does what Oprah does best – draw out valuable and interesting insights from inspiring people. From Michelle Obama to Chanel Miller, lose yourself in these intimate and open conversations with some of the world’s best and brightest. Motivating, uplifting and generally just an enjoyable listen, each episode of Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations offers a different learning in relation to everything from mindfulness to how you can work towards realising your life goals. If you’re looking for a place to start, we recommend trying her episode with Lady Gaga in which no topic is off-limits and the pair candidly talk through mental health, spirituality, chronic pain and other life challenges.
Duolingo Spanish Podcast
Chances are you’ve heard of Duolingo before. A handy little app designed to help users learn new languages, we all know too well how easy it is to skip one day of learning and see that roll into a week and months of not keeping up with your new skill. So for the days when you want to push on with learning without staring at a phone screen, try the Duolingo Spanish Podcast. Intended to help English speakers learn Spanish, each episode tells a compelling real-life story in simple Spanish, with English narration to help you wade through words you might not be familiar with. The best way to acquaint yourself with common phrases and pronunciation while following fascinating true stories, you’re in for a lot more than just a language lesson when listening to this podcast. Prepare to be blown away by how soothing the Spanish language is, even when telling the most heartbreaking stories.
If ever there was a time to get into a good book (or audiobook) it’s now. In the practically named Bookclub podcast, host John Naughtie leads a discussion between readers and authors on their most acclaimed works. Though a straightforward enough premise, the simple format of this podcast makes for fresh and fascinating new insights into works that you wouldn’t otherwise find. From Marian Keyes to Helen Fielding, Bookclub is an excellent way of discovering a new book or analysing an old favourite – essential listening for bookworms and new readers alike.
Laugh and listen your way through this podcast which gives an update to the standard interview format, joining dinner and discussion. Hosted by Jessie Ware from the comfort of her own dinner table, Table Manners has the feel of a cosy catch up rather than formulaic interview. With Ware’s mother Lennie in charge of cooking each week, listen in as the pair talk through their guest’s life, loves and vitally, favourite foods. With past guests including Antoni Porowski and Charlotte Tilbury MBE, nothing is off the menu on this podcast. Table Manners is served.
Happy Place sees Fearne Cotton delve into mindfulness and what happiness means to different people. In intimate conversations with the likes of Mary Berry and, more recently, Hillary Rodham Clinton, the great success behind this podcast is how universally relatable it is. Uplifting and sincere, Happy Place allows listeners a rare look into less openly talked about issues like mental health in the public eye. Highlighting humanity and reminding us that celebrities face a lot of the same obstacles that the average person does, the podcast is a uniting, positive force that we could all do with a bit more of.
No Such Thing as a Fish
A weekly podcast from the team of researchers behind the BBC panel show QI, No Such Thing as a Fish is the series to help you up your dinner party conversation. Each week hosts Dan, James, Anna and Andy bring their favourite facts that they’ve uncovered from the last seven days. Did you know that Greta Thunberg’s middle name is Tintin? Or that in Japan you can buy left-handed chopsticks? Well, if you listened to this podcast you would have.
Something Rhymes with Purple
And now for something completely different. If you’ve ever felt dissatisfied with your vocabulary (or should we say lexicon?) Something Rhymes with Purple is the ultimate remedy for this. Listen as hosts Gyles and Susie guide you through selections of words you never even knew existed, their origins and the beauty of the English language. You’ll come away having learnt something new and suddenly aware of how often you use words like ‘nice’ and ‘good’.
So these are just a few of the best podcasts I have listened to – none too highbrow but for me I listen for relaxation so they work well. The best part about listening to podcasts is that you consume information WHILE doing something else. Please let me know, via the comments section below, your favourite podcasts. We are always interested in personal recommendations.
Everyone always says, ‘it’s good to talk’ but right now it is also good to listen.