Our favourite sounds for long journeys, park walks and chilling out
What’s that they say? Headphones in, world out. Well, it’s true – there’s nothing quite like plugging into a good podcast and getting lost in another world. While we’ve been indulging in some much-needed downtime this summer, we’ve been listening to some fabulous podcast series to giggle to ourselves, better ourselves and entertain ourselves, and we couldn’t not share them! Whether you’ve got a long journey ahead this bank holiday, or simply fancy a bit of me-time, our list has something for everyone: new comedy duos, educational delights and a few surprises along the way… Let’s plug in.
28ish Days Later
We’re used to plugging in our headphones as a way to escape and tune out, but this first pick offers more than simple distraction. 28ish Days Later, presented by BBC journalist India Rakusen, takes us on an educational journey through the female anatomy and talks about all things periods – a subject that hasn’t always been so accessible to us (weird, right!). The series tracks a woman's 28-day period cycle one day (episode) at a time and explains the biological goings on in our amazing bodies. Think of it as a more calming, enlightening and helpful version of the hour-long sex education class we all endured back in the day. There are guest speakers, real stories and plenty of ‘oh-my-god I never knew that’ facts. So, if you want to know more about your own body, this one’s definitely worth a listen!
Fortunately… with Fi and Jane
Since 2017, BBC broadcasters Jane Garvey and Fi Glover have been delighting their 500,000 listeners with relatable commentary on everyday life, which is what makes their podcast, Fortunately… with Fi and Jane, one of our favourite sounds. Their witty conversations cover a wide range of goings on (from the political to the absurd) and we never tire of their hilarious and inspiring stories and frank opinions on what’s going on in the world – not to mention their brilliant guestlist! Basically, tuning in feels a little like listening to your friends have a good old chinwag for 50 minutes a day – best served with a cup of tea.
Comfort Eating with Grace Dent
If you’ve not eaten lunch yet, brace yourselves for this next listen. Comfort Eating with Grace Dent has just wrapped up its third season, and the Guardian restaurant critic’s probing of celebrities (and her conscientious deep dive into our relationships with food) is yet to miss a beat. The pod has had a plethora of celeb guests admit their deepest and darkest foodie confessions over the years, from James May to Jo Brand, each bringing a hilarious and sometimes heartwarming tale behind their favourite ‘comfort food’. It’s a great way to find out more about your favourite stars and also get a little kitchen inspo while you tune in, but this review comes with a fair warning – do not listen if you’re hungry!
Unreal: A Critical History of Reality TV
Sometimes, putting our feet up and listening to a podcast can be the ultimate self-indulgent treat, and no podcast quite lives up to that description more than Pandora Sykes' new show with Radio 4. Unreal: A Critical History of Reality TV is exactly what it says it is: a shrewd analysis of the cringiest, most sociologically fascinating and hilarious moments in reality TV history. And if (like us) you’re completely obsessed with all things reality TV and pop culture, it’s absolutely critical you listen to it. Pandora takes us on a long journey from the conception of Big Brother to the relaunch of Love Island, all the while dissecting what exactly it is about watching other people – just like us – on the square screen that has us so obsessed!
Here’s another for the pop culture lovers. In the same vein as Unreal, It’s… Wagatha Christie, presented by comedian Abi Clarke, takes a piece of pop culture gold (the well-documented civil case between Colleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy) and puts it under the microscope. If you’ve followed the case, involving a Twitter revelation, tabloid scandal and two famous footballers’ wives, you’ll love this deep dive into the gossip-filled saga. It’s a light listen and a thoroughly entertaining one that gives us all the juicy details and even a crash course in media law! What more could you want?
Desert Island Discs
We know, it’s not technically a podcast, but with BBC Sounds and so many streaming services around these days, what isn’t a podcast? Desert Island Discs is the perfect mix of music, celebrity and chit-chat. Host Lauren Laverne dissects her guests' picks (tune into the radio show to get full-length versions of the songs) and asks celebs in the hot seat all about the role music has played in their lives. We’re not telling you to listen to every episode – 3227 might take you a fair bit of time – but we do want to recommend some of our recent favourites… Adele, Kate Moss and John Legend have all supplied some lovely musical picks over the last few months, and we can’t get enough!
My Therapist Ghosted Me
It’s often said that friends give the best therapy, and best friends Vogue Williams and Joanne Mcnally give it their best go on their podcast My Therapist Ghosted Me. The two Irish women talk frankly and hilariously about personal issues they’ve faced and the challenges of everyday life. The chat includes plenty of unqualified, unsubstantiated advice that taps into how we all feel when life throws us its curveballs. It's hilariously relatable, belly-laugh worthy and always cheers us up on a rainy day!