About a year ago I never understood the hype around podcasts, I hated how I couldn’t watch the person talk and I could never find the right time to listen to them. Now though, I am a convert. More because I listen to them before I go to sleep when I really shouldn’t be looking at a screen. Plus, if I can’t shut my brain off, filling it with conversation helps me to drift off. So, yes sometimes I do have to go back to the same episode to catch up but that’s all part of the fun, right?
I’ve now listened to a lot of podcasts, there are only a few I go back to regularly but there are also some episodes on other podcasts which I’m a huge fan of. So today I’m going to do a mix of episodes and series in the hope it should suit both the novice and the professional podcast listener.
Now before I start I thought I’d highlight what type of podcasts I like. I’m not a self help type of person and because it is right before I go to sleep I also don’t like anything too crazy. That’s why I love listening to interviews, and I mean interviews where people get grilled on their past and present, where you get a rare insight into not only how that person lives but how they talk and interact with others. Podcasts are personal and because it is *usually* only between two people you get a real sense of connection and vulnerability.
Anywhere, here are my favourites:
Podcast 1: Louis Theroux, Grounded
I am a self confessed huge Louis Theroux fan. This awkward yet weirdly funny man has made a stellar career for himself making documentaries about the weird and wacky. From investigating scientology to documenting the life of pedophiles in a specially designed hospital, Louis has seen it all.
And that is why his podcast is so good! He knows how to interview people whether they are open and honest or are holding things back. He’s also not afraid to ask questions which may seem controversial while still making his guests feel entirely comfortable.
Theroux’s podcast has had a myriad of celebrity guests, which he seems entirely interested and curious about (a fact which really helps his interviews). I found myself listening to the episodes which had no relevance to my interests and still being fully engrossed in their story. I can safely say each individual has something extremely intriguing about them.
If you want to watch select episodes then I recommend the episodes with FKA Twigs, Chris O’Dowd, Sia, Justin Theroux, Ruby Wax and Leah Remini. Honestly, I would just recommend watching them all but either way I hope you love them just as much as I do!
Podcast 2: Killing it w/ Jordan Stephens and Petra Velzeboer
Interested in the music industry or the celebrities that are involved in its high profile existence? Killing it is a podcast which highlights the struggles of fame in an industry so fast paced, it is hard to keep up with. Created by one half of Rizzle Kicks, Jordan Stephens and psychotherapist and friend of Stephens, Petra Velzeboer, interviews musicians to really find out what it’s like behind the scenes.
This podcast shines a light on the fight for survival when famous in an industry we look upon with jealousy or aspiration because really, they look like they should be having the time of their lives. Stephens and Velzeboer manage to bring a sense of vulnerability to their guests while highlighting the importance of talking about mental health.
I’ve only listened to a few episodes and found them really interesting and eye opening. I recommend the episode with Stephens himself, the one with Liam Payne and the episode with Stephens bandmate Harley Alexander Sulé. Additionally if you’re a music fan or are curious about the industry, the other episodes will be right up your street!
Podcast 3: Happy Place with Fearne Cotton
Looking for something a bit more zen? Fearne Cotton’s podcast is known for its open and honest chats. The ex Radio 1 host has transferred her renowned presenting capabilities to the podcast which centres around ‘life, love, loss and everything in between’. Fearne wants to uncover what happiness really means to her guests while digging deep into their lives in the limelight.
There is just something about her podcast which instantly makes you relaxed. The podcast has been running for several years so I can’t say I’ve listened to them all but I have picked out my favourites for you to start with.
Sam Smith, Phillip Schofield, Alicia Keys and Chris & Rosie Ramsey are my favourite episodes. So if you’re like me and like to listen to podcasts before sleeping then this one is sure to be the best place to start.
Podcast 4: The Mo Gilligan Podcast by Mo Gilligan
I’ve been a huge fan of Mo’s comedy for a while now and only just discovered his podcast. He’s entertaining but also down to earth which means his podcast is highly relatable while putting a huge smile on your face. Usually I don’t like listening to this type of podcast before I sleep, largely because comedy keeps me up. However, Mo’s podcast is interesting and his interviews are well thought out, so although there is comedy in it, it’s purely conversational.
I’ve only managed to listen to one episode so far but it was that good I couldn’t not include it! ‘”I’m Happy for Justin Bieber” Series 2/Ep4 with Clara Amfo’ is a discussion between the radio presenter, Clara Amfo and Mo, where they look at her career and the Television and Radio industry, one which they are both well versed in. I found it interesting how they discussed being new in the industry and some of the difficulties they’ve faced, a discussion which I feel has not been so openly talked about before.
His podcast was only recently released so its a good one to catch up with if you want to listen to all the episodes!
Podcast 5: Angela Scanlon’s Thanks A Million
Ever since watching Your Home Made Perfect (which if you haven’t watched you should), I’ve loved Angela Scanlon. The Irish TV presenter is both lighthearted and bubbly while bring out a sense of serenity in her conversation. Scanlon is just extremely personable and its hard not to love her!
The podcast centres around gratitude and thanks, where she interviews her guests about their lives but also what they are thankful for. Which is especially apt in the current situation.
She has interviewed a multitude of people, all fascinating and interesting in their own right. So far my favourite guests have been Joe Lycett and Matt Haig. I’m yet to dive deeper into her podcast but I am excited to see what else she brings out of her celebrity guests.
Like Fearne’s podcast there are quite a few episodes so feel free to pick and choose! That’s what I love about podcasts, they don’t exactly follow on from one and other so you can start with where you feel fit.
All these podcasts are available on Spotify and should also, hopefully, be available on other podcast platforms. So if you aren’t a podcast lover yet, I hope this opens your eyes to the wonderful world of honest and eyeopening conversations. Podcasts are really gaining popularity right now so it’s the perfect time to discover your next favourite thing.
Let me know if you’ve listened to any of the aforementioned podcasts or leave your recommendations below, I’m always on the hunt for my next favourite listen!