Firstly, big apologies for the shonky layout of this post. My blogging app on the iPad has crashed (and burned) and then it was huge work editing on the mac. Sorry. Editing is the worst.
Last week I brought you six excellent podcasts about chronic illness, disability and mental health. I hope you enjoyed them! Some of you have told me you’ve started to listen to them! Yay!
Because I honestly can’t get enough of podcasts, here are some more that I am listening to and loving. There are so many cool podcasts being released, and not enough hours in the day to listen. But podcasts are my new reading material, right, and I feel like I’m efficiently learning so much more than I would through old-fashioned reading. And I'm getting to know new people too! Are you the same
Note to Self - hosted by Manoush Zomorodi
Note to Self is a tech podcast, but it’s about how we use technology rather than the technology itself. The episodes are fairly short, and they’re super interesting. I think the host, Manoush Zomorodi, is so cool – massive girl crush on her!
I especially enjoyed the episodes about how to shake up your echo chamber, how your smartphone is eavesdropping on you and the videos that no one is watching (the Lonely Web). There was a really interesting/shocking one about how Google images made a terrible racial slur – mistakenly identifying a black woman as a gorilla. It talked through the problems with artificial intelligence.
There are some great challenges about simplifying your life from information overload, and digital decluttering too, if that’s your thing.
How to Be a Girl – hosted by Marlo Mack and her seven year old daughter
How to Be a Girl is the most compelling podcast I’ve ever heard. There have been times I was so blown away by what was said, I cried, or stopped what I was doing to take it all in.
It’s only a short series (and I really hope there will be more episodes), but each episode is engaging, interesting and informative.
It follows the true, current story of Marlo Mack and her seven year old transgender daughter. I’ve learnt an incredible amount – about laws, discrimination and most importantly, how a very young person realises their identity.
The podcast series opens with Marlo talking about when her three year old child told her he was a girl. “He looked me in the eyes and told me something had gone wrong in my tummy, that made me come out as a boy, not as a girl”, Marlo reflected in the first episode. Each episode talks about both Marlo and her daughter’s experience – from finding love, friendships and being an ally, to how to know when and who to disclose to. Her daughter met Orange is the New Black actress Laverne Cox last year, and the episode covering the meet was so beautiful.
You know I’m not one for parents oversharing about their kids online, but this podcast is done in such a collaborative, inclusive and consenting way between mother and child that I only wish parents of disabled children could follow Marlo Mack’s way. Marlo’s daughter is as much a contributor to the podcast as Marlo. She’s so mature. And gosh they are beautiful story tellers. And her image is never used in a compromising way
After a three month hiatus, Marlo released another episode last week – it was the most moving yet. She and her daughter talk about the bathroom bill in some states America, and also a little about how private her daughter is. It told the sad story of discrimination, but also of empowerment. Just listen.
Gastropod – hosted by Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley
I came across Gastropod because Pip Lincolne recommended it. She always recommends things I like, so I gave it a listen.
It’s another food journalism podcast – quite in-depth and really interesting. It’s about food, but the history and science behind it. There have been episodes about American breakfasts, the history of cherry tomatoes, cheese (my favourite food!) and first foods, to name a few. I really like that this isn’t solely about cooking – it’s nice to hear.
The episode about the whale poo vomit (ambergris) was so intriguing. Gosh I want to try the stuff – apparently it’s like an exotic vanilla.
Ctrl Alt Delete – hosted by Emma Gannon
I adore this podcast. As much as I listen to podcasts to learn new things, I also listen to them for relevance. And I think Ctrl Alt Delete is one of the most relevant ones I’ve come across. It’s all about writing, blogging and social media careers.
Emma has had some AMAZING high profile guests including Liz Gilbert, Zoe Sugg, Cheryl Strayed, and Jessica Valenti. The most recent episode I’ve listened to was with blogger Olivia Purvis, who spoke so eloquently about being aware of the curated life she leads as a blogger, as well as how to manage jealousy and bitterness when you see other bloggers enjoying success. “She’s worked hard for that, maybe I should give it a go”, Olivia encouraged.
When I listen to Emma and her guests discuss blogging, online writing and social media with such enthusiasm and legitimacy, I’m reminded that I can do this too. The podcast reminds me that my side project is valid and fulfilling. It is SO good, so affirming.
Good Evans it’s a Bobcast – hosted by Kevin Mitchell/Bob Evans
Yay! My favourite singer has a podcast!
Kevin Mitchell (whose musical alter ego is Bob Evans – and he sang at my wedding!) launched his podcast just before the release of his fifth album Car Boot Sale – it’s a lovely album by the way!
There are four podcast episodes out so far – Kevin chats with mates (a music producer, sportsman, a musician slash radio presenter and a comedians slash radio presenter) about their favourite music. He also delves into politics. There was a really great, respectful discussion in the first episode about explaining the context of the N word in music to a young child), and the reclamation of the word for people of colour only. There have only been male guests – I do hope to hear him chatting to a female soon!
It’s funny, friendly and great to hear what makes Kevin and his guests tick. He’s such a nice guy, and this podcast really shows what an intelligent, articulate thinker he is. The fourth episode’s introduction really showed how comfortable he is as an ad-lib speaker, and all episodes demonstrate great interview skills – he’s a great listener.
I really love the accessibility that the internet affords. Through social media, podcasts and blogs, fans can interact with their favourite actors and musicians, and get to know them beyond the tabloid media. That’s what I like about Kevin being on engaging on Twitter and having a podcast.
Modern Love – hosted by Meghna Chakrabarti
Modern Love is a New York Times column exploring love. In January this year, the Modern Love podcast was launched, with actor narrators bringing the written essays to life. After each essay is read, Meghna Chakrabarti chats to the writer about their life since the writing the essay.
It’s stories about all types of love – romantic, parental, prison, adoptive, sibling. There are quite a few episodes about the love for people with disabilities and illnesses – including one between a disabled man and his carer read by Colin Firth, and another about a woman who adopted a baby in China who was born with a disability.
My favourite episode has been "The Doorman", about a friendship between a young single mother and her doorman. It is really beautiful.
Sex, Death Sex and Money - hosted by Anna Sale
The Death, Sex and Money podcast is chock full of great stories about three inevitable things in life. Each episode is about half an hour, wrapping up a complete story within.
The episode which drew me in was the one titled “Dead people don’t have any secrets” – where a recently widowed woman discovers her dead husband’s secret life. The funeral director episode was pretty great too – it was interesting to hear about the burnout experienced. And I loved Danielle Brooks’ episode – she’s Taystee on Orange is the New Black – such a talented woman! Most recently, I listened to Tituss Burgess from The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt who spoke about his fraught relationship with his mother - she hasn't come to terms with his sexuality.
The Sporkful – hosted by Dan Pashman
The Sporkful is a quirky food podcast. As well as being funny, it’s informative – with some great episodes about Ramadan, the history of the Coney Island hotdog and burgers of the future. There are also interviews with everyday foodies and comedian foodies like Weird Al Yankovic and Maria Bamford.
The episode that drew me in was the Serial Parody (I never liked the Serial podcast so I enjoyed this one much more!), investigating the theft of an office lunch.
How to listen to podcasts:
Some podcasts can be downloaded (saved and/or streamed) from program websites.
You can also download podcasts through apps on your computer, tablet or phone. I listen to mine on my iPad and iPhone. You can download through iTunes (this is how I listen to them) or other apps such as Stitcher. A list of 10 great podcasting apps for many operating systems can be found at Tom's Guide.
I listen to podcasts on iTunes, and have linked to the iTunes podcast stream for each podcast here. But I've also included the websites for all of the podcasts in this blog, so click on the links for more listening options.
Tell me about the cool podcasts you've stumbled across. Go on, there's always room in my week for a new one!