One of the only New Year resolutions I’ve actually kept was ‘listen to a new podcast everyday’. I’m embarrassed to admit that I only really got into podcasts last summer when I was commuting from further afield. Now I’m addicted and I probably listen to more podcasts than music – really!
As a result, I’m constantly referencing the conversations I’ve been listening to and recommending them so I thought this could be a good place to recommend the podcasts (and tunes) that have been soundtracking my days each week. Who knows – they might just take the pain out of your commute or make you have All The Deep Thoughts too.
First up, on Monday I was gripped by the Freelance Fear. Like a chronic case of the WHAT AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE fear. Horrible. Then by chance I listened to one of my favourite podcasts, Emma Gannon’s CTRL ALT DELETE, a series about social media that’s gone from strength to strength with guests ranging from feminist photographer Amanda de Cadenet to none other than Gillian Anderson. This week I downloaded the Cindy Gallop interview where she has so many amazing points to say about the porn industry, social sex and her start-up Make Love Not Porn. Cindy has so many great points to make but the strongest chord she struck with me were her words about self-employment and how she recommends all women work for themselves. Self-employment self-doubt, be gone!
Filling the pop culture podcast shaped hole in my life right now is The High Low a new podcast from two of my favourite British journalists, Dolly Alderton and Pandora Sykes, AKA former hosts of the equally excellent PanDolly podcast (RIP). The end result is a lively chat between two friends and to date the ladies have covered significant pop culture turf ranging from the new series of Girls to the Daily Mail ‘Legsit’ fiasco to unpaid internships and the La La Land Oscars gaffe with Warren Beatty. As a lover of high/low moments, this podcast is right up my street. Warning: you’ll end up talking about Dolly and Pandora like you know them IRL.
If you’re a writer and you don’t devour the Longform podcast…well, I’m not sure what to do with you. This week I listened to the 2014 interview with Anne Helen Peterson the Buzzfeed writer (her piece on TMZ in particular is excellent) and Old Hollywood expert, who writes on celebrity, gossip and pop culture. I loved this podcast interview because I’m always impressed when I hear that someone has made a career out of a pretty niche subject and I love hearing how other writers land their jobs. Plus, gossip is good, ok? Anne has a new book coming out in June – the fantastically titled ‘Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud’ – so now’s the perfect time to listen back to this interview about her writing career and earlier book ‘Scandals of Classic Hollywood’.
Ariel Levy has just published an incredible memoir ‘The Rules Do Not Apply’ dealing with her life, loss and grief, exploring further her experience of having a miscarriage which she first wrote about in ‘Thanksgiving in Mongolia’ – one of the most unforgettable things you will ever read. Hosted by Angela Ledgerwood (who has one of the calmest voices I’ve ever heard), the Lit Up Show podcast is another one about books and writers and I’ve previously binged on excellent interviews with Jessica Valenti, Lindy West and Padma Lakshmi but I think Angela’s interview with Ariel is a must-listen that’ll resonate with so many women. Also, The Rules Do Not Apply is an excellent memoir; so honest and well written, it’ll stay with you for a long time.