I flipping love podcasts. They are one of my all time favourite forms of entertainment. I’d listen to podcasts over watching a movie at least 7 out of 10 times. I like them because you can be getting on with other things, because they can accompany you while out and about, or you can just sit and listen and enjoy. So in no particular order here are my top five favourite podcasts that I look forward to each week!

One: Happier with Gretchen Rubin
I first found Gretchen Rubin through a chance purchase of her book ‘the happiness project’. Now I’m not one for ‘self-help’ or motivational speakers etc but I was having a bit of a tough time and the premise of someone spending a year trying to make their life happier appealed. When I found out she was doing a podcast I was very excited indeed. Each week Gretchen and ‘Her Sister The Sage, Elizabeth Craft’ go various strategies, hints, tips, stumbling blocks and so forth for how to build good habits and to have a happier life. What I like most about it is that the things they discuss are not big things. They aren’t huge life upheavals, they feel achievable and that’s what I like best. Things that seem to actually be manageable that also seem reasonable that they would have an impact. They don’t offer magical, fix all solutions. Just real life advice and discussions. I have listened from the start and look forward to each new episode every Wednesday.

Two: Eliza Starting at 16
Eliza starting at 16 is a weekly 10 minute podcast about a 17 year old girl (she was 16 when she started if you couldn’t tell from the title) who lives in New York. She talks about what she’s into, what’s she’s over, the stuff that’s going on in her life. It is in no way relevant to me, a 28 year old woman living in the UK, but yet when it pops up in my subscription feed I am compelled to listen. She has such a sweet personality and just has a great way of chatting as if updating a friend. She is currently applying for college and although the process is a bit different to here in the UK, it is bringing back memories of when I was doing my A Level and hoping at least one of the universities I had applied to would say yes. She may not be that relevant to me but she is certainly relatable. Another great thing about it is that it is only 10 minutes. Most of tingle podcasts I listen to are at least half an hour to an hour and while I love those, there’s something great about getting a quick fix. About being able to squeeze that little bit of enjoyment into a corner of the day that a longer show just wouldn’t work. It also makes me feel like I could have a podcast which is something I would love and that is just brilliant inspiration.

Three: Dear Hank and John
Do you like advice columns? Do you like dubious advice? Do you like getting weekly update on the news from Mars and AFC Wimbledon? Even if you don’t I urge you to give this podcast a go. I started listening to Dear Hank and John back when it first started in ??? but then for some reason I stopped. I think it was when my iPod broke. But that now means I have an excellent back catalogue to catch up on in between new episodes coming out! My favourite this about this podcast? Quite possibly the fact that it isn’t sponsored. But that they have a fake sponsor section based on the questions they have had in. Examples of this include: Brought to you by 86 urethral sphincters and Brought to you by ???

This is definitely one of those podcasts I laugh out loud to and have to be careful when out and about, chuckling to oneself on the morning commute might get you some funny looks but I say ignore them and enjoy the happy!

If you do decide to give this a go after reading this, Hank is currently on Paternity Leave but they are having guest hosts and it is still awesome.

Four: The Naked Scientists
Science made for someone like me to understand. I can’t say I really enjoyed science at school. I didn’t not enjoy it but it wasn’t really one of my favourites. I can remember doing circuits and learning about cell walls but that’s about it! As I’ve gotten older though, science definitely seems more interesting but also very out of reach to a bear of very little brain like me. This podcast though explains things in a way that makes it accessible and I love the way they cover a wide range of topics. My favourite episodes are the ‘Ask The Naked Scientists’ but any of the episodes make for great informative listening. They have lots of spin off shows that focus on more specific areas such as Biology, Astronomy and a phone in radio show they do in South Africa. While I occasionally dabble into these, the astronomy one in particular, I always listen to the main show because I live how it covers so many different topics. My favourite episodes are the ‘Ask The Naked Scientists’ but any of the episodes make for great informative listening!

Five: Answer Me This
I can’t remember how and when I found Answer Me This but I know it was instantly a firm favourite. A similar format to Dear Hank and John, only with British accents and more jingles, listeners write or call in with their questions and Helen, Olly and sometimes Martin the Soundman offer their advice and comments. Again, it is just a laugh out loud, can cause potential embarrassment in public places podcast and I absolutely love it. I’m not one of those people that enjoy scary films or sad stories, life is tough enough without adding voluntary exposure to negative emotions so I seek out things to make me smile and laugh. The only downside to this is that unlike all the others it is a fortnightly podcast and while I completely appreciate that the hosts have lives to be getting on with I do wish that there was a more regular fix. Having said that though, when that easterly anticipated episode does drop into my subscription box I am especially happy. Did I mention the jingles? It’s worth listening to just for the range of ways people have recorded their little theme tune. Do it. You won’t regret it.

I do listen to other podcasts too but these are the five I am most excited about when I see them pop up and that I most wanted to share.
Do you listen to podcasts? Please let me know if you have any recommendations and my ears will gladly give them a go!

Pip pip
Charlotte x