To my pleasant surprise, I found that there's been a resurgence in the popularity of podcasts in the last few years. Some of my old favourites were on Stitcher, and I discovered many more podcasts that I love. More than I could ever possibly have time to listen to! Skip to the end for two BONUS podcasts that I just had to include, and have a look at my other blog for Eight Great Spiritual Podcasts. I might have to do a second list soon because there are just so many!
Here's the list, not in any kind of order:
1. She's All Fat
A podcast for all people and all bodies. April and Sophie chat about all things body positivity, self-love, issues that fat people and allies face, tips and advice, and their favourite music, TV shows and Instagrams. While some of the topics are pretty intense and potentially triggering, their policy of "chill vibes only" helps to keep the chat light and fun. After 3 seasons, I feel like I'm listening to friends, and that I'm part of the "fatmily".
Website | Patreon | Instagram
2. Against Everyone with Conner Habib
Conner interviews counter-cultural figures on such topics as culture, politics, patriarchy, body positivity, spirituality, creativity, the occult and more. Many of the topics are ones that I hadn't thought much about previously, and I always come away wiser than I was before. Plus, Conner is so inclusive and friendly, and seems like a real sweetie.
Website | Patreon
3. Le Show
Hosted by Harry Shearer of The Simpsons fame, Le Show has been running weekly for 35 years in various formats. He focuses his acerbic wit on such topics as current news, politics, and the environment. My favourite segment is Apologies of the Week. There are occasional interviews, but most of the shows are hosted by Harry on his own, with satirical skits and songs. It's just about the only way that I keep up with current events now that I can't bear to watch the news anymore.
4. Tokyo Tales
Simon and Martina, a Canadian foodie couple living in Japan, are already well-known for their YouTube videos on life in Japan. Their podcast delves deeper into their lives with small observations, funny stories, tips and advice. It also looks at Martina's chronic illness and her strategies for getting through life as happily as she can. This is an audio-visual podcast on YouTube.
5. The Teacher's Pet
UPDATE: This podcast is has been made unavailable in Australia due to currently occurring trial. It will be made available again as soon as practicable after the trial is over.
There are many, many true crime podcasts, but this was one of the most compelling for me. It covers a crime committed in Sydney 35 years ago -- the disappearance and probable murder of Lyn Dawson. Her husband was a famous rugby player and school teacher, and she had 2 small children. When she disappeared, everyone believed her husband's story. The crime is being investigated by Hedley Thompson, a journalist for the Australian. As the first few episodes of the podcast came out, witnesses approached him to add new information to the case. This led to the police investigation being re-opened. It is essential to listen to this podcast chronologically from the beginning.
Out of the (again) many, many writing podcasts out there, I've chosen Manuscripting because I think it deserves more love. A podcast doesn't have to be professionally produced (or have ads in it!) to be worthwhile. The episodes are quite short and feature Leslie just talking about her experiences and tips with writing. Leslie is also an artist and pen nerd, so those topics sometimes creep in too. It's an audio-only podcast on YouTube.
7. The History of Vikings
There are hundreds of history podcasts to choose from, from the BBC through to the Stuff You Should Know stable of offerings, but I chose The History of Vikings because it's independently produced, and has varied and interesting guests. Topics range from the broad to the everyday, such as food or music, and guests include scientists, historians and re-enactors.
8. History of Witchcraft
Okay, here's another history podcast! Again, it's independently produced, and well-researched with a splash of humour. Many original texts as well as scholarly sources are referred to. It covers the witch trials of the 16th century, as well as the cultural history of and attitudes to witchcraft in ancient Greece, Persia and other topics.
BONUS! 9. Dead and Buried
Another history podcast, Dead and Buried focuses on historical crimes in Melbourne. As a Melbournian history nerd, it's right up my alley! I came across it by accident a few weeks ago, and have been bingeing on it ever since. The hosts work at the Public Record Office, and use its resources to come up with stories that have comprehensive historical context and are also interesting and varied. There are murders, but there are also love affairs, ghosts, riots, and activities that are no longer crimes today, such as cross-dressing. The website has supporting material with some wonderful period photos and illustrations. I know it's a niche podcast, but I'd really like to see it get more love!
BONUS! 10. Kākāpō Files
Kākāpō are a flightless parrot native to New Zealand. They are adorable and also critically endangered -- there are less than 150 left in the world. There is however, a dedicated breeding programme and fans around the world focused on their recovery. I only discovered this podcast a few days ago and haven't listened to a full episode yet, but I'm including it on the list because the kākāpō is my favourite animal!
TIP: you need to put the accents above the vowels when searching in Stitcher (and presumably other apps) to find the podcast.