I love listening to radio, so naturally when podcasts started to explode, along with our desire for on-demand content, I was right on that bandwagon. Over the last few months, my concentration has been particularly shot. Three months of pregnancy bed-rest will do that to you – the brain tends to go a little stale, while also running riot. So when I can’t handle a book or even a magazine, podcasts have been my go-to.
I have a whole variety of podcasts that I turn to, but the following five are on my current hitlist and give my brain the reset that it so often needs of late.
1. The storytelling podcast | The Moth
This is my all-time favourite podcast, with its Radio Hour my top hit. The Moth focuses on cultivating the art of storytelling with ordinary people telling everyday or not so everyday stories from their life. My number one episode was actually recorded in Dublin and tells the story of some of the Dunnes Stores strikers in the 80s and the awareness they brought to apartheid in South Africa. I have fabulous memories of listening to it lying on a hotel bed (also pregnant) in London tired after a flight. Great storytelling transports you to another place and gives your brain a little holiday. You can download the episode here if you fancy it. New episodes of The Moth are released every Tuesday.
2. The ‘motherhood’ podcast | Happy Mum, Happy Baby
This is a relatively new one from Giovanna Fletcher in which she talks to well-known mums about motherhood – the good, the bad and the ugly. If you’re in the mama headspace, each chat is refreshingly natural and honest. Every week it’s just two mums chatting and telling their story in a relaxed and safe space. My favourite episodes to date are the ones with Emma Willis and Paige Toon. Their honesty around their experiences of breastfeeding would’ve been great to listen to when I was finding it tough, the first time around.
3. The ‘living with intention’ podcast | The Lively Show
After her marriage broke down, Jess Lively sold her house on a relative whim (or by listening to her intuition as she would say) and has been travelling the world ever since. ‘The Lively Show’ is all about living with intention, high vibe living and listening to your intuition. This podcast might not be for everyone, but I find it brilliant when my head needs a reset. I remember one morning lying there at about 5am, unable to sleep, over tired, feeling anxious for no-known reason and watching the clock knowing that the morning routine for work and crèche was only a couple of hours away. Paul was away so I threw on one of Jess’ podcasts and within a half an hour, my anxiety had eased, I’d made sense of whatever was going on in my head and felt ready to tackle the day.
I’m not sure that I have a favourite episode, there’s quite the back catalogue available. My recommendation is to read the synopsis and choose one that works for you at that moment in time.
4. The ‘investigative journalism’ podcast | This American Life
Were you a fan of Serial? Well these are the guys behind it. Sarah Koenig of Serial fame has been a producer on This American Life for many years. How would I describe this one? I’d say it’s a mix of human interest stories and investigative journalism. Ira Glass and his team have been producing amazing weekly content for over 20 years and it shows.
5. The ‘happiness’ podcast | Happier with Gretchen Rubin
I was delighted to see that Gretchen Rubin had a podcast. I read her book ‘The Happiness Project’ in 2014 I think. In it she tells the story of her year long happiness project which she undertook after realising that although happiness was one of her main goals in life, she wasn’t giving it much thought. So rather than waiting for happiness to spontaneously happen, she dedicated a year to actively focusing on raising her happiness levels with a variety of projects. It’s well worth a read.
In this weekly podcast, she discusses good habits and happiness. Her sister Elizabeth Craft co-hosts. My favourite episode so far has been ‘It’s more important to say something than the right thing.’
And for a bonus recommendation, check out Emma Gannon’s ‘Ctrl Alt Delete’. I haven’t listened to too many episodes yet, but I like what I’ve heard so far. I love that she previously worked for Rebecca Holman who wrote ‘Beta: Quiet Girls Can Run The World’and interviews Rebecca in an episode about the stereotypes of alpha vs beta women. The book landed through my letterbox earlier this week and I’m dying to get stuck into it.
So there you have it, my current recommendations for podcasts that might help declutter your brain when it’s reset button needs to be hit.
I hope you enjoy them!