Download this lot, stat. These podcasts are compulsory listening in our humble opinion
Ugh, we’re so in love with listening. Seriously. Nothing compares to podcasts: they’re enlightening, life-affirming, hilarious audio treats that distract us on our daily commute (yes, we’re the one on the train laughing to ourselves) and send us to sleep inspired.
Here are our favourite podcasts hosted by women:
Serial with Sarah Koenig
Okay, so unless you’ve been living without an internet connection for the past two years you’re probably very familiar with the phenomenally successful Serial. This was the podcast that put podcasts on the map. Sarah Koenig’s rigorous, un-biased re-examining of the historical murder of Baltimore high school student Hae Min Lee brought out the pseudo-detective in all of us. And it was pivotal in that it turned us all on to the particularly engaing power of podcasts.
Modern love with Meghna Chakrabarti
This is the audio sister to the New York Times’ popular print series of weekly, reader-submitted stories. Each essay muses on the theme of love: platonic, romantic, parental, unrequited you name it, they’ve got a story about it – and they’re all quietly profound. Modern Love the podcast features a reading of a love story by a famous talent (January Jones, Judd Apatow, Elle Fanning and Sarah Paulson have all leant their voices), followed by a Q&A with the story’s author.
Mystery Show with Starlee Kine
Who doesn’t love a good mystery? Our true crime obsession is testament to the addictive nature of a headscratching puzzle. And this podcast tackles everyday mysteries in the most charming way. Think disappearing video rental stores, pictures that can’t be explained and the unknowability of Jake Gyllenhaal’s height. Mystery Show’s host Starlee Kine scrutinises little mysteries with the rigorous attention usually reserved for criminal investigations.
Call Your Girlfriend with Ann Friedman and Aminatou Sow
Great friends Ann Friedman and Aminatou Sow engage in the kind of smart, totally relatable mental sparring that will leave you feeling invigorated. They chat about the big stuff and the small stuff with razor sharp wit. And the added bonus is, the long-call format (they live on opposites sides of the US) will probably make you nostalgic for all those lengthy telephone conversations you used to have with girlfriends before Whatsapp and Facebook put an end to all that. Time to pick up the phone?
Women of the Hour with Lena Dunham
Dunham seems to be smashing it on every platform right now. Her TV show Girls is compulsory watching for millennials, her newsletter (Lenny Letter) secures exclusives with gamechanging women (Jennifer Lawrence and Emily Ratajkowski have penned essays for the platform) and her podcast is in the same vein. It’s smart, honest and packs loads of laughs and celebrity voices (hello, Emma Stone), grappling with themes of friendship, body image, love, sex and work.
Another Round with Heben Nigatu and Tracy Clayton
Buzzfeed, the website that made the listicle huge, has a podcast too, and it’s hosted by two of the site’s female staff writers. The chat (often lubricated by a glass of bourbon) tackles hard-hitting subjects one minute and LOLs the next. According to the Another Round’s Twitter account, Heben and Tracy ‘cover everything from race and gender to squirrels and mangoes in one boozy podcast.’
Invisibilia with Lulu Miller and Alix Spiegel
Invisibilia is Latin for all the invisible things, and this podcast aims to make you question all the ideas, beliefs, assumptions, stereotypes, myths and emotions that silently, sneakily control human behaviour (read, your behaviour). The podcast combines narrative storytelling with scientific research – it might make you change your mind. Cue squeaky-eerie Twlight Zone theme.