Picture this: It’s 6pm on a weekday and you’ve just pulled out of the office carpark, only to – WHAM! – get stuck in rush hour traffic. You’ve had a long, trying day and there’s no way you’re going to be on time for your dinner date now. The sea of bumper to bumper cars crawling at a snail’s pace is enough to trigger a rapid-fire onslaught of expletives (we bet there’s nothing snail-pace about the rate you’re dropping them F-bombs). Heck, in your current state of mind, blasting the horn and flipping the bird at any given slight doesn’t seem like an overreaction.
Time for you to take a chill pill and tackle the dragon flaming your inner road rage. We could suggest counting to ten and deep belly breathing, but at this point, distraction from your current situation is probably a lot more welcome. So why not listen to our pick of seven podcasts here? You’ll exit the car a calmer – and more informed – man.
Let’s be frank: Adulting is hard. If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed and lost in today’s world, the #Millennial podcast might just be the best form of self-care you can give yourself right now. Each episode follows a group of friends as they dissect the news and what’s going on in today’s world.
It’s not all bleak stuff like how the rising cost of avocado toast is preventing us from investing in property – the show also discusses how to deal with irritating family members and the best way to navigate today’s complicated datingsphere. So what are you waiting for? Tune in to tap out of your growing pains.
02: My Dad Wrote a Porno
The title says it all. Jamie Morton’s dad (a self-published author who goes by the pen name Rocky Flinstone) wrote a series of erotic novels entitled Belinda Blinked upon retirement. The sex is…not very good, and often downright hilarious. Each episode starts with a reading of a chapter from the Belinda Blinked books, and Morton is accompanied by his uni mates Alice Levine and James Cooper, who supply critique, disbelief and outright gasps of horror at times.
If you’re in need of a good laugh, this comedy podcast is definitely for you. Besides an array of truly memorable characters, My Dad Wrote a Porno has spawned “porno listening parties”, where fans gather to hear the most recent episode over some wine (preferably Australian chardonnay, favoured by Belinda and her Glee team) and snacks (pomegranates, anyone?). Thanks to the podcast’s wild popularity, it’s even been adapted into a comedy special for the HBO.
03: The Tim Ferriss Show
If you’re on a quest to: (a) discover the most effective way of doing something in the shortest amount of time possible; (b) find out the daily habits of top CEOs, entrepreneurs and world class athletes; and (c) walk away feeling just a bit more motivated, look no further than The Tim Ferriss Show.
Hosted by Ferriss (heard of The Four-Hour Work Week? He wrote that. Or maybe you’ve come across his viral Ted Talk on fear setting), each episode sees him chat with top performers from a range of different fields like commerce, sports and entertainment, all with the aim of finding out what it is that sets them apart. Some of the biggest guest stars to appear on his show include Hollywood A-lister Jamie Foxx and decluttering guru Marie Kondo.
04: Lore Podcast
“Sometimes, the truth is far more frightening than fiction.” So goes one of the most memorable quotes from Aaron Mahnke’s Lore podcast. Join Mahnke as he delves into unsolved mysteries, paranormal events and serial murder cases, all in an attempt to uncover the truth. Mahnke’s bone-chilling narrative will definitely keep you at the edge of your seat as he divulges gory details from Victorian whodunnits and true crime.
This popular podcast has spawned a series of books and has even been adapted into an original TV show for Amazon. Not sure where to start? Try checking out Episode 15: Unboxed, which tells the story of Robert the Doll, a haunted antique toy doll that inspired the cult horror Child’s Play series.
05: Savage Lovecast
A word of warning before you dive in: the Savage Lovecast is not your typical relationship advice column. On this podcast, host Dan Savage takes listener calls on relationship issues, often discussing at length problems like sexual incompatibility, kink and dealing with infidelity.
Savage offers an objective outsider’s perspective of the situation at hand, but what makes this podcast truly memorable are his candid and refreshing suggestions to the problems at hand. He’s often blunt and a firm dispenser of tough love – he once commented: “What’s wrong with you? Does his dick squirt froyo or something?” to a caller who’d kept returning to an abusive partner.
But the real reason we’ve marked this podcast as “essential listening” is this: each episode offers a rare, honest insight into the intimate lives of others.
06: Myths and Legends
Time to revisit the myths, legends and fairytales from childhood that you’re familiar with. The Myths and Legends podcast offers a retelling of these old stories, which often have surprising origins. Host Jason Weiser tries to stick to the original versions as much as he can, which can sometimes be bizarre and unexpectedly violent.
Weiser offers his quips throughout each episode, commenting on the strangely absent role of fathers in most fairytales (ever thought it was weird how uninvolved Cinderella’s old man was in the affairs of his household?), even disparaging at how characters defy common sense and court danger by choosing to enter the dark woods alone (We’re looking at you, Red Riding Hood).
07: Science Vs
Just ’cause you left science in school doesn’t mean that you have to stop learning. Join Wendy Zukerman of Science Vs as she pits facts against fad in an attempt to explore the truth behind popular trends and whether or not some commonly touted facts hold water (for example: Is going vegan really environmentally friendly?).
Although the podcast tackles a diverse range of serious topics such as immigration and birth control, each episode is presented in an entertaining format that’s easy to digest for the average Joe. Science Vs offers a unique glimpse into how we can utilise investigative methods from scientific research in our day-to-day lives – and why it never hurts to ask questions or be a bit more skeptical.
COVER IMAGE: Courtesy of Alex Blajan via Unsplash.