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15 Life-Enhancing Podcasts You Must Subscribe To

Educational and inspiring listening material to elevate your commute

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AnOther Magazine Issue 26, S/S14Photography by Michal Pudelka, styling by Mattias Karlsson

Podcasts have fast become a mainstay in our lives, providing perfect listening material for any given activity and soundtracking our daily commutes. Whether you’re after some humour, culture, informative conversations or some escapism, there’s likely a podcast out there to suit you. We asked the Dazed Media team which podcasts they can’t stop listening to, and they recommended some gems. Cue up your podcast app and get ready to tap ‘subscribe’.

1. The Receipts

“It’s so cool how it sounds like any fun conversations between girls you overhear on the bus or at a party, it has this completely natural, fun, carefree atmosphere,” is how Thomas Gorton, editor of Dazed Digital, describes The Receipts. The podcast’s four London-based hosts pride themselves on providing “girl talk with no filter”, and do so in a familiar and funny way. “It’s my girlfriend who’s a big fan. I listen vicariously but I love it,” Gorton continues. “All the hosts are witty, sharp and smart.”

2. RuPaul: What’s The Tee?

I love RuPaul’s Drag Race and so, by extension, love What's the Tee? too,” says Ted Stansfield, Another Man’s digital editor. “Every week Ru and Michelle Visage invite different guests onto the show and, well, hilarity ensues. Honestly, it makes me laugh out loud on the tube.” If actual LOLs aren’t enough to convince you, rest assured that there’s more to What’s the Tee? than just hilarious conversation: “Though silly, it also manages to address serious issues affecting the LGBT community – much like Drag Race. Yass.”

3. Pod Save America

In the post-truth age in which we live, a podcast like Pod Save America is a welcome download with its “no-bullshit conversation about politics”, and is recommended by AnOther’s senior fashion editor Agata Belcen. Its four hosts were all once aides to President Obama, so the insight they offer into America’s current political climate is extremely valid; plus their guests are insightful and their content reactive.

4. 2 Dope Queens

The first of Dazed Digital’s staff writer Anna Cafolla’s choices is New York-based podcast 2 Dope Queens. “Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams are the amazing comedians of colour behind 2 Dope Queens, covering all the issues you absolutely need to know: combatting whiney butt-hurt white dudes, picking apart weird cat-calls, awkward sex stories and Phoebe’s Bono obsession,” she says. “Laugh ‘til you cry in public funny.”

5. Revisionist History

Some podcasts provide an excellent hour or so of escapism while battling a commute or doing some stubborn washing up. Revisionist History is one such programme. Each weekly episode travels back in time to an “overlooked” or “misunderstood” moment of history with the help of archive resources from the period of interest, and the dulcet narration of host Malcolm Gladwell. You’ll forget about the washing up in no time.

6. How Did This Get Made?

If you’ve ever watched a film and wondered under what ridiculous circumstances it came to exist, you’re not alone. Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael and Jason Mantzoukas, hosts of How Did This Get Made?, ask themselves the very same thing in their bi-weekly podcast, which dutifully goes through films that verge on being so bad they’re good and attempts to unpack their often baffling plots. Highlights include episodes centring on The Wicker Man, Leprechaun: In The Hood, and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1.

7. Violet Sessions

Violet Sessions is almost like a live version of our Insiders column,” says AnOther’s photographic editor Holly Hay. “It’s the people you rarely hear from but have so much to say. It provides the most interesting insights into the sometimes impenetrable creative industries.” Hosted by journalist Danielle Radojcin and chef and food writer Claire Ptak – who also owns east London’s Violet Bakery, where episodes are recorded – Violet Sessions provides fascinating listening every two weeks, and the conversations are set against the bakery’s quiet background bustle, inspiring a feeling of being sat right with them.

8. People Fixing the World

This podcast spotlights the people and schemes that literally change the world through “brilliant solutions” to some of the most affecting problems. Bec Evans, Dazed Digital’s film and video producer, recommends it. “I’m interested in hearing about anyone or anything that uses creativity to help the most vulnerable people in the world”. Recent problems and solutions the podcast has addressed include Haiti’s lack of sewers and the war on fake news, always offering intriguing statistical insights along the way.

9. A Small Voice: Conversations With Photographers

It’s rare in an interview that the interviewee is being questioned by someone of the same field. Enter A Small Voice: Conversations With Photographers, a podcast in which image-maker Ben Smith is joined by fellow photographers. “Ben seems to be having a really nice time talking with these people and I get reminded about some really fascinating artists,” says Holly Hay. “I love a photographer’s photographer and so find A Small Voice extremely interesting; it’s got very good vibes. They are really in depth interviews with brilliant photographers and you get background and context as well as what they are currently working on.”

10. Still Processing

Still Processing is a culture podcast by the New York Times, hosted by two of the publication’s writers. The duo tackle culture in all senses of the word: arts, literature, film and music, and the ephemeral culture we live through today, like that of romance, work and the internet. Episodes might range from climate change and the American government’s position on it to M. Night Shyamalan’s latest movie and the innovation of Amazon’s Alexa.

11. My Favourite Murder

While ‘true crime comedy’ doesn’t immediately sound like it should work as a podcast genre, My Favourite Murder has made a success of being exactly that. “A true crime podcast with a biting sense of humour from Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark, My Favourite Murder brings all the best, morbid weirdos together,” says Anna Cafolla, staff writer at Dazed Digital. “It stays irreverent, fun and grisly, while casting well-known crimes in totally new light, somehow considerate of characters made footnotes in news reports gone by. It’s also a space where both hosts have thoughtfully discussed mental health and substance abuse, so surprisingly for a murder-comedy show, there’s a spirited community vibe.”

12. Pop Culture Happy Hour

Pop Culture Happy Hour is a conversation about all things pop culture that is always a joy to both partake in and listen to. Relevant and informed exchanges define the podcast, with host Linda Holmes always featuring, alongside a panel of other voices and punctuated by a plethora of very enjoyable soundbites. Panels have also gone on tour and done live shows, where audience input via applause and laughter adds an extra welcome dimension to the discussion. 

13. Love + Radio

“Get inside the mind of a rogue taxidermist” is not what you expect to see in a podcast description, but that’s what you’ll find when reading about Love + Radio. From the bizarre and absurd to the intense and deeply affecting, Love + Radio tells the stories you wouldn’t normally hear, and with six seasons already under its belt, there are plenty of mind-blowing tales to catch up on.

14. Unreported World

If your preference is for podcasts that enlighten and impart knowledge, then don’t miss Unreported World, which is an audio version of the Channel 4 television programme. “Depending on where you live in the world, there are many places you don’t hear about,” says Bec Evans. “Unreported World goes some way to tell the stories of lesser known communities and issues. I want to learn about all of the world in its entirety, not just what Eurocentric media outlets put out there.”

15. Another Round 

A typical episode of Buzzfeed’s Another Round podcast might finish with a segment called Drunken Debates, preceded by career advice from Stacy’s Career Corner and interviews with the likes of Hillary Clinton and Roxane Gay. Humour is a core part of the show, which covers “everything from race and gender to squirrels and mangoes”. Consider us sold.

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