Picks of the week
The Wellbeing Lab With Will Young
Will Young could verbalise his thoughts on drying paint for an hour and it would still be a charming listen. But here he is talking about important and relatable stuff: mental health issues such as shopping addiction, body dysmorphia and cognitive behaviour therapy. It’s a casual and welcoming vibe as he records from his living room table, with his dogs making guest appearances as he chats thoughtfully with experts. Hollie Richardson
Hear Her Voice
The words “women in music” usually sparks an eye roll, but Laura Whitmore’s podcast on the subject is a refreshing take, free from pretence and completely female-powered. Whether it’s Lliana Bird talking about Grace Jones or Self Esteem talking about on-stage confidence, there’s so much drive and positivity it’s irresistible. HV
The Big Green Money Show
Who knew Deborah Meaden was an “environmentalist”? Presumably the college tutors who marked her thesis, which – according to her and Felicity Hannah’s podcast scrutinising businesses’ efforts to go green – was on climate change. Despite her unchallenging interview with easyJet’s CEO on flying’s eco impact, the experts who answer listeners’ questions make for illuminating listening. Alexi Duggins
ZOE Science & Nutrition
Health app ZOE might be known for conducting the world’s largest Covid-19 study, but this podcast focuses on its day job: nutrition. It’s a food geek-pleasing scientific deep dive into how we eat, from the complex chemistry of dark chocolate through to an incredibly detailed scientific analysis of how gluten intolerance works. AD
The Drag Race superstar is as charismatic as ever in her interview podcast celebrating people who do things differently. Cameron Diaz is not the obvious choice of rebel, but the revealing chat brings out some sound views about ageing and becoming a mother in midlife. Dita Von Teese and Billy Porter are coming up. Hannah Verdier
Chosen by Danielle Stephens
Three weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine, you’d be forgiven for finding it tough to keep up with the news coming out of Kyiv and other cities that are under constant bombardment. Brave journalists have worked through air raids and dangerous situations to bring us the truth, but there is a lot to be said for hearing what Ukrainians living through invasion are experiencing.
That’s the simple concept behind Invaded: Voicemails from Ukraine, by Tortoise. Every day, we get a short update from men and women trying to navigate the war – whether that means living in a warzone, or escaping the shelling by fleeing as a refugee. There’s no sound design; it isn’t needed. Just a quick recap from a Tortoise journalist on what we last heard from the Ukrainian who’s about to talk to us, and a couple of minutes from Nina, Oleksandr, Ksenyia, and others on what they’re experiencing – and how they’re coping. It’s almost like getting a daily voice note from a friend who you find yourself worrying about when you haven’t heard from them in a while. That’s the importance of this podcast. In such a short space of time, you find yourself connected to people thousands of miles away, hoping they’ll be OK.
The BBC are celebrating Comic Relief with a gigantic podcast collab-fest. Some of the biggest names from the world of speaking into your ears are joining forces to create mashed-up pods, including My Dad Wrote A History Hit (My Dad Wrote a Porno with Dan Snow’s History Hit), Menus To Be Buried With (Off Menu and Films to be Buried With) plus Drunk Women Solving Richard Herring (Drunk Women Solving Crime meets Richard Herring’s Leicester Square Theatre Podcast). You can listen to the full list here.
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