Happy 2019 everyone! I’m starting off this year’s blogpost with something I get asked a lot – recommendations for my favourite podcasts. I have been listening to podcasts for years now, but I’d say I’ve really started consuming them more than I consume blog posts, or any other communicative media form, since I became a mother. The time I used to have for loafing around on the couch or in bed with my lap top, catching up with my favourite bloggers and their lovely posts, has dropped as fast as my post-pregnancy boobs. If I haul out my laptop, Imogen has to crawl onto my lap and pretend “type” (ie smear her grubby fingers all over my keyboard and screen) and if I’m on my phone for too long, she grabs it out of my hands to pretend “chat” to people (considering I never call anyone, I’m guessing she copies her father on this). By the time she’s napping or down for the night, I need to use my laptop to do my own work, or I simply want to veg on the couch with a red wine funnel and a bowl of pasta, watching grown up programmes.
But podcasts… those I can listen to throughout the day without too much protest from the small human. She particularly loves Amy’s Work Like A Mother podcast as the jingle is very catchy – whenever it plays, she stops what she’s doing and does a little butt-wiggle! You can listen to podcasts driving in the car, whilst cooking and cleaning (I feel like I do a lot more of that since becoming a mum) and whilst exercising. Although I do miss the aesthetics of a beautifully photographed and well-written blog post, for now the audio medium of podcasting suits my lifestyle far better. My mum reckons she can’t do podcasts as listening to people’s voices banging on and on annoys the shit out of her. There are some accents I simply can’t listen to, but by and large I quite enjoy the coziness of listening to other people chatting about topics I’m interested in. I’m sure once Imogen learns to entertain herself better and skip through the ads on YouTube (seriously, how long does it take for them to learn this???), I’ll have time once again to consume blog posts like I used to. (I do, of course, realise the irony of me writing this in an actual blog post.)
I’ve become so enamoured with podcasts, that I even started my own last year, which I’m sure you will know about and hopefully have listened to. I’ve just completed season one (with a bonus episode coming next week) and I’ve loved doing it so much, and now that Immy is starting play school, I’m going to try and be really organised about the next season. Like perhaps actually line up guests and interviewing them before I just willy-nilly start said season; work on getting more sponsors onboard… that kind of thing. If you have any topics you’d like me to chat about, or cool people you’d like me to interview, please let me know! The first season was extremely white and female and I’m definitely keen to mix that up a bit this next one. If you’re not listening to podcasts yet, here are a few to get you started. In no particular order, these are the podcasts I refresh week after week after week.
What Page Are You On ~ with Bethany Rutter and Alice Slater
I came across this podcast a recommendation in the Oh Comely magazine which my friend Andrea kindly gifted me a subscription to a couple of years ago. This podcast has literally changed my life. Although it’s about reading books – which obviously I love – it’s hosts, Alice and Bethany, helped me to see an entirely different world when it comes to human bodies, in particular with this episode, Fat Books. My narrative around my body before listening to this podcast was that it had to look a certain way and weigh a certain weight in order to be loved and seen by both myself and others. In all honesty, I was flabbergasted when I went on to Bethany and Alice’s social media pages and saw that they were both (shock! horror!) “fat girls”. I had built a picture of them in my mind as two skinny birds in reading glasses discussing books at a pretty white desk. For a moment my finger hovered over the “follow” tab as I considered if I really wanted to see fat bodies in my social media feed… and I’m so ashamed to admit this now, but it’s true. For years and years, I’ve been a fat-shamer and the guilt and disgust that I placed on myself after having a child and not being as small as I was before falling pregnant, made me shame myself and my post-pregnancy body too. I’m so fucking grateful I followed Bethany and Alice and subscribed to their podcast as they really have opened my eyes and heart and mind to a whole new world of body acceptance / positivity / neutrality… or whatever the cool kids are calling it now. They gave me the permission to be kind and gentle to my new mom body, and although I do still have dark days (thirty-three years of being told by society that only one kind of body should be loved will do that to ya), I by and large can now separate myself from the lunacy of the “health” and “dieting” industries that are feeding us lies every day. Oh, and pretty much every book that has been recommended by this podcast I have absolutely loved, so there’s that too!
What She Said ~ Lucy Lucraft
I feel like Lucy is basically me, but way better-looking and clever and living in Brighton. She’s super honest, refreshingly opinionated, hugely empathetic and uses her platform to encourage diversity and chat about ethical living. She’s also vegan and had her little girl Anaïs, around the same time as I had Imogen, and so we have a lot in common. When I started listening to Lucy’s podcast midway through last year, I couldn’t have found her any more relatable and I tore through every available season and episode. I loved all of the people she interviewed, started following them online, and also joined her wonderful and supportive Facebook group. Although I haven’t told Lucy this to her face, I think I can safely say that she inspired me to pull myself out of the new-mom blues and get busy creating again. It’s because of Lucy that I started my own podcast. It’s because of Lucy that I started listening and following other amazing creative boss ladies who gave me the confidence to really get myself off my feet and start focusing on growing my own business. Basically it was Lucy that helped make money flow back into my account by the end of the year, so cheers, Lucy! One day I will thank you face to face over wine and vegan nachos!
Love Stories ~ with Dolly Alderton
I absolutely adore this podcast by writer Dolly Alderton and I really hope she continues with a second season as she is such a talented interviewer and the guests she had on her show in the first season were just so quirky and interesting. The concept behind the podcast, which is talking about the guests’ greatest loves, inevitably brings up conversations around their childhood and up-bringing, which, being the nosy snoop that I am, I revelled in. I particularly loved the hilarious episode with Cosmo Landesman and the very honest chat with Marian Keyes, who honestly sounds like the kindest and sweetest person on the planet. If you’re into human stories and why we love the way we do, you will really appreciate these lovely chats.
Letters From A Hopeful Creative ~ with Sarah Tasker & Jen Carrington
Although I enjoy both Sarah and Jen’s solo podcasts, Letters From A Hopeful Creative, which they host together, has to be one of my favourites! Sarah and Jen are both successful creative business owners in their own right, and the wealth of knowledge and information they share in this podcast is just incredible! I have learnt so much from them and they have given me (albeit through the letters and questions of other creative business owners) the confidence and resources to go forth with a lot of the work I’ve been up to this year. Highly recommend for small business owners, creatives and freelancers!
How to Fail ~ with Elizabeth Day
Ahhhhh… this podcast! If there’s one podcast that consistently makes me laugh out loud and cry literal tears, it’s How To Fail hosted by the extremely talented journalist and author, Elizabeth Day. I shit you not, I was crying whilst listening to her episode with Lily Allen on my morning run on Thursday. I got a few concerned looks. Elizabeth is a masterful interviewer and I hope one day to be as good as she is at making guests feel so comfortable as to share their biggest failures with the world. Other than Lily Allen’s hugely emotional interview, I also loved Elizabeth’s chat to political activist Gina Miller – I remember it having such a profound effect of me. I was having a bad new mom day, wondering how I was ever going to have the time to do anything for myself again and Gina’s story of leaving her abusive husband and living in a car with her small children for months really gave me the reality check I needed to return to a place of gratitude.
From The Heart – Conversations with Yoga Girl ~ Rachel Brathen
If there’s one podcast I religiously listen to every week, it’s this one. I don’t quite know how Rachel manages to put out an episode every single week, but I’m so thankful for it. There are not many hosts who can chat solo for episode after episode, but Rachel’s journal-like podcast and peek into her life somehow manages to keep me coming back every week. I think it’s largely because she is so relatable – I mean, despite her being a highly successful yoga teacher living on a Caribbean island with two goats, I think we are pretty similar! Lol. Rachel’s gift is being able to weave a story and a lesson from something she is experiencing or going through every week. She always comes back to gratitude and love and kindness, whilst dealing with some pretty dark stuff and I find that so commendable. She’s also currently growing out her leg hairs and I’m so close to following suit. Why the fuck do we shave our legs???Ugh. Anyway, like Lucy and I, Rachel also had her baby in 2017 and so, as a new(ish) mom, I find her extra relatable too. I have cried in many an episode along with Rachel as she speaks of her fears of something bad happening to her daughter, Lea Luna. I just adore this podcast and if you’re into yoga, spirituality, veganism, motherhood, real life and chatting about the every day challenges we all face (from potty training to arguing with your husband), you will love this podcast too.
Chè and Anna are the perfect hosts for this podcast which addresses a wide variety of topics related to health, fitness, self-care, creativity and alternative therapies. My friend Chè is a yoga teacher and all-round creative genius and mentor, and Anna is a functional medicine practitioner and health coach with a list of qualifications as long as my arm! I love how they jump from science to the spiritual and everything in between, with their main focus all coming back to loving and being kind to yourself. My absolute favourite episode so far has to be the one in which they interviewed Women’s Health Physiotherapist, Lulu Becker, who I’m hoping to have on my show soon, too! Chè also interviewed myself and Michelle about our La Luna La Femme Moon Journal and you can find that episode here too. I really am missing having my weekly dose of Anna and Che this festive season and I cannot wait for them to return from their break soon!
Work Like A Mother ~ with Amy Liz
Another podcast that helped pull me through some dark mom days was Work Like A Mother with Amy Liz. Amy interviews regular moms from all around the world to find out how they handle motherhood alongside work, relationships and looking after themselves. It was such a relief to find this podcast and hear of other women going through the same things as I was, like trying to find the time to have a shower, feed themselves and run their businesses all in the space of a two hour nap! This podcast gave me the comfort and the sisterhood I needed to be a little kinder to myself as a new mom. I was so honoured when Amy interviewed me! You can listen to that podcast here. Other favourite episodes include her chat with Siobhan Watts and Laura Agar Wilson.
Other podcasts I love: The Lost Art of Little Things, The Rich Roll Podcast, Authentic Sex with Juliet Allen, Casefile True Crime, Hashtag Authentic, Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations, Serial, Under The Skin with Russell Brand, The Simplifiers Podcast