Listening to podcasts has been a key part of my working from home day for quite a while now, and I’ll be honest, I’m worried how I’ll be able to keep up the momentum when I start my new job. In recent months though, I’ve realised that they’ve not just become part of my WFH routine, but my daily one in general. It gradually moved from listening to podcasts while I was cleaning and ironing, to having them on in the background when I get dressed in the morning and while I get ready for bed in the evening, to even having my headphones in while I’m just pottering around the house. I’ve found them to be really helpful when it comes to my anxiety – normally while I’m just doing these daily tasks, I’m often stuck in a loop of my own thoughts, and I’m sure I don’t have to tell you all that that sort of thing is really not productive or beneficial for anyone. I noticed it a week or so ago when I found myself stuck in a repetitive cycle of worries around Covid, starting my new job, how I was making use of my time during my week off, and whether or not Paul Mescal definitely has a girlfriend (joking, obvs). Instead, in the few days that followed, I decided to put a podcast on during the times where I usually find my thoughts spiralling, and I’ve certainly noticed a difference.
Some may argue that drowning out my thoughts isn’t exactly helpful, and that perhaps I should be learning to live with them, and I get that. However, if doing such a thing distracts me from pointless worries that ultimately cause some horrific physical symptoms and also send my mood plummeting, I think it’s worthwhile. Listening to podcasts helps keep me in the present, it helps me focus on what I’m doing, and more often than not, they make me laugh.
If you’ve read my post on the best comedy podcasts, you’ll know that this was the genre I started out with, and it still remains my favourite. Since then though, I’ve been slowly branching out into entertainment, lifestyle and wellbeing podcasts. So, today, I’m sharing another batch of podcasts that I’m loving at the moment – admittedly, I’m a bit late to the party with a lot of these, but I have a pretty big backlog of shows I’ve been wanting to listen to! Whether you’re looking for funny podcasts, celebrity podcasts or general feel good stuff, here are my top picks.
Fake Doctors, Real Friends With Zach & Donald
If you’re a fan of Scrubs, you’ve probably heard of Fake Doctors, Real Friends. I must admit, I was very late to the party with this one, as it initially started during the first lockdown, and I only got around to listening to it this year. The premise is simple – 20 years on from the airing of the first season, real-life BFFs Zach Braff (JD) and Donald Faison (Turk) take you through each and every episode, giving behind the scenes stories, trivia, and of course, plenty of laughs. Each podcast instalment looks in-depth at each individual Scrubs episode, and there’s even a few bonus episodes thrown in here and there too.
There’s regular special guests on the show including all of the regular cast members such as Sarah Chalke (Elliot) and John C. McGinley (Dr. Cox), as well as crew members, writers, and frequent appearances from show creator, Bill Lawrence himself. Plus, you’ll also get appearances from the show’s best loved guest stars including Brendan Fraser, Scott Foley, and Tara Reid. Throw in plenty of banter and running jokes between Zach and Donald, with regular input from their producers Danl and Joelle, and you’ve got one of the most entertaining podcasts you’ll ever hear. Some of the best episodes even go off-topic too, with the gang giving their thoughts on the current pandemic and life in quarantine, along with a fair bit of sweary, NSFW chat (one of many running jokes is that Zach’s girlfriend’s (actress Florence Pugh) mother often tells them off for too much “willy chat”), it feels like you’re settling in or an hour with some old friends. They also welcome a guest caller in every episode with Scrubs fans all over the world sharing their stories and asking questions about the cast and crew’s time on the show. Basically, if you’re a fan of Scrubs, this is a podcast you need to listen to.
Out With Suzi Ruffell
I mentioned in one of my earlier posts that I’m a big fan of Suzi Ruffell. Alongside her stand-up comedy, she also hosts Out, a podcast where she chats to famous members of the LGBTQIA+ community about their careers and their lives. It’s now coming to the end of its third series, and over that time she’s interviewed a whole line-up of famous faces including Dustin Lance Black, MNEK, Juno Dawson, Mara Wilson, Scott Mills and Rose and Rosie. Alongside, she’s also chatted to fellow comedians including Rosie Jones, Mae Martin, Alan Carr, Joe Lycett and Tom Allen.
In addition to interviewing fellow famous members of the LGBTQIA+ community each week, she reads out some incredibly powerful emails from listeners each week who share their stories. I’ll be honest – what drew me to the podcast was that I was a fan of Suzi’s comedy, however, as a straight, cis woman, I wasn’t entirely sure if the podcast was for someone like me. However, the main theme that runs throughout Suzi’s podcast is inclusion and acceptance – she makes it clear each week that everyone is welcome and that the listeners of Out are all one big community. Over the three series, she’s also read out correspondence from allies, many of whom have talked about how much the podcast has educated them on the issues that members of the LGBTQIA+ community face. I can honestly say that that’s been the case for me too – not only have I learned more about the issues faced by the community, I’ve learned about the broad spectrum of sexualities and identities, but more importantly, it’s taught me how to be a better ally.
Drunk Women Solving Crime
Okay, so I’m VERY late to the party with this one. The first episode of Drunk Women Solving Crime went out back in 2018, and I only started listening to it earlier this year. Late 2018 was initially when I first started listening to podcasts on our commute to work, but back then our repertoire was just Off Menu with Ed Gamble & James Acaster and repeats of The Unbelievable Truth on Radio 4. To be fair, Drunk Women Solving Crime has been in my “following” list on Spotify for a good 2 years now, but working from home has meant I’ve been binging through my “podcast wish list,” as it were, which leads us to now.
Described by the cast themselves as “a true crime podcast with a twist…of lime,” each week, comedians Hannah George, Taylor Glenn and Catie Wilkins sit down with a guest to solve a true crime case. Of course the twist is (if you haven’t guessed already) – they’re drunk AF. Every episode reminds me of meeting up and getting shitfaced with your mates while putting the world to rights. I’ve never really been a fan of true crime podcasts because they freak me out a bit too much, however, the comedy element with this one provides a perfect balance and adds plenty of comic relief, even when they’re discussing the grim details of some of the most infamous crimes over the years. Yes, it’s not one to listen to if you’re easily offended, but if you don’t mind dark humour and you’re actually quite partial to the true crime genre, I would definitely recommend you give this a listen.
Wolf & Owl
Finally, we’ve got the Wolf & Owl podcast, a twice weekly chat between friends and comedians Tom Davis (the Wolf) and Romesh Ranganathan (the Owl). Each episode, Romesh and Tom catch up with each other, discussing the events of their week and pretty much anything else that takes their fancy. There’s stories and anecdotes about their careers, and they also read and answer listener emails – be it dilemmas, questions, or just general anecdotes. The main theme that runs throughout each episode is that of friendship – it’s instantly apparent how close Rom and Tom are, and the banter between them both is hilarious.
However, at the same time, the advice they give when answering listener dilemmas is incredibly genuine and often drawn from personal experience, so you almost feel as though you’re in the pub chatting with some good friends. It’s one of the most relaxed comedy podcasts you’ll ever hear, and you’re guaranteed plenty of laughs with each episode.
As you’ve probably guessed by now, there will almost definitely be another post on podcasts coming in the next few months, once I’ve had time to work through my list! Despite having a big list to smash through on Spotify, I’m always up for suggestions on new podcasts to listen to, so let me know your current favourites in the comments!