Ten podcasts that I love

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2015 is the year of the podcast – have you heard? Ok, they've been around for ages, I know. But this is the year I've really gotten into them, and now they're a travel essential for me. For those early morning flights when you can't quite focus on a book, eight-hour bus journeys, all that packing and photo editing. Mundane tasks are made so much better when I'm listening to something that makes me laugh or see things in a different way or learn something new.

It was hard to narrow it down to ten, but these are my current favourites:

This American Life

Stories big and small from all walks of life in America. One week the subject will be discipline in schools and the next it will be doppelgängers and evil twins.

Start with: Dr Gilmor and Mr Hyde, Cops see things differently #1 and #2.


I'm pretty sure every podcast list has Serial on there. In 1999, a teenage girl was killed and her ex-boyfriend was convicted of her murder. He maintains his innocence and each episode delves a little deeper into the mystery of what happened on the day Hae Min Lee went missing.

For this one, you really have to start at the beginning!


Invisibilia tells stories about the scientific concepts behind human behaviour. In a similar format to This American Life, episodes include stories about a woman who has no fear, a blind man who taught himself to see again and how categories define us.

Start with: The secret history of thoughts.

Being Boss

This is a podcast for creative entrepreneurs. Useful for anyone who has a business or is thinking of starting one, as well as freelancers and bloggers. There are lots of useful tips, discussions and interviews on how to do your best work.

Some episodes will be more relevant to you than others depending on your job, but my favourite is the one with Brene Brown.

Here's the Thing

I've been getting more into interview-style podcasts lately and this is the first one I listened to. Alec Baldwin, who surely has the best voice in radio, interviews influential artists, writers and politicians about their lives and work.

Start with: Lena Dunham and Lawrence Wright.


Radiolab episodes are hour-long stories on lots of different topics to do with science and philosophy. You will definitely learn something new in each episode!

Start with: Los Frikis, all about the Cuban punk revolution in the 1980s.

Dear Sugar Radio

Dear Sugar started as an advice column in a literary magazine, it was then made into a book and it's now a podcast. Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond consider listeners' questions on everything from how to deal with criticism to overcoming addiction.

Start with: I'm an undocumented immigrant.

New York Public Library Podcast

This is one I've discovered recently. Live recordings from events at the New York Public Library, these are interviews with some really interesting authors on all sorts of topics.

Start with: Zadie Smith interviews Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Ted Radio Hour

Ted talks on a similar topic, like bravery or space travel or creativity, are combined into each episode and the host plays clips and interviews the speaker.

Pick a topic that interests you from the archives.

Desert Island Discs

This is one of my favourite reminders of home when we're travelling. Kirsty Young interviews people about their lives and favourite music. A BBC classic that's familiar to anyone British, the podcast has archives going back to 1940.

Some of my favourites have been Jon Snow, Zadie Smith, Alice Walker and Dustin Hoffman.

Let me know your favourites – I'm always looking for new ones to get into!