Podcasts I love: mental health, managing work and murder.

Recording studio

It seems like everybody who’s anybody has a podcast these days. Choosing the right podcast isn’t always easy and, when you do, there are about 300 episodes to scroll back through. How do you know it’s worth your time and where do you start?

Do you listen from the start or dip in and out? Do you choose work topics to fire up your professional brain or totally different subjects to help you wind down? It’s totally up to you.

I was going to write a recommendation list for freelancers or marketers or serial killer enthusiasts, then I remembered the whole point of #OctoberWrites is to demonstrate that we are not just our work. So, here are some podcast recommendations for humans with ears.

Terrible, Thanks For Asking

Themes: Mental health, grief, loss

This is my favourite podcast at the moment. I don’t even know where to start when it comes to TTFA. Presented by Nora McInerny, the show kicks off with her story about losing her husband, father and unborn baby all within the space of months. I know it may seem crazy to say but this podcast is… funny.

Nora takes a unique look at the world and spreads joy, laughter and some God’s honest truths while interviewing others who have also had a sh*t time, hence the podcast’s name. The way Nora sees it, when people as “how are you?” we should not shy away from being honest, even if the answer is “terrible, thanks for asking.”

I’m finally up to date after binging the whole show at the gym, in the car, at my desk, walking the dog… you get the picture. TTFM is fantastic, quirky and unique – but also hard-hitting, honest and, often, a difficult listen. Give it a go, you won’t regret it.

Is This Working?

Theme: Work-life, freelancing, money

I’ve recently been listening to Is This Working? presented by journalist Anna Codrea-Rado and writer Tiffany Philippou. This show speaks to my soul.

Anna has worked as a freelance journo for a number of years, while Tiffany has experienced the whirlwind of start-up life numerous times. They talk about so many under-appreciated work issues and their brutal honesty makes this a fascinating show, especially for fellow freelancers.

The Adam Buxton Podcast

Theme: Comedy, celebrity interviews

I expect Adam Buxton is a bit of a Marmite character. The former ‘bloke off the telly’ and one-half of Adam & Joe has his very own podcast and, in my opinion, it’s hilarious.

His rambly and tangent-laden interview-style sends the likes of Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright, Louis Theroux, David Mitchell and Jame Acaster (to name but a few) into all sorts of topics.

A great listen for when walking the dog as Adam starts every show walking his pooch Rosie, a whippetxpoodle.


Theme: Millenial life, self-care, work

Hosted by beauty guru Youtuber and Instagram star Samantha Ravndahl and her high school best pal Alyssa Anderson, Approachable is the podcast equivalent of having coffee and a natter with your mates.

Along with having the catchiest podcast intro ever, Alyssa and Sam discuss a wide variety of topics, including getting sober, diet culture, grief, addiction and mental health.

The pair present their topics in an open-minded and engaging way, while they don’t always agree on everything – which I love as it gets the listener’s brain cogs turning about the issue at hand.

Wine & Crime

Theme: True crime, comedy

Wine & Crime is one of the shows that got me into podcasts in the first place. A rough calculation reveals that I’ve listened to 200+ hours of these three Minnesotan lasses chatting about murder. Although born and bred in the Minneapolis ‘burbs, our hosts Amanda, Lucy and Kenyon now reside thousands of miles apart.

At first, it’s a little odd getting used to listening to a podcast where the hosts aren’t in the same room, but you get used to it. If you’re interested in true crime, it’s well worth taking things back to the start, so you get the inside jokes and callbacks as the show goes on. Each week is themed and covers two crimes as well as a section of background & psyche.

It’s no wonder that these girls have sold out live shows across the US with their iconic Minnesotan accents, cheeky catchphrases and thirst for the bizarre. Highly recommend if you’re interested in true crime.

Let me know your favourite podcasts of any topic in the comments below. I may have a huge list already in my “to listen” section on Spotify, but I could always do with more.