Ahh… the daily (government-approved) constitutional walk. Something which, I think we can all agree, is the epitome of our lives in this pandemic. But, with great walks comes great responsibility – what should one listen to?
This is the first year I have delved into the world of podcasts. I find it very soothing listening to the conversations of others and being temporarily taken into another world. Similarly, the variety is extensive and there is literally something for everyone, and every mood.
However, before I dive into podcast recommendations, I will make one for music: Glee soundtracks (you know, all the singing high school teenagers). I often find that I don’t quite know what I want to listen to, or what is going to ‘hit the spot’ for that walk. Instead, I now find myself picking a random album from a season of Glee and seeing where it takes me. Each album covers an enormous variety of genres, always sung and performed impeccably, and more often than not, I will uncover a song I love and have not listened to for a very long time. Discovering an old favourite is wonderful in ‘normal times’; the joy it has brought me in ‘Covid times’ is tenfold. So, swallow your pride and embrace the cringe: I promise the Glee soundtracks are a fantastic addition to your walks!
Now onto podcasts. At the very top of my list, along with around 250,000+ people per week, is The High Low. I discovered this podcast at the beginning of Lockdown 1 and it has seriously changed my life. The hosts, authors and journalists Pandora Sykes and Dolly Alderton dive into an evaluation and discussion of everything pop culture, current affairs and more each week. They strike the perfect balance of intellectual and stimulating conversation, against silliness that will have you laughing out loud. Truly, this podcast is an absolute joy to listen to and I could not recommend it more. Alas, they recently released their final episode, but you still have four years-worth of content to go back and listen to! I have no doubt you will find it wonderful, and join the rest of their avid listeners in wanting to be best friends with them both.
Next up is Shameless, hosted by Melbourne journalists Zara Macdonald and Michelle Andrews. Shameless is not dissimilar to The High Low, but with much more foul language and an interesting insight into Australian pop culture. It is simultaneously still very relevant to Britain and America, but with twists of things which are uniquely Australian, and some very niche segments which I adore. Even better news, they are still recording weekly, have fascinating ‘In Conversation’ episodes with fabulous guests (Rupi Kaur, Florence Given, Jameela Jamil and more) and ‘Book Club’ episodes. You will be spoilt for choice.
Lastly, the BBC World Service podcasts are a treasure. Honestly, they have documentary podcasts on almost everything you could think of, and are fantastically executed. Go on, have a peruse, and see what weird and wonderful topic you find yourself learning about!