Sex, love and murder – 11 podcasts to cure your lockdown blues
There’s a podcast for every mood
Like making a pile of aloo parathas, then realising there’s no butter to drown them in, the day will come when we run out of things to stream online. Netflix, Prime Video, Hotstar and more – there’s no dearth of streaming services but when you’re social distancing, they just can’t release new content fast enough to keep up. Cue, the world of podcasts.
Jut pop in your headphones and listen along as you cook, clean your house and catch up on laundry.
Listening to podcasts feels like you’re eavesdropping on someone’s conversation. Podcasts are an intimate experience, almost like hanging out with a group of people sitting in another corner of the world. They can be theatrical, with all the sound effects and drama of a full-on production.
You can listen in solitude to issues you may have gone through yourself. Relate to people you never thought you would. Empathise or even just get in a laugh.
We’ve put together some of our favourites podcasts to beat your quarantine blues. So grab a hot tea (or hot toddy), put on a facemask and plop yourself on the sofa.
11 podcasts to escape into during lockdown
Hosted by journalist Sarah Koenig, Serial is one of, if not THE most highly downloaded and listened to true-crime podcasts. Each season (three in total) takes you on a riveting journey of a real crime.
The first season investigated the 1999 murder case of Hae Min Lee. Two followed Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, an American Army soldier who was held captive by the Taliban for five years and then charged with desertion. Season three explores cases within the Justice Center Complex in Cleveland.
Apart from the detail that the podcast gets into, it’s the fact that these are real stories that keeps you hooked.
This podcast is like stepping into a therapy session with celebrated psychotherapist Esther Perel, whose usual clientele includes Will Smith.
You’re a voyeur, listening to real couples open up about their relationship dynamics, about insecurities and infidelities, sexuality and lack thereof, in raw and personal detail.
The good doctor cuts through the frills like a Fruit Ninja and gets straight to the core of the issue — which you’re often surprised isn’t what you thought it would be.
As Perel says, “As you listen to these intimate, unscripted sessions between real-life couples, I think you will find the language you’ve been looking for to have conversations with the people in your own life.”
The honest answer we tend to hold back from giving when people ask, “how are you?”
Hosted by author Nora McInerny, the podcast features stories of grief, loss, pain and overcoming obstacles in our relationships (familial, platonic and romantic).
She speaks from her personal experiences of loss, voicing it for others to find solace in through books and her viral Ted Talk.
McInerny does it with empathy and kindness, and even some humour that you don’t expect when addressing such subjects.
There comes a time in every adult child’s life when you realise that your parents are more than just that, they’re individuals with personalities of their own. So we try and get to know the people behind the parents.
There are different ways of doing it. Reading an erotic novel that your father wrote definitely doesn’t top our list, but it did Jamie Morton’s.
Using a pen name, his father authored an erotic series of six books titled Belinda Blinked. In each episode Morton reads a chapter, getting first impressions and reactions of his two co-hosts (and friends) James Cooper and Alice Levine on record in this hilarious podcast.
With five seasons and special guests like Josh Groban and Lin-Manuel Miranda, there’s plenty of sauciness, giggles and embarrassment to get you through the lockdown.
Calling out to all those incapable of controlling their tears when exposed to anything remotely mushy.
Modern Love: The Podcast features celebrities reading out their favourite Modern Love relationship columns, originally published in the New York Times. The podcast’s host also catches up with the authors to see how their stories have progressed.
There are stories about falling in and out of love, about reconnecting with people from your past and finding deep, sometimes fleeting, connections with strangers.
This is all the feel-good content you need to make up for the shortage of rom-coms streaming online.
Photo credit: Wondery
If you’ve already binge-watched Tiger King and can’t get enough of Joe Exotic, his private exotic animal zoo, mullet and murder-for-hire incarceration, then this podcast is for you.
Joe Exotic is almost like a mythical being that does/has it all. He sings country ballads, raises exotic animals, has multiple husbands, an online show and even a failed US presidential run.
Like the Netflix show, the podcast traces his growing online and offline feud with big cat sanctuary owner, Carole Baskin, until it reached its breaking point. Who would have thought that the world of exotic pets would be this murky?
She Says She’s Fine is a podcast about women’s health — hosted by gynaecologist Dr Munjaal Kapadia, who is trying to normalise conversations around the female body.
They get more personal than you could ever expect — whether it’s the heart-wrenching episode on miscarriages, an honest conversation about IVF or what to expect at a pap smear.
This podcast, produced by Mae Mariyam Thomas and Shaun Fanthome, is incredibly relatable, especially because pain, PCOS and the perils of motherhood don’t usually make it to our dinner table conversations.
Stepping away from the scripted visual interviews, this podcasts has ex Late Night show host O’Brien in conversation with celebrities he’s met over the years, free from TV censorship and audience expectations.
Interviewing the likes of David Sedaris, Judd Apatow, Adam Sandler, Mila Kunis, and Julia Louis Dreyfus, this is going to top your list of the interview-style shows – podcast, video or otherwise.
You’re going get a full ab workout from these episodes — just remember to breathe through the laugh-induced cramps.
Hosted by comedian Aditi Mittal and filmmaker Christina MacGillivray, Women in Labour features freewheeling conversations and interviews with women from all walks of life – filmmakers and IAS officers to journalists and entrepreneurs – looking at a woman’s place (or lack thereof) in the workforce.
Listen to interviews with incredible women like Namita Bhandare, Dr Ashwini Deshpande and Guneet Monga, on the ways in which we can/should reclaim our space in society.
The podcast is provocative, witty and educational. They’re currently on hiatus but you can catch up with the released episodes on their website in the meantime.
The Eco Well podcast, hosted by cosmetic chemist Jen Novakovich, comprises of myth-busting interviews with experts, scientists and industry leaders to break down all the latest beauty trends.
From CBD in beauty products, Sulfates in shampoo, to parabens and all-things ‘clean beauty’, Novakovich’s aim is to educate people who have been flooded with information (and misinformation) in the beauty industry.
The Eco Well is incredibly informative and uses easy to understand language — perfect, even for skincare and makeup noobs.
This podcast is the NSFW, entertaining sex-ed everyone needs.
Sex is messy, awkward and we’re all mostly winging it.
Unexpected Fluids is about just that, with real-life stories of love, sex, romance and all-around embarrassing stories about sex.
It’s explicit and honest. Full of heart, laughs and ghastly anecdotes, part comedy-part educational, Unexpected Fluids is the, well, unexpected sexologist that’ll get you through your quarantine dry spell.