Stop, drop and listen to these 8 podcasts

UTSoC, September 2018

From politics to pop culture, Eliza Spencer shares her top podcasts that make the shit show that is 2018 more bearable.

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that podcasts are good for the soul. Seemingly overnight, these conversation-based earworms have eclipsed their boppy counterparts in popularity when it comes to preferred method of killing time. Perhaps it’s the soothing drawl of the narrator (I’m looking at you, Anonymous Host), or the in-depth exploration of obscure topics that piques the interest of 72 per cent of Australians. Nevertheless, whether it’s a short commute or an elongated trek into uni, these podcasts help make it all little bit more bearable.

Still Processing

Pop culture meets politics and, surprisingly, therapy, in what could be the best podcast to come out of The New York Times studio. Jenna Wortham and Wesley Morris regularly dish on the issues of the week in this crash course-type culture class, which covers everything from the lunar cycle to Asian-American storytelling, read receipts and gay price, and so much more. If you’re looking for a little company in the dumpster fire that this year has been, Jenna and Wesley’s confession booth will get you feeling a little more hopeful.


Socially inept people unite! Separately! From the comfort of your smartphone! Filled with tales of social faux pas, Geoff Lloyd and Annabel Port take you on a journey to loving the awkward parts of yourself through sharing their own stories of social failing, and doling out advice that never fails to help make sense of life’s quandaries. Geoff and Annabel have taught me personally to laugh at my own social screw-ups – I regularly seek comfort in the fact that if that first date goes so terribly wrong, at least it’ll make for a good story to submit to their podcast.

Getting Curious with Jonathan van Ness

Fun, entertaining, and educational – our favourite Queer Queen is here to tickle your curiosity and teach you a thing or two about life, the universe and, really, everything. From understanding the history and politics of the modern Middle East, to finding vulnerability in relationships, taking care of the bees and understanding why abstinence-only treatment doesn’t always help in addiction, get ready for a podcast that can feel a little all over the place, but ultimately finds its way home with joy and laughter.

ABC’s The Signal

I believe that this is our answer to The Daily, the cure to drowning in “#FakeNews”, and the trick to making it through those dreaded first-year journalism quizzes. Delivered right to your smartphone each morning, the team at The Signal package the story of the day into a neat 15-minute podcast, the perfect serving size to digest in between classes and ensure that you show up to your next tutorial feeling significantly more woke – all without without needing to research a thing.

On Being with Krista Tippett

If there is a path to enlightenment, Krista Tippett is forging it with full steam. Her hour-long podcasts bring together some of the world’s greatest thinkers, activists and quirky folks to talk about spirituality, morality and how to live gently in the world. From poets to biologists and bible scholars, her interviews are deeply moving, and might just change the way you see the world. If your soul needs a little healing, or heart needs to be challenged, Krista has just what you need.

NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts

If you’ve ever been a super-fan of an artist, you’ve probably found their Tiny Desk Concert performance on YouTube. Rekindle the love of an old favourite, or discover a new artist bringing the living-room concert feel right to your earbuds and straight into your podcast feed. These low-key musical offerings are available both as video and audio, so you can take the magic of these intimate performances with you when you’re pressed up next to strangers on the early morning train.

Classic Flow

Podcasts aren’t just for when you’re on the go. Take a minute (or 45) to ease yourself into a gentle yoga flow with host Lara Zilibowitz. Recorded alongside live classical music, you’ll be guided through a huge range of low-impact asanas. Choose from a deeply-restful Yin slow flow or energy-boosting twists that will up your Insta game; each class has a handy online guide you can follow all the way to nirvana. Namaste!

Rookie Podcast

RIP Rookie Mag. This got us through our angsty teens and boy oh boy, the podcast is no exception. You don’t have to be a teen to enjoy host Tavi Gevinson getting vulnerable with artists, writers, creatives and influencers like Lorde, Roxanne Gay and Winona Ryder. Discover a new side of some of your favourite celebrities that makes you feel as though you’re catching up with old friends as Tavi asks questions that teach us all to be a little better at this funny thing called life.

Eliza Spencer is a second-year Journalism student chasing stories and living off far too much coffee. You can catch her filling a roll of film in the backstreets of Sydney or sipping a soy cap on-campus.

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