Podcasts For Grown Up Women

Image via ChicagoTribune.com

Firstly, thanks for the AMAZING responses to the Nothing New post from last Monday, I am hugely motivated by all the support and I hope to keep you entertained by my ‘no new clothes’ journey this year.

Moving on.

Podcasts are my current obsession. This January I’ve hardly left the house. I was ill (again) for the first few days, then deliberately kept clear of those tempting sales and what with the miserable weather, it was easier to stay put. As much as I love Radio Four, a girl needs a change now and then, so I started to investigate podcasts, and now I’m addicted. Binge-listening while ironing/ cooking/ researching/ sewing/ scanning eBay/ whatever, seems to be much less guilt-inducing than binge watching Netflix or box sets.

Most of the ’50 best podcast’ lists I’ve been through have been written by 25 year olds and point you to stuff 25 year old’s find funny, too many of which sound just like my kids talking in our kitchen. So I’ve compiled a list of podcasts that should appeal to stylish grown up women. Do add your favourite in the comments section too, I’m keen to have a few more to listen to.

Kerry Diamond and Claudia Wu from Cherry Bombe, image via Racked.com

Radio Cherry Bombe on the Heritage Radio Network

Cherry Bombe is a brilliant and stylish magazine about women in food which has a weekly radio programme on Heritage Radio. Each show is turned into a podcast and can be downloaded by connecting to the Radio Heritage site here. I click the iTunes button and listen via that link. Start with the Martha Stewart episode and love her all over again.

Desert Island Discs

I think Kirsty Young is a brilliant interviewer, she must seduce the guest with her smoke-and-honey voice into making them think it’s just her and them, because she gets such authentic and moving results. Start with Kathy Burke, Nicole Farhi, Keith Richards and Tom Hanks, but you can go way back, the list is extensive. Listen here


This is fashion blogger The Man Repeller’s podcast channel, and tbh if you have a twentysomething daughter/office companion then you might have the subjects Leandre chats about well covered already. Not having daughters, I find it a fascinating insight into what worries, amuses and drives mid-twenty-year old women.


By far my favourite podcast of all time, Wittertainment is a weekly film show that I’ve been listening to religiously for years. Mark Kermode is a terrific and opinionated film critic and Simon Mayo a thoughtful and funny host. Both have families and cover many subjects other than film. I get quite cross when they have a week off.

The Moth Radio Hour

Last summer, eldestson and I drove from Greensbro, North Carolina to Nashville, Tennessee via Ashville, LOTS of driving. I love driving on American highways, it’s so easy compared to driving in London; the speed limit is slow and the roads are wide and spacious. We lost ourselves in the beauty of the countryside and podcasts. The Moth is the best place to go for personal storytelling. Sometimes moving, sometimes sad and nearly always very funny, we ate up the episodes as we ate up the miles. Highly addictive.

Untold: The Daniel Morgan Story

If you liked Serial (I’ve not listed this because everyone knows about it, right?) and like a murder mystery, then try Untold: The Daniel Morgan Story, a gripping investigation of a true story, based in the UK that, if it was fictional, you’d scoff at as being unrealistic. Brilliant, dedicated journalism and sheer refusal to be fobbed off with establishment lies and corruption has resulted in a must-listen podcast. We were so gripped by it on our cross America drive that we sometimes drove the long way round so we could finish an episode.

Sow Grow Repeat.

For garden-nerds only and when Gardeners Question Time gets too home counties, Sow Grow Repeat, by the Guardian’s gardening team Alys Fowler and Jane Perrone, is an information rich podcast that dives deep into current gardening issues. Imagine ear-wigging a couple of brilliant gardening mates discussing how to grow stuff you’ve always wanted to try but were a bit unsure, in a chatty, knowledgeable way. Start with Perennial Vegetables or the Ask Alys Special 2016.

Women Of The Hour by Lena Dunham

Women of The Hour is an hour of Lena interviewing women she considers interesting. She’s like the big sister or best friend you wish you’d had. I found the recent Goodbyes, about the last episode of Girls funny and really moving.

You Must Remember This

Recommended by the fabulous India Knight, You Must Remember This is about old school Hollywood; the stories, the scandal, the glamour and everything that you want to know about behind-the-scenes at the movies. Fascinating.

Stuff You Should Know

For anyone who is generally curious about how things work, Stuff You Should Know is great to dip in and out of, either to find out about stuff you generally are interested in such as How Perfume Works to the more esoteric, like Mermaids, Not A Real Thing.

Here’s The Thing

Who would have though Alec Baldwin – yep that one- would have such a great podcast channel? Here’s The Thing is Alec chatting to his celeb friends, many of whom you need to be a grown up to remember or find interesting. He comes up with good questions (I didn’t expect him to be bright, but goes to show, can’t judge a book…) and because he’s a celeb himself, pushes into areas others might not dare. Listen to him interviewing Patti Smith, Viggo Mortensen and Amy Schumer. Surprisingly brilliant.

Now, which ones are are you listening to?











  • Sarah says:

    Morning! Apart from DIDs I haven’t listened to any, as you say, R4 terrific – but you can get in a rut. Great list, thanks.

  • Harriet says:

    Podcast addict here…to add to your great list are the following; This American Life, In The Dark, 99%Invisible, TED Radio Hour, Design Matters, Undisclosed and Burnt Toast. There are others but unless you are trying to learn Greek, trying to do a Four Hour Week for anything or turn Paleo I won’t bore you!

  • Msd says:

    Malcom Gladwell’s Revisionist History and Freakonomics. Both intelligent and thought-provoking.

  • Tabitha says:

    I listen to Here’s the Thing and The Moth, and I second Harriet on This American Life and 99% Invisible (my favorite). I also like The Kitchen Sisters, Radio Diaries, Radio Lab, Studio 360, Filmspotting, and Cast On (only for knitting nerds and it’s no longer being produced but there are lots of old episodes). Didn’t Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo do a different podcast previously? If I remember correctly they talked over one another which I found annoying.

  • Helen Cowans says:

    Art detective
    Dan snows history hit
    Stuff you missed in history class
    Friday night comedy from radio 4

  • Amanda says:

    Brilliant list womenfolk! Burnt Toast! And of course Friday Night Comedy! Off to sign up to 99% Invisible and Art Detective now….any more? Ax

  • Claire says:

    Oh god yes, Kermode and Mayo film reviews. Both are feminists and deeply hostile to the ‘phwoar, robots’ approach of some film makers. I find I can disagree wholeheartedly with their judgements on films, but still respect their reasons. And they are genuinely funny and generous in their praise.

  • Nichola says:

    Design Matters by Debbie Millman – wonderful!

  • Katy F says:

    I love The Moth too. Do try Homecoming, it’s creepily clever.

  • Faye says:

    I can’t live without This American Life. The stories are surprising, funny, unexpected and moving and I find teaches you to think about the lives of people you would never normally meet. The best episodes are Abdi and the Golden Ticket, The Super and Superpowers. I’m currently listening to episode 604 – 20 years later – which features a woman talking about how her mother was attacked but escaped being murdered by a serial killer. She interviews her mother, the parole board etc It is both gripping, deeply saddening and humbling at the same time.

  • Hannah says:

    Thanks for this. R4’s In Our Time is my default choice so good to know what else is out there.

  • Amanda says:

    We have a terrific list now, thanks so much to all of you for this! Ax

  • Bowbelle says:

    Scroobius Pip

  • Sarah Peel says:

    So inspired by all of these, my work is sometimes lonely and sometimes involves hours on photoshop so a podcast is a fabulous idea – thank you everyone, Sarahx

  • Clare says:

    Embedded, This American Life, Invisibilia, Death Sex and Money and StoryCorps are all great. Massive fan of podcasts so thank you for all the other suggestions!

  • I have a wonderful women’s health experienced on-air expert and timely topic to suggest to come onto your show.

    Dr. Prudence Hall of The Hall Center (www.thehallcenter.com) in Santa Monica has just written a new book, Radiant Again & Forever (www.radiantagain.com). (Foreword by Suzanne Somers and testimonial from Cindy Crawford). The book, which is releasing September 12th, covers several women’s health challenges as told in the real stories of several patients, treated in Dr. Hall’s integrated medicine and gynecology practice in the last few years. Your viewers will recognize themselves in these tales of fatigue, depression, anxiety, inability to lose weight, hair loss, loss of libido, brain fog, poor sleep and more, and can learn from the blueprints that Dr. Hall developed to lead each one back to her “old” self – full of vitality, energy and passion for life. Here’s a link to a book trailer for more information: https://vimeo.com/231747627

    I’d be happy to send you a copy of the book to peruse. Each chapter is a segment topic in and of itself and we can work with you to develop any of them. Please let me know if you are interested in a segment and I will send you more info – we would love to coordinate a radio interview for you with Prudence!


  • Jane says:

    Megan I would love a copy it sounds fascinating – Jane x

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