Need some good podcasts to listen to on your walk? Here are some podcast recommendations from the Expat Living team to get you moving!
The Check In | Acast
British Airways have done some interesting marketing efforts in the past: for example, dancing “The Strictly” at Heathrow Airport in 2015 to promote Strictly Come Dancing; and fundraising for Flying Start in 2017 and 2018 with airline safety videos featuring an ensemble of British film and television thespians.
This year, they launched The Check In, the BA Official Podcast. The monthly episodes are hosted by BA staff working in different areas of the business and locations. There have been three episodes thus far, each with vastly different topics.
I enjoyed the episode in May, when astronauts Charlie Duke, Dr Sian Proctor and Susan Kilran appeared as guests to mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 16 landing. They spoke about highlights of their professional careers and the similarities between space travel and aviation.
– Patricea Chow
Shameless Spotify | Spotify/Apple Podcasts
My sister recommended this podcast to me and it’s one of my favourites for learning about pop culture moments.
I really enjoy hearing about in-depth scandals that I was too young to remember at the time; for example, the episodes called the Nanny Diaries that touch on the scandals of Jude Law and Ben Affleck and their affairs with their nannies.
Also interesting are the episodes on Fleetwood Mac and the conflict between Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham; the podcast goes into the depth of specific songs and the stories behind them.
Due to the nature of the content, this would only be suitable for teens or older.
– Michaela Bisset
Something Rhymes with Purple
This is a fascinating journey through the English language, exploring idioms, expressions and the history of words. Lexicographer Susie Dent partners with Gyles Brandreth to explore a different topic each time. A recent episode covered the vocabulary pertaining to roads and travel; did you know that “pavement” comes from the Latin pavimentum meaning trodden-down floor? At the end of each podcast, Susie introduces a trio of her favourite words. This episode’s words hit a chord for me during this latest COVID wave: “hodophile”, meaning lover of journeys, “gadwaddick”, to go on a jaunt, and “trouvaille”, something lovely found by chance!
– Kate Woodbury
The Guardian’s Today in Focus | Spotify
This podcast has a lot of themes that interest me and I put it on after I’ve dropped off the girls at school to catch up on the news that shapes the world. Each episode goes behind the headlines to provide a deeper understanding of the news. An interesting subject covered recently was the Korean debt crisis that inspired Squid Game’s dark dystopia. It looked at how the Netflix series put the focus on increasing personal debt in South Korea. Give this a go – there are some great topics for everyone!
– Susan Knudsen-Pickles
10 Reasons Why Singing Is Freedom | Corinne Gibbons
This much-needed reminder to help us “find our voice” invites the listener to use the healing power of music in their own journey. The author talks about how serendipity has been part of her journey, in marrying her life’s purpose with her passion for music. Her new song “I believe” is also included in the book. An uplifting and cheery listen (singingisfreedom.com).
– Dee Khanduja
Catching Worms: A Hong Kong True Crime Podcast
(Warning: This is not for the faint of heart, but certainly a must-listen for fans of true crime!) Hong Kong has a global reputation for being a safe city – and rightly so – but scratch the surface and you’ll find some gruesome serial killers, drug smugglers and more.
Each month, Catching Worms tells a true Hong Kong crime story. The first episode charts the activities of Lam Kor-wan, aka The Jars Killer, a notorious serial killer known for storing his dismembered victims in tupperware containers. The narrative is interspersed with dialogue from detectives who worked the actual cases. It’s truly morbid but compelling listening at the same time.
I’ve just started the second episode, featuring the Braemar Hill Murders, which took place in 1985. But I already know it isn’t going to end well…
– Kate Woodbury
The Mikhaila Peterson Podcast
This podcast covers talks with thought leaders, influencers and industry changers. Whether it’s wisdom from business entrepreneurs, daring nuanced conversations with socio-political commentators, or insights from spiritual teachers, it has something for everyone who loves to broaden their perspectives about the world.
– Yimin Huang
Just One Thing with Michael Mosley
Like most people, I’m always looking for ways to improve my health, but forever short on time. So when I came across TV presenter Michael Mosley’s new podcast series, Just One Thing, I tuned in.
Each episode runs for just 15 minutes and involves Michael investigating one thing that you could be doing to improve your health and wellbeing. From cold showers to squats and eating more fermented food, Michael delves into the science and delivers some surprisingly good tips – tips that are easy to incorporate into your daily routine. One episode is called “Standing On One Leg”; sounds easy enough, right? Now close your eyes and try it! I’m a few weeks into practicing this and while I’m still a bit wobbly, there’s certainly some improvement! Available on BBC Radio 4 and BBC Sounds.
– Kate Woodbury
Brené with Simon Sinek on Developing an Infinite Mindset
A friend pinged this podcast to me with the words “must listen”. So I went for my run, ready to open my mind with Brené and Simon, two powerhouse influencers and authors. The podcast really made me contemplate. I found myself rewinding and repeating parts of it, to help it sink in. Simon simplified how those with an infinite mindset think and behave, and Brené in her usual style gave us the geeky version minus the sci-fi language. I found myself reflecting on what was said for days after; I’ve even listened to it again. A great podcast for questioning your own belief system and its limitations.
– Dee Khanduja
This podcast on BBC Sounds has taken me a little by surprise. My Mum used to listen to this on “the wireless” religiously – every day, in fact. And I remember the programme as being pretty dry, and for older people.
Fast forward 20-plus years and I’m a convert! Lead presenter Emma Barnett covers a range of topics touching women’s lives with warmth and humour – and she’s not afraid of asking politicians tough questions. Highly recommended!
– Kate Woodbury
Free Your Self From Pain | Katie Byron with Russell Brand
Spiritual teacher and author Katie Byron joins Russell Brand on episode 78 of his Under the Skin podcast to weave spirituality and philosophy with practical tips. If you want to learn about your negative cycle of thoughts, or work through resentment or triggers, this podcast sets a great foundation to start doing “The Work” on yourself.
Top 10 Ways to Make 2021 Your Best Year Yet | Kristina Karlsson
The founder of stationery store Kikki K hosts inspiring podcasts around the topic of designing “Your Dream Life”. This particular episode (#57) is loaded with Kristina’s tips on how to begin the year with optimism, goals and energy. I particularly love that she includes heaps of resources and links in her podcast notes, so you can take action on implementing your ideas.
– Dee Khanduja
Postcards From Midlife with Trish and Lorraine
Trish Halpin and Lorraine Candy are ex-glossy London magazine editors (InStyle UK and Elle respectively) who are continuing to entertain the masses through their decidedly upbeat, fresh, real and insightful podcast. Between them, they have six children, two dogs, one cat and two husbands, and they’re dealing with all the issues that come with being midlife women. Tune in and listen to them gas about everything from moody teenagers to menopausal hot flushes to the minds of men. Just the tonic we need while we’re missing our girl gangs and a bit of a giggle more than ever.
– Jo Upcraft
Super Soul Sunday
I’m a big fan of Oprah Winfrey and her Super Soul Sunday podcast. These are episodes that nourish the mind, body and spirit while offering insights into living one’s best life. I love how Oprah mixes topics and guests together. One of my fave episodes is the one with Steven Tyler, the lead singer of Aerosmith, where he talks about going full circle with his life. He discusses alcohol and drug abuse, multiple failed marriages, his guilt and relationship with his kids, and about moving back to the town where he grew up and having beautiful grandchildren. Worth downloading and following!
– Susan Knudsen Pickles
Table Manners – Jessy and Lennie Ware
Jessy Ware is an English performing artist with a young family. She and her mum cohost a podcast where they ask a guest around for dinner (now virtual), and they chat about everything from sourdough to sex, their favourite cocktails to their most embarrassing moments. I don’t know half the people they have on the show – mainly British actors, musicians, chefs, activists and relatively unknown people, but most have done interesting things.
Jessy and her mum have a great conversational relationship and are very open about what they enjoy, their families, food they’ve cooked and what they’re missing doing this year. You feel like you’ve been at the table with them after each show. Oh, and you’ll be surprised which guests say they have good table manners – or not!
– Danielle Rossetti
Wind of Change
“Tsundoku” is a Japanese word that refers to the pile of unfinished books you have on your bedside table at home. Not everyone has a tsundoku; but I certainly do! I’m no better with TV shows. I’ll start a series and be completely enjoying it, only to get distracted by other things. The last Netflix series I actually finished was Making a Murderer. That was in 2016.
A month or so ago, I thought I’d try a podcast – to see if it might have more “stickability” for me. That podcast was Wind of Change. I was sucked in by the show’s awesome premise: could the chartbusting 1980s power ballad “Wind of Change”, by German rock band Scorpions, actually have been written by the CIA as propaganda aimed at destabilising the Soviet Union and bringing down the Iron Curtain?
All the elements were there for me to lap this up: music, history, espionage, pop culture. And, if you have a passing interest in any of those things, I absolutely recommend you give this a go. Unfortunately, old habits die hard. I’ve had this one paused at the 14th-minute mark of Episode 4 for three weeks. I’m sure I’ll finish it … one day.
– Shamus Sillar
The Shift: On Life after 40 – Sam Baker
The Shift is the brainchild of UK journalist and author Sam Baker (former editor-in-chief of Red magazine). It launched this autumn along with her book of the same name, which is currently being touted as a “menopause memoir”, but in a good way! The podcast is decidedly less biologically based, but it does address a demographic that gets largely ignored: females over 40.
Each week, guests including Marian Keyes, Sara Collins and Jo Whiley join Sam to create a new narrative on subjects such as body confidence, mental health, career reinvention and why they’re not sticking to the stereotypes of women in midlife. Far from offering doom, gloom and daunting stories about what’s ahead, it’s frank, funny, fresh and insightful – and, dare I say it, it makes you feel kind of cool about “growing up”.
– Jo Upcraft
The Michelle Obama Podcast
I love this series of relaxed, intimate interviews Michelle does with husband Barack and her friends and family. She discusses topics around family, community, Black Lives Matter, women’s health, marriage and even menopause! Yes, she wanted to throw Barack out of the window at one stage, and yes, she got irrationally cranky going through menopause, but she is unapologetic about it. Totally honest, thoughtful and funny conversations with a woman you would like to get to know better!
– Danielle Rossetti
Raising Daughters with Tim Jordan, MD
I always try to absorb information on how to be a better parent and how to raise good, levelheaded little individuals . This podcast provides information, awareness, practical tools and inspiration to parents and other adults who work with elementary, middle and high school girls. It’s worth a listen and there are a few gold nuggets to pick up along the way.
– Susan Knudsen-Pickles
The Left Right Game
So, I am a self-confessed audiobook addict. Podcasts normally frustrate me! Recently, a friend told me you could also get stories in the Podcast app. Who would have known? And that’s how I found The Left Right Game. And now I’m addicted and wait with bated breath for Mondays when the next one is released!
The story is told in two different time frames (the past and the present). In the present, we listen to a young man, Tom, who is recovering from a severe accident, but at the same time trying to find an old friend who has apparently disappeared. The past is based on audio diaries that have mysteriously appeared in his inbox of journalist, Alice Sharman, his friend who has vanished. The game that Alice is tracking is possibly paranormal, possibly staged, but possibly horrifyingly real. Cast members include W Earl Brown and Tessa Thompson, and the production (sponsored by Sonos) is as polished as a Hollywood blockbuster. I can’t get enough!
– Kel Flanders
Have you ever wondered about the science behind Tiger King, vaccines, or even which phone to buy? The Sidenote podcast, from the minds behind the ASAPScience YouTube channel, tackles all this and more. Complicated scientific concepts are broken down into digestible studies and anecdotes to keep you engaged the whole time.
– Natasha Lee
We hope you enjoyed our podcast recommendations. Looking for more things to do? See our Things To Do section!