Podcasts: everything you need to know plus awesome podcasts to add to your playlist

Podcasts (audio programmes) might not be new, but they could be new for you. There are thousands of podcasts to listen to that cover so much content – from parenting and beauty to news, crime series and books. Best of all, they’re mostly free, and you can listen to them from your phone, laptop or tablet. You might have some more time on your hands during lockdown or just be wanting some comic relief or to learn something new, so now’s the perfect time to tune in.

Step 1: Choose a podcast player

Podcasts are hosted on apps. Choose one that appeals to you, download, and pick your podcasts from there. You can listen to podcasts on your website – search for podcasts online, or go straight to the podcast website to listen.

Listening via an app gives you a lot more freedom, as you can listen anywhere. Other great things about using an app include:

  • You can download or stream episodes directly to your device.
  • The app can let you know when a new episode is available.
  • You can search for new podcasts on the app.
  • After downloading, you can listen to podcasts without the internet.
  • You can stop podcasts part of the way through and it will remember your place for later.

Some of the most loved podcast apps include:

  • Apple Podcasts – this is an easy one if you have an iPhone, as it comes built into your phone.
  • Spotify – yup, you can save and listen to podcasts on this music-streaming app.
  • Google Play Music
  • Acast – I use this and love it!
  • Pocket Casts – this one has cooler features than most, such as skip/rewind intervals to skip ads. It’s free but offers in-app purchases for more features.
  • Overcast – this award-winning app is considered by some to be the best, and is great if you want something with a lot of features.

Step 2: Find something to listen to

You’ll be able to search for podcasts on the apps – they’re usually categorised, or they’ll be in “recommended” or “most recommended” apps. You can subscribe to a show and download every episode in each show. The good news is that podcasts stay up indefinitely and if you find a show you like, you can listen to all the episodes, even if they’re from a few years ago. You can also listen to your podcasts in your own time – once you’ve downloaded them, they don’t expire or “go away”.

Another great way to find podcasts to listen to is to ask around – find out what your friends or Facebook connections are listening to.

Different podcast apps to add to playlist

Great podcast recommendations

I asked my Facebook network what’s at the top of their podcast playlists and here are some recommendations for you:

Parenting

The Longest Shortest Time
Motherkind
Motherhood Sessions

Relationships

Dying for Sex
Why Won’t You Date Me?
Where Should We Begin?

Crime

Serial
Dateline
Criminal
Catch and Kill
In the Dark
The Murder Squad

Feel-Good

Feel Better Live More
Off the Gram
How to Fail
On Being

“The good news is that podcasts stay up indefinitely and if you find a show you like, you can listen to all the episodes, even if they’re from a few years ago.”

Sport

Something to Wrestle For
Don’t Tell Me the Score

Design/Style/Fashion/Beauty

Fat Mascara
99% Invisible
The Business of Fashion
The Beauty Brains
Fashion No Filter

Humour

No Such Thing as a Fish
My Dad Wrote a Porno
The Daily Show
The Alarmist
The Mortified Podcast

Society

The Moth
This American Life
RadioLab

Food

Radio Cherry Bombe
The Kitchen Counter
The Splendid Table
The Sporkful

Current Affairs/News/Business

Freakonomics
HBR Exponential View
Masters of Scale
Pivot
The Information
Business Wars
Tech News Daily
Revisionist History