8 new must listen podcasts to download now
Whether you like tales of deception, violence and greed, conversations between iconic celebrities or insight into how to make your life easier, better or more joyful — one thing’s for sure, there’ll be a podcast for it.
Here are eight brand new or imminently launching podcasts that will be well worth a listen.
Shrink The Box
Lowdown: Hearing your favourite TV characters being analysed by a bona fide psychotherapist? Genius, right? This is exactly the premise of Shrink The Box where comedian Ben Bailey Smith joins forces with psychotherapist Sasha Bates to explore the behaviours of the likes of Don Draper from Mad Men, Shiv Roy from Succession and Omar Little from The Wire.
Listeners are going to get a decent dose of psychological insight into why some of the most iconic characters of all time behave like they do – but it’s kept light and colloquial, and even offers up plenty of advice on what we can learn from their biggest failures, and successes.
Listen if you liked... Hidden Brain or British Scandal
The Louis Theroux Podcast
Lowdown: Fans of Louis Theroux whose inimitable conversational style has made him a firm favourite documentary maker have a treat in store: his brand-new podcast will see him conducting long-form interviews with a variety of different guests. Frustratingly the identities of his interviewees are a closely guarded secret but given his experience and reputation it is overwhelmingly likely that Theroux is going to have some extremely interesting, iconic people to talk to. But then again he could make a conversation with a paper bag compelling.
Listen if you liked… anything Theroux has ever done before. It’s more of the brilliant same.
I Am Not Nicholas
Lowdown: When journalist Jane MacSorley first met Arthur Knight and his wife Miranda – to investigate accusations that he was a fugitive on the run from rape charges in America – the couple gave her champagne and roast chicken and she left their Glasgow flat feeling confident that this was case of mistaken identity. After all Knight –overweight, wheelchair-bound and supported by an oxygen mask – didn’t resemble the rape suspect Nicholas Alahverdian.
But, as with all brilliant true crime podcasts, nothing is ever quite as it seems. And MacSorley skilfully weaves the jaw-dropping aspects of this story, travelling from Scotland to Rhode Island and Bristol and back again, knocking on doors and digging deep into the lives of two men in a bid to find out if Knight’s repeated assertions that he was not Nicholas were true.
Listen if you liked... Dirty John, Dr Death or The Shrink Next Door
Michelle Obama: The Light Podcast
Lowdown: Fans of the endless wisdom of the former First Lady will be champing to start her new podcast. Comprised of conversations she had on her recent tour for her book The Light We Carry, which she wrote in response to the uncertainty of the pandemic, the likes of Oprah Winfrey and David Letterman will be part of deeply personal discussions which offer space for reflections on overcoming fear, building strong relationships and most importantly nurturing our own sense of purpose. For anyone struggling with existential doubt.
Listen if you liked... Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday
Why Women Grow
Lowdown: Inspired by her book of the same name, Alice Vincent spends each episode interviewing a different woman about their relationship with growing things. This isn’t, however, a gardening hints and tips extravaganza. Instead there are reflections on cooking, motherhood, ecology and writing. It’s about the relationship between women an the earth and is a really soothing, gentle listen – even if you don’t have any green fingers.
Listen if you liked... How To Fail With Elizabeth Day
The Turning: Room of Mirrors
Lowdown: If you’ve ever wanted an insight into the secret life of ballerinas – the dedication, the competition, the sacrifice – this is the podcast for you. But it’s not a straightforward look under the bonnet – it’s a powerfully lyrical telling of the history of modern American ballet, complete with beautiful music. The power of ballet culture is laid bare in the stories of the young women who gave themselves up to the art form under legendary choreographer George Balanchine. Host Erica Lantz studied ballet herself as a child which adds even more depth to what is already a multilayered listen. It’s shocking and at times, really dark - there are multiple trigger warnings in relation to both eating disorders and sexual assault.
Listen if you liked... Once Upon a Time at Bennington College
Lowdown: Tales of catfishing are, sadly, ten a penny these days as con artists have a wealth of sophisticated technology to come up with ever more ingenuous ways of conning victims. However, if you think you’ve heard all there is to hear about this particular brand of identity theft, think again. In Love, Janessa journalist Hannah Ajala is in search of Janessa Brazil, whose image has apparently been stolen for catfishing purposes more than any other. But who is Janessa? Listeners follow Ajala as she meticlously investigates scammer culture from the psychology behind perpetrators to the effect on victims in an addictive eight-part series. What Ajala also nails is that these sorts of scams don’t just happen to unintelligent, naive people which is a really valuable takeaway.
Listen if you liked… Sweet Bobby
It Can’t Just Be Me With Anna Richardson
Lowdown: TV presenter Anna Richardson turns agony aunt in this pod which dedicates itself to listener problems – mental, physical or emotional. But she doesn’t do it alone; instead Richardson calls on experts and icons to help. Richardson has form for being warm, irreverent and funny – so anyone who likes their listens to make them feel as though they are among friends will be right at home here.
Listen if you liked... The High Low or Table Manners