Conversations Against Living Miserably

Conversations Against Living Miserably is the epitome of wholesome. Conversations Against Living Miserably is like a warm hug from someone wrapped in the softest flannel blanket known to humanity and a just-so cup of soothing hot chocolate (heavy artillery in times when even a good cuppa doesn’t cut it). Conversations Against Living Miserably is a mental health podcast birthed into this dark, cold world by the British comedy channel Dave and CALM (the Campaign Against Living Miserably), a charity offering help, advice and information to anyone who is struggling or in crisis. 

Credit: CALM
Credit: CALM

Every week, hosts Aaron Gillies and Lauren Pattison talk to a different guest (usually from the world of comedy and standup) to find out how they arrive at living their day to day lives without misery. “It's funnier than it sounds,” that’s the pod’s promise to its listeners, and we heartily concur – it is.

To start with: Self-Isolation Special Part 1 & Part 2, for some much-needed advice on getting (some of) it together, examples including “Don’t get too much into wine” and “Clean space, clean mind, put pants on!” (hear, hear). 

Ways to Change the World 

Credit: Channel 4
Credit: Channel 4

Hosted by the Channel 4 presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Ways to Change the World is a series of in-depth conversations with public figures from all walks of life – British and international politics, activism, tech, science, art, film, literature, comedy – all having marked, or marking the world in their own way. An interesting and thought-provoking listen anytime, centering on people’s values, perceptions, lives and beliefs. All interviews are also available on YouTube if you prefer the full audio-visual package. 

To start with: André Aciman, Malcolm Gladwell, Margaret Atwood, just to name a few (we recommend the episode with comedian Ivo Graham for some, at times very chucklesome, insight into the behind the scenes of standup).

You’ll Do

Credit: BBC Sounds
Credit: BBC Sounds

Modern love terrifies you, modern love makes you party? Here’s just the podcast for you. In You’ll Do, Catherine Bohart and Sarah Keyworth, a couple of top-notch comedians, give other couples the third degree about their relationships – unearthing the adorable and the embarrassing and everything in-between (with no one getting hurt in the process – as of yet, that is). Apart from being a perfect amalgamation of lovely, funny, and thought-provoking, it also feels like a good chat between friends – so you can just sit back and feast on precious social contact from the safety of your quarantined abode. 

To start with: Every episode has a different topic, from modern love to aging and feminism, but is equally great – so you may as well start with the first one (you’ll probably binge the other ones straight after that anyway). 

The British History Podcast

Credit: The British History Podcast
Credit: The British History Podcast

History buffs will be well-fed with this gem of a pod, with its impressive pool of episodes chronicling the yesteryear happenings on the island of Great Britain and the related beyond in a detailed yet engrossing and easy-going way. Says the host Jamie Jeffers, “The focus of this podcast is upon the human drama that is played out in history. Rather than providing a dry recount of dates and names, I am doing my best to provide a three dimensional image of what these people, places, and events were like.” On that it delivers in spades – plus, an episode or two before bed works a treat for getting the daily news out of your system – tried, tested, snooze-fested. 

To start with: this, because chronology (but you do you). 

Films to be Buried With 

Credit: Apple Podcasts
Credit: Apple Podcasts

We get it, we get it, don’t tut – not the most appropriate-looking podcast name to entrust your volatile mental health to given what we’re living through right now, but trust us – the contents aren’t as morbid – rather, the opposite. Every week, self-identified comedian, actor, writer and swimmer Brett Goldstein ropes in a special guest to “go all the way into life and death by way of movies” together (read: engage in a friendly, lively exchange about the movies that shaped them). It’s interesting, it’s chatty, and it’s about movies – what more can you wish for?

To start with: guests are many and varied, so choose at your own convenience – we, for one, really enjoyed the ones with Catherine Bohart, Emerald Fennell, and Rose Matafeo!

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