“Podcasts are transforming the ways people listen to audio content, just as on-demand video is changing how people watch television. It’s fantastic to see how UK radio broadcasters as well as newspapers and other media companies are embracing podcasting and offering more choice about what we listen to than we’ve ever had before.” – Ian Macrae, Ofcom’s Director of Market Intelligence
Do your ears need a hug?
Podcasts have been making waves across the globe.
An Ofcom statement was released in September 2019, reporting that around 7.1 million individuals across the UK now listen to podcasts each week (one in eight people), and an increase of 24% from 2018.
It could possibly be, now more than ever, that podcasts have a greater part to play, with platforms creating dedicated podcasts (e.g. Sky News with the ‘In This Together’ podcast) in response to COVID-19, an abbreviation we all know too well.
We’ve heard a lot on social, through the media, and by personal testimonies that this lockdown period, has presented the opportunity to slow down, to reflect, to gain a new hobby, to fill this new giver of time a chance to reset. But this isn’t the case for everyone – for many people, this is an anxiety-inducing time of uncertainty, the unknown is difficult to fathom, and the whole concept of this global pandemic is overwhelming. And enter, the power of the podcast.
Sometimes, we need to be taken somewhere else. We need a mental break, even for just a moment – and that is, actually, just fine.
We’ve compiled a small list of podcasts that may transport you to somewhere beyond your four walls, encourage you to embrace this slow pace of life, to help you to sleep when your mind is whirring, or to just simply stay positive during this lockdown.
Headphones on, sit back, and take flight. Award-winning travel writer Aaron Miller (National Geographic Traveller and other national and international publications) will take you on a cinematic voyage, with stories told by some of the world’s great adventurers.
Nothing Much Happens
Finding it hard to sleep at the moment? Forget counting sheep, “Nothing Much Happens” is a collective of bedtime stories that evoke feelings of positivity, lighten the mental load and encourage a relaxed state to drift off to sleep. And by the way, these are bedtime stories for adults – fancy.
Desert Island Discs
A firm favourite for decades, Desert Island Discs makes for dreamy listening experience. Eight tracks, one book and a luxury item for good measure. Guests of the podcast range from film directors and conservationists to lawyers, writers and – wait for it, fire-fighters. Really, something for everyone.
The Doctor’s Kitchen
Foodies – this one’s for you. Dr Rupy Aujla is a self-described ‘straight-talking NHS doctor lending my unbiased opinion on healthy eating.’ The Doctor’s Kitchen podcast features discussions on nutrition, eating for different areas of the body, exploration of food groups, but also focuses on mental health, human stories, and of course, COVID-19.
Immerself yourself straight into relaxation. BBC’s Radio 3 introduces a selection of programmes that are “an antidote to today’s frenzied world.” Tune in, go low and enjoy this “lo-fi celebration of pure sound” as you listen to sounds from the natural world. Take a hike through the mountains of the Lake District, let go in deep woodland and enjoy the duet between a performer and a nightingale, enjoy the gentle lull of sound from a Swedish lake, absorb the turn of the tide in Scotland. Content that soothes through footfalls, song, and nature. A real corker.