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Five podcast recommendations for those who want to start listening

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Bristol chapter.

For someone who has struggled to settle back into university life and find their footing, podcasts have undeniably been one of the most helpful ways to pass time. Nobody really mentions how lonely university can be; being away from family and having flatmates with conflicting timetables, you really do find yourself with a lot of spare time on your hands. Whilst podcasts can be scholastic and intellectual, they can also be super colloquial and help you feel like part of a conversation. So, here are 5 podcast shows that I began listening to out of boredom but that have become part of my daily routine.

1. ‘how to fail’ with elizabeth day

Elizabeth Day launched How to Fail in 2018, a podcast that celebrates people’s failures in life. Day interviews different celebrities each week, ranging from Jacqueline Wilson and Holly Willoughby to Stanley Tucci and Dr. Alex George. The show helps humanise these interviewees and give us an insight into their personal lives – which are not always accurately portrayed in the media. The show has such an optimism to it; it follows celebrities’ darkest times and biggest mistakes to their major successes. Day’s voice is so calming and friendly so it is the perfect podcast to listen to when you feel slightly down or hopeless, as it reminds you that everyone goes through struggles in life, no matter their popularity or wealth, but will always overcome them.

Favourite episodes: Alain De Botton, Jessica Ennis-Hill, Alexandra Burke

2. ‘Anything goes’ with emma chamberlain

Firstly: are you even a teenager or young adult if you don’t know who Emma Chamberlain is? The twenty-year-old soared to success via her YouTube channel which serves as evidence of her authenticity and relatability for the “normal” teenager. Although she may live a lavish lifestyle in LA, her podcast is very humble, and feels like holding a conversation with a friend. Whilst she sometimes addresses difficult subjects like acne, fitting the female body standard, and dealing with crushes, a lot of her episodes are more laidback and informal, such as her episode discussing her hatred for Halloween. A particular favourite episode of mine must be her experience at the Met Gala. Hearing about an event I gush over every year through the eyes of someone my age was so interesting and entertaining, and she makes you feel as though you were her plus one for the night. This podcast is perfect for those times you’re home alone or walking to university and just crave a human voice.

Favourite episodes: alone but not lonely, the feminine mould, the instagram illusion

3. ‘sh**gged, married, annoyed’ with chris and rosie ramsey

Recently introduced to me by a friend, Chris Ramsey and his wife Rosie’s podcast is a comical discussion of questions applicable to the lives of the general public. They answer questions from both listeners and celebrities and embed hilarious anecdotes in between each answer. The show also includes a segment called ‘What’s your beef?’ which explores irks that the couple has. Their explosive laughter in response to one other is infectious and never fails to uplift my mood. This podcast demonstrates that celebrity couples bicker and argue just like regular couples, but that this is not without light-heartedness humour and healthy communication. They’re relatable and loveable and form the best podcast for when you need a pick-me-up.

Favourite episodes: How deep do you sleep?, How’s Christine?, Coal-slaw

4. ‘off menu’ with james acaster and ed gamble

James Acaster is irrefutably one of my favourite comedians – so perhaps I’m slightly biased in this recommendation. That being said, he and Ed Gamble produce an incredible podcast where they invite celebrities onto the show to discuss their dream dinner. This strange premise is evidently well-loved by the public as they rank in at no.12 on the top 200 Spotify podcast charts. Despite the structure of the podcast being fairly simple, the duo goes off on a tandem, and we get to gain a deeper understanding of the celebrity in question whilst also cackling at James and Ed’s jokes. This is one of the only podcasts where I’ve genuinely laughed out loud, and it’s the perfect background noise for when you’re making dinner or tidying your room. The duo bounce off each other and their energy is felt through the episodes, despite Covid-19 having kept them separate for much of the series.

Favourite episodes: Ed Sheeran, Bob Moritmor, Nicola Coughlan

5. ‘conspiracy theories’ with parcast network

For those who want to gain a bit more grit or knowledge from a podcast tune-in, Conspiracy Theories is one of my favourites! Growing up, I could sit for hours and watch conspiracy theories on YouTube, but as I’ve gotten older and I have more responsibilities, it’s harder to find time to binge-watch these videos. This podcast is the perfect compromise! Although I wouldn’t recommended listening to these at night, some of the episodes are so intriguing and the storytelling is brilliant. Neither of the hosts claim to be conspiracy theorists, but they’re open-minded to different perspectives of global events. The podcast provides both a summary of the topic and their opinions, outlooks and finally a rating of validity. I highly recommend this podcast for those who are seeking more than just comfort and laughs.

Favourite episodes: OJ Simpson Case, Princess Diana, Tupac Shakur

Podcasts are becoming increasingly popular amongst the younger generations, and more celebrities are jumping onto this platform. They are the perfect medium for everyday occurrences; you can put on an episode and continue with your day. Where YouTube and Netflix interrupt your errands, podcasts can accompany them and make your day much more interesting, entertaining, or calming. The genres to choose from are extensive and it’s never too late to start listening to a series!

Nia Hopkins

Bristol '23

I'm a second year studying Theatre and English at the University of Bristol. I'm mainly interested in entertainment, lifestyle, and wellness so most of my articles will revolve around these topics!