Is there anything more fragile and hopelessly bleak than a (slightly hungover) commute to work. The sun is barely up, you’re smushed in between two men in Armani suits barking down their iPhones, and your coffee hasn’t hit yet. In times like these, nothing else that can cheer you up like listening to a quality podcast. It’s just like talking to your funniest/most interesting friends, and you don’t even have to open your eyes. So, we’ve done the leg work for you and come up with the five best podcasts to listen to on your commute to work.
My Dad Wrote a Porno
The premise is simple: host Jamie Morton’s 60 year old father, on a complete whim during the throes of boredom often found during retirement, decided to write an erotic novel. Titled Belinda Blinked, (sexy, we know), Jamie and friends Alice Levine and James Cooper read a chapter aloud each episode. The writing is shocking, the premise is horrible, and it truly is laugh-out-loud funny. The team have now completed reading the Belinda Blinked trilogy, each as ridiculous as the last, with the fourth instalment coming out later this month. Guaranteed to make you laugh as you look morosely out a heavily grafittied window.
This American Life
It’s one of the most popular podcasts out there, and with good reason. The premise of the show is ‘one theme, and a variety of stories on that theme.’ They can range from trivial and light, like their episode on the best coincidences they’ve ever heard, to highly topical, such as their brilliant Five Women episode: five testimonials of women who worked for the same man, all with slightly different #MeToo stories. It’s great because there’s such a range of topics, and with 600+ episodes, you’re covered with a pretty significant backlog.
Hosted by writer Jo Piazza, each episode is dedicated to a weird and wonderful love story. A personal favourite of mine details the story of a successful model/actress, who agrees to a date, and eventually falls in love with, a homeless man. It’s nice to listen to something wholesome and forget you’re on your way to be but a mere cog in the corporate machine.
Death, Sex and Money
Each 20 minute podcast centres around… well. I’m sure you can guess. Sometimes the guests are celebrities like Alec Baldwin, and sometimes it’s just regular Joes being interviewed. It’s always entertaining listening to people talk about things that are more taboo in an open and frank way. I’ve definitely had my mind changed on more than one occasion after listening to someone’s unique perspective. It’s engaging storytelling at its best.
By the same team behind This American Life, Invisibilia explores of the most mystifying topic of all: human behaviour. Weaving both science and real human stories, it delves expertly into what fuels our identity, and how we connect with one another. It’s a great way to feel like you’re learning more about yourself and others in an approachable and entertaining way. Who knows, maybe you’ll feel driven to strike up a conversation with that Armani-clad business man. Humanise him. See what makes him tick.