Friday, April 10

Podcasts and Playlists: For When Anything Is Better Than Having To Listen To Your Neighbours

One of my good friends said to me recently that the thing she's finding really hard about being at home is the lack of social contact time. Obviously, we can all Zoom and Houseparty (although hello, who were they three weeks ago - also, are they verbs yet?), but with work obligations or whatever else in the way, it's not realistic to Skype from dusk until dawn.

I work from home for half the week anyway, so pottering away chained to my couch in solitary confinement is something that I'm used to by now - but even so it still comes with its pitfalls. One thing I've found helpful is a bit of background buzz; to help keep track of the time and also to stop from getting distracted by local disputes/dog-walker chit-chat/the endless ticking of the clock (note to self: get a digital clock).

I would normally have the radio on as I'm not too invested in what's being talked about and I find that having someone else pick the tunes means I'm not tempted to keep stopping and skipping songs then spiralling down a Spotify binge. However, if you're trying to avoid the news at the moment (or just monitor how much you're tuning in), this would be a great time for podcasts to jump in. Everyone has their favourites - I usually listen when I'm walking the dog because most clock in at around an hour which is how long we're out for. You can listen whenever or wherever you like, so there's always some mindless (or mindful) chit-chat ready to go when you need the pick-me-up (see: this meme).

However, I also find that if I'm trying to smash through a to-do list podcasts can be distracting because I want to zone in and concentrate on what's happening - so for those times, only a playlist will do. Long-time readers of the blog will know I love a mixtape (you can browse mine here), so here are some more recent music picks:

My "Self Isolation So It's Uplifting But I'm Also Working From Home So Not Too Distracting" Playlist
Ft. Edwarde Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Bombay Bicycle Club, Van Morrison
Does what it says on the tin.

The Best "Cleaning The House" Playlist
Ft. The Ronettes, Sam Cooke, The Drifters
For those "Freddy Mercury Vacuuming In Full Drag and Slippers" moments - you know the ones.

Bougie Queen Chill (by @ChloePlumstead)
Ft. SZA, Childish Gambino, Jorja Smith
For when you're having that self-care evening.

However, if a Podcast pick is more your thing:

The Fringe Of It
Blogger pals Liv Purvis and Charlotte Jacklin talk TV, movies, and life in floral maxi dresses and peter pan collars (metaphorically). The closest thing to real-life Midge Maisel and Susie from The Marvellous Mrs Maisel.

That Peter Crouch Podcast
Former international footballer (don't quote me on that) Peter Crouch joins Radio 1's Chris Stark and Tom Fordyce to talk life as a professional footballer. Worth noting I have less than zero interest in football but this podcast sort of feels like when you're at the pub waiting to order at the bar and you eavesdrop on people in the queue next to you. Worth a go whether you're a fan of the beautiful game (is that basketball?) or not.

Off Menu with James Acaster and Ed Gamble
Why are two comedians doing a foodie podcast? Furthermore, why does it work? I don't know, but they have special guests and the tried and tested formula of asking people what they would order at their dream dinner fills the one-hour dog-walking loop nicely (I particularly recommend the Noah Schnapp episode as he clearly doesn't know who they are or what's happening). Let me know... Poppadoms or bread?

Happy Place with Fearne Cotton
A great podcast for finding some zen in the chaos. She talks through anxiety and overcoming mental obstacles with guests, which may be helpful for some. I thought the episode with Russell Brand was especially interesting.

We Watch Anything 
Ben and Jono pick a genre (romcom, Elvis movies, horror movies featuring insects...) and trawl the best Netflix has to offer. Sometimes they come up trumps, sometimes they'll have you wondering whether you'd rather be spending that Netflix subscription fee on bleach for your brain so you can go on living your life without knowing these films existed.

Open Mind with Frankie Bridge
I read Frankie's book recently, but before that I also listened to her podcast. I personally find Frankie's story really interesting and find listening to someone who deals with numerous mental health challenges with total pragmatism quite enlightening. Her ep with Candice Brown from Bake Off was a really engrossing and eye-opening hour with lots of food (sorry) for thought.

If you have any podcast picks, let me know or send me a DM on Insta - @bearandcrocodile


  1. Aimee O’Callaghan25 April 2020 at 12:40

    I loved this- thank you! I’m a fan of the Happy Place podcast but will be sure to give some of the others a try. I especially liked how you described the Peter Crouch podcast as eavesdropping at the bar whilst waiting to order... I think I’ll become a fellow eavesdropper. Keep up the amazing work :D x

    1. No worries - sometimes it's just good to have a bit of audio company isn't it? Hope you enjoy eavesdropping :) xxx