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Podcasts you should be listening to that aren’t about true crime

Words by Hannah Cole

There’s more to life.

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that those in want of good podcasts turn blindly to true crime.

And for good reason, as there is some quality investigative journalism happening at the moment. But is it sick that we are finding so much entertainment in gore?

Reaching “peak true crime” exists. I know this because I hit it. After indulging in back-to-back episodes of My Favourite Murder, Teacher’s Pet, Dirty John and Trace, I had to press pause. Stories of murder kept me yearning for more, but my mental health was battling the ramifications. I needed to remind myself that there is a semblance of good in the world (however small it might be).

So I decided to hit pause on the murders and find some equally binge-worthy aural sustenance.

Where Should We Begin? with Esther Perel

Please make your way out from under the rock you have been living if you have not yet heard of Esther Perel. I formally introduce you to the saviour of life problems, the prophet of relationships: Esther Perel. The Belgian psychotherapist has gained fame around the world for her podcast that invites listeners to sit in in on her real-life therapy sessions. She has brought me to tears numerous times with her open heart, reassuring words, and firm grip on reality. It’s a welcome reminder that “normalcy” is a fallacy, and that we all have our unique issues, transgressions, and anxieties to deal with. 

99% Invisible: Articles of Interest

Many may know 99% Invisible as the highly informative show investigating design, architecture and everything in between – from fortune cookies to La Sagrada Familia. Articles of Interest’ is a special six-part series that aired in 2018, discussing the history of our clothes. As the episodes uncover, clothes mean something to us all whether we like it or not. Why do children dress like tiny adults? Why are women’s pockets so much smaller than men’s’? [*feminist sigh*] With each episode under 30-minutes long, this is a quick and easy fact session to kickstart your 99% Invisible love affair.

You Must Remember This: Dead Blondes

Karina Longworth is the brain behind this incredibly well-researched podcast that delves into the “forgotten” history of Hollywood’s first century. While her episodes on the Manson Family (‘Charles Manson’s Hollywood’) are a must-listen before Once Upon A Time in Hollywood hits the big screen, it’s tough on the emotions. As a safer entry-point, I recommend the ‘Dead Blondes’ series instead. Death still drives the discussion but prepare to be fascinated by the glamorous and ludicrously complicated lives of Hollywood’s starlets, including Marilyn Monroe and Jean Harlow.

Ladies, We Need To Talk

Yumi Stynes is in the running for my second major girl crush (following Esther Perel, of course). Ladies, We Need To Talk is the podcast making Australian women feel heard. In covering everything from menstrual cups to the orgasm gap, Yumi delivers conversations that get to the heart of the modern woman’s despair. You will groan in agreement, giggle in camaraderie, and maybe shed a tear or two. But ultimately, this podcast is a reminder of the bond between women. We have each other’s backs, we all have to deal with bullshit. We may as well get through it together.

And when you are ready for a re-entry into the crime market, I suggest you start slow. Ease your way back in with the likes of The Drop Out (an investigation into the rise and fall of Theranos’ founder Elizabeth Holmes) and Who The Hell Is Hamish? (another offering from The Australian).

Look after that precious little head of yours.

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