What we're listening to: five podcasts for autumn | HerCanberra

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What we’re listening to: five podcasts for autumn

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There was a time when we used to nurture our intellects and inner lives with a book. Now podcasts are our go-to for mental sustenance.

Of course, part of their appeal is the fact that you can multitask while listening—a sign of our busy and overloaded minds. Still, some podcasts are so engaging that time seems to stand still while you are completely and utterly engrossed. Here are some of our top picks.


If your lunchtime doesn’t include an uninterrupted hour to catch this fine ABC radio show, then make time to download the podcast episodes according to interest.

Richard Fidler and Sarah Kanowski take the time to interview each incredible character they come across with sensitivity, warmth and wit.

Delve into the inner psyches of the famous, if you like—Bill Bryson, Helen Garner and Paul Kelly among them. Or take a punt on listening to the tales of someone unknown, such as the extraordinary survival of winemaker Will Rikard-Bell, or the traumatic childhood of scientist Brandon Richard Webster. Their stories will stay with you forever.

Low Tox Life

Alexx Stuart is the woman behind the Low Tox Life “for a healthy you and a happy planet”. Her podcast is for those wanting to promote their own longevity as well as the Earth’s.

Alexx traverses a range of environmentally-pertinent issues with a strong focus on ways to cut down waste and chemical use and practical messages on everything from cultivating a happy mind to a healthy microbiome.

It may sound a little too green for some, but these are great listening, bound to make you take stock of the way you live next time you visit a supermarket or open your bathroom cabinet.


Two clever American writers Doree Shafrir and Kate Spencer are best friends who love to text each other about serums and love a good face mist. On their incredibly popular podcast they take it a step further and intermingle laugh-worthy commentary on everything from sheet masks to anxiety, work-burn and self-esteem.

There’s a strong consumer element in which the pair discuss the pros and cons of new products and their ability to make us feel better about ourselves. All in the name of holding back the ravages of time on your face, with an eye on cultivating a happy countenance.

Stuff you Should Know

Did you sleep through high school? Were you on Instagram at university? If you have certain, ahhh, gaps in your general knowledge then this is the podcast to fill in those misspent years.

Josh and Chuck provide wickedly funny but research-based conversations on science, history, urban legends, and pop culture, “with the occasional conspiracy theory thrown in for good measure”.

With more than 1000 episodes to choose from, you can walk away with a basic working knowledge of pretty much anything from hangovers to cheese, pinball, transgenderism, or homelessness.

Desert Island Discs

If you were spending the rest of your life on a desert island, what eight song tracks, which book and what luxury would you take with you?

This BBC radio series ponders one of the fundamental questions of our times (and our dinner parties) and comes up with surprising responses from a range of well-known and not-so-well-known characters.

If you don’t know where to even start, try David Beckham (no, he doesn’t choose a Spice Girls song) or Simon Cowell for a laugh. Toni Morrison and Yoko Ono provide more sobering content.

This article originally appeared in Magazine: Time (AW2020), available to read free online.

Read it here.

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