13 Podcasts To Listen To This Month

Whether it’s a particularly good episode from a long-running favourite, or a new name causing ripples on the airwaves, here’s a roundup of some of our favourite podcasts to listen to this month...

My Therapist Ghosted Me

Join Vogue Williams and Joanne McNally for a weekly chat with 100% honesty guaranteed. A result of Joanne's therapist ignoring her calls, refusing to answer the door at the clinic or speak to her after she'd tracked him down, My Therapist Ghosted Me sees two friends offering each other some much-needed mutual support. Expect 100% unqualified, unsubstantiated but upfront and honest advice on a plethora of issues they and many others continue to face.
 
Episode Highlight: Red Flags, Goody Bags & Why Joanne Was Ghosted
 
Seeing as this podcast only kicked off last month, we recommend you rewind right to the beginning. Episode one offers a full explanation of why and how Joanne's therapist ghosted her. That's not all though... there's also a full Twitter meltdown and a disagreement about virtual gigs thrown into the mix. Laugh-out-loud listening.
 
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The Improvement Association

From the makers of Serial and The New York Times, this five-part series looks into allegations of election fraud – and the powerful forces that fuel them. For at least a decade, allegations of cheating have swirled around elections in rural Bladen County, North Carolina. Some people point fingers at a Black advocacy group, the Bladen County Improvement Association, accusing it of bullying voters, tampering with ballots and stealing votes outright. These accusations have never been substantiated, but they persist. Follow reporter Zoe Chace as she goes to Bladen County to investigate what’s really going on.
 
Episode Highlight: The Ballad of the Nursing Home Ballots
 
Not all episodes for this addictive podcast are out quite yet, but it was the third instalment that really took our breath away. In it, Zoe delves into one of the most serious allegations against the Bladen Improvement PAC: an accusation about stealing votes from vulnerable people that goes back 10 years. In trying to track down the veracity of this particularly persistent rumour, she comes to understand how and why election cheating allegations are so sticky.
 
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In God We Lust

From Wondery, the makers of The Shrink Next Door and Bunga Bunga, this six-part series tells the story of what the tabloids called “the pool boy” scandal. A luxury hotel pool attendant in Miami meets a married couple. The wife starts flirting with the young man and pretty soon he’s caught up in a love triangle – one that will have far-reaching results. The husband is Jerry Falwell Jr., member of one of the most famous evangelical families in America and president of a Christian university with a strict code of conduct. The affair is part of a pattern of questionable behaviour that will threaten the Falwell family dynasty.
 
Episode Highlight: The Menage-A-Trois Carnival
 
This podcast has only just started, so there’s not much leg work involved in going back to the beginning. Plus, this is the kind of series where you don’t want to miss a single detail. In the inaugural episode, a young pool attendant at a Miami Beach hotel meets a couple on vacation and an affair begins. The young man doesn’t know who they are at first, but after seeing them several more times, he finds out the couple is far more powerful than he imagined. In turn, the couple promises his life is about to change.
 
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West Cork

In 1996 French film producer Sophie Toscan du Plantier was found dead near her holiday home. In West Cork, it was simply known as ‘the murder’. There were no witnesses and no known motive. The police suspected one man in the community, but they couldn’t make a charge stick and he refused to leave. Now, years later, this podcast series brings together an incredible cast of characters, many of whom have never spoken publicly before. The family of the victim, the suspect and local people – are all on hand to explain what it’s like to have the living embodiment of their unsettled nerves still resolutely among them.
 
Episode Highlight: Killer Among Us
 
Every episode in this captivating series is a must-listen, but if we were to pick a standout, the fourth instalment is likely to be it. In the weeks following the murder, Schull, the jewel-box vacation town closest to Sophie’s home, becomes a very different kind of place to live. With no answers, and the police focusing on locals, the townspeople start watching their neighbours more closely. Plus, the guards begin receiving anonymous calls about a ‘strange man’ in town. Full of suspense.
 
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Life Changing With Jane Garvey

In this new podcast, the ex-Woman’s Hour presenter talks to people who have lived through extraordinary events that have set their lives on an entirely different course. Focusing exclusively on the human experience, it examines how people deal with obstacles that turn their lives upside down and some of the remarkable discoveries they make along the way. Hear about the young trainee doctor who was left paralysed when a man fell from three storeys up and landed directly on top of her. Plus, meet a lifelong coal worker from Wales who found out in an unremarkable hotel along the A1 that he was actually a Malaysian Prince. Fascinating stuff.
 
Episode Highlight: A Falling Man Left Me Paralysed
 
In this remarkable episode, Jane talks to Grace Spence Green, a 25-year-old trainee doctor, about an extraordinary turning point in her life. She was walking through the atrium of the Stratford Westfield shopping centre when a man fell from several storeys up and landed directly on top of her. She woke up hearing screams and slowly realised they were her own. She was urgently telling those around her that she couldn't feel her legs. Grace was left seriously injured and spent weeks in recovery in hospital learning to navigate life in a wheelchair and coming to terms with her new reality. Even so, Grace's reaction to this series of events may just surprise you.
 
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Spy Affair

Also from Wondery comes this new story about deception, appearances and betrayal. A charismatic Russian woman arrives in the US on a mission to improve relations between the two countries, and she soon makes some powerful friends. But who is Maria Butina? And who is she working for? As Maria gets closer to the rich and connected, she also attracts the attention of the FBI. In the politically charged world of US-Russia relations, everyone has secrets and almost nothing is what it seems.
 
Episode Highlight: I Just Met A Girl Named Maria
 
The introductory episode is where you want to start and this instalment – a riff on the classic musical West Side Story – is where we meet the main character. Graduate student. Gun enthusiast. Political activist. There are several sides to the mysterious Russian woman who arrives in America. But soon, her connections with powerful politicians and wealthy businessmen will begin to raise suspicions.
 
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Sentimental Garbage

So, this podcast isn’t new – in fact it’s a favourite – but the latest mini-series, Sentimental in the City, is an in-depth look back at one of the most famous shows of the early 2000s. In it, host Caroline O’Donoghue and journalist Dolly Alderton discuss the show series by series, as well as devoting additional episodes to the two follow-up films and a listener Q&A. From character journeys to the lasting messages, the two examine big thesis topics such as: The Corsage and Saddlebag Tragedy of Series Three and Big’s Weekend Shirts: Wide-Fitting Sleeves To House An Absent Soul. Funny and moving in equal measure.
 
Episode Highlight: Sex and the City, Season 3
 
Don’t expect an episode-by-episode breakdown. Instead, Caroline and Dolly deal with each season in turn, looking at the over-arching themes and messages each one sent, both at the time and today. This instalment was by far our favourite. Why? In the presenters’ own words: Take your seats, turn off your phones, it's time to settle in for the National Theatre's presentation of ‘The McDougalls Are Coming For Supper.’ If you know, you know.
 
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Wednesdays We Drink Wine

In this new show, best friends Melissa Tattam and friend of SL Sophie Habboo chat boyfriends, help with your dilemmas and, of course, drink some wine. The perfect show for the teens or LuxeGirls in your life, think of it as a half-hour chat with your closest girlfriends. Pure fun.
 
Episode Highlight: What We Think About A Lads Holiday
 
The second episode is where the show really starts to hit its stride and, to celebrate, the girls are getting dressed up. Get your drinks ready as they jump into another round of dilemmas, boyfriend troubles, allergies, lads holidays, cheating and so much more. With a new episode released every Wednesday, this is one we recommend following on Instagram too @WednesdaysWeDrinkWine.
 
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At Home With Lily And Anna

 Again, not new, but we’ve been loving the fourth season of this fan favourite. Tackling all sorts of issues – from imposter syndrome in the workplace to maternity leave, division of childcare and chores to healthcare education, there’s no subject off-limits for best friends Anna Newton and Lily Pebbles. If you want more, we recommend jumping back to the beginning, when the duo used to interview highly influential women at their homes (hence the name of the show).

 
Episode Highlight: Our Shopping Habits, Memories & Top Tips
 
Of the most recent series, we loved this episode – a reminiscence about the high-street, the shops the girls are missing, their best shopping trips and how to buy jeans you actually love. Plus, Lily chats all about one of our favourite brands – Lockdown Liquor & Co. – and why she rates it so highly.
 
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The Panic Years

Based on her bestselling book of the same name, this podcast is for anyone who feels out of synch. Join journalist and author Nell Frizzell as she talks to some of her favourite people about ‘The Panic Years’ – that period between carelessness and matching crockery, between your friends passing out on the dancefloor and those same people becoming parents. It’s the time when we all start wondering when everything got so serious? But while the show deals mainly with the big stuff, it’s in a way that will make you feel better.
 
Episode Highlight: Darling, I (Might) (Not) Want To Have Your Baby – With Daisy Buchanan.
 
In the second episode, Nell is joined by friend of SL, broadcaster and author Daisy Buchanan. The two discuss everything, from Daisy's decision to be child free to the emotional intensity of supermarkets and her apparently insatiable appetite. In the same episode, Nell also speaks to Simone Bose, a relationship counsellor at Relate, about how best to talk to the people you love about whether or not you want to have a baby.
 
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Who Do You Think You Are?

Finally, one of the best shows on TV has finally made its way onto the airwaves, too. Lost connections and unfamiliar histories are revealed as celebrities trace their family trees through stories of courage, joy, sacrifice and resilience. Edited from the television programme, if you find yourself with more time on the commute to listen to the podcast version than to sit down and watch the television show, then this one’s for you.
 
Episode Highlight: Davina McCall
 
In this instalment, television presenter Davina McCall delves into her family's past, hoping to learn about her maternal French heritage and a possible link to British royalty. Expect plenty of intriguing and shocking discoveries along the way.
 
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Prison Bag

Billed as a 'family story' – be warned, this podcast is no Enid Blyton tale. As the cell door slams on Josie Bevan's husband – a filmmaker who in 2016 was sentenced to nine years in prison for conspiracy to defraud HMRC – windows open to a community that was previously hidden in plain sight. A frank and unflinching confrontation with the prison system, Josie explains over the course of eleven episodes how the family coped and how they interacted with a system she believes to be fundamentally broken.

Episode Highlight: Kafkaesque

In this third instalment, Josie admits that – for better for worse, for richer for poorer – she still loves her husband despite their family's new predicament. In it she elaborates on what it's like to deal with the separation (she previously describes it as "loving a ghost" in episode two) and how she explains to their children what's really going on.

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Welcome To The OC, B******

If you came of age in the early 2000s, then you were probably addicted to noughties 'dramady' The OC. Running for just four seasons, the show was a cult hit the minute it hit the air in 2003 – launching the careers of Mischa Barton, Adam Brody and Rachel Bilson, among others, along the way. In this new podcast, which only launched at the end of April, Bilson is joined by her co-star Melinda Clarke (Julie Cooper – aka Marissa's mum) to look back and dig into what made the show so successful. A real millennial walk down memory lane.

Episode Highlight: The Pilot with Josh Schwartz

Only one episode of this hot-off-the-press podcast is currently available, but it's an hour and a half of pure nostalgic joy. Melinda and Rachel sit down with the show's creator Josh Schwartz to talk through the origins of the show, including how the pilot got picked up, who he had in mind to play which character and how – at just 26 – he managed to create a world, and a storyline, which gripped millions of viewers week after week. 

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