Picks of the week
Michelle Obama: The Light Podcast
Audible, episodes weekly from Tuesday
We could all do with some of the formidable former first lady’s words of wisdom being fed into our ears from time to time. These eight recordings of conversations Michelle Obama conducted as part of her most recent book tour for The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times provide exactly that. Speaking to the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King, she serves personal stories to learn from and on-brand platitudes to live by.
Made With Love
Widely available, episodes weekly
Tom Daley, knitting and Shania Twain: you would have to be pretty hard-hearted not to warm to this new podcast. Daley is a gentle and attentive interviewer, inviting inspirational people to discuss their highs and lows. Twain really delivers, talking about problems with her voice, music as therapy and losing her parents.
Drowned: The Flooding of a Village
BBC Sounds, episodes weekly
“Are there uncomfortable truths that are drowned out?” Betsan Powys’s hard-hitting podcast tells the story of Capel Celyn, the Welsh village that was flooded to create a reservoir that would supply Liverpool’s water. She gives a voice to those who were forced out of their homes, as well as two men who set off bombs in protest. HV
Where’s Home Really?
Widely available from today, episodes weekly
In this breezy but insightful series about culture and heritage, British-Nigerian writer Jimi Famurewa (above) talks to guests about the places, tastes and people that give them a sense of belonging. His first episode is a laughter-filled chat with comedian Stephen K Amos about Trevor McDonald, retro stereos and dancing like an uncle. Alexi Duggins
Widely available, three episodes released on Mon, then weekly
Made entirely by young, emerging creatives, this engaging series looks at how they are dealing with the housing crisis. From squats to people living a “vanlife”, it’s an enlightening tour of living arrangements in the shadow of a troubling statistic – charity Crisis reports an 11% rise in homelessness over the last three months. AD
There’s a podcast for that
This week, Ammar Kalia chooses five of the best podcasts to help you get organised, from Gretchen Rubin’s guide to happiness to a manual for minimalist life
Beyond the To-Do List
The first step when it comes to reorganising your life typically consists of working out just what it is that needs doing and in what order, before you can get to the “how” of the matter. If that already feels overwhelming, this long-running show from productivity pro Erik Fisher could be the answer. A departure from the hundreds of “grindset” mentality podcasts, which essentially boast about the levels of productivity you should be achieving, Fisher goes deeper into human psychology to analyse the blocks we might have when sticking with a task. Featured experts provide tips on how to get things done your own way, from journaling to finding a mentor.
Ask a Clean Person
Rather than getting bogged down in the filth of a spring clean, working regular tidying into your daily routine is the answer to keeping the mess at bay and allowing for an organised life, according to cleaning expert Jolie Kerr. There are almost 200 episodes of Kerr’s series on the perfect methods for cleaning everything from bed sheets and bras, to hats, shoes and tote bags. (For more motivation while you clean, Jessica Gutierrez’s Clean With Me takes you step-by-step through different spaces at home, while A Slob Comes Clean sees a self-confessed slacker share tips on getting started).
By the Book
Wellness is big business, and there are experts with opinions on every way to transform your life. Comic Jolenta Greenberg and critic Kristen Meinzer put this ever-expanding glut of advice to the test in their ingenious series, taking a different self-help book to task each week as they try out its methods for improvement. Amid the more unconventional tips – like trying to manifest wealth – there are gems of practical advice to help organise your life for the better, among them the Danish tradition of hygge, which is all about making life more cosy.
Sometimes a radical transformation is the only way to kickstart change. It’s something writers Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus know all about, having preached their gospel of minimalism online since 2010. Advocates of reducing your possessions down to the bare essentials, Millburn and Nicodemus’s ascetic plan is a ruthless way to get your life organised – provided you can avoid the temptation to keep buying. Their podcast, which has been running since 2015, is a more discursive take on the minimalist life, analysing why we keep hold of things and how we can best get rid of the items we no longer need.
Happier with Gretchen Rubin
Ultimately, there might not be much use cleaning, decluttering and getting seriously productive if your newly organised life still leaves you unhappy. For wellness guru Gretchen Rubin, the greatest change of all starts with ourselves, and she has amassed a loyal following with a podcast series that takes a gentle approach to encouraging more joy in our lives. With over 400 episodes to get stuck into, Rubin discusses everything from taking pleasure in work to how to harness our negative emotions. There’s even an episode on the fun in buying ourselves flowers – something for the minimalists to consider …
Why not try …
Espionage, the death of Jamal Khashoggi, and spyware are under the microscope in investigative podcast Shoot the Messenger.
From Amazon’s foray into pharma to disater at WeWork, The Closer examines business deals that changed the world.
An intriguing investigation into women who cheat, and double standards around infidelity, in She Wants More.
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