When I’m not reading, I listen to podcasts. I have issues with full length audiobooks, so my podcast choices tend to be conversations and discussions. Also I am too lazy (and behind the curve as far as cool new music is concerned) to keep up an interesting music playlist on my device, so it’s pretty much Lady Gaga and Lana del Rey from a million years ago paired with a selection of podcasts.
When I’m on board public transport I like to isolate myself from the world with headphones (I like to kick it old skool and don’t have those wireless things that kids these days have), and also when I’m walking around in a park or such where it’s not excessively noisy, podcasts come in handy.
Herewith a list of some of my favourites for inspiration. There are lots of extremely interesting current affairs podcasts, but I’m leaving them out because while I do listen to them on occasion, I get an overdose of politics and current affairs at work, so I have no particular urge to immerse in them in my free time whenever I feel like winding down.
I like Breaking Beauty because they have seriously high-level names as guests – founders of the most hip and happening cosmetics brands are frequent features (Glossier, Jen Atkin of Ouai, Tata Harper, Kirsten Kjaer Weis, Bobbi Brown, RMS, Deciem & The Ordinary (RIP Brendan), Drunk Elephant, they are all there). Podcast is hosted by two long-time American beauty editors Jill Dunn and Carlene Higgins. New episode twice a week.
Pardon My French
French Garance Doré‘s podcast, normally in English (but her recent episode with Perla Servan-Schreiber is in French and I much recommend it. Google Servan-Schreiber for inspiration). Topics range from entrepreneurship to creativity to wellness. Episodes come out rather infrequently, though there’s a shorter version “Carte Blanche” that comes out more often.
The episodes with Gwyneth Paltrow herself are the ones worth listening to, because she’s the one who gets the most high profile guests in. I liked the talks with Brene Brown, Stella McCartney and Sarah Jessica Parker. Then there’s of course a lot of stuff about healing illnesses with crystals and such crap, but there’s obviously no need to listen to them. Also there’s now a spinoff Goop podcast for men, and, um, it’s called The Goop Fellas.
Yes. The Goop Fellas.
The Business of Fashion
Offers a more business-side of fashion (duh) with high-level guests such as Serena Williams and, again, Stella McCartney. The latter has been recently been talking a lot about fashion and climate change (McCartney launched the UN Charter for Sustainable Fashion at the Climate Conference COP24 last year). Her recent talk on BoF-podcast about this topic is very inspiring.
The New Yorker Writer’s Voice
The New Yorker has about million different podcasts, but I like Writer’s Voice best. In the episodes authors read shortish stories (30-40 minutes). The New Yorker of course have the luxury to have the most happening contemporary authors come in, such as Sally Rooney, Zadie Smith and pretty much anyone who’s anyone, so there’s plenty of choice.
The Guilty Feminist
A British podcast by Deborah Frances-White is hilarious, as is her book Guilty Feminist (based on the podcast-fame). Comes out at least once a week, has interesting guests, is entertaining and thoughtful and very funny.
La Poudre and Chiffonlepodcast
Yes! People do this stuff also in French. Whenever I want to feel extremely smug about myself, I listen to podcasts in French. La Poudre is hosted by Lauren Bastide, a journalist and feminist activist, who has all kinds of cool folk (Julie Gayet, Anne Hidalgo, Leïla Slimani) join in intimate conversations with her about a range of topics from sexuality to literature to politics. Some episodes are dubbed into English.
In Chiffonlepodcast journalist Valérie Tribes hosts conversations about people’s relationships with fashion and clothing, again with high-octane Frenchies (Anna Dello Russo (OK she’s actually Italian and oversees Vogue Japan), Inès de la Fressange, Mireille Dumas etc). New episode out once a week.
I have a complicated relationship with Ferriss. He’s the bestselling author of several self-help-y books about habits of “the titans”, for which he is particularly famous for – basically the book is about sharing the habits of highly successful and effective people. I listened to his podcast episode which focused on this, with several (male) guests sharing their morning routines which ranged from waking up at 5a.m. to eat half a kilo of raw minced meat followed by U.S. Navy Seals workout routine on the beach to visualising the enemy the second you open your eyes in the morning. Given that my daily routine is limited to exactly one habit, which is crawling to my coffee place in the morning for a caffeine fix and a piece of greasy French pastry, this episode did not resonate.
In all fairness Ferriss has done a ton of talks with lots of interesting people – men and women – so it’s not fair to judge based on one episode. He’s the advocate of 4-day work week, and much of his topics evolve around work-life and personal development. Have a look.