As the new decade and year really get into full swing (January was just a trial month, yes?), it’s got me thinking about some of my favourite discoveries of the last decade. 2019 was the year I really discovered the world of podcasts – what rock had I been hiding under? My trusty Podbean app has become a constant companion, whether I’m looking for entertainment, news and current affairs, business inspiration or an easy laugh.

Stay informed (or at least sound informed)

If you’re anything like me, your time for media consumption is pretty limited. As much as I’d love to sit down and watch the 7pm news every night, it rarely ever happens. Same goes with reading a newspaper, or even checking-in on my ABC News app. Enter The Squiz – this daily podcast and email is a round-up of the latest news from Australia and the world: short, informative and easy to digest. They also have Squiz Shortcuts delving into current issues of the day so you can be informed – think Corona Virus, the Trump impeachment, Brexit and Julian Assange. For time-poor folk, The Squiz is an excellent resource. I’m hooked.

Down to business

As a copywriter working for myself, and mainly from home, work days can be pretty isolating (unless you count the small humans who are sometimes here ‘helping’). Enter, the Hot Copy podcast by excellent humans Kate Toon and Belinda Weaver. It’s full of practical copywriting tips, inspiring interviews and general great advice when it comes to running a small business. Kind of like having really awesome and knowledgable co-workers in your ears.

Freelance life with kids in the mix is a growing trend, and the Doing It For The Kids podcast answers the kinds of questions us parent freelancers face daily. Questions like “how to work when the kids are sick (again)?” and “how do I adjust to working in only school hours?”. Adorable hosts Steve and Frankie are always open, honest and entertaining. The advice is pragmatic and the banter is hilarious. Give it a go.

A little something for the ladies

Ladies, We Need to Talk is a podcast for women, by women, covering ‘taboo’ topics in a refreshing way. Yumi Stynes hosts the podcast in a way which is relatable and engaging, whether talking about the patriarchy of poo, body image, perimenopause or pelvic floors. If you’re a woman, give it a listen. If you’re a man, it might just help you understand the women in your life a little better.

Feminism can sometimes feel a loaded word, and even with the best intentions we might wonder if we’re doing it ‘right’. The Guilty Feminist podcast is a live comedy show hosted by awesome Aussie Deborah Frances-White, in which she and her wonderful guests pick-apart how we live as feminists in this modern world. And why it’s OK to be a feminist, but also have a few guilty secrets. If you’re listening to this one in public, be warned: you WILL laugh out loud.

Thinking time

Freakonomics made waves when it was first published in 2005 – economist Steven D. Levitt went rogue and uncovered ‘the hidden side of everything’. What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common? Why do drug dealers still live with their mums? How much do parents really matter? How did the legalisation of abortion affect the rate of violent crime? Freakonomics Radio is a podcast uncovering the answers to equally interesting and unexpected questions.

If you haven’t had the pleasure of listening to Esther Perel’s dulcet tones, then you’re in for a treat. Where Should We Begin? is a podcast about relationships, hosted by iconic couples therapist Esther Perel. Each episode is a session with a different couple, in which Esther helps them delve into the causes of their problems, and offers real solutions. An addictive insight into human relationships, although sometimes it’s quite a brutal listen. Esther also has a new podcast which I’m about to start listening to – How’s Work? – uncovering the dynamics of our work relationships. Interesting stuff.

The ultimate unwind

Sometimes I just want a bit of escapism in my ears, a chance to unwind and escape the daily grind. The Open Ears Project is a love-letter to music – in each episode a person talks about their favourite piece of classical music and why they love it. A mix of artists, celebrities, teachers and thinkers are featured, and even if you think you don’t love classical music, you’re sure to discover a few favourites. At times emotional, at others completely uplifting.

Do you listen to podcasts? I’d love to hear your recommendations – comment below or get in touch. I’m looking forward to discovering some new gems in 2020.

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