Podcast episodes & blog posts recommendations – 2019
curated by Fiona Barrows
Owning Our Own Stories | Living Your Truth
A lovely new podcast from Hira Sameer Ahmed about creativity and forging your own path. In this, the first episode, Hira shares her own story, what the phrase ‘living your truth out loud’ means to her, and how it inspired her to create this podcast. I love her belief in the power, for both ourselves and others, in owning our own stories and being who we really are.
Tiffany Francis on nature writing and the important role it plays in our current ecological times | Dialogues with Nature
Dialogues with Nature by Hanna Varga, is another new podcast, and it sits at the fertile intersection between creativity and nature. I particularly enjoyed this conversation with nature writer and illustrator Tiffany Francis about, among other things, how the current surge in nature writing relates to our environmental crisis.
A Cup of Tea with Bella Mackie
While not a typical podcast (you can only listen on the website), I’ve been enjoying these recorded conversations from tea company, Good and Proper. I’m a massive fan of Bella Mackie, and this was a great conversation about mental health and running.
What is wellbeing anyway? | Growthfully
A lovely post from Sarah Layton about that fickle feeling of wellbeing; what it actually is, what it looks like for her personally, and how it can be cultivated through our actions.
Build a better day with Kayte Ferris | Jen Carington
Build a Better Day is a new project from creative coach Jen Carrington, focusing on how we can all make our days work better for us. I particularly enjoyed this interview with Kayte Ferris on how removing the ‘should’ from her days have made them far more enjoyable, and productive.
Five Benefits of a Staycation | Vanilla Papers
Dee might live in Cairo in Egypt, but this post on the benefits of a staycation, not far from your home, is applicable wherever you live. I particularly love her argument that a trip across town, or trying a new restaurant, can give us the same sense of novelty as a full-blown, far-flung, holiday.
Ninebarrow in Dorset | Ramblings
Is there anything nicer than listening to people chatter as they walk? Especially when that person is Clare Balding?! This is a particularly lovely episode with two childhood friends who have formed a folk duo named after a hill in Dorset near where they grew up and now live, Ninebarrow.
Let’s talk about business burnout | Letters From A Hopeful Creative
I was so pleased to see this podcast back in my feed a couple of weeks ago. In this episode Jen and Sara talk about business burnout, and struggling to show up for your business when you are exhausted. They have some great advice, as always!
Slightly Foxed – But Still Desirable | The Slightly Foxed Podcast
I love this podcast from the team behind Slightly Foxed, a magazine for reading non-conformists, for people who love discovering the non-hyped, almost forgotten books that often languish unread on shelves. In this episode they chat with the owner of the world’s oldest antiquarian bookshop, Sotheran’s London.
Slow Living: The Reality | Field and Nest
A fantastic piece from Emma about what her life looks like away from Instagram, and how slow living is so much more than just an aesthetic. It’s a journey, and one with a destination that isn’t reached overnight.
Taking a break and looking inwards | Karolina Koziel
A lovely post about freeing yourself from the shoulds and musts in your head, and coming back to what is important. Karolina also has some great advice on how to understand what it is that is wearing your down, and where to focus your energies.
Natural Cleaning: Lavender Cream Cleaner | Little Birdie
A really simple recipe for a lovely sounding cream cleaner, with none of the hidden-nasties you find in the stuff you buy in the supermarket!
Gabrielle Treanor – Overthinking the past and ‘what-ifing’ the future | Being Heard with Karen Andrews
Gabrielle describes herself as ‘the over-thinkers coach’ and I really enjoyed this conversation between her and Karen. They discuss Gabrielle’s own journey from recognising the need to quieten her own mind, and freeing herself from the weight of over-worrying, to how she now spends less time fretting and more time enjoying her life. A must for any other over-thinkers out there!
Wendell Pierce | Desert Island Discs
One of my favourite ever episodes of Desert Island Discs (and I’ve listened to quite a few of them!). Wendell is an actor (he played Bunk in The Wire, among other roles), who grew up in a recently desecrated New Orleans. He talks movingly about his childhood, advice his father gave him, and Hurricane Katrina, and its devastating aftermath in which he helped to rebuild both his parents house and their community. It was one of the most affecting episodes I’ve listened to, and I can’t recommend it enough.
Can Slow Living Make Us Lonely | The Slow Home Podcast with Brooke Mcalary
As an introvert and someone keen to live a slower life, this episode really resonated with me. Brooke and listener Nancy discuss how they connect with like-minded folk, while still allowing for plenty of, very necessary, alone time.
Simple Beeswax Wraps | Snapdragon Life
I was shocked recently to find out how much these are to buy, and relieved when I found this simple recipe from Jane at Snapdragon Life. They are a great way to reduce your use of plastic in the kitchen, and seem very simple and easy to make.
How to write when you don’t feel like it | A Bookish Baker
I really enjoy Helen’s youtube videos detailing her writing process and planning methods. I found this one particularly useful as it’s a situation I often find myself in! Helen has some really great practical advice, along with some really supportive and encouraging words.
Second-hand clothing in East Africa: What the fast fashion industry doesn’t want you to know | Forage and Sustain
A fantastically detailed post on the realities of recycling clothing and the problems inherent in the system. Deanna Cook, a development professional who spent two years living in Tanzania, has seen first-hand what happens to our second-clothes and the affect they have on the countries they’re dumped on, so if you are still struggling to move away from fast-fashion and ease your guilt by telling yourself that at least you recycle, this might help you to see things differently.
Authors of the National Trust: Agatha Christie at Greenway | The National Trust Podcast
This podcast combines my two favourite things: reading and gardens! I grew up reading Agatha Christie’s Poirot and Miss Marple novels, and I adored this exploration of her peaceful family retreat in Devon, which she called ‘the loveliest place in the whole world’.
Becky Avery, Hazel & Blue | Small and Mighty Conversations
I love this podcast of conversations from Sam Burgess with small business owners, and particularly this episode with Becky from Hazel & Blue, who is featured in The Slow Living Guide. Becky chats about how she grew her business alongside her day-job, and how she made the decision to take the plunge and commit to Hazel & Blue full-time.
Jess Phillips MP | Table Manners with Jessie Ware
This is a brilliant episode of one of my favourite podcasts to listen to while cooking my supper. Jess Philips is on brilliant form, as always, and the conversation goes in all kinds of unexpected directions!
The Stories We Tell Ourselves | Giulia Writes
This is a beautiful piece from Giulia about the stories that we tell ourselves, and how we can get so caught up in them that can we lose sight of who we really are. I also love her prompt to question whether the stories we’re telling ourselves are actually serving the real us.
A Guide to Simplifying Creative Business | Jessica Rose Williams for 91 Magazine
This is a lovely counterbalance to the ‘hustle’ and ‘do-more’ streams of business advice out there. I really love Jessica’s guidance on how to streamline your business, by working out what works for you, focusing on purpose and joy, and carefully allocating your time.
Is your zero waste lifestyle hurting the planet? | Sarah Starrs
I read this post after Dora (@mamoradiary) shared a similar idea on her Instagram page, and then linked to this blog post. I think Sarah explains perfectly how while our individual choices are important, they can also divert our attention away from the things that really matter, and the actions that could have a much more positive impact on the planet.
Why We All Need To Slow Down When We Travel | Women Who Travel
I think most of us have felt the pressure to eat, see and do as much as possible on a trip, and often to the detriment of our enjoyment. This is a great conversation with Erika Owen, the author of “The Art of Flaneuring” and writer Laura Delarato on how and why we all need to slow down a bit when travelling. I love their argument that travel should be an opportunity to remove the noise, not add to it.
Unconditional Self-Acceptance | Courage and Spice
In this solo episode Sas Petherick explores the concept of unconditional self-acceptance, and what it means to fully accept and love ourselves. She examines it’s many benefits, and how we can begin to cultivate it. Essential listening for anyone struggling to accept themselves, just as they are.
Back to Black | Soul Music
Every episode of the beautiful podcast is a gem, but this one in particular moved me to tears. The title track from Amy Winehouse’s second album is one that many people have connected to, and one that has helped people through their own struggles and addictions.
Autumn Spice Biscuits | Harry and Frank
I will be making these super easy but delicious autumnal biscuits this weekend! Perfect for tucking into after a long afternoon walk in the golden countryside.
Another Post About Trees | Mamoradiary
Forest restoration is the best solution to climate change we currently have (aside from stopping the use of fossil fuels) and Dora has some excellent suggestions on how we all can support tree planting.
Creating for Creativity’s Sake | A Little Adventure
I really loved this post from Maria about the joy and value of faffing; of creating something simply for the pleasure of creating it, and not caring what other people might think.
Nikita Gill | Your Booked
In this episode Daisy Buchanan goes to Hampshire, to the home of poet, playwright and teller of stories, Nikita Gill. They talk about fairy tales, Greek mythology, and age-old fear of women who have a voice, and refuse to fit into the boxes society gives them. It includes a discussion of some of my favourite books, including Circe by Madeline Miller and The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter.
Inside One of the Mecca’s of Horticulture: Exploring RHS Wisley | The Plant-Based Podcast
Another new gardening podcast discovery this week! This is a great listen and I love the chat between the two hosts: Michael Perry and Ellen Mary. This episode is on RHS Wisley, a garden I’m desperate to visit. They talk to Peter Goodchild who is the leader of the Alpine team there, about the responsibility of taking care of trees that people travel for miles to visit.
Matchpoint Fabric and Sustainability | Love to Sew
A great conversation about sustainability in the textile industry, and how sewers can have a positive impact on the world. Matchpoint Fabric is a Canadian-based online stores that sources beautiful deadstock fabric and sustainable basics.
Six Writers Share Their Writing Routines and Mindset Tips | Rosie O’Neill
Having a strong, consistent writing routine is one of the most important tools a writer can have. In this lovely collaborative blog post, Rosie asks six writers what theirs looks like, and how they get in the right mindset to write.
Career Fulfilment: Answering the Question of What’s Next? | The Happy Side of 40
This blog post about how the figuring out “what’s next?”, what career fulfilment actually looks like for you, really resonated with me. So much of what’s written online is about about how to make your dreams a reality, yet so many of us don’t actually know what those dreams are.
Anxiety, depression, and how kitting helped slow me down | Josephine Brooks for Laine Magazine
Published on World Mental Health Day last week, Josephine writes about how knitting slows down both her heart and her head. She also explains how having a hobby has helped her reprioritise her life and focus on the things that matter.
Jessie Burton | The Sunday Salon
Having just finished, and adored, Jessie’s latest novel, The Confessions, I was so excited to see her name appear on this, one of my favourite book podcasts. Jessie talks openly about the anxiety and depression she suffered from after her first novel was published, and about her latest novel and where the inspiration for it came from.
Bringing the Outside In (side) | Growing Wild
A new podcast discovery. Loved the conversation in this episode with Pedal People, an amazing charity which takes elderly people with dementia, living in care homes in Brighton, out for adventures on Trishaws, allowing them to once again experience the pleasure of wind in their hair!
Using Patreon for your business with Aja Barber | What She Said
A brilliant conversation between Lucy and Aja Barber, a sustainable fashion consultant and writer about using Patreon for your business, and creating valuable content for it. They also chat about the ethics of Instagram and influencing, and it’s just a lovely conversation between two very inspiring people!
The powerful benefits of plants and herbs in your skincare | Fiona Brannigan | Firain Shop
Fiona is the passionate herbalist behind Miss Bees Balms, and in this guest blog post for the gorgeous Firain shop she talks about the advantages using skincare products made from natural ingredients.
A Guide to Foraging: What it is and how to do it | The Foraged Life
I love Rachel’s description of foraging as a “nature-based treasure hunt”! This is a useful post on how to honour and protect the environment and ecosystems when foraging, and how to keep yourself safe.
In defiance of a room of one’s own | Huma Quereshi, Our Storytime
A beautiful piece from Huma on why she chooses to write in coffee shops, rather than her own home. As she says “some distance from our daily lives in order to write productively is not necessarily a bad thing.”
Lessons Learnt From Taking Time Out | Hashtag Authentic | Sara Tasker
A lovely solo episode from Sara, talking about why she took some time out over the summer, and how resting has revitalised her and her creativity.
Camila Thurlow | How to Fail | Elizabeth Day
As an ex-Love Island contestant, this episode of one of my favourite podcasts is an unlikely recommendation perhaps, but we were blown away by how thoughtful and self-aware she is. Camila talks eloquantly about the pressure we put on ourselves to live up to other people’s expectations of who we are, and the importance of self-kindness.
Why We Sleep With Matthew Walker | Deliciously Ella
A brilliant episode on the underrated importance of sleep, the connection between sleep and our mental and physical health, and how to sleep better.
Anna Jones | Over-baked Squash Risotto
The return of squashes and pumpkins to farm shop shelves are one of the very best things about autumn. This is a delicious sounding recipe from one of the best seasonal cooks out there. I’ll be making it this weekend!
The Next Best Thing | Someday Slower
A beautifully written piece about how we spend so much time searching for the next best thing to buy that we miss out on so many magical moments.
An Ethical and Sustainable Knitwear Directory | Field & Nest
As soon as there is the slightest nip in the air, our thoughts turn to cosy knitwear. This is a fantastic edit of the best ethical and sustainable knitwear brands out there (a Babaa cardigan is currently top of our wish list).