podcasts for the recently single
You've had the summer of love, roll on the autumn of breakups. Fear not, we’re here with seven podcasts for the recently single.
After you've been dumped, turning on the radio can be like courting emotional disaster: RSPCA adverts, love songs, the shipping report, inane chitter chatter, traffic updates... they're all potential triggers. But, really, the lonely bleat of the microwave thawing your romantic meal for one can't be the only soundtrack to your new life. And anyway, summer's over and this time of year practically everyone you know can now be filed into "dumpee" or "dumped" categories.
It's time to recoup. Be the fresh tiny conker hatching out of its thorny fleshy shell and smell that autumn air. Yes, breakups suck. But as someone a lot wiser than me once tweeted, there is much consolation in art. So get ready to curate your cultural intake to avoid impromptu break downs on the tube. To aid your recovery we've collated an edit of the best post-breakup podcasts to download now, that'll leave you feeling positive about your new lease of freedom. Yes, you are a conker, and you are now free.
1. Modern Love
Week one. Self indulgence. Ok, so you're allowed about a week of moping in your own squalor. Modern Love sometimes tips into the sentimental, but if like me you just like watching X Factor for the sob stories, pull up a bean bag and get a hot cup of Horlicks brewing. An oral translation of The New York Times column of the same name, host Meghna Chakrabarti is the guide to this series which sees minor celebs, actors and A-listers reading true stories about the highs and lows of love in modern times. The one with Colin Farrell, A Heart Outrun is appropriately melancholy and his Irish grumble is very soothing. Set yourself a quota and be strict thereafter.
2. Shots of Tequila
It's week two, you've done a 180, your tear-soaked pillow is now only slightly damp, and you feel like going out. Not for the fainthearted, 3 Shots of Tequila, hosted by Keith Dube, Marvin Abbey and Tazer Black is unique in its unabridged raucousness. It's very refreshing to hear three Black British men talk candidly about mental health, money, careers and always, always romance. Warning: it's not sugar-coated. More like barging in on your brother and his mates discussing last night's antics than a therapy session, it is however, spirited, hilarious and brutally honest. Plus, deep down, the boys are really a lot softer than any bravado might suggest and the best moments often happen after their listener-lead dilemma moments, where the threesome thoughtfully unpick real people's troubles with deft sensitivity. Plus you'll be stifling laughter not tears on the bus to work.
3. Love + Radio
Week three. The relapse. By this point, you've forgotten about all their disgusting habits and the fact that his/her mum is pro-life, and you really, really just want him/her back. But cast those thoughts aside and download an episode of Love + Radio stat, to remind you about what freaks we all are deep down and that solitary living is probably for the best.
"No matter how shitty your breakup was, you probably don't feel sexually attracted to your son and you're probably not married to a rubber doll."
"From PRX's Radiotopia..." said in a nasal New York honk comes… "Love + Radio." A self-professed weirdo of a podcast, that the relatively dull artwork does not fully prepare you for. It's a veritable treasure chest of bizarre, perverse, obscene and sublime tales. No matter how shitty your breakup was, you probably don't feel sexually attracted to your son, you're probably not married to a rubber doll and it's quite unlikely that you make your living by blackmailing potential pedophiles on Facebook messenger. In the words of our favourite podcast host, Ira Glass, "It [Love + Radio] has some of the most emotionally complicated stories and portraits of people that anyone is doing anywhere." Utterly gripping and totally fascinating and most importantly, distracting.
4. My Dad Wrote A Porno
Week four. You've got your sense of humour back but you're still stalking your ex online. You've attempted to masturbate about someone else but failed. Look no further than My Dad Wrote A Porno. If you're not already listening to this cult podcast, then why not? In short, it's basically just presenter Jamie Morton reading aloud a dirty novel to his two mates, the author of which is his very own flesh and blood father (pen name: Rocky Flintstone). To add insult to injury: it's a terrible piece of erotic fiction; it's one of six books; it's full title is, Belinda Blinked; 1 A modern story of sex, erotica and passion; and it's the most long-winded, libido-killing story of "how the sexiest sales girl in business earns her huge bonus by being the best at removing her high heels". The labyrinthine and jumpy narrative sort of follows our heroine Belinda Blumenthalm, as she traverses the sexy world of sales and marketing as the newly employed Worldwide Sales Director of the fictional company Steeles Pots and Pans. Belinda's story is nothing short of a literary prophylactic, so for those looking to douse out embers of desire that might be lingering on, this one's a must.
5. Savage Lovecast
Week five. You're forgetting what their voice sounds like and you have a new crush. Yay, it's time to download Savage Lovecast. Straight, bi, gay, trans, kinky -- however you identify, Dan Savage has solid as oak, impartial and free advice for you and your romantic life. Dan has always made it his mission to talk more earnestly about relationships that don't fall under the heteronormative umbrella. His podcast sees people call in for advice in regards to their less than ordinary problems.
"There's the episode where Dan talked a straight woman through a gay three-way and the other one where he's reasoning with the pastor who's worried about being caught watching pornography."
There's the episode where Dan teaches us all to have better sex in the doggy position, or the one where he talked a straight woman through a gay three-way and the other one where he's reasoning with the pastor who's worried about being caught watching pornography. Beyond being somewhat practical and always educational, Dan's most prominent theory -- "monogamish", the idea that there are virtues to infidelity and that we shouldn't strive for monogamy because it doesn't make most of us happy -- is extremely helpful for those looking to move on, because it helps make sense of things coming to a close. If it's broke, don't bother fixin' it.
6. Death, Sex and Money
Week six. You're going on a second date with an ok person from a dating app, and, secretly quite enjoying it. Your podcast choice should follow accordingly. Now that you're not bringing every interaction you have back to a boring anecdote about you and your ex, why not give Death, Sex and Money a whirl? Hosted by Anna Sale, the show looks to address the big, hard, expensive questions we all too often dodge. From Hurricane Katrina, to grief and sobriety, this podcast should help shove your menial breakup into perspective, and at least give you good chat for date number three.
7. Fresh Air
Week seven. You've got a new regular drinking spot, you've got a gym membership and you've just started a ceramics course. You're in recovery. Time to welcome Terry Gross into your new life. Terry, host of Fresh Air, is the consummate academic and interviewer who makes asking cultural icons tough questions easy. She's been interviewing people for three decades and Fresh Air is NPR's (America's largest radio broadcaster) most downloaded podcast. In fact, Terry was awarded the National Humanities Medal from President Barack Obama last year. Zing. Suggested listening: her Aziz Ansari interview about his Netflix series Master of None; her interview with British author Zadie Smith around her most recent novel Swing Time and the Sacha Baron Cohen one…You now have 100 more conversation starters, ice-breakers and references than you did just under two months ago.
Go get 'em tiger.