Psychotherapist Lucy Clyde and writer Becky Howard help us with our mental health post lock-down, we go all the way with Louie Theroux and actor Paul McCann looks into the hidden lives of well known tyrants…….

I know it sounds strange to open the newsletter with this question, but why are we all tired? We haven’t gone out late in the evenings in weeks, we’re not commuting to and from work, we’re not being dragged round to other people’s houses either (unless you’re in a support bubble, in which case congrats). Yet we’re all knackered, constantly. It’s something that neither Bank Holidays or long baths (both of which can be many) seem to fix.

This exhaustion might be circumstantial, such as now having to look after the kids whilst working at home, but I also think that this is down to things we all share: not knowing when the pandemic will be over, not knowing when holidays can work and of course, the relentless news cycle.

So do make sure you spend your time, whilst thinking and working for others, on taking some time out for yourself. How to Cope: Managing Your Mental Health When The World Falls Apart is an interesting new podcast series that talks about some of the feelings we all might be experiencing right now, such as post-lockdown anxiety and coronavirus guilt and how to get through it. It’s presented by psychotherapist Lucy Clyde and writer Becky Howard. 

Tuning out and listening to other podcasts can be a huge help too, and with that in mind here are this week’s recommendations. We’re starting with notable guests to look out for:

Best of the Guests

  • Growing up with Gal-Dem, a podcast about growing up as people of colour (and a podcast that we featured in last week’s newsletter), this week has Michaela Coel as a guest to talk about her new BBC One show I Will Destroy You.
  • Grounded with Louis Theroux has YouTube star and boxer, KSI as a guest this week.
  • Sue Perkins: An Hour or so With… has returned with a new series with beloved agony aunts Joan and Jericha, I mean, Julia Davis and Vicki Pepperdine as her first interviewees.
  • Desert Island Discs has had Money Saving Expert founder Martin Lewis.
  • And good news, a quick teaser suggests that a new series of David Tennant does a Podcast With… appears to be on the way, so now is the perfect time to catch up on the existing episodes.

Here are some podcasts worth listening out for in the next week:

Slay in Your Lane: The Podcast – Elizabeth Uviebinené and Yomi Adegoke have been presenting a consistently engaging series continuing the conversations from their bestselling book with the same name. In one of their most recent episodes, they reflect on the discussions following the Black Lives Matter protests (“It is hard not to be galvanised, but also exhausted” says Adegoke), how social media has reacted and what they think should happen next. “Brands love black culture. They love it,” says Uviebinené. “If you’re going to tweet a black square or tweet Black Lives Matter and how important it is to you, you also have to also acknowledge what is going on in your company. That is the everyday racism that leads to some of the bullshit we see on a global scale.”

“If you have an expectation for your favourite brand to tweet ‘I support Black Lives Matter’ you should have an expectation that they are also writing a letter to their governor, to their MP, to a politician. A tweet doesn’t mean anything to me, from a brand point of view.”

Real Dictators – This new history series looking at the hidden lives of well-known tyrants, hosted by Doctor Who’s Paul McCann, is well worth your time. The first episode looks at how the Kim dynasty came to rule North Korea and how Kim Jong-il ruled a totalitarian regime that pushed millions into severe poverty and malnutrition, whilst he lived in a luxury palace with fine wine and lobster flown in for his dinner.

Experts piece together what we know about him as North Korea’s propaganda machine shields everything we know about his life, even from his birth. According to North Korean officials, Kim Jong-il’s birth coincided with a double rainbow appearing in the sky, a glacier from a nearby mountain cracking and the birth of a new star in the skies above them. And as an adult, Jong-il managed 11 holes in one whilst golfing.

All the Way Theroux – Fan podcasts that intricately analyse each episode of a much loved show work has been a real trend on podcasting in recent weeks. Now there’s this one recapping each of Louis Theroux’s documentaries, beginning with a deep dive into each of his beloved Weird Weekends series. Each episode then has an interview with an expert on the topic. In case you are skimming this, take some time to look back and read the name of the podcast again. What a name.

Recovery by The Anthill – Finally, with lockdown beginning to ease, this hopeful podcast looks back how the world has recovered from major events in history and what lessons we can learn. There’s no Wikipedia entries being read out loud here, just analysis and insight coming from academics who have spent their lives researching these topics. The first two episodes are out, looking at how the world recovered from the Black Death and the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Lisbon in 1755.

And finally congratulations to George the Poet, whose podcast Have You Heard George’s Podcast? (which we featured in the newsletter last week) has won a Peabody, one of the most respected awards in media. And speaking of awards, we’re also looking out for your favourite British podcast of the last year, for the Listeners’ Choice Awards at the British Podcast Awards 2020. All you need to do is head to the British Podcast Awards website and tell us your favourite. All the fun terms and conditions are available on the website, and nominations will close Midday on Monday 6th July 2020. 

And if you’re still trying to find a good podcast to get into, there’s also The Shortlist podcasts hosted by Rihanna Dhillion,featuring new episodes with excerpts from British Podcast Award nominees every weekday.

Thank you so much for reading and see you next Sunday,

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