On November 8, 2016, Donald Trump was elected to be my president. Two days later, my boyfriend broke up with me out of the blue and, to top it all off, the internet in my flat went out the same night.
Having recently moved from Los Angeles to London for university and to be in with my then boyfriend, I was suddenly very alone in a foreign country with a broken heart and no internet. I couldn’t watch the typical breakup films and TV shows that would have distracted me from the pain of abandonment.
In the silence of my flat, my mind would be pulled into thoughts about the deterioration of my relationship how it happened, why I didn’t see it coming, what I might have done wrong. I tried to quiet my brain with Youtube videos of baby animals and Vine compilations, but as a student on a budget there were only so many data add-ons I could afford. To fill my need for constant sound I began bingeing on podcasts.
Listening to podcasts became my form of therapy. On the nights I found myself without plans, I would draw a bath, poor a glass of wine, and binge listen to some of my favorite series.
Here are 5 podcasts that pulled me through the most difficult part of my break up.
The Guilty Feminist
The Guilty Feministhosted by Deborah Frances-White is a staple in my life. It’s hilarious, relatable, and full of feminist wisdom. Each episode is full of anecdotes, advice, and every day guilty feminist confessions.
At the time, my confession would have been, “I’m a feminist, but I would still take back my ex.” But by the end of my ten days of internet darkness, I felt significantly more empowered and self-reliant.
My Dad Wrote A Porno
If you’ve not yet listened to My Dad Wrote a Porno, you’ve not yet truly experienced the full range of your emotions. It’s genuinely the funniest program I’ve had the pleasure of listening to. Hosted by Jamie Morton, James Cooper, and Alice Levine, the show is centered around a series of erotic novels written by Jamie’s dad, Rocky Flintstone. In each episode, the porno posse reads a chapter of Rocky’s series, Belinda Blinked, and the chaos that ensues is the most hilarious filth imaginable.
The series made me laugh in spite of my sadness. Sure, the tears of laughter would sometimes dissolve into sobs, but the smutty words of Rocky Flintstone could always bring me back out of it.
Made of Human
If you’re a human being trying to figure out this thing called life, listen to Made of Human. Comedian Sofie Hagen created the podcast to try to get to the heart of what it means to be human. In each episode, Sofie and a special guest have an in depth conversation about how to live your best life. Her guests have included comedians like Katherine Ryan, Gina Yashere, and Nish Kumar.
Made of Human is funny and insightful. It served as a reminder that most people don’t have it all figured out and that’s perfectly okay.
Witch, Pleaseis an oldie, but a goodie. Co-hosts Hannah McGregor and Marcelle Kosman describe their series as “a fortnightly podcast about the Harry Potter world by two lady scholars.” In each episode, Hannah and Marcelle dissect a different Harry Potter book or film and discuss topics such as gender, class, race, and literary merit. It’s the stuff of a Potter fan’s dreams.
This podcast is magical and wholesome. Listening to it took me back to a time when all I had to worry about in life was getting my hands on the next Harry Potter book.
Sword and Scale
Sword and Scaleis a true-crime podcast that penetrates the world of criminal activity. From murderers to mobsters, this podcast covers a wide range of criminals with uniquely twisted minds. The producers of the podcast weave together interviews, testimonies, and well researched facts to create each episode.
In between comedy and feminist podcasts, I would listen to an episode of Sword and Scale. The podcast tapped into my darker sensibilities, but it also allowed me to transform my negative energy into feelings of empathy for others and a sense of perspective.
I hope you enjoy listening to these podcasts even half as much as I did. Happy bingeing!
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