A pod for your bubble?

SES, 27 April 2020

Five great self-isolating podcast recommendations

These last few weeks have certainly allowed some of us time to explore new things. One relaxing pastime has been with the discovery of some great podcasts. Here are some of our recommendations…

If you’re a first time podcast listener it’s easy to get into. With a smart phone you can download or stream them via an easy-to-use app like Spotify, Apple Podcasts or Stitcher. It’s also worth checking out the Radio New Zealand app, where a huge range of quality homegrown content delivers plenty of laughs, inspiration and enlightenment.

Once you’ve got them ready to go you’ll probably have plenty of opportunities to stat in over the coming weeks. During these times a friendly voice or two in your ear while gardening or out on a walk is always appealing.

  1. Invisibilia

 In the United States, NPR (National Public Radio) provides a wide range of interesting shows. NPR’s Invisibilia show delves into the “unseeable forces control human behavior and shape our ideas, beliefs, and assumptions” with a strong emphasis on engaging storytelling. It’s an immersive way to learn about how and why people act. Other great podcasts include Hidden Brain and Pop Culture Happy Hour.

  1. Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend

There is a heck of a lot of celebrity interview podcasts out there (who would have thought that stars like to talk about themselves?). With everyone sharing their lives and interviewing others, from Ricky Gervais to Snoop Dogg, RuPaul to Gwyneth Paltrow, it can be hard to choose where to start. We recommend Conan O’Brien. His funny, irreverent and meandering show involves him interviewing the famous and interesting with the goal (kind of) to make more friends.


  1. No Such Thing as a Fish 

This British podcast phenomenon has its origins in the popular television show, QI, where the writers all met. The four members of the team take turns introducing a bizarre fact they’ve unearthed during the week, sparking hilarious, occasionally risque, discussion and debate.

Never meeting a tangent they’re not prepared to travel down, the team rolls out everything from ninja costumes to Chernobyl vacuum cleaners to, yes, why some scientists believe there really is no such thing as a fish. A recent episode, “No Such Thing As Panic Buying Frankincense”, will certainly be worth a listen!

  1. Dietary Requirements

After a New Zealand podcast? We’re happy to say that you’ll be spoilt for choice. There is a huge range of local voices telling interesting stories on a number of platforms. You’ll find them on the websites of Radio New Zealand, The Spinoff, stuff.co.nz and The Herald, just to name a few.

So too do these podcasts cover ever facet of life. From true crime to business to politics to science to comedy, you’re bound to discover something to suit your taste. We’re recommending Dietary Requirements, a great cooking podcast sharing the love of food and providing great tips for burgeoning Kiwi home chefs. After a month of cooking at home there’s still time to improve your skills!


  1. Dolly Parton’s America

She’s not just the genius behind such hits as 9 to 5, Jolene and I Will Always Love You. Dolly Parton is also an author, actress, philanthropist and so much more. Now the renaissance of Dolly Parton continues to grow and grow, with a Netflix documentary and a series inspired by her songs.

This nine-part podcast, named after a history course at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, explains why Americans of all ages, political ideologies, ethnicities and socio-economic backgrounds can agree: Dolly tells their story.