Listen to these laugh-out-loud podcasts, including Friends Will Be Friends, Sentimental Garbage, Daddy Look At Me, Nobody Panic, The Receipts and London, Actually. We guarantee that they will brighten up the darkest times.
It’s fair to say that there are a lot of negative events to navigate right now. What with ongoing Covid concerns, the rising cost of living and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the intensity of the news cycle can be a recipe for anxious thoughts.
Which is why it’s so important to take time for yourself and switch off. Laughter is one of the best forms of medicine for self care: it’s a potent endorphin releaser, it fosters brain connectivity and is even proven to protect your heart.
But where do you find a good laugh these days?
Luckily, there are plenty of very funny women who have excellent podcasts. Best friends Cat Deeley and Edith Bowman, former Stylist cover star Deborah Frances-White and agony aunts Joan and Jericha are just a handful of them. If you’re in need of a big old belly laugh, take a look at the best female-led podcasts out there right now.
Friends Will Be Friends with Cat Deeley and Edith Bowman
If you’re a firm believer that a good group of friends are foundational to a happy life, then you’ll love Cat Deeley and Edith Bowman’s new BBC Sounds podcast Friends Will Be Friends.
In the show, the pair, whose friendship has survived time, distance and working together for 20 years, go on a double date with a well-known personality and their best friend. Each week, they’ll share friendship highs and lows, swap happy memories and exchange funny stories with guests such as Sophie Ellis-Bextor.
Fun, feel-good, and filled with heartwarming stories, this one is like eavesdropping on two best friends having a brilliant catch-up.
Sentimental Garbage describes itself as being “about the culture we love that society can sometimes make us feel ashamed of.” Hosted by Caroline O’Donoghue and featuring the likes of Dolly Alderton and Juno Dawson, guests wax lyrical about the value of their favourite guilty pleasures – from Bridget Jones and Moulin Rouge to Titanic and the word “Like”. Truly funny (and informative) listening for culture vultures who want to deep dive into our most ‘trivial’ but tender obsessions.
Dear Joan & Jericha
Dear Joan & Jericha is the satirical women’s advice podcast by comedians Julia Davis and Vicki Pepperdine. They play Joan Damry and Jericha Domain, two agony aunts and self-professed “everywomen” who “have between them worked in the fields of life coaching, female sexual health, psycho-genital counselling and sports journalism”.
Each episode, the two women read out letters sent in by their “listeners” asking for life advice. Joan and Jerricha’s answers are dark, cruel, sexist – which, weirdly, is what makes them absolutely hilarious.
With Davis and Pepperdine behind the podcast, we’d expect nothing less than a black comedy at its darkest and most delicious.
Following her run at Edinburgh Fringe earlier this year, London Hughes’ To Catch A Dick show is available to watch on Netflix (and we seriously advise you do!). And last year, she launched her own podcast, London, Actually.
Hughes is very much single and on a quest to find a relationship via this “dating podcast with a difference”. She is joined by celebrity friends (Francis Boulle, Phil Wang) to help hook her up, as well as helping single listeners find love too. Her mother is also on hand to dish out relationship advice, and she performs sketches about her “disastrous” dating history.
It’s a must for anyone with RSI from swiping left too much post-lockdown.
No topic or word is off limits on The Receipts. The podcast’s unfiltered discussions and advice on sex and relationships is exactly what gives it such a refreshingly unique selling point.
From dating to race and everyday millennial situations, this is the unadulterated “sisterhood” talk that we need. And, of course, it leads to some frankly hilarious conversations that we feel we’re a part of when listening.
Daddy Look At Me
It takes a certain type of person to work in showbiz, and it’s often clear from a young age that they were destined to end up on stage. Comedians Helen Bauer and Rosie Jones probe their funny peers on the pivotal moments in their early life.
From childhood to romance and everything in between, they want to learn the highs and lows that make it so obvious that this craving for attention ensured their guest was a born entertainer. Past guests have included James Acaster, Joe Lycett, Catherine Bohart and Sophie Duker.
So I Got To Thinking
So I Got To Thinking is the hilarious podcast from bestselling author and journalist Juno Dawson and editor of QX Magazine, Dylan B Jones. Each week, the friends (and “sexperts”) rewatch the classic HBO sitcom Sex And The City and then attempt to answer Carrie Bradshaw’s soul-searching, and occasionally ridiculous, questions for the modern day.
Comedians Stevie Martin and Tessa Coates co-host their much loved podcast, Nobody Panic, a guidebook to being a fully functioning adult without screaming all the time. Expect to laugh and totally relate.
The Guilty Feminist
This list wouldn’t be complete without Deborah Frances-White’s The Guilty Feminist podcast. Its huge success is thanks to Frances-White’s hilarious, insightful and unifying conversations with her incredible guests. With over 240 episodes under its belt, TGF just keeps on getting better.
OK, so Table Manners might predominantly be a foodie podcast, but the sweet relationship between Jessie Ware and her mum, Lennie, creates some seriously funny (and relatable!) moments. Listening to mother and daughter squabble in the kitchen and recall family memories is a pure joy.
Housemates Clancy Ryan and Mel Lowe know first hand that the ‘oh so British!’ mentality of sweeping problems under the rug doesn’t do anyone any good. They’ve hashed out family drama and questioned their gender identity over late night G&Ts, and spent hours putting the world’s wrongs to rights.
Sometimes these conversations can be really tough, so they’ve birthed Open House, a podcast all about having difficult conversations with the hope of dispelling the fear around awkward and confronting situations. And, as we all know, there’s always space for humour in difficult conversations.
Telling Everybody Everything
Anyone who’s watched Katherine Ryan on shows such as 8 Out Of Ten Cats and The Duchess will know that the outspoken comedian never minces her words.
In Telling Everyone Everything, we hear more of her straight talking through candid chats, phone calls, a bit of pettiness and some serious stuff too.
Fortunately With Fi And JaneJane Garvey and Fi Glover have built quite a following with their Radio 4 podcast, Fortunately With Fi And Jane. The hosts take a frank look at life with guests from radio, TV and podcasting, who share stories they probably shouldn’t.
Images: from individual podcasts
Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…