2020 was a strange and challenging year for everyone. Many of us found the monotonous days overwhelming and finding a work-life balance almost impossible as each day blended into one. It also became difficult to try and find time and space to rest and reset mentally. So I started listening to podcasts for a bit of escapism.
Last year was a boom year for podcasts with 850,000 active podcasts and more than 30 million podcast episodes released. Spurred on by people spending more time at home, and having potentially more time to realise longed for projects; podcasts came to lockdown rescue.
I think listening to podcasts is a great relaxation process. It allows me to complete simple activities around the home and gain new perspectives about different subjects. Since starting my podcast listening journey in March 2020, I’ve found four podcast series I love, and I am now a firm fan! They are soul-nourishing, insightful, practical and entertaining.
Here are my top four podcasts for mind relaxation:
1: As The Season Turns by Ffern (a natural fragrance maker based in Somerset) and presented by nature writer Lia Leendertz.
This new podcast, released in 2021, is a monthly podcast released on each month’s first day. Each episode is a guide to what to look out for in the month ahead – from the sky above to the land below. These are beautiful observations of the turning months, delivered in a calming tone, with sounds taken directly from nature including bird song and wellies walking through wet mud. In the first episode ‘January’, we go on a journey discovering the origins and folklore of the name, the moon, tides, and environment changes. This podcast will restore some much-needed equilibrium to your day. As The Season Turns made me fall in love with January, and that takes some doing.
2: Sew Mindful by Jacqui Blakemore.
This heartwarming podcast series shares tips, tricks and expert interviews to tell you everything you need to know to make your own clothes. You might wonder how you can learn to sew from just listening to a podcast, but Jacqui clearly describes the steps you need to take from making your own alternations, and how to select your fabric, to fascinating interviews with other sewers and experts. If you want to revitalise your wardrobe or try and be more sustainable with clothing purchases, this podcast is a gem. Even if you have never sewed before, this is an inspiring podcast to listen to, especially when guests describe their passion for fabric, and creating clothes with their own hands. This podcast inspired me so much I darned my woolly tights!
3: On the Ledge by Jane Perrone.
On The Ledge is a podcast all about indoor gardening. This podcast includes interviews with plant experts tackling specific plant issues, answering questions submitted by listeners with their plant woes, and Jane finds you new plants to grow at home. A great podcast to tune into for the green-fingered among us (and especially those who tend to mysteriously kill houseplants), as well as listeners who enjoy finding out fun facts they can use in the next pub (or zoom) quiz. I am a keen houseplant enthusiast and love this podcast for insights and tips on keeping my calathea alive, as well as finding it relaxing and stress relieving. Perhaps the calmness of plants transcends into audio as well as on the windowsill.
4: A Beautiful Mess by Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman.
Inspired by their home and DIY blog, Elsie and Emma are hugely inspirational and have an intimidating list of achievements to their names, including 7,000 blog posts and four apps. Yet, they are kind, relatable and honest. They share tips and ideas for things to do at home, including recipes and step-by-step tutorials for home decor projects, and crafts. A Beautiful Mess is a great podcast to inspire if you are stuck at home in another lockdown, or feeling creative. This podcast feels like a warm hug on a misty day.
I now listen to podcasts every day, and I can’t believe that I spent so long without them in my life.