Taking a Step Back; When to Stop and When to Push Through

Disclaimer: I still haven’t worked it out.

With less than six weeks to go until London Marathon, I have come down with a rather nasty chest infection. However, I expect zero sympathy here, as I very much brought this upon myself – or at least made it worse.

Although I began to feel unwell over a week ago, I took no time off running and instead stubbornly braved Storm Gareth and took on the wind, rain and hail; thus, what started off as a common cold has resulted in me sounding like an 80-year-old chain smoker.

Although I feel fairly vile, I’m still nervous about resting. This is, obviously, really stupid. I will definitely be reducing my mileage this week, but the thought of taking a few days off sets off all kinds of anxiety. Just to reiterate, I know that this is REALLY stupid.

The fact that I’m aware of my own stupidity, whilst still persevering, has forced me to confront some uncomfortable truths as to why I can’t simply take a few rest days like a ‘normal’ person. I would say this is down to three reasons:

  1. Fear of Failure
  2. Escapism
  3. Control

I’m not going to elaborate on either of these points, as I try very hard not to ramble unnecessarily (which is often quite a challenge), but to summarise – I take pride in my persistence, sheer grit and determination. However, I also think that I can take this too far, hence running 12 miles through hail storms on Sunday whilst wheezing and coughing like a mad buffoon!

This morning I set off at 5am to run 10 miles with a friend, who for the record did strongly advise me not to run. By mile 3, I was retching dramatically on the side of the road, and FINALLY concluded that it’s time to take a few days off. Of course, it should never get to the stage where one is making vom stops on the A22 at 5am to come to this realisation!

I think it’s interesting that like a lot of people, I rarely take my own advice. For example, I am currently working from home as I don’t want to infect my colleagues or spread my germs around on public transport, but I am more than happy to force my own body to the point of extreme discomfort…

Knowing when to stop and when to push through is a very important lesson, and one that I definitely need to master. I would love to hear your thoughts on this – how do you know when to take a step back? Is this something that you struggle with?

International Women’s Day 2019

Every year there is the same inevitable and rather tiresome backlash that takes place around International Women’s Day, and this year was no different…

“Why should I celebrate International Women’s Day when there’s no International Men’s Day?!”

Firstly, there is an International Men’s Day, taking place annually on 19th November. The purpose of this day is to raise awareness of men’s well-being and to promote positive male role models. There is a strong focus on mental health problems, toxic masculinity and marginalised groups within men. Celebrated in over 60 countries, I can confirm that this day most definitely exists – and I think it’s a day of great importance.

Secondly, BORE OFF. The original aim of IWD is to celebrate “the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women”. IWD is a day of recognition, support and celebration, and it is essential – whether you agree with it or not.

#BalanceforBetter is the theme for this year’s IWD; to achieve full gender equality for women around the world. This initiative incorporates improving awareness of discrimination, celebrating women’s achievements, and a focus on reducing the pay gap between men and women.

There are, of course, many other issues that are being addressed. However, I wanted to highlight the global gender pay gap, as I have worked with people who have denied its existence. I have also worked with people who feel that because the pay gap is not prominent in their line of work, it’s simply not an issue. No matter how much you try to deny it Hortencia, the gender pay gap is not a mythical unicorn.

The more people that question the importance of the day just proves why we still need it. The gender pay gap has improved ever so slightly, and only six countries in the world provide men and women with equal legal work rights.

We live in a world where women and girls are still denied basic rights. There is so much work to be done, and I think it’s fantastic that IWD highlights this.

HOWEVER…the slight sceptic in me would like to point out that if you truly care about women’s rights, then you should demonstrate this every day as opposed to once per year. I’ve seen some highly questionable posts over the past few days from brands, ‘influencers’ and other individuals. IWD is not about supporting women one day per year, and it’s certainly not about giving or receiving gifts (SORRY, but it makes me feel a little bit queasy that this day is becoming commercialised. I received an email the other day titled ‘Five Budget-Friendly Gifts for International Women’s Day’…seriously?!)

Final thoughts: IWD does not end on March 8th.

The 20-Mile Dread

This Sunday, I will be running the Thames 20; a paced 20-mile race along the River Thames.

Although I have tackled the 20-mile beast previously (plus I took part in the Thames 20 last year), it still fills me with dread, uncertainty, apprehension and all the other bad things.

This doesn’t make a lot of sense, given the fact that I ran 18 miles a couple of days ago and genuinely enjoyed it (apart from the bit where a cyclist simultaneously ROARED and swore at me when I was running along the canal. That was frightening, and I’m still unsure as to why he was so raging – get a grip). However, I know a lot of runners who feel the same way; it seems that many people have a mental hurdle when it comes to tackling the 20-mile distance.

I don’t think it matters how many marathons I run – I say this because I plan to run many more in the future – there will always be a little voice in my head that says ‘of course you can’t run more than 20-miles, you’re not strong enough, you don’t know what you’re doing’ etc. I know this is a very negative and unhealthy thought process, and for that I apologise, but that’s just the honest truth of how my mind works sometimes.

Of course, it’s natural to experience anxiousness around particular workouts or distances. However, I don’t want this to hold me back, and most importantly I don’t want this to sap the fun out of running. I’m keen to run an ultra this year (even though I was recently told by a non-runner that I will be putting myself at risk of hallucinations and potentially DEATH), therefore it’s important that I learn how to shift my mindset.

I have a few mantras, although these seem to be more effective during shorter, faster runs. I’ve created a rather spectacular long run playlist, which definitely helps. I plan out my post-long run meals (plural because there are so many, most of which involve me inhaling copious amounts of sweeeet, delicious, crunchy peanut butter) which ALWAYS helps.

All the above, plus a number of additional techniques, are things that are helpful to me during a long-run. However, it’s the pre-20-mile nerves that I want to focus on, which on this occasion I seem to be experiencing almost a week in advance of the run.

How do you tackle the 20-mile beast, or any distance/workout that you find intimidating? Now, more than ever, your suggestions would be ever so helpful!

Hampton Court Half Marathon and 10 Week Countdown

(As always, this is not a 68,263-word race review – DON’T WORRY).

I entered Hampton Court Half Marathon last minute, due to experiencing extreme FOMO. A brief recap of the race:

Hampton Court Half was a brilliantly organised race and hands down my favourite half marathon thus far. The course was varied and scenic, the pacers were fantastic (shout out to Phil), it was perfect running weather, I nabbed myself a PB and of course, I got to run with some of my favourite people.

My only complaint is that the promised high-quality medal that I was looking forward to (because I am a medal fiend) was of such poor quality that as soon as I put it on, it ripped in half. The same thing happened with my replacement medal, and others were clearly experiencing the same issue as the volunteers began collating a pile of all the broken but beautiful sheeny shiny medals. First world problem’s aside, it was a great morning and two days later I’m still on a post-race highhhh.

With sub 10 weeks to go until London Marathon, I’ve realised that I feel significantly stronger (both mentally and physically) vs. this time last year when training for Brighton Marathon. This will be my third marathon, and something feels different this time.

This is partly down to nutrition and hydration – for the first time, I feel like I’m eating and hydrating properly during my long runs (when I say properly, what I mean is that I’ve finally found what works for me). This will be put to the test next weekend when I run the Thames 20, and there is an 86% chance that I’ll be eating my words/vomiting on a friendly marshal by mile 16.

It’s also down to the simple fact that I’m taking my marathon training a lot more seriously this time around. Instead of scheduling in tempo runs and interval sessions and then deciding seconds before my run that I am ABSOLUTELY NOT capable of running that fast, I’ve just been getting on with it.

However, arguably the most important factor is that I have a stronger support network and am lucky enough to be surrounded by people who will push me when the going gets tough. I believe this is particularly important when it comes to endurance running (which I would class as marathon distance and beyond) when often the struggles can be more mental than physical.

I guess what I’m trying to say, in a long and slightly convoluted manner, is that I’m really excited to run the London Marathon. This is the first time that I’ve truly believed in myself, in terms of my running ability, and despite the ridiculously early starts and dreaded long runs, I’m looking forward to the final 10 weeks of training.

Are you running London? Do you have any tips? (I recently asked someone this and they told me it was the most underwhelming race of their life and that I would probably hate every second of it. If you are going to come up with any similar helpful tips, I would politely ask that you keep your thoughts to yourself. Thank you and goodnight).

Why You Will Never Catch Me Drinking Celery Juice

CELERY JUICE…yet another obscene health craze that has taken over my Instagram feed. I tend to ignore ridiculous diets and alleged superfoods, but upon overhearing a teenage girl on the train proudly stating, “I had celery juice for breakfast and I’m not going to eat until 6pm”, I felt riled up enough to blog about the holy celery.

After carrying out some extensive research, it seems like the supposed benefits of drinking celery juice are as follows:

  • Clears skin and reduces bloating
  • Aids weight loss
  • Great for hydration
  • Acts as an anti-inflammatory
  • Boosts your immune system
  • A useful remedy for mental health problems (?!?!?!)

From speaking to medical professionals, including a friend who is a nutritionist, it appears that celery does indeed have anti-inflammatory properties, therefore could be beneficial for those with digestive issues. Given the fact that celery is 95% water, it goes without saying that it’s hydrating…and the rest is elaborate pseudoscience invented by Anthony William, founder of the celery juice ‘movement’.

William, also known as The Medical Medium, has no medical expertise and is most certainly not a nutritionist. William was ‘born with the unique ability to converse with Spirit of Compassion who provides him with extraordinarily accurate health information that’s often far ahead of its time.’ This is the opening line of his homepage (I wish I was joking) …need I say more?!

Of course, this post is not just about celery, nor is it about the fraud that is Anthony William. It’s about how we, as a society, perceive certain foods and abuse the concept of healthy eating.

I could have picked J.Lo’s recent no sugar & no carbs ‘challenge’ or any of Kim Kardashian’s ridiculous meal replacement shakes. There are hundreds if not thousands of moronic celebrities, irresponsible pseudoscientists and various other ‘experts’ you shouldn’t trust – far too many to name and shame!

I can’t believe we are STILL having this conversation in 2019. There are no miraculous superfoods, there are no healing foods, and celery is certainly not ‘truly the saviour when it comes to chronic illnesses.’

Please don’t take nutrition advice from a man who recommends such bizarre and questionable health solutions.

Please don’t feel that you must drink juiced bitter stalks on an empty stomach and then starve yourself for the rest of the day.

I am, obviously, not a nutritionist or a medical professional. However, one thing I do know is that ultimately, we should be eating for pleasure, thus the conversation I overheard on the train genuinely upset me.

As with all health trends of a similar nature, one must always question the source.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this matter! Equally, I’d love to hear whether anyone genuinely loves the taste of celery sticks smushed together first thing in the morning!

January/Winter Gratitude

I have found January to be a very exciting yet overwhelming month, with starting a new job, marathon training, buying my first little flat (!!!), a variety of volunteering commitments, financial struggles (new flat = permanently in the -£ for the next 86 years), etc.

Like many others, I have found myself counting down the days until January is over and we’re one month closer to spring. However, I also believe that by wishing time away you miss all the great things that are happening right now.

Something that has really helped me over the past couple of months, and in general when I’m feeling overwhelmed, is the five senses mindfulness exercise. This is an exercise that I discovered during CBT, focusing on bringing awareness to each of the five senses (I promise this isn’t as wishy-washy as it sounds).

This exercise involves isolating one sense at a time, essentially allowing you to reconnect to the present. I have a list on my phone that I refer to whenever I feel a bit overwhelmed – this list is too long to share, but here are a few of my favourites: 

Smell

Old books, new books, all the books.

Taste

Sipping a cup of tea. I know I’m supposed to say herbal tea, but that would be a lie – I am, of course, referring to a classic English breakfast.

Sound

Listening to Fleetwood Mac. Obvs. My marathon training playlist is also quite spectacular.

Sight

Experiencing the sunrise on a morning run. Reading screenshots of positive messages sent by friends and family. Looking through photos of inspirational places I have been, or any photos that trigger great memories.

Touch

Taking a warm bath. Spending a couple of minutes stroking a dog/cat/any animal that isn’t a tarantula.

All the above are simple things that I can do to calm my mind. Usually, I will pick one sense and focus solely on that – for me, taste and sight are usually the most effective self-soothing strategies.

I understand that there are many different versions of the five senses mindfulness exercise; this is just what works best for me, and of course, you need to work out what works best for you.

I know a lot of people are feeling a little bit wintered-out (I don’t think that’s a legitimate phrase but urban dictionary says it is soooo that’s that) – so why not give this exercise a go?

Please do let me know if you try this (or if it’s something that you already implement) – I would love to hear what your thoughts are and whether you think this is a helpful tool.

Balancing Marathon Training with Life

As week 4 of marathon training commences, thus the mileage steadily increases, now seems like the perfect time to talk about marathon training vs. life/work/family/social commitments etc.

Here are four things that I implement, or at least try to implement, to help ease the maranoia.

1.Run EARLY

This is stating the obvious, but it’s arguably the most important point.

On weekdays I wake up between 4:30am – 6am (dependent on my schedule for that day), partly because running first thing is my absolute favourite, and partly because often that’s my only available time slot to run. 

I must admit that the early morning runs are more appealing over summer, and sometimes I genuinely resort to slapping myself around the face to force myself to get out of bed. Slapping aside, I know that running always sets a productive and positive tone for the rest of the day, and that alone is all the motivation I need to just get on with it.

2. Meal planning (not meal prep) 

I rarely (i.e. never) meal prep, and I know I knowwww I should. Obviously if you do meal prep then that’s great – but personally, spending a couple of hours on a Sunday to prep my food for the week just doesn’t appeal to me, and there are other things I would rather be doing with that time.

However, I do roughly plan out my meals for the week. I’m a ravenous beast after long runs (to be honest I’m a ravenous beast most of the time) so I find this ever so helpful. 

3. Run-commute

This is something I will be able to do as of March (currently there’s not a shower in the office, so it would be a little unfair to subject my colleagues to the smell of my sweaty self all day!)

I used to run commute for part of the journey when I was working in Central London and it was a GAME CHANGER; raising my energy levels before work, saving some £££, and not being squished up against a commuter’s sweaty armpit on the tube are all huge pros.

4. Don’t be afraid to say no

I am terrible at this and often find myself committing to a million different things because I don’t want to hurt or disappoint anyone. As a consequence, I sometimes end up cutting a long run short, or not being able to focus on a session as in the back of my mind all I’m thinking is “I only have 20 minutes to get to XXX location as soon as this is over”.

Of course, this can and should be applied to all areas of life, not just running. However, I find it particularly challenging when marathon training to juggle all the things that I feel I should be doing.

Sometimes it’s okay to put yourself first and say no – taking care of yourself is NOT selfish.

I want to conclude this post by emphasising the fact that I know I have it easy compared to some. I have friends who have three kids, high pressured jobs (some work multiple jobs) and various other commitments – yet they still make the time to fit in a 20-mile run on a Sunday morning. These people are my inspiration, and if they can do it, I absolutely can do it.

How do you balance marathon training with life? Do you have any tips?

National Running Show 2019

The National Running Show is the UK’s biggest running expo, taking place at the NEC in Birmingham. After hearing great feedback from some friends who attended the 2018 event, I was really keen to get involved this year.

My honest feedback is that it was…okay. Really, really okay. Here’s a little summary below:

The Good

  • There was a superb lineup of speakers including Paula Radcliffe, Jo Pavey and Jenny Baker. I wasn’t aware of Jenny Baker prior to the expo, and hearing about her journey was really inspiring. Paula Radcliffe was a brilliant speaker of course; I was ever so keen to meet her in the VIP area but alas I’m not a VIP, and the queue was far too long.
  • Based on feedback from last years show, the variety of brands was much greater this year (Saucony, Ronhill, On, 2XU, Asics etc.). Most brands were offering some fairly hefty discounts, and I was delighted to finally find a pair of running gloves that are thicker than rice paper.
  • The tickets were very reasonably priced at £10, and like many others, I obtained free tickets through England Athletics.

Andddd, unfortunately, that’s about it for the pros.

The Bad

  • The expo was much smaller than I had anticipated, and the layout felt disjointed, making it difficult to navigate. It would have made more sense to group categories together e.g. a designated space for nutrition, a designated space for interactive activities, a designated retail space and so on.
  • Although there were over 170 brands, I was hoping to see some of the larger retailers such as Adidas, Nike, etc.
  • For the love of all that is holy, BRING SNACKS! The food was very pricy, which was to be expected, but this was ££££££££ (all the dollar bills).
  • Upon casually browsing (stalking) the #runshow19 hashtag from the previous day, it looked like there were some great freebies on offer. In reality, I came away with a small porridge sample and a broken pen.
  • I really, REALLY love running and everything to do with running, but the National Running Show just didn’t do it for me. It felt quite corporate, and there wasn’t much of a buzz. It’s worth highlighting that I attended on Sunday, and it seemed like perhaps Saturday was a better day to go in terms of the general atmosphere and excitement around the show.

Overall, I would give the National Running Show a generous 5.5/10. I would potentially consider going back next year if the organisers pull something spectacular out of the bag. The event needs to be bigger and better – more exhibitors, more relevant exhibitors, more samples and more AMBIENCE (favourite word).

My Thoughts on Veganuary

I’ve read multiple articles recently referring to Veganuary* as ‘the latest trend’, ‘a celebrity fad’, ‘great for a New Year detox’ etc. This irritates me for obvious reasons, and in honour of my fourth year of Veganuary, I felt compelled to delve into this further.

I think Veganuary is a fantastic campaign, and a fantastic charity. We’re all aware that we should be reducing our meat consumption, therefore focusing on more plant-based foods. We know that eating vegan is a great way to address animal welfare and environmental issues (climate change, greenhouse gas emissions and saving water to name a few).

What I do have an issue with is extremist propaganda (ahemmm the What the Health documentary) and the claims that following a plant-based diet will automatically lead to weight loss and a variety of perceived health benefits. I could write a whole post about What the Health**, but I’ll save that for another time!

So, why am I partaking in Veganuary?

I’m not a vegan, but over the past four years I have considerably reduced my animal product consumption; I don’t eat dairy, and in general I eat meat once or twice per week. I say in general because over the Christmas period, I definitely did not adhere to this!

The reasons behind reducing my animal product consumption are predominantly all those that I mentioned above, plus the fact that cutting out dairy has significantly improved my eczema. Also, 95% of my favourite foods are vegan which definitely helps!

I am NOT taking part in Veganuary as a form of ‘cleansing’ or ‘detoxing’ my body, and I don’t approve of Veganuary being labelled a fad regime. Detoxing, of course, is a scam…and it’s a scam which should not be linked to veganism.

To clarify, I’m not claiming that the health benefits of eating vegan are redundant, in fact quite the opposite – the fact that cutting out (some) animal products has improved a skin condition that I have suffered from since birth definitely highlights this! My point is that a vegan meal is not necessarily a healthier option. There are healthy and unhealthy approaches to a vegan diet, just like every. single. other. diet.

There are PLENTY of compelling reasons not to eat animal products but using Veganuary as a ‘detox’ is absolutely not one of them.

*Veganuary is a non-profit organisation encouraging people to follow a vegan diet throughout the month of January.

**What the Health is a Netflix documentary promoting a vegan diet. I’ve watched some compelling documentaries on veganism and vegetarianism, but this documentary is full of inaccuracies, questionable claims and pseudo-science.

2018 Review and Self-Reflection

I’m going to keep this post short and sweet as no doubt you have read 86 million ‘2018 self-reflection’ blogs already!

2018 was a weird but wonderful year, and I wanted to share some of my highlights/poignant moments, because it’s important to celebrate success and not shy away from it.

January

I began training for my second marathon, taking on the Beast of the East and freezing my bojanglies off for 4 months.

February

Perhaps a menial highlight, but I discovered that I really like curry – it’s been pretty life changing!

March

I took part in my first 20-mile race, in which I threw up on someone’s shoes but then proceeded to eat three slices of cake.

April

Putting pen to paper and sharing my thoughts is something I greatly enjoy, therefore after much internal debate I started this blog!

May

A key learning rather than a highlight – DON’T suffer in silence. In May, I confronted my mental health issues after almost a decade of self-denial. Acceptance of this has been an overwhelmingly positive turning point – I may write a separate post about this at a later date.

June

I started running with the 5am club and made some fantastic, inspirational, slightly crazy new friends.

July

I took on the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge, which is something I’ve wanted to do for many years. I’m so up for the National Three Peaks Challenge this summer – is anyone keen?!

August

I quit my job in order to pursue my passion – this was terrifying, but I am so, SO glad that I took the plunge.

September

I took part in the Great North Run, which wasn’t particularly great, but I did run my fastest half marathon with very little training which gave me a much-needed self-confidence boost.

October

I travelled to Malawi to join Dame Kelly Holmes and a team of 20 on the 2018 Orbis Challenge. It’s impossible to sum up this adventure in a couple of sentences… just. incredible.

November

Ahhh, the month of unicorns – I finally got my tattoo cover up and I blooooody love it! (Sorry Dad. Sorry Grandma).

December

I volunteered at Crisis at Christmas, alongside an amazing friend who I met this year. If you’re interested in finding out a little bit more about this, check out my latest post.

To summarise my year…

I realised that health & happiness is all that really matters. I recognised the importance of positive friendships (female friendships in particular) and became more aware of the influence that other people were having on me. I also made a conscious effort to be a little bit kinder to myself.

Before this gets waaaay too deep and meaningful, I’ll simply wish a (slightly belated) happy new year to you all! Thank you ever so much for supporting my blog, and I hope you will continue to read my ramblings in 2019.

Love,

Mell x

Volunteering with Crisis at Christmas

For the second year running, over Christmas, I volunteered at Crisis, a charity which provides immediate help for homeless people over the festive period.

Over the past couple of months, I have been encouraging friends and family to volunteer with me, or at their local centre. There were a few lovely people (thank you!) who got on board straight away, but in general there seems to be a perception that volunteering over the Christmas period is the ultimate act of self-sacrifice. I (obviously) disagree – but I do completely understand why one may choose not to volunteer over the festive period, when time spent with family and loved ones is often rare but golden.

I thought it might be useful to provide a brief summary of my time at Crisis, in the hope that maybe it will convince a few people to sign up in 2019.

What happens during a typical Crisis shift?

Crisis run Christmas centres in 15 locations across the UK, housing more than 4,500 guests over an eight-day period.

As a general volunteer, you can take part in a wide range of tasks including greeting and registering new guests, serving food, helping to run activities, maintaining facilities etc.

If you’ve got a specific skill, the centres offer a variety of services such as hairdressing, dentistry, medical consultations and counselling services.  

I think my most memorable shift was Christmas Eve 2017. I got chatting to a guest, who was training to become a nail technician – he gave me the most in-depth summary of my cuticles I have ever heard (I loved it). This conversation was not particularly poignant – but as it was my first ever shift, it was intensely eye-opening.

Sit and talk to guests, learn from them, deepen your understanding, don’t make assumptions and don’t be ignorant.

What are my reasons for volunteering?

This is an easy question to answer – I simply can’t think of a single reason NOT to volunteer.

Nobody should have to wake up homeless on Christmas Day (or any day!!), and if I can help in any way, no matter how miniscule, then why wouldn’t I?

I also really value meeting people from all walks of lives – this applies to both volunteers and guests – and hearing their unique stories and experiences.

How can you help?

If possible, give time, not money; volunteering is one of the most effective ways to make a valuable impact. Homelessness is on the rise, thus your support is more important than ever.

If you are unable to volunteer at a Crisis centre, there are plenty of other ways you can help!

Have you volunteered with Crisis or any of the other fantastic homeless charities within the UK? If so, I would love to hear about your experiences.

My Top Three Podcasts of 2018

In the listening versus reading debate, I am far more partial to the latter – thus finding a podcast that truly engages me can be quite a task. That being said, there are so many fantastic podcasts out there.

Here are three of the best, in no particular order (that’s a lie as number one is definitely my no. 1).

1.Table Manners with Jessie Ware

This is my absolute favourite.

Table Manners has been described as ‘an ode to food’, which it is, but it’s also so much more. Jessie, along with her mother, Lennie, cooks a three-course meal for their celebrity guest. Whilst each episode is predominantly centred around the guest, what I love most about this podcast is the way Jessie interacts with Lennie – their relationship is so endearing and authentic.

Some highlights include:

  • Mel B
  • Ed Sheeran
  • Paloma Faith

A little suggestion for the next guest – PICK ME. I may not be a celebrity, but I do love delicious food, plus I think we’d have a really great time.

2. The Guilty Feminist

Feminist podcasts are becoming a crowded space, but every single episode of The Guilty Feminist (that I’ve listened to – which is most of them!) has been thought-provoking, humorous, sad and infuriating all at once.

Deborah Frances-White explores a wide range of topics including female friendship, toxic masculinity, diet culture and gender stereotypes. There’s nothing more relatable, and in my opinion, there’s no better podcast that explores the complexities of modern day feminism in an honest but light-hearted manner.

Some highlights include:

  • Feminists Don’t Wear Pink and Other Lies
  • Repeal the Eighth with Helen Linehan
  • Mental Health with Milly Thomas

3. Stuff You Should Know

Hosted by Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant, this podcast is essentially about how things work. This covers politics, sociology, history, current affairs and many other topics.

I have a love/hate relationship with Stuff You Should Know. Josh and Chuck go off on a tangent frequently, and whilst some might view this as authentic (i.e. it sounds natural and conversational), I find it sloppy and irritating. I don’t want to listen to 45 minutes of unengaging banter and inside jokes (sorry Josh and Chuck).

However, I really enjoy learning alllll the things, and this podcast has taught me many things!

Some highlights include:

  • How Grief Works
  • How Search and Rescue Dogs Work
  • How Kleptomania Works

If you have any podcast recommendations, please do let me know!