From The Straits Times    |

Really good podcasts tell you fascinating stories, teach you something useful, make you laugh, and help you become better at finances, sex or work. The best ones are hosted by women who make all these subjects real and relatable.

Here are some of our recent faves.


Photo: Instagram / @IamCattSadler

Host Catt Sadler makes her guests get naked before the interview in her bedroom begins. Well, not quite starkers, but the female celebs have to remove an article of something, as a symbolic act of becoming more exposed and vulnerable: Jennifer Lawrence took her bra off; Olivia Munn her earrings. What proceeds in the next hour are revealing interviews where the ex-E! News TV host assuredly gets her guests to speak candidly and intimately about their lives – basically letting it all hang out.

“It’s about really going there about the deep things and the fun things, and not censoring yourself,” Sadler says. The empowering and revealing podcast (and her many current film and TV projects) came about after Catt quit E! News to protest her pay gap. It’s all turned out well for her now, especially when you can call on other celeb friends like reporter Lisa Ling, Munn and Lawrence to help you lean in.


Photo: Instagram / @ttfapodcast

Host Nora McInerny’s take is that it’s okay to not be fine. Life is messy and filled with struggles and pain, and through interviews and stories, she deals with people’s issues with humour and humanity. Sixty minutes of her soothing manner will make you’ll realise that, yeah, it’s okay to feel terrible.

She should know: she lost her unborn child, father, and husband all within weeks of each other, and understands that to cope, one has to accept our anger, discomfort and pain to move on.


Photo: Instagram / @stuffmomnevertoldyou

Hosts Bridget Todd and Anney Reese keep it real with a show about issues that involve women, stuff like momma’s boy, body positivity spray tan politics, or even why women’s pockets are so so small.

On the ‘Daddy’s Girl’ episode, they come at it through in-depth research and explore the dynamics of father-daughter issues. You can follow it up with the “Dutiful Daughter” episode, about the cost of caring for ageing parents.


Photo: Instagram / @forever35podcast

Friends and authors Kate Spencer and Doree Shafrir (both beauty-product-obsessed) bring a relatable touch to self-care through answering calls from viewers, reviews and interviews with authors and KOIs. From masking to recipes to night creams to caffeine detox, they deal all manner of wellness and beauty issues that affect women, and what it means to grow older and wiser.

An episode would include discussions on buying secondhand clothes, childhood hobbies, breaking up with twitter plus an interview with a sex therapist.

There’s also something new to learn and feel good about.


Photo: Instagram / @paulapant

Paula Pant is an authoritative, journalistic voice who guides you through all financial matters that you, as a grown-up, should be aware of. Episodes include in-depth discussions on how much you can spend in retirement, how to become a millionaire on a teacher’s salary,  the seven stages of financial independence.

Pant, an expert in saving, had owned eight homes by the time she was 34 years old, so it’s good to hear it from someone who did not start out with Trumpian advantages. Just remember, she advises, every decision is a trade-off against another choice – so what are you willing to sacrifice?


Photo: Instagram / @justbobbibrown

The legendary makeup artist launched this podcast after leaving her cosmetic brand. The business was a success, a testament to her acumen, but it turns out this beauty guru had two other significant assets: a real knack for interviewing, and also an A-list contact sheet.

Put that together, and you get a business podcast with insights from Jason Wu, chef and TV host Rocco Dispirito and Sex and The City creator Candace Bushnell.


Photo: Instagram / @99percentinvisible

This limited six-part series looks at fashion from a unique perspective. Forgot the interviews with designers or branding gurus, ‘Articles of Interest’ is a deep dive into the history of what you wear (the major difference between denim and blue jeans) and its origins story.

Yes, it’s the superhero story, but about fashion (the punk style and Hawaiian shirt episodes are way fascinating). It’s hosted by Avery Trufelman, the producer of 99% Invisible podcast, and you don’t have to be a fashion obsessive to enjoy these fun stories.


Photo: Instagram / @shamelesssexpodcast

Amy Baldwin is a sex and relationship coach, and co-host April Lampert has been educating people about sexual pleasure, health and wellness for over a decade.

Together they promote shame-free, pleasure-focused sexuality education on their podcast through discussions about partners, sex toys, intimate connections and sexual empowerment. The talk is unabashed with a playful twist; they tell it like it is and you’ll be better for it.


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