• Ellen Cresswell

My favourite podcasts

Updated: Jun 8, 2020

If 2020 is the Year of the Rat under the Chinese Horoscope, then I declare 2019 was the year of the podcast.

I listen to so many that I’m re-considering my paid subscription to Spotify because I rarely listen to music. I also love that podcasts have returned to the value of the spoken word to those of us who exist in a fast-paced digital world.

So here’s a list of my favourite podcasts which cover topics from tech and society to happiness and diversity. I hope you enjoy them and would love to hear about any of your favourite podcasts.

1. Recode decode

Kara Swisher is one of Silicon Valley’s most accomplished and respected journalists. She interviews senior execs (Zuckerberg, Musk etc), celebs (Megan Rapinoe, Hillary Clinton etc) and others about how technology is changing our world. Swisher brings much-needed critical thinking to the social and economic impacts of tech on society and is particularly scathing of Facebook’s stance on political advertising and privacy. Adweek voted this 2019's podcast of the year.

2. Pivot

Co-hosted by Recode’s Swisher and New York University professor Scott Galloway, Pivot interrogates how tech is shaping business, culture, politics, media and more. Galloway is equal parts mad scientist and absolute genius. He’s a marketing guru and advises some of the world’s biggest investors on tech trends and the market. He was one of the first commentators to call out WeWork as smoke and mirrors, and that episode makes for particularly entertaining listening.

3. Voices of Value

High achievers and good mates, Rik Rushton, author and performance coach, and Peter Kakos, auctioneering champion and real estate agent, interview a fascinating cross-section of people. The podcast shares simple, easy to adopt life lessons in the search for “truth, justice and the value-added way”. Rik and Peter are Melbourne-based so be prepared for a lot of comments about footy and horse racing. The episode with former football champion and mental health advocate Wayne Schwass moved me to tears while I was driving home. This is powerful stuff.

4. The You Project

The tagline of host, author and motivational speaker Craig Harper is “keeping sh*t real”. Harper talks to his guests about personal and professional development. Every episode is peppered with valuable lessons that apply to life, love and work. He’s not afraid to drop the F bomb either. You’ve been warned.

5. Eat sleep work repeat

Tech executive Bruce Daisley wrote The Joy of Work and speaks with great passion and knowledge on how to make work better, using evidence and facts rather than bias and opinions. Daisley interviews experts from all walks of life to get to the bottom of how we can improve our jobs. And in his latest episode, he interviews my former colleague and co-author of The Squiggly Career, Sarah Ellis.

6. A Podcast of One’s Own

Former prime minister Julia Gillard is chair of the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership at London’s Kings College. In this capacity, she interviews well-known female leaders to share lessons from their journeys to champion women and diversity, in the workplace.

7. Chat 10 Look 3

Two of Australia’s top journalists, Annabel Crabb and Leigh Sales basically have a chat about life and share their conversation in a podcast. Each episode could cover any topic, but recurring themes are books, cooking and what they’re watching. I love this because it’s always interesting, often surprising and usually sounds like the type of conversation I have with my friends after a wine or three.

8. Happy Place

British media personality and fashion icon Fearne Cotton has a podcast with a range of people that has produce a collection of discussions about things that make her happy. Food, mindfulness and family all feature.

9. Here’s the thing

I could listen to Alec Baldwin read the White Pages. His deep, dulcet tones are incredibly soothing. And he has access to an incredible range of interview subjects, from actors and politicians to musicians and business people. My favourite episode is an interview with the founders of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.