The best 5 podcasts for the Sunday scaries
The comfort of a good podcast is never more valuable than on a Sunday. Whether your demon is hangover-induced existentialism, or the familiar creep of work-related dread (in millennial speak, the “Sunday Scaries”), it’s worth adding one, or five, to your first aid kit for pre-Monday angst.
Parasocial relationships may get a bad reputation, but gobbling up the juicy morsels of salacious conversations, thoughtful propositions and vulnerable monologues, while remaining compulsorily mute – and should you want to, in a feral bed-ridden state – couldn’t be better when you’re in an end-of-the-week slump.
From culinary voyeurism to best friend chats, here are The Independent’s top picks.
Goes Without Saying
The baby of two Sussex University alumni, Persephone Deacon and Erin Emirali, known to their audience as “Sephy” and “Wing”, Goes Without Saying is a love letter to chaos, laziness, and not quite knowing what you’re doing. As the two zillenial hosts bounce between questioning societal expectations, unpicking the politics of TikTok trends, and grappling with the lower ebbs of mental health (affectionately dubbed “the pits”), episodes are smattered with self-awareness and wit.
With thoughtful vulnerability baked in, along with reliably niche pop culture references, the listening experience is cosy and life-affirming. Recent releases include: “Attachment styles & love languages: a child of divorce starter pack” and “Anti-anxiety reset routines: what doesn’t kill you makes you unstable”.
Even the Made in Chelsea-averse should consider giving this one a go. With two of the show’s former stars, Sophie Habboo and day one cast member Jamie Laing, taking to the mic, the series delves into the quagmire that is relationships – with a focus on the pair’s own. Removed from their reality TV roots, the duo dish out candid insights into their dynamics as a couple, in a meandering and (mostly) light-hearted way.
Laing’s childlike sense of humour is often met by savage retorts from Habboo – with intimate disclosures aplenty from them both. It’s a podcast you might actually laugh out loud at, whether it’s Habboo feigning repulsion at her now-husband’s sexual advances, or Laing’s apparent love of the smell of sewage.
Few podcasts have a wider range of guests. Florence Pugh and Paul Mescal are just two of the zeitgeist’s favourites to have graced presenters Ed Gamble and James Acaster with their presence to talk food. If you’re still not convinced, earlier episodes are peppered with icons such as Louis Theroux, Miriam Margolyes and even Bimini Bon Boulash (Ru Paul’s Drag Race).
An exposé of gastronomic preferences, each episode sees one celebrity guest choose their dream meal – including a pudding, side and drink – with subsequent commentary from comedians-cum-hosts, Gamble and Acaster. Though Yotam Ottolenghi is among a number of chefs who have made an appearance, it’s not a “foodie” podcast in any puritan sense – primarily thanks to the hosting pair, whose infectious chemistry is this pod’s secret ingredient.
Brown Girls Do It Too
With this podcast, currently in its fourth series, Poppy Jay and Rubina Pabani give big sister energy as they put the spotlight on the sex lives of British Asian women. No stone is left unturned as the duo chat about sex toys, shaving, and the full spectrum of bedroom antics. Amid dissections of personal experiences, the pair interweave down to earth commentary on the politics of our preferences, fantasies and dating lives generally.
On the agenda are labiaplasties, the contraception gender gap, internalised misogyny and so-called “race traitors”. With a star-studded cast of Asian guest speakers, from therapist Lehani Noor to art critic Zarina Muhammed, you’re guaranteed to learn something, whether it’s the pair’s thoughts on “masculine energy” and lad culture, or how sex informs art.
The Receipts takes parasocial to the next level. If you want to feel immersed in the raucous comfort of a group chat between close friends, look no further. Hosted by Tolani Shoneye, Audrey Indome and Milena Sanchez, the trio record weekly “Your Receipts” podcasts where they discuss listeners’ relationship dilemmas with unrestrained candour, while regular episodes dive into talking points spanning kink shaming, polyamory, blackfishing, and inceldom.
Frank but vibrant, each topic is met with unbridled honesty as the three share their unfiltered, and often different perspectives. A rollercoaster ride through pop culture news, personal boundaries and feminist hot takes, there’s an episode here for every kind of Sunday.