Best podcasts of the week: The cyberstalker who terrorised dozens of women over a decade

·4-min read
<span>Photograph: Dmytro Betsenko/Alamy</span>
Photograph: Dmytro Betsenko/Alamy

Picks of the week

Can I Tell You a Secret?
Widely available, all episodes available from Fri
“We’ve had people round with guns, knives looking for him. It was like a living nightmare.” So begins journalist Sirin Kale’s six-part Guardian true-crime tale about Matthew Hardy, who spent more than a decade stalking women online. Kale talks to victims, Hardy’s ex-neighbours and those who know him, creating a gripping series that’s a vivid human portrait of those affected – and a fascinating tale of what might cause such behaviour. Alexi Duggins

Hoaxed
Widely available, episodes weekly

“If it was up to me, this story would never have been made public.” So goes the intro to this troubling look at conspiracy theories, which is Tortoise’s follow-up to Sweet Bobby – voted 2021’s best podcast by the Guardian. It’s intelligent, compelling and measured, following two Hampstead children’s fictional claims that they were victims of a satanic paedophile cult. AD

America’s Dead
Widely available, all episodes out now
Host Emmett Malloy describes the Grateful Dead as “a truly American experiment” while looking at how the band is still shaping lives 50 years on. Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig is first up to explain the musical magic, while mushroom expert Paul Stamets offers a different perspective. Hannah Verdier

Death of an Artist
Widely available, episodes weekly

Artist Ana Mendieta died after falling out of the window of her sculptor husband Carl Andre’s 34th floor apartment in 1985. He was charged then acquitted of his wife’s murder. Today, the art world is still split over what happened. Art insider Helen Molesworth unpicks the case. Hollie Richardson

The Rewatcher: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Wondery, episodes weekly from Monday

Ash Kelley was too young to watch 90s vampire standard Buffy, but Alaina Urquhart is a superfan. Now the niece and aunt are viewing it together. The 25-year-old show still stirs up strong emotions for fans, but will Kelley spot any problems through today’s lens? HV

There’s a podcast for that

Samoyeds compete at New York state’s Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in 2022.
Samoyeds compete at New York state’s Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in 2022. Photograph: Jennifer Peltz/AP

This week Shaheena Uddin picks five of the best podcasts for pet lovers, from tips for look after your furry friends, to advice on dealing with animal bereavement.

Can I Pet Your Dog?
This wholesome podcast is for “unapologetic dog lovers” to share their love for all things canine. You might be thinking: how much can you possibly talk about dogs? Well, with more than 300 episodes already published, friendly and bubbly hosts Renee Covert and Alexis Preston have not run out of things to bark about, from picking their dog of the week to sharing a weekly roundup of canine news. The series also boasts an impressive lineup of guest stars: in the first episode, the playwright and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda made a guest appearance to discuss his adorable dog Tobi.

The Purrrcast
Not really a dog person? Well this cat pod might be more your speed. Hosts Sara Iyer and Steven Ray Morris discuss all sorts of cat topics from CatCon (a convention dedicated to cats) to Garfield’s cinematic universe, a homage to the lasagne-loving feline. Listeners are encouraged to send in pictures and stories of their pets in a shared celebration of the universal cuteness of cats.

Listening to the Horse
Equestrian lovers: giddy up for this podcast. Bestselling author and horsewoman Elaine Heney delivers an insightful series all about listening to the needs of horses. As Heney explains in episode one, this podcast is much needed in a world that sadly prioritises “short-term performance goals before the long-term health of a horse”. Learn how to bond with your equine companion as the series guides you through the riding process, with useful lessons and tips on techniques.

The Pet Loss Companion
A recurring theme of pet pods is the positive impact that animals can have on our mental health. But what about the difficult process of mourning a pet? Many owners will say that their four-legged friend has become a member of the family – and there is no harder experience than losing a loved one. Two family therapists, Nancy Saxton-Lopez and Ken Dolan-Del Vecchio, give their thoughts on how to cope with grief – especially on special occasions and holidays.

Pod to the Rescue
If you believe in rescuing pets rather than buying them, this pawesome podcast might be just the one for you. Its hosts have more than two decades of wisdom to share on rescuing cats and dogs and can teach you all you need to know. The series so far has covered crucial areas such as trauma, depression, separation anxiety, deconstructing aggressive behaviour, as well as coaching your pet through noisy occasions such as fireworks celebrations.

Why not try …

  • Let Dr Laurie Santos change your mind on the process of changing your mind, in The Happiness Lab.

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