The top 40 podcasts to listen to this summer

Summer means ice creams on the beach and BBQs in the garden, it also means afternoons spent lounging in a deck chair, followed by long leisurely walks catching the last of the evening's rays. And what better way to enjoy these gorgeous activities than with some good podcasts that will keep you captivated from start to finish.

We've rounded up our top 40 favourites which cover a wide range of subjects, so you're bound to find something to enthral your intellect and enlighten your earbuds.

Culture

1. Unpopped 

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Hayley Campbell & friends examine the biggest pop culture moments of the recent past. Taking deep-dives into everything from Come Dine WIth Me to One Direction and conspiracy theories.

2. Desert Island Discs

It's a classic for a reason. Kirsty Young is the longtime host of this iconic radio show that hypothetically casts guests away on a desert island with nothing but a selection of their favourite songs, the Bible, and the complete works of Shakespeare. Throughout the show the guests explain their choices, often revealing details from childhood and iconic moments throughout their past.

3. Endless thread

Endless Thread delves into Reddit’s boundless communities to explore some of the most compelling stories the internet has to offer. With subject matter ranging from incredible personal stories and revelations, to cat memes, you don’t have to be a Reddit addict to enjoy.

Niche interest

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4. 99% Invisible

Design is everywhere in our lives, perhaps most importantly in the places where we've just stopped noticing. 99% Invisible is a weekly exploration of the process and power of design and architecture.

5. With Relish

This bi-weekly food podcast explores Ireland's culinary industry with a focus on the individuals that make it up and the new trends that they’re introducing around the country. Hosted by Aoife Allen and Harry Colley, it’s the perfect balance of casual, but well-informed.

6.  When Meghan Met Harry 

For anyone who couldn’t get enough of The Wedding of The Year,  this podcast is for you. Hosts James Barr and Kristen Meinzer indulge listeners in every detail of the royal love story details and the wedding itself, and even have royal experts, wedding guests and actual friends of the couple in studio to share their own perspective and stories.

Parenting

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7. Mother of Pod

An unapologetically unreserved and frank take on motherhood, hosts Sophie White and Jen O’Dwyer leave NOTHING left to the imagination when it comes to the realities of pregnancy, childbirth and parenting, and everything it entails.

8. Mom and Dad Are Fighting

Gabriel Roth, Rebecca Lavoie, and Carvell Wallace share triumphs and fails and offer advice on parenting kids from toddler to teens. With discussions so good that even listeners who don’t have kids will want to tune in, every week sees the hosts sharing a personal parenting victory or failure and then the trio answer listener questions together.

Longform Interview

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9. An Irishman Abroad

In each episode, comedian Jarlath Regan is joined by a well known Irish public figure to discuss their life and shared experiences of Ireland and abroad. Regan makes for an incredibly affable host who shows genuine interest in his guests and carries out extensive research on their lives

10. Griefcast

“Funny people talking about death and grief”, is the premise for Griefcast, hosted by British comedian Cariad Lloyd. Each episode features guests sharing their personal experiences in an honest, frank and open-hearted way, and because it’s comedians who are sharing their experiences, even the saddest tales are interjected with moments of hilarity.

11. Made of Human

In an hour of refreshingly honest conversation, Sofie Hagen sits down with a fellow comedian to talk about life and how they navigate through the human experience as an adult.

Feminist & Woke

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12. The Guilty Feminist

Comedian, host, and empowering voice-of-reason, Deborah Frances-White addresses 21st-century feminism in a refreshingly accessible way alongside her panel of female comedians. As funny as it is educational and eye-opening.

13. The Irish Times Women’s Podcast

A female take on Ireland and the world at large. This weekly podcast is hosted by Kathy Sheridan and is packed full of feminism, humour, health, politics, sex, storytelling, relationships and more.

14. Outspoken Beauty

Outspoken Beauty is a UK-based straight-talking beauty podcast featuring interviews with an array of celebrities, editors and influencers in the beauty industry. Hosted by beauty journalist and broadcaster Nicola Bonn and beauty novice Rachel Jones, expect fierce debate, candidness and the very best product recommendations.

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15. Girls With Goals

A weekly podcast in which host Niamh Maher is joined by a selection of inspiring Irish women who come from every walk of life; from business entrepreneurs and singers and Olympians, all who have an interesting story and perspective to share.

Comedy

16. The Alison Spittle Show

Each month, eclectic (and hilarious) host Alison talks to a guest in front of a live audience in a chat show that dissects the Irish experience and all the tea, shame and hilarity that it brings.

17. The Adam Buxton Podcast

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Adam Buxton is a delight to listen to as he engages in “ramble chats” with his various hosts, who range from comedians to authors, and music aficionados. His wacky jingles which feature throughout are another highlight.

18. Filmreads

Dreamgun's Film Reads is an alternative comedy podcast recorded in front of a live audience in Dublin City. Each episode the group picks a film whose script is then performed by actors and comedians off the cuff, resulting in hilarious recreations of your favourite scenes.

Self-Improvement & Inspiration

19. The Blindboy Podcast

You may think that a 50-minute monologue would be somewhat tiresome to listen to, but not when it comes to Blindboy. His love of learning and sharing new information is as evident as his own intellect and understanding of an incredible range of information, which can go from philosophy to rap in one breath.

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20.  Happy Place

Here, Fearne Cotton talks to people of note and interest about life, love, loss, and everything in-between, ultimately seeking to understand what happiness means to them.

21. Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations

This podcast sees Orpah and guests exploring life’s big questions, with AH-HA Moments a-plenty, and plenty of inspirational snippets to take home and muse over with friends later.

Self-educate

22. TED Radio Hour

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The world-famous TED talks need no introduction, but the Radio Hour (hosted by Guy Raz) uses a range of talks (using snippets from each) to delve into one larger subject of discussion. An hour well-spent.

23. The Story

The Story tells the unknown backstories of people who changed the world. Each episode is a mini-historical biography, and includes life lessons and actionable insights from the most courageous and successful people in history.

24. Invisibilia

Unseeable forces control human behaviour and shape our ideas, beliefs, and assumptions. Invisibilia—Latin for invisible things—fuses narrative storytelling with science that will make you see your own life differently.

25. Grazia Life Advice

Where do you turn to for advice you can really trust? Grazia has recently launched a brand new podcast, in which notable women are asked to share the six best (and one worst) pieces of advice they’ve ever been given.

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Zeitgeist discussion

26. The Spill

Featuring the hilarious Sophie White and our own in-house Agony Aunt, Rhona McAuliffe, The Spill takes the format of a late night conversation over wine with friends where no issue or topic of discussion is left unexplored. And well, it's an IMAGE podcast so you know it's going to be good. 

27. The High Low

A weekly pop-culture/news podcast brought to you by Dolly Alderton & Pandora Sykes; two women with an endlessly articulate view of the world.

28. Before Brunch

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Listen to the dulcet tones of Megan Cassidy and Cassie Delaney’s voices as they chew over all the biggest stories of the week, from the frivolous to the meaningful and everything in between.

Business

29. The Tim Ferriss Show

Host, Tim Ferriss is a self-experimenter and bestselling author, who uses this podcast to “deconstruct” world-class performers who come from a wide range of areas (investing, business, pro sports, etc.) in an effort to discover the tools, tactics, and tricks that they have implemented to get to where they are today.

30. How I Built This with Guy Raz

Hosted by renowned NPR journalist Guy Raz, How I Built This dives deep into the stories behind how some of most well-known companies were built.

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31. The Irish Times Inside Business Podcast

This is a weekly programme dedicated to Irish business and economics, featuring award-winning jounalists, analysts and industry experts. Presented by Business Editor, Ciarán Hancock.

True Crime

32. S-Town

S-Town is a podcast from Serial and This American Life, hosted by Brian Reed, about a man named John asks Brian to investigate the son of a wealthy family who’s allegedly been bragging that he got away with murder. But then someone else ends up dead, and the search for the truth leads to a nasty feud and a hunt for hidden treasure.

33. West Cork

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Created by Jennifer Forde and Sam Bungey, the 13-part series takes a deep dive into the unsolved mystery of Sophie Tuscan du Plantier’s brutal killing in Crookehaven back in 1996. The Audible series has received praise from all corners; from Sophie’s own family in France to the king of documentaries himself, Louis Theroux.

34. Criminal

Hosted by Phoebe Judge and Lauren Spohrer, Criminal is a podcast about true crime in it’s every facet. The show tells a different story in every episode and features people who’ve done wrong, been wronged, or gotten caught somewhere in the middle.

35. Caliphate

This podcast follows Rukmini Callimachi (a New York Times journalist who covers terrorism) as she seeks to understand ISIS by interviewing former ISIS recruits. This is a deep dive into the world of ISIS and how it continues to recruit the most unsuspecting members from all over the world.

Story Telling

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36. The Moth

Since its launch in 1997, The Moth has presented thousands of true stories, told live and without notes, to crowds worldwide. Since 2008, The Moth podcast has featured many of the best-recorded stories which feature incredibly honest insights and details.

37. The Butterfly Effect

Join bestselling author Jon Ronson as he traces a very strange butterfly effect. A teen in Brussels had an idea – to make porn free and easy to stream online. The consequences of that idea are mysterious, delightful, surprising, and sad. This 7-part series takes you on a journey to places you’ll never expect.

38. RTE Documentary On One

With almost 1,500 documentaries (many of which are multi award-winning) from the RTE archives, this is the largest archive of documentaries available worldwide. The productions are radio stories about real life and contain productions dating as far back as 1954 up to the present day.

News

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39. The Daily

This is how the news should sound. Twenty minutes a day, five days a week, hosted by Michael Barbaro and powered by New York Times journalism.

40. The Irish Times World View

With unrivalled foreign affairs coverage, The Irish Times World View podcast is hosted by Foreign Editor Chris Dooley and features The Irish Times's network of correspondents.

 

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