Going on holiday? These are the 8 best podcasts to download ahead of your sunbathing session

Whether you’re staying in the UK or going away to sunnier shores, these are the 8 best podcasts to get stuck into this summer. 

It’s officially the dawn of summer. With many taking last-minute trips, going on holidays postponed from two years past or simply booking time off to get some serious rest and relaxation, there’s never been a better time to kick back and have some much-needed leisure time.

Whether it’s sitting poolside on a sunlounger, sprawled out on a sandy beach or simply out on your daily hot girl walk, podcasts have long been our favourite in-ear entertainment. You can listen to just about everything – full-length seasons of scripted audio dramas, in-depth investigations and podcasts that will make your sides hurt from laughing too hard.

But hands down, one of the worst things you can be stuck doing when trying to sunbathe is clumsily navigating your podcast library. Everything’s sticky, your hands are covered in sun lotion and, let’s face it, phones get annoyingly hot.

But have no fear, our list of the best podcasts to download in advance of your summer sunbathing is here. When you’ve got hours to while away, we know meaty drama, scandal and crime are just the ticket, but rest assured, we’ve got a little something here for everyone.

For fans of true crime

  • Stolen: Surviving St Michael’s

    Best summer podcasts 2022: Stolen – Surviving St Michael’s

    Content warning: this section and podcast discusses child abuse.

    In the ongoing new second season of the Stolen podcast, investigative journalist Connie Walker delves into an eye-opening story of abuse, racism and trauma that is personal to her own family.

    Last May, Walker found out a story about her late father. That while working in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in the late 1970s, her father pulled over a suspected drunk driver. But what he wasn’t prepared for was to come face-to-face with a figure from his past: the residential school priest who abused him.

    It’s a part of Walker’s father’s past that she was never aware of, but in this podcast, she not only goes on her own personal father-daughter journey by returning to Saskatchewan but also finds out about a side of recent Canadian history that has been pushed to the sidelines. The residential school system was enforced in this First Nation area of Canada, and with it came years of abuse, racism and discrimination that many of the elders are still coming to terms with today. It’s a slice of history many won’t know about, but it has all the enthralling elements of a gritty true crime podcast to keep us listening.

    Listen to Stolen: Surviving St Michael’s now

For fans of scandal

  • Scamfluencers

    Best summer podcasts 2022: Scamfluencers

    We knew when this podcast was released in April that it would quickly become one of our favourites. Each episode explores a new – and equally shocking – tale of deception, lies and outright brazenness when it comes to the world of power and influence.

    If you’re a fan of Inventing Anna, The Tinder Swindler and similar stories, you’re in for a treat here. We have the ridiculous story of Malachi Love-Robinson (aka Dr Teen Love) and how he managed to fool people into thinking he was a qualified doctor with little more than a lab coat and stethoscope. We also have the riveting tale of Flordelis Dos Santos De Souza, who became revered in Brazil for adopting 55 children. That quickly unravelled, though, when her husband was killed during an armed robbery and every person in her family became a prime suspect. It led to one of the most shocking cases in Brazil’s history and will certainly leave you gasping on your beach towel.

    Listen to Scamfluencers now

For fans of wild stories

  • Twin Flames

    Best summer podcasts 2022: Twin Flames

    You’ve likely heard of the term “twin flame” before, and while it’s used as an emotionally charged term of endearment to describe someone much like a soulmate, this podcast delves into the not-so-nice movement behind it.

    A young couple on YouTube, Jeff and Shaleia, took to teaching the masses about this divine connection and also claimed they could guarantee to find people’s perfect partner. But the path to true love (and connection, in this case) never did run smooth. 

    It all takes a rather sinister turn, and while many are just wanting to find their true love, the couple forces their followers to take drastic measures, including cutting off friends and family and even urging some to change their gender identity. It’s as shocking as it sounds, but the last episode does a great job of outlining what we can learn from coercive, cult-like groups such as this one. 

    Listen to Twin Flames now

  • Who The (Bleep) Did I Marry?

    Best summer podcasts 2022: Who The (Bleep) Did I Marry?

    Sometimes, 45-minute podcast episodes are a little too long and you want something shorter, snappier but no less scandalous. Well, that’s where this podcast comes in. At little more than 20 minutes, each episode explores the true stories of people who thought they were happily married until they discovered a shocking secret about their spouse.

    And we’re not talking an ick-worthy habit, we mean serial cheating, serious crime and even murder. This podcast does nothing for our ongoing dating woes and trust issues but it is terribly addictive. 

    Listen to Who The (Bleep) Did I Marry? now

For fans of storytelling

  • Gay Pride & Prejudice

    Best summer podcasts 2022: Gay Pride & Prejudice

    Did we think we’d be getting a modern-day reimagining of a Jane Austen classic with a comedic LGBTQ+ spin? No, but you bet this has quickly become one of our favourite listens recently.

    Based on the classic Pride & Prejudice, this remake is joyful, well-produced and, most importantly, fun. Which isn’t something you can always say about Austen usually, we have to say. We follow Bennett, a “thirty-something, non-committal gay man” who is struggling to find belonging when his chosen family are all suddenly coupling up and settling down.

    The podcast is created, written and directed by Zackary Grady but is also executive produced – and stars – Modern Family’s Jesse Tyler Ferguson. 

    Listen to Gay Pride & Prejudice now

For fans of history

  • Reclaimed: The Story Of Mamie Till-Mobley

    Best summer podcasts: Reclaimed – The Story Of Mamie Till

    Rightfully so, the story of Emmett Till is being brought to a wider modern audience. The heartbreaking story is not only the focus of two upcoming dramas – one of which Whoopi Goldberg is starring in – but this new podcast also gives a vital voice to his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley.

    Her decision to share the haunting open casket image of her son’s disfigured body in 1955 set the wheels of the American civil rights movement in motion, which resulted in both the 1963 march on Washington and the 1965 Voting Rights Act and Civil Rights Act. 

    In this podcast, we hear both her own words and from those closest to her, to shed light on who this influential woman was before the death of her son and who she would ultimately become. While you may not think of this as the perfect summer-worthy podcast, it really is an enlightening and inspiring listen that you’ll be thinking about long after it’s finished.

    Listen to Reclaimed: The Story Of Mamie Till-Mobley now

For fans of TV

  • 10/10 (Would Recommend)

    Best summer podcasts 2022: 10/10 (Would Recommend)

    We don’t know about you, but listening to people chat excitedly about their favourite TV shows is just the kind of thing we love. 

    In this podcast, Tolani Shoneye (of our other favourite podcast, The Receipts) and Gena-mour Barrett discuss what they’re watching, what they think we all should have on our radar and are accompanied by a guest from the wonderful world of Netflix.  

    Listen to 10/10 (Would Recommend) now

For fans of laughs (and important conversations)

  • Wait… Am I Toxic?

    Best summer podcasts 2022: Wait … Am I Toxic?

    If you love nothing more than listening to hilarious women who make you think of your own group chat and friends, look no further than this podcast. Hosts Fola and Rukiya have created a “safe space” with their podcast where “Black Brits can feel seen”, which makes for perfect podcast listening (and many laughs).

    It’s a refreshing, candid look at some of the topics that we speak most about with those around us, and as the synopsis says: “We’re all hot on being progressive and the best versions of ourselves in public, but how accountable do we hold ourselves in private?”

    The duo confront anonymous submissions from their followers, which range from the connection between self-esteem and catcalling to mental health and contraception.  

    Listen to Wait… Am I Toxic? now

Image: Getty

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