When feelings of loneliness start to overwhelm us, turning to podcasts can be a lifeline, providing comfort, empathy, and a sense of companionship. While podcasts may not replace a friend or therapist, listening to strangers openly discuss their thoughts, experiences, and emotions can help alleviate feelings of loneliness.
Here are our top podcasts that offer solace and understanding when you're feeling lonely.
Don't be deterred by the name; "Griefcast" is a podcast about grief with a twist of humour. Comedians share their personal experiences with loss, making this podcast a refreshing and unfiltered look at the journey of grief. Host Cariad Lloyd, who understands the pain of loss herself, provides a comforting reminder to listeners: "You are not alone."
Since its launch in 1997, The Moth has presented thousands of true stories, told live and without notes, to standing-room-only crowds worldwide. Moth storytellers stand alone, under a spotlight, with only a microphone and a roomful of strangers. The storyteller and the audience embark on a high-wire act of shared experience which is both terrifying and exhilarating. You might be surprised to hear how often loneliness and isolation come up!
The Louis Theroux Podcast
Join Louis Theroux as he embarks on a series of in-depth and freewheeling conversations with a curated collection of fascinating figures from across the globe. Loneliness, isolation and the importance of connection are common themes.
Sleep With Me
Insomniacs, unite. This podcast isn’t here to entertain; it’s here to send you to sleep. Creator Drew ‘Scooter’ Ackerman, himself an insomniac, tells weird stories – “the good type of weird” – that are rambling enough to distract anxious listeners from their racing thoughts, and help them nod off.
Being a parent, especially a new parent, can be incredibly isolating and lonely. Suddenly, you're taking care of a little person's needs 24/7—and the sleeplessness, health scares and emotional ups and downs that come with the territory can leave you with little time for yourself. Join Rob Beckett and Josh Widdicombe twice a week as they share their tales of parenting woe and chat to celebrity parents about how they're coping, or not coping.
The Poetry Exchange
For those struggling to connect with their social circle, poetry can be a powerful source of solace. "The Poetry Exchange" invites ordinary people, along with the occasional high-profile guest, to share the poems that have been their friends during challenging times. The podcast then gifts them a bespoke recording of their chosen poem, inspired by their emotions and thoughts shared.
We Can Do Hard Things
It seems there is no end to the hardships encountered in life. On personal and societal levels, painful challenges always emerge. That's why podcasts like We Can Do Hard Things with Glennon Doyle are so important. They lend perspective, advice, and encouragement when they're needed most. This podcast is about confronting life's challenges and emerging victorious over them. It's about making the hard times a little easier.
You, Me, and the Big C
Hosted by Deborah James (Bowel Babe), Lauren Mahon (Girl Vs Cancer), and Rachael Bland (previously), this award-winning podcast talks candidly about cancer and normalises discussions around the disease. Although Rachael sadly passed away, her co-hosts continue her legacy, offering insights into life with cancer and supporting those who have been touched by this cruel disease.
Alonement is a podcast about the positive side of spending time alone. When being alone isn't lonely, it's alonement: finding joy and value in solitude. Each week, host Francesca Specter asks a new guest about the time they spend by themselves – and why it matters to them.
How To Fail With Elizabeth Day
In this podcast, host Elizabeth Day discusses failures with her famous guests, who openly share their experiences of setbacks and challenges. The podcast serves as a reminder that even the most successful individuals face obstacles and that resilience and growth can emerge from failure.
The Happiness Lab
Dr. Laurie Santos has studied the science of happiness and found that many of us do the exact opposite of what will truly make our lives better. Based on the psychology course she teaches at Yale — the most popular class in the university’s 300-year history — The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos will take you through the latest scientific research and share some surprising and inspiring stories that will change the way you think about happiness.
Have you got suggestions to add to the list? Let us know below!
The podcasts listed above offer diverse perspectives on grief, connection, and overcoming life's challenges. So, grab your earbuds and let these podcasts remind you that you are part of a wider community, where empathy and understanding can be found in the voices of strangers.