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Love Is In The Airwaves

Podcast Recommendations


by Dillan-James Carter


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Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth, Ilsa and Rick of course Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor: all great love stories but they all look like a one-night fling outside Underground in comparison to a podcast on a long bus journey. These podcasts below outline the stages of love from the flowery ideal, to the want of recovery to the heart wrenching loss of love; but unlike love, these podcasts shall never leave you nor run off with your partner.


The Ideal: ‘Rom-Com’ from This American Life

What has shaped our idea of love more than the rom-com? From grand romantic gestures to finally realising the right person was in front of you the entire time, the genre’s influence on the modern romance is vast and unending; much like my love for When Harry met Sally. ‘Rom-Com’ is a rereleased episode from the podcast This American Life highlighting the moments in which life imitates art with stories from real people ranging from the meet-cute, the run for love and a story which goes from “aww cute” to “OMG she stole the sheets!” in a heartbeat. If the cynicism of Valentine’s Day is corroding your heart, this podcast is the perfect remedy to rekindle the idea that love is just a choreographed dance number away.


The Recovery: ‘Where Should We Begin?’ With Esther Perel

If you’ve ever spent any time on social media, I’m sure you’ll have seen mantras like “We accept the love we think we deserve”, most likely with some fairy lights in the background, in a paintbrush font and maybe a minion slapped in for good measure. This podcast focuses on couples who believe they deserve better – without the stomach-turning clichés. Enter Esther Perel: psychotherapist and bestselling author whose podcast Where Should We Begin? allows the listener into the fly-on-the-wall experience of a couple’s counseling session. What begins as an indulgence into schadenfreude ends up into an immense feeling of catharsis as Perel interposes the battling couple with a sobering analysis. Her sentiments are powerful, and the sense of verstehen allows for an intense understanding of why relationships go wrong and what needs to change in order to save them.


The Loss: ‘Someone else’s heartbreak’ from Stranger – Radiotopia in Love Collection

“Why does love make you feel like shit all the time?” There is an undeniably synonymous relationship between true love and deep pain. The reality of love is that it comes to an end; either slowly wearing itself out or by a sudden, deep laceration – the suffering is unforgettable and that’s what this collection aims to convey. This episode was taken from the Stranger podcast series compiled together in the Radiotopia in Love episode collection, which collects accounts from people with stories to tell, ranging from the tragic to the uplifting – I’m sure you’ll have gathered by now which side of the spectrum this episode falls into. Using the allegory of a fog horn as a warning of two people becoming too close and the sounds of the sea as a backing soundtrack, we hear the stories of those scorned by love, those that have crashed upon the rocks, and found themselves awash – lost in the ocean. This piece is atmospheric, piercing, and leaves you questioning whether true love is really somewhere beyond the sea, waiting for you.

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