One of the biggest myths in the modern world has to be the idea that love conquers all and comes easily. (Or that spicing up your sex life will heal any relationship.) The truth is that relationships can be a rough but rare and beautiful ride. Times can get tough, intuition, understanding and communication can get lost and we can feel utterly unprepared for working through things that the fairytales didn’t prep us for.
Fortunately, for those who can’t afford or face couples therapy, the airwaves are brimming with podcasts to help you overcome those hurdles. Just having an outside perspective or swathes of expert advice can truly change the way you think and perceive your own love stories. Here are our favorite podcasts to help you build better relationships.
Esther Perel – Where Do We Begin
Love is a verb, not a permanent state of enthusiasm
The Belgian psychotherapist Ester Perel is the author of Mating in Captivity and The State of Affairs, but her podcast also takes a look at real hard-working solutions to real and complicated relationship problems. The podcast sits on a couples therapy session every week. It’s raw, it's painful, but with Perel leading the room, it’s always illuminating.
Don't surrender all your joy for an idea you used to have about yourself that isn't true anymore
We have raved about Dear Sugars before but that’s just because we love them. Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond come together to answer all your agony aunt letters about love, life, and learning to live in the world. They serve up advice with radical empathy, deep insight, and each episode gifts you something to take away and apply to your own life.
It’s the imperfections that make things beautiful
Taking New York Times essays and handing them over to big-name actors to read – this lays the foundations for Modern Love to bloom. The essays are beautifully constructed and cover everything from divorce to grief and even fetishes. Think Uma Thurman, Ethan Hawke, and Jessica Walter reading these experiences. While there’s no advice involved, sometimes just hearing a fresh perspective or new angle on the whole love experience can change the way you think.
Every relationship you're in will fail, until one doesn't
Dan Savage tackles a wide range of listeners calls, covering a wide range of sex and love dilemmas that are sure to push your boundaries. What we love about Savage is that he cuts through the fluff and gets straight to the complex beating heart, bringing a diverse range of voices into the fold. Sure, there’s some challenging thoughts and some political ranting but Savage is sure to crack your mind wide-open and gives plenty of food for thought.
Love is Like a Plant
How do we let it grow?
This podcast from Ellen Huerta serves up bite-sized episodes that cover everything from love to heartbreak and everything that happens in-between. With questions like should I stay or should I go and addressing whether social media is affecting your love life, Huerta tackles modern issues and brings a dose of comfort. Sure, you may not always agree with the sentiment but these conversations also help shine a light on your own beliefs and boundaries when it comes to the L word.
Emotions are meant to come and go. Your feelings are the product of your experience, in the moment, and they help direct the course of your action in response to whatever the world throws your way.
Neil Sattin brings you a range of rare interviews with relationship experts in his soft and gentle podcast. There’ s a slightly spiritual angle to proceedings focusing a lot on positive energy, changes that nourish, and attachment wounds, but somehow it manages to tackle all of the above without feeling flimsy or woo-woo. There’s a gold mine of good advice in there and the positive approach also helps uplift spirits that may have been weighed down by the worry of their love life in the past.
Which podcasts are directing you when it comes to love? Share your favourites in the comments.