3 Podcasts We Can’t Stop Listening To

Australian True Crime

Australian True Crime is a podcast by Meshel Laurie and Emily Webb about, you guessed it, real crimes that happened right here in Australia. I have been a fan of Meshel since her radio days at Nova 106.5, she is bloody hilarious and intelligent to boot. Pair her with acclaimed crime author and journalist Emily Webb, and you’ve got a crime podcast powerhouse.

Each episode offers something new, whether it’s diving deep into a true crime story, or interviewing an expert. My favourite episodes so far have featured Narelle Fraser, an ex-police officer who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). As well as discussing what it’s really like to suffer from PTSD, she also recounts some pretty hectic stories from her time on the force.  I also highly recommend episode 42: ‘The  Family’, about a female cult leader in the 1970’s who convinced people to give their babies up for adoption.

True Crime is not usually my genre of choice (because I am a huge scaredy-cat) but Meshel and Emily’s genuine intrigue in each case is palpable. Each of these women offers a unique viewpoint as co-hosts, Meshel with her career in the media and Emily with her extensive experience with crime, starting in London where she transcribed undercover police tapes. If you’re ready to tap into your inner amateur sleuth and test your investigative skills, you can download Australian True Crime now on iTunes and Spotify.

Australian True Crime Podcast

Armchair Expert With Dax Shepard

Whether you’re like me, a big fan of Dax Shepard’s acting, improv, and general adorable disposition or, if you’re just looking for a refreshingly candid podcast that features a tonne of A-List stars, then you can’t go past Armchair Expert.

Each week Dax and his producer Monica Padman interview a high profile guest. Although, there is nothing ‘Hollywood’ about this relatively new podcast, recorded in the room above Dax’s garage which features a wall-less bathroom and exposed wiring. Often the guests are friends of Dax’s and the conversations are so honest that it feels like you are eavesdropping on a personal conversation. He goes into everything from their upbringing to how they really feel about success and even rejection. Nothing is taboo, Dax often discusses his struggle with substance abuse and the role that AA now plays in his life.

If you are in a relationship then you absolutely have to listen to the first episode where Dax interviews his wife, Kristen Bell. The interview takes place midway through a pretty petty argument and the whole thing is so damn relatable! The episodes that follow are just as enjoyable to listen to and therefore, very easy to binge, especially when they feature guests like, Ashton Kutcher, Seth Rogan, Mila Kunis, Jason Bateman and many more. Armchair Expert With Dax Shepard is available to download now on Spotify and iTunes.

Armchair Expert With Dax Shepard

Shameless

I’ve saved my favourite until last here because I am such a big fan of this podcast that I don’t even know where to start. Shameless calls itself ‘The Aussie pop culture podcast for smart women who love dumb stuff’ and my god are they right.

Shameless is hosted by Zara McDonald and Michelle Andrews, two super smart journalists from Melbourne. Each episode is a dissection of the events that transpired in pop culture throughout the week. They cover everything from The Bachelor, to Instagram, to influences, to actors, even sports stars, basically anything that sparked the media’s attention in the week that was. Zara and Michelle’s well-considered perspectives make for incredibly interesting content and take the conversation so far beyond ‘who wore it best’ and ‘who’s dating who’ that it delves deep into important issues regarding sexism, equality and race.

If you come for the gossip, you certainly stay for the witty back and forth between two friends that is so genuine that it’s like sitting at coffee with your own besties. Understanding their fans eagerness to get involved in these conversations, Zara and Michelle have taken Shameless to an interactive level, creating a Facebook group called ‘Shameless Celebrity Gossip’. In doing so they have created a place where smart women (and men) can have thoughtful conversations about everything celebrity, reality tv, fashion, and more, without being judged. As a Kardashian loving, Bachelor obsessed, university student/mum it’s a dream come true.

I love every episode so it is hard to recommend just one but, if you are across the ‘Bachelor Bully Saga’ then you need to listen to the episode, ‘It’s time to talk about the Bachelor villains’, available now on iTunes and Spotify. Shameless is a small independent podcast so if you love it, make sure you subscribe and share.

Shameless Podcast

“The Diagnosis I Didn’t Know I Was Searching For”

“All of a sudden everything went black and I couldn’t feel my legs. I just knelt to the ground, I couldn’t do anything.”

You know that feeling you get sometimes in the afternoon when you are so tired that you could rest your head on your desk and fall asleep in an instant? You know the one, your eyes are heavy and you can’t concentrate because 80% of your focus is on keeping them open and the other 20% is on the clock, counting down the seconds until your next break. Now imagine feeling like that ALL THE TIME. For Isabel Cybulski, the struggle to stay awake was a feeling that she knew all too well.

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Isabel Cybulski’s struggle with extreme tiredness began in high school.

In high school, she would become so tired that within minutes of the class beginning she could already feel her focus shifting to the enormous task of keeping her eyes open.  Eventually, she became so distracted by the sleepiness that she was unable to concentrate in class and had to withdraw from her OP subjects. When it came to the weekend if she had to decide between attending a party or staying in bed, the choice was an easy one to make, bed. Concerned for their daughter’s wellbeing, Isabel’s parents sort advice from their family GP.

“My doctor put my symptoms down to anxiety and depression. The diagnosis made sense to me at the time. I chose to stay in bed, rather than go out with my friends and I was just so tired all the time.”

Isabel’s doctor prescribed her antidepressants. She was hesitant to take them at first but happy to have an answer and a possible solution.

“The antidepressants did nothing so I just carried on and eventually accepted that this feeling of constant tiredness was just normal for me.”

A few years later Isabel’s symptoms worsened and once again her education was put on hold.

“I was studying a Bachelor of Nursing at university but again I was having such a hard time focusing. Eventually, I had to pull out of the course. It was devastating. All I have ever wanted was a career in medicine and I knew I was capable of it but my body just kept letting me down.”

After pulling out of university, Isabel went to work in a Real Estate office as a receptionist where her symptoms continued to plague her.

“Every day was a struggle to stay awake. I was okay when I was busy but as soon as I had completed all of my work the fight to stay awake became unbearable. Multiple times a week, I would have to leave early to go home to sleep.”

It all came to a head one night when Isabel was out at a club with her friends.

“I arrived at the club and said hi to my friends, I went to the bar to order my first drink. All of a sudden everything went black and I couldn’t feel my legs. I just knelt to the ground, I couldn’t do anything. When I came to, my friends took me home. From that point on I began to feel really depressed. I had a great group of friends and a really supportive family but I still just wanted to be in bed most of the time. The real problem though was at work. I have a really strong work ethic and take pride in working hard but I just wasn’t able to get through the day.”

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“I’m so thankful to my parents for supporting me and encouraging me to seek a diagnosis.”

With the support of her parents, Isabel quit her job and decided to finally get to the bottom of the problem that had been haunting her for so long. She continued to meet with her GP and psychiatrist.

“At first my psychiatrist suggested that I might have ADD, however, when he discovered that I suffered from sleep paralysis and hallucinations, he went down a different path and referred me to The Wesley Hospital Sleep Disorders Centre to participate in a Multiple Sleep Latency test.”

It took two separate trials for the doctors to reach their conclusion but eventually, Isabel was diagnosed with Narcolepsy. According to the Mayo Clinic, Narcolepsy is a chronic sleep disorder characterized by overwhelming daytime drowsiness and sudden attacks of sleep.

“I was actually so happy when the doctor told me what was wrong, I just burst into tears. I couldn’t believe that after all of this time, I finally had an answer.”

The symptoms caused by Narcolepsy often impact peoples work and school performance. It is not known what causes Narcolepsy though a majority of patients have low levels of the chemical hypocretin. Other suspected causes are autoimmune reactions or an inherited genetic fault. There is no cure but the condition can be managed with medication and lifestyle changes.

“I started on medication a month ago and I haven’t looked back. I have a new job at a busy cafe. I still get tired but like anyone, it’s after a hard days work or a Netflix marathon. I’ve even re-enrolled into university, I’ll be starting a Bachelor of Science in the new year.”

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“I guess what I would say to anyone else in the same situation is if you think there is something wrong with you, just don’t give up, keep going until you get the answer that you need.”

For more information on Narcolepsy see visit the Sleep Health Foundation.