Get us in your inbox

Image of women listening to podcasts and music
Image: Time Out

The 15 best podcasts for women

From mental health to comedy, this diverse selection of podcasts for women is united by its focus on females

Andrzej Lukowski
Ella Doyle
Written by
Andrzej Lukowski
Ella Doyle

In the world of podcasting, the possibilities are endless. And it goes without saying that anyone can listen to and enjoy any podcast they like, whether it’s as broad as general news or something niche like technology and business. But let’s be real, there’s an awful lot of male-presented podcasts out there. That’s not to say women don’t enjoy them too, but if you’re looking for something a little more female-focused, it can be tricky to cut through the noise to find it. 

So we thought we’d make life that little bit easier for you. Whatever your interests, we’ve curated a list of the 15 best podcasts out there that are hosted by women. The ranked list spans feminism, history, sport, comedy, dating, self-help and more, so there’s bound to be something you’ll love. Happy listening! 


🎧 The best podcasts to listen to in 2023
🔪 The best true crime podcasts
🧘 The best self-help podcasts
🎶 The best podcasts on Spotify

💤 The best sleep podcasts
🏃 The best motivational podcasts
✊ The best political podcasts

Brilliant podcasts for women 2023, ranked

The success of comedian Deborah Frances-White’s podcast was no surprise, as ‘guilty feminism’ is a phrase many of us have used at some point or another. It allowed listeners to explore their feminism openly and honestly, and accept that they don’t have all the answers all of the time and that’s okay. Frances-White has become widely known in the UK for her podcast, which gets a ton of great guests on to chat about everything from politics and history to dating and life advice. Oh, and it’s side-splittingly funny. 

In a world where men’s sport seems to dominate the conversation, World Cup-winning soccer player and Olympic gold medalist Kelley O’Hara was the answer to all of our prayers. ‘The Players’ Pod’ (which used to be ‘Just Women’s Sports’, but was revamped in 2022) puts the focus on women’s sport, bringing in a new professional female athlete each week to talk about their life and career. Previous guests have included WNBA superstar Nneka Ogwumike and two-time World Cup winner and Olympic gold medalist Alex Morgan. 


Irish presenter Caroline O'Donoghue’s podcast offers an impassioned defence of female-targeted and made culture that’s typically dismissed as lightweight by both society at large and those charged with marketing it. The earlier episodes are, broadly speaking, attempts to explain why the genre of novel known as chick-lit deserves to be treated with more respect. The lens has somewhat broadened in recent times, with a definite emphasis on cinema (ie chick flicks). But it remains a bracing reappraisal of whole swathes of culture never given a fair crack of the whip.

If you’re after a daily hit of female inspiration, look no further than the groaningly named but entirely great ‘Encyclopaedia Womannica’. Hosted by Jenny Kaplan, each weekday it offers a briskly informative five-minute biography of a woman from history - be it recent or old - who you may or may not have heard of before, but you really ought to.


To be sure, there are a whole bunch of life advice podcasts out there, which we’ve largely ignored on grounds that most of them offer advice that’s quite nationality specific. But people from all countries should be able to to laugh at merciless parody ‘Dear Joan & Jericha’, from British comics Julia Davis and Vikki Pepperdine. They pose as the eponymous dysfunctional agony aunts, and their useless, often actively malign life advice is an absolute hoot.

Again: these podcasts are of course for anyone, and it would be madness to deny that gay men aren’t a substantial part of the following of beloved comedy-drama ‘Sex and the City’. Juno Dawson and Dylan B Jones’s podcast certainly leans into this, as the pals and sexperts rewatch each episode of Sarah Jessica Parker’s opus, often to wry effect. But each enjoyable episode does revolve around a genuine consideration of the various relationship conundrums posed each week in ‘SATC’


Comedians Stevie Martin and Tessa Coates’s podcast is a thoroughly entertaining ‘guide to being an adult’ that comes with a definite female-centric slant, eg subjects like ‘how to ask somebody out’ and ‘how to be friends with your ex’. With guides from everything from tarot to crypto, it’s got broad appeal, not least because Martin and Coates are very, very funny. 

US comic Nicole Byer’s agonisingly long-running podcast humorously but smartly addresses her terminally single status, with episodes tackling everything from her lousy dating profiles to systematic racism and sizeism on dating apps. Byers has broadly managed to stay unattached the whole time, which is impressive going, but inevitably in the years ‘Why Won’t You Date Me?’ has been running the lens has moved more to the frequently eye-opening love lives of Byer’s guests – who include many veterans of ‘Drag Race’ – with Byer playing the role of raucous host to a tee.


If you’re going to listen to a wellness podcast, it really, really needs to be this one. US comics Kate Berlant and Jacqueline Novak are fascinated by the wellness industry, but also extremely aware that a lot of it is a massive grift (if you’re wondering what ‘Poog’ means – well, it’s ‘Goop’ backwards). Each week they explore various elements of the industry – be it chakra healing or new skincare technology – in a very loose, rambling, extremely funny way. In a real sense, it’s more a sort of frame for friends Berlant and Novak to do a show together, and there’s a considerable amount of mission drift. But it lands its punches, and is, moreover, a total blast.

This podcast from Glamour magazine wound up in 2020, but it’s well worth a listen, as a succession of high-profile and/or interesting women chat to host Perrie Samotin about the outfit they were wearing at a specific pivotal moment in their life, be that Jameela Jamil on what she wore for the first table read for ‘The Good Place’ or Beth Ditto on clothes she had on when she realised – at school – that she was a fashion icon. Inevitably the outfit is only really a jumping-off point for a much wider-ranging chat, but it’s a neat – not to mention interesting – conceit. 


Reproductive psychiatrist Alexandra Sacks’s podcast is an antidote to the more saccharine, influencer-driven view of parenthood. In essence, it does what the title says: each episode is an edit of a session with a mother, describing the psychological impact (it has to be said, generally not for the best) that motherhood has taken on her. The podcast stopped producing in 2020, but it leaves behind a fascinating and varied body of work, with episodes taking in topics ranging from imposter syndrome at raising a child that’s not your own to worrying that your child won’t grow up to be a good person.

A mix of politics… and beauty recommendations? Alicia Garza’s excellent podcast shows that you can basically make any combination of issues work if you tackle them with sufficient wit and conviction. It doesn’t hurt that she has an excellent stream of guests, elevating fascinating (if not always famous) voices of colour who are equally adept about talking about the state of democracy as they are with the latest range from Fenty.


Michelle Obama’s podcast is wrapped up for now but gave us a First Lady to look up to during the Trump years, and remains a treasure trove of wisdom about life. It’s interesting for anyone, but clearly slanted towards articulating her experience of womanhood and passing her knowledge on. Episodes cover such topics as female friendship, mentorship to working women, marriage, motherhood and raising kids. It’s a relatively short series, but definitely an impressive one, with top-notch guests including a certain Barack Obama.

Like a raucous riff on the BBC’s ‘Women’s Hour’ (which tbf would sit on here nicely if we could really justify it as a podcast), ‘The Receipts’ is a freewheeling show from Brit presenters Tolani Shoneye, Audrey Indome and Milena Sanchez that takes in everything from lifestyle advice to celebrity gossip to big-name interviews. The uniting factor is the trio’s collective DGAF outlook and cheery lack of filter.


Nora McInerny’s long-running podcast about pain, grief and being able to admit you’re not okay is clearly not limited to any gender in its outlook. But its lively, supportive attendant community and its choice of guests sharing difficult feelings and truths about their lives do very much tend to skew female.


    More on podcasts

      You may also like
      You may also like