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Pick of the Podcasts: Stompcast, The Happiness Lab, How To Fail With Elizabeth Day

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January is always seen as a time for a fresh start, to make changes in our lives that see us healthier and happier.

But, when the weather is awful and the days are short, that can be easier said than done, especially when it comes to exercise.

Step up Dr Alex George, who you may remember from reality TV series Love Island. Also a children’s mental health ambassador, Dr George points out that regularly going for a short walk outdoors is a simple but incredibly effective way to transform our bodies and minds.

And that’s the aim of Stompcast, his podcast to get us walking along outdoors with George for about 20 minutes, three times a week.

Since last summer, through rain or shine, the Welsh doctor has recorded weekly walks, or “stomps”, with a special guest. These include chef Tom Kerridge, Olympic diver Tom Daley, Strictly star Joe Suggs, Gogglebox’s Scarlett Moffatt, and rugby player Sam Warbuton.

Each interview is recorded live outdoors and is split into three parts of around 15-30 minutes to be followed as desired. And, like the paths they follow, the thoughtful conversations meander across a range of topics. George is an empathetic and inquisitive interviewer who encourages his guests to talk candidly about their mental health.

There’s something quite relaxing about listening to people chat against the backdrop of birdsong, rustling leaves, crashing waves and the odd passing train.

George’s chat with breast cancer survivor Lauren Mahon, as they walk along the Walthamstow Marshes, about grieving her friend and “You, Me and the Big C” co-host Dame Deborah James is especially poignant.

Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Audioboom

The Happiness Lab

Is there a formula for being happy? Not quite, but there are some scientific secrets to leading a more joyful life.

Based on the psychology course she teaches at Yale University, Dr Laurie Santos explains the science of happiness and shares personal stories to help us change the way we think about happiness.

The new series focuses on changing our inner voice from critic to cheerleader.

How To Fail With Elizabeth Day

Even with the best intentions, we don’t always get it right in life. Journalist Elizabeth Day is here to remind us that it’s ok to fail. In fact, it might even make us stronger.

In this uplifting series, she speaks to celebrity guests including Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Greta Thunberg and Lorraine Kelly about what experiencing and overcoming failure has taught them about themselves.