This summer’s top five health podcasts

Whether you are soaking up the sun by the sea or dozing through your first rainy commute back from holiday, here are five great health podcasts to get stuck into before summer ends and life begins to speed up again. 

  • 22 August 2023
  • 3 min read
  • by Ciara McCarthy
Cover image for "This podcast will kill you".
Cover image for "This podcast will kill you".


1. This Podcast Will Kill You

Started when the presenters were PhD students in disease ecology and epidemiology, the podcast takes a deep-dive into the epidemiology, history and treatment of different diseases – all delivered in a relaxed, accessible style with some fun facts peppered in along the way. Did you know that cats can get asthma? Or that the identification of the Marburg virus led to a shortage of polio vaccines in Germany? Me neither. There's more: each episode comes with a themed "quarantini" recipe to enjoy while you listen. Drink a "High and Dry" with their episode on altitude sickness; sip a "Happy as a Chlam" while you listen to the Chlamydia episode.

2. Public Health Disrupted

A monthly podcast from University College London, Public Health Disrupted looks at "the systems that need disrupting to make public health better". Expect a wide range of topics around public health with an even wider range of guests: academics, campaigners, artists, comedians and even a composer. I've only recently discovered this one, and will be devouring the entire back-catalogue.

3. Health Check

A weekly podcast from BBC World Service, Health Check covers big stories in health from around the world, interspersed with developments that are more unusual or surprising. Think a feature on dropping childhood vaccine coverage, packaged with a piece on the impact of perfectionism on mental health. Learn about reports of contaminated cough syrup, then hear an interview with a scientist who can recreate pieces of music based on monitoring electrical activity in a listener's brain. Health Check will keep you up to date with the latest news in global health, but also teach you something you weren't expecting to learn.

4. 28ish days later

In 28 episodes, journalist India Rakusen covers what happens on each day of the menstrual cycle. Learn exactly what your hormones are doing while also hearing about the history and politics of periods. Did you know that the fallopian tubes are rarely attached to the ovaries? Or that women were banned from backcountry jobs in national parks because it was believed that menstrual blood attracted bears? The episodes are also beautifully made and short enough to listen to every day in sync with your cycle. Fascinating listen for anyone who has periods, or anyone who doesn't.

5. Just one thing

A friend recently recommended this one to me and I am obsessed. Each episode, Dr Michael Mosley covers the science behind one simple way you can improve your health and wellbeing. Thanks to this podcast I now eat more beetroot, try to ingest a wider variety of plants every week and feel less guilty about my coffee consumption.