This collection of relationship podcasts is approved by experts for those looking to understand themselves and their partners a little better. While every relationship is as different as the people in it, some common themes tend to crop up for all of us.
Whether you're struggling with a lack of communication, a long-term relationship that's lost its spark, or feelings of confusion around newly-found singledom, listening to the stories of those who've been through similar situations and insights from experts in the field can help us understand our love lives better.
From Jay Shetty's On Purpose to the New York Times' Modern Love, complete with its new host, these are the best relationship podcasts to listen to in 2023. You'll learn how to spice up your relationship, improve intimacy, and prevent relationship burnout in the future.
Best relationship podcasts
1. Where Should We Begin?
Esther Perel is a Belgian-American psychotherapist and one of the most famous relationship experts working today. Under the belief that 'the quality of our relationships determines the quality of our lives', Perel aims to help couples improve their relationships via better communication.
"I highly recommend Esther Perel's podcast Where Should We Begin?," says Lyndsey Murray, couples counselor and AASECT certified sex therapist. "She counsels real couples as they reveal the most intimate, personal, and complicated details of their relationships. On this podcast, you get to hear about how Esther counsels them and learn about her expertise. I recommend it because I think Esther is brilliant in her approach, and it will also give couples an insight into how couples therapy and consulting with an expert can be beneficial to them."
2. Love Machine
"The Love Machine Podcast is hosted by the UK's leading dating coach, James Preece," explains relationship psychologist Mairead Molloy. It's one of the best self-improvement podcasts as well, for those looking to better themselves as well as their relationships.
"It's the ultimate destination for anyone looking for relationship advice, inspiration, and for ways to bring more love into their life," says Molloy, who is also the global director at Berkeley International, a specialist dating agency. "Each week, James dives into the world of dating, interviewing experts, sharing personal experiences, and truly understanding how relationships work. With over 150 episodes already released, each other is full of wisdom, humor, and unique perspectives."
It's such a great one for anyone looking for a combination of entertainment and sound advice. "There's everything from self-love to better communication to truly having a life that makes you happy. Dating and relationships has never been so entertaining," she says.
3. Modern Love
Most people will know Modern Love from the New York Times column, which is where it was born. The column gave (and still gives) readers an insight into the fascinating love lives of real-life people, and it's been such a success that the column's been turned into three books, a television show, and a podcast.
Every Wednesday, producer and host Anna Martin brings a story and a wider conversation about love to the table. Along with relatable situations (like How to Find the One, how to work out whether you're in a rebound relationship, and more) and fascinating insights to apply to your own life (How to Learn My Love Language), there are truly unique stories (Falling for Your Sperm Donor) to entertain and inspire.
Modern Love is a woman&home favorite, one of the best LGBTQ+ podcasts, and one of the top-rated relationship podcasts on Apple Podcasts (with 4.4 stars) and on Spotify (with 4.8 stars), so we had to include it in this list as well.
4. We Met At Acme
Newly single? Whether you're thinking about downloading one the top-rated sex apps, considering signing up to the best dating sites for over 50, or just looking to learn more about the dating world today, We Met At Acme has plenty of relatable (and hilarious anecdotes). It mainly looks at millennial dating but if you're new to singledom, you're bound to find something that resonates at any age.
"My favorite podcast for those who are single is We Met At Acme. It's hosted by New Yorker Lindsey Metselaar, who breaks down rules for dating and critiques the dating world in a very fun but real way," says Laurasia Mattingly, a meditation and mindfulness expert who focuses on self-love.
Taking a tongue-in-cheek approach to dating topics, host Lindsey Metselaar interviews dynamic experts, professionals, celebrities, and those with unique personal experiences of dating, love, and being single. Key topics include: A Complete List of Red Flags, How Marriage Changes A Relationship, What Happens After You Get Sober, and What A Healthy Relationship Looks Like.
5. Mark Groves Podcast
"Mark [Groves] is a human connection specialist who breaks down human behavior and why we do what we do in relationships," says Mattingly. "Not to mention, he has some incredible renown guests in the relationship space, such as Ether Perel and Dr Alexandra Solomen."
The Mark Groves Podcast specializes in relationships, connection, and communication. There are 260+ episodes already available to listen to on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and wherever else your like to listen, so it's one you can get stuck into straight away.
No topic goes untouched in this series. You'll find conversations on complex topics that get to the root of the issue, like Healing the Political Divide and Overcoming Perfectionism, alongside debunking of popular terms like toxic positivity, sex positivity, and radical self-love.
6. On Purpose
Jay Shetty is an English author and life coach, whose mantra is that if we don't work on the core of a relationship, values, and communication, and if we don't learn how to build trust, very little can be achieved. As a former monk, Shetty wants to make "wisdom go viral" by tackling a great variety of topics around these subjects - including Proven Strategies For Dating, Scientific Reasons Why We Lose The Spark, and How to Get The Most Out of Therapy.
Sometimes it's with the help of certified experts like personal development coaches, psychologists, and therapists, and other times it's with celebrities. You'll hear Drew Barrymore speak on reframing expectations of love in one episode, John Legend discuss growing from grief, and Gwyneth Paltrow's take on building better daily habits, among many others. This is one of the most relaxing podcasts and one of the best podcasts for anxiety too, thanks to the many episodes available and soothing tones of the guests.
7. Jillian On Love
If you're looking for a podcast that takes on big topics around relationships and gets straight to the point, then you'll probably love Jillian on Love. Jillian Turecki is a certified relationship coach, teacher, and writer, who has been working for 20 years to help people find and create more satisfying personal relationships.
Some episodes are on self-chosen topics - like sexual anxiety, how to end a relationship, why people cheat, and the truth about emotional unavailability - while others focus on listener questions. These are perhaps the most interesting as they deal with topics we might find relatable in our own personal relationships - but don't tend to want to speak about. Highlights include: Dating someone you're not attracted to, the issues with long distance relationships, and stopping your life for a 'maybe'.
As well as delivering her own insights on these topics, Turecki brings clients onto her podcast to discuss their relationships in real time. Conversations are always candid and no nonsense, while being reassuring and delicately handled. There are insightful 'how to' episodes as well, looking at personal subjects like how to be intimate without sex and ways to start trying to overcome childhood trauma.
How to get the most out of your relationship podcast
- Take Notes: "Listeners can take notes of what resonates with them and their biggest takeaways," says Murray. This will help you remember the points most important to you, whether to mull over by yourself later or speak to someone about.
- Discuss with your partner: Then, if your goal in listening to the best relationship podcasts is to improve your relationship, you can discuss them with your partner. "You may hear a feeling someone describes and if it sounds like something you're feeling, it's an easy way to tell your partner, 'I really want you to know this about me'," she says. "It's a great way to get through conflict and come back closer together."
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Grace Walsh is woman&home's Health Channel Editor, working across the areas of fitness, nutrition, sleep, mental health, relationships, and sex. In 2024, she will be taking on her second marathon in Rome, cycling from Manchester to London (350km) for charity, and qualifying as a certified personal trainer.
A digital journalist with over six years experience as a writer and editor for UK publications, Grace has covered (almost) everything in the world of health and wellbeing with bylines in Cosmopolitan, Red, The i Paper, GoodtoKnow, and more.
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