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Christmas is only around the corner.

I know. I’ve got so much to do as well.

Get Happier, a podcast that says what it does from the name, has launched a special episode about how we can get through the next few weeks intact. It’s brought to you by an expert: Professor Paul Dolan, who is  Behavioural Science at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

His tips include: consider buying experiences as presents (“when people think about what makes them happy, it is usually experiences rather than gifts”), consider handwriting rather than typing out messages to loved ones (“we’re still a species that love touching stuff”) and try to get off your phone during the Christmas break itself (“you’ll end up feeling just that little bit happier.” You can listen to the full list on his podcast feed. Another recommended podcast full of tips and advice comes from The Calm Christmas Podcast with Beth Kempton.

In other news, over on our Podcast Rex website, the team that puts this all together, have just published a roundup of their favourite podcasts of 2023. There’s a great range of shows in this roundup, from the informative Media Storm to the true crime series The Girlfriends and the always entertaining Closet Confessions.
What we've been listening to this week:
If you have a podcast recommendation that you think everyone should know about, or you want to suggest your own podcast, all you need to do is fill in the forms on our website
Podcast Pick 1
Death of a Codebreaker
A new BBC Radio Wales investigative series exploring the death of the codebreaker and mathematician Gareth Williams, who was found dead in a zipped up suitcase in his flat in central London in 2010. 

Was his death the result of his own complicated private life, or was a ‘third party,’ such as agents linked to the Russian state, responsible? Dr Sian Williams and Dyfan Rees chart the events throughout his life. They also explore the work of GCHQ, MI6 and the intelligence services and the rise of Russian organised crime within the city at that time. Six episodes are available to listen to now.
Podcast Pick 2
Sam Mendes Presents David Copperfield
Ncuti Gatwa! Helena Bonham Carter! Richard Armitage! Jessie Buckley! Theo James! And executive produced by... Sam Mendes! And the soundtrack put together by Dan James from The Feeling. Bloody hell.

An all-star cast (this is not an understatement) is on offer for this new adaptation of Charles Dicken’s David Copperfield, with Doctor Who’s Ncuti in the title role. As you would expect, there are great performances and sharp production. It’s an enjoyable listen for this time of year. 

Like with other Audible series, this Original is only available for Audible subscribers, but it does not come out of your existing credits.
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Your Next Podcast
Your Next Podcast
The great thing about Your Next Podcast is it means every week you've got a brand new show ready to listen to without doing any work. That's what the host Lauren Layfield does. 

This week it's Walk Tall, follow Miquita Oliver & Vogue Fashion Director Julia Sarr-Jamois talk openly about how they made it to the top of their careers.

What are you waiting for? Follow Your Next Podcast now.
Podcast Pick 4
Sky News Daily
Daily news podcasts have been growing in popularity this year, but one that we somehow have not yet written about is this excellent series from Sky News. Hosted by Niall Paterson, each episode explores one talked about topic in the news 

In a week where the licence fee was announced to be increasing by £10 a year, but lower than actual inflation so the BBC will likely have to cut programming and services, Niall speaks to possible alternative models to the licence fee from elsewhere in the world. Episodes are only 15 minutes each, which makes the analysis sharp and snappy.
Podcast Pick 5
If we don’t laugh we’ll cry
A lovely little self-produced podcast for anyone experiencing grief at the moment. Whilst grief can feel one of the most isolating feelings in the world, many more of us are experiencing it than you might realise.

In this series two sisters Amie and Alicia talk about their experiences of grief and weird things that you can end up doing. Last year when I was experiencing the shock of grief I ended up watching 18 episodes of The Golden Girls in a single day. Thinking about it, that day was a bit of a joy.
Thank you as always for reading (and listening), we’ll be back next Sunday with another newsletter. If you've got this far, why not support the work we do with a £3.99 subscription. You'll get the Recommendation Engine newsletter for free as well as a warm feeling inside too!

And remember you can follow us on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and Facebook for more great podcast suggestions and there's always something to read about podcasts on our own website -

@scottygb on Twitter 
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