First of all, this picture currently sums up my life. Not only do I listen to podcasts while driving, while at work, while walking my dog… Mike and I will also sit at home with headphones on and listen. While some of you may audibly be saying wtf, you won’t get it until you start a podcast addiction. Which is a real thing.
Second of all, you should be aware that my taste in podcasts is very specific: true crime or just plain creepy. Ever since I was young – like too young, sit in my room and watch foreign horror movies at age 12 too young – I’ve been seriously fascinated by all things serial killer, random murder, or interesting delinquency. All of the above. If it’s a mystery with an aspect of human sociology, I’m in. BUT my favorites also include podcasts that are just plain interesting or political as well, so don’t count this post out if true crime isn’t your thing.
And last, I LOVE to talk about podcasts with anyone who listens. Comment with your favorites, give me your suggestions, and let’s get into it. Also, I’m looking for a good recommendation for a historical podcast – specifically European history from start to finish, if one exists? Great production value is a plus. Let me know!
Ok, now for my favorites:
My Favorite Murder. This one is just plain good. It’s a running joke between the badass women that put this one on that if you’re looking for intense factual information, you’ve come to the wrong place. Two comedians pick a murder every week and talk about it. Simple, to the point, and also weirdly hilarious. If you love true crime but also love to keep it light-hearted, this one’s for you.
Lore. This one holds a special place with me. Not only is the writing incredible, the production is one of my favorites. Gorgeous, creepy music plays throughout while the narrator talks about folklore from all around the globe, and from all throughout time. Each episode covers something different. Not only is it a lesson on history in some aspects, it goes into how people thought through history. So incredibly fascinating – and eerie. I love it so much.
Sword & Scale. This one… isn’t for everyone. It basically covers stories of people being, well, horrible. They play 911 calls, interview experts and people that were involved with the cases, and get down and dirty into some of the most disturbing facets of humanity. As someone who is more intrigued than put off by these stories, I personally love this podcast. BUT I can see why some people I’ve recommended this one too come back to me and ask if I’m mentally stable. It’s not that I like these stories, per say… it’s that I’d rather know how terrible people are than be in the dark. Also, some episodes are WAY worse than others. You’ve been warned.
Serial. But Season 1, specifically. I don’t think I have to explain this one… if you’ve ever listened to a podcast, I’m SURE you’ve listened to or at least know about this one. This was the first podcast I ever listened to, so it’s no surprise it got me hooked on them. Just plain good.
Undisclosed. So this one is slightly different from the other true crime podcasts I listen to. I was talking to a co-worker about the Serial Season 1 case, and she asked if I listened to Undisclosed. After replying no, she told me it was a must if I found the case interesting. It’s by a couple lawyers, so it’s FILLED with legitimate law jargon and in depth dives into cases of wrongful conviction – and the whole first season is about the Serial case. If you’re not into getting to know the ins and outs of the justice system, this one might not be for you. I love it though – it teaches you so much about evidence, courtroom procedure, and the investigation of cases.
Up and Vanished. This is one that I started on a whim after catching up on all my other ones. It’s about a cold case in Georgia that a man began to investigate. The difference between this one and other investigative stories? There was a major break in the case as the podcast was current. It turned from a who-did-it to did-he-do-it story real fast.
S-Town. Again, no explanation necessary. This is just a really incredible story that takes an unexpected turn. It makes you think about so many important things while maintaining its focus on the events at hand – a hard thing to do in storytelling.
Dirty John. Another super popular one, this one takes place where I grew up. Knowing and being able to picture exactly where this was taking place was a major bonus for me. The story is also so interesting – it’s a who-got-killed and who-did-it sort of thing.
Criminal. This is one I just got into based on a friend recommendation and I’m only a few episodes in. The stories are compelling and the production is spot on, so I’m hooked.
Young Charlie. This is a new one that started just a few weeks ago. It’s put on by the people that do the Hollywood & Crime podcast (haven’t listened to that one yet), and it covers Charles Manson from start to finish. It follows a past-to-present narrative between his young life and his eventual capture after the Tate-Labianca murders. It goes into how he thought and where those thoughts came from. Very interesting.
Haunted Places. Another new one, this is one of my favorites to listen to late at night, candles burning, headphones on. Its not so much true crime as creepy stories about real-life haunted places around the world. It has a sitting around the campfire sort of feel, with creepy noises that go along with the story playing in the background. After the first few episodes, I’m so into hearing what other places this one covers.
Revisionist History. Ok, now for one that isn’t about anything freaky. Malcom Gladwell, a serious modern-day academic, puts on this incredible show about things from our past – and then tells us all why society perceived those things wrong at the time. The stories are fascinating, the narration is spot on, and it’s just seriously interesting to hear about these stories from another, hindsight-is-20/20 perspective. Do yourself a favor and listen to this one.
Pod Save America. Like I said, I also listen to a couple political podcasts. The guys that put this one on are left-leaning, yet take a very common sense approach to reporting on current events. They’re also extremely funny while educating listeners. This is a major plus when it comes to politics in our world today – when that subject is mostly just upsetting. This is a great listen for those who want to stay informed.
Lovett or Leave It. This one is by one of the guys from Pod Save America. Again, it’s funny, it’s informative, and it makes you feel like you understand what’s happening in the world – politics and current events alike. He always has on a panel of people that range from other podcasters to comedians to actors, and they all give their unique perspective of the goings on in Washington.
While there’s a few others I listen to every so often, these are the ones I either loved through the whole thing, am awaiting the next seasons, or listen to weekly or bi-weekly when a new episode is released. Let’s talk about these if you listen?! Or give me any recs if you think I’d love one you listen to. Obviously, podcast-listening is a lifestyle. And I’m definitely going to keep that lifestyle up.