Over the past few years, podcasts have continued to garner popularity among younger generations. I first heard of podcasts myself about 3 years ago, from a co-worker who told me about what would become the most downloaded podcast ever, Serial. Once I started streaming the first episode, I was hooked and never looked back. I now subscribe to hundreds of podcasts, and I love that there is always something to entertain me, whether I’m in the mood for something funny, creepy, or even if I’m feeling curious and I want to learn something new. There are podcasts that cover nearly every genre, from comedy, to history, to my personal favorite – True Crime. I like to listen to podcasts while performing a multitude of monotonous tasks, from my morning commute, to household chores. Below is a list I have compiled of bingeable podcasts:
If you are new to podcasts, Serial is definitely where you should start. The subject of the first season of Serial was Adnan Syed, a popular high-school student, convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend in 1999. This teenage murder-mystery will surely sink its teeth into you and you won’t be able to stop listening until you have devoured all eight episodes, in rapid succession.
Obsession, deception and murder; all fit into the storyline of Dirty John, a podcast created by the LA Times. The story is about a successful interior designer in California who falls head-over heels for a man she meets online who turns out to be much different than who he appears to be. As the story unfolds, it doesn’t take long to realize how quickly the fantasy can turn into a nightmare.
This American Life is produced in collaboration with Chicago Public Media, and it’s a weekly radio show (and podcast), broadcast since 1995 on multiple public radio stations in the United States. In fact, Serial is a “spin-off” of this American Life. This American Life is a non-fiction podcast and each week’s show has a theme, explored in several acts. The subject of each episode varies from week-to-week; some episodes are incredibly sad, other times they are uplifting and funny, but the content is always stimulating.
Reply All is a podcast from Gimlet about the internet that the Guardian calls an “unfailingly original exploration of modern life and how to survive it”. My favorite episode of this podcast so far is called “Boy in Photo” (episode 79). It’s about a photograph that became famous in anonymous online message boards in the early 2000s. The photo is of a guy (dubbed “Wayne” by the internet), sitting next to two girls on a bed in what looks like a college dorm room. It is obvious to everyone when they see the picture that these girls are significantly out of Wayne’s league. People on the message boards became obsessed with trying to figure out the story behind the photo and in trying to figure out who Wayne was. In this episode, hosts PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman make it their mission to solve the mystery of “Wayne” and the boy in the photo once-and for-all, and it does not disappoint.
- West Cork
West Cork is an upcoming podcast by Audible, about Ireland’s most infamous unsolved murder. The podcast is a 13 episode series, set to be released Feb 8. In 1996, Sophie Toscan du Plantier, a 39-year-old French film producer, was beaten to death at her vacation home located in the isolated Irish town of West Cork a few days before Christmas. While several arrests were made in the case, it remains unsolved to this day. This podcast is highly anticipated and is sure to be a hit. You can pre-order the podcast now by downloading the Audible app.
With thousands of different podcasts out there, there is sure to be one that interests you. New podcasts are constantly premiering and advertisers and networks are taking note of the revenue podcasts can generate. This has caught the attention of some big-named networks, like CNN who recently joined the True Crime wave with their new podcast, Patty has a Gun, about the Patty Hearst kidnapping. Some podcasts are even being adapted for TV, such as Lore, a popular horror podcast, which Amazon produced last fall; there are also rumors that Bravo will adapt Dirty John for TV. To listen to podcasts you just have to download an app, and there are hundreds to choose from, including Podcasts (iOS), Podcast Addict (Android), and my personal favorite, Pocket Casts (iOS/Android).
Author Bio: Lea Santilli graduated from Ohio State University with a B.A. in psychology. She currently resides in central Ohio. She’s a podcast fanatic, loves her corgi Gracie and cat Atlas. You can find her via Facebook.