It took me a while to finally start delving into podcasts, but now that I have, listening to podcasts is a part of my life. I listen to them when I’m on bus, train and car journeys, when I’m doing some of my more mindless client work and working on the blog, when I’m cooking dinner, and even when I’m just lying on the couch.
I love that there is a podcast for everyone, no matter what your interests are, and I have started ploughing my way through numerous podcasts in the past year. And some of them have been so good that I just couldn’t stop listening.
So if you are bored, or looking for something to do when you are stuck at home rather than just bingeing on Netflix, then you should definitely listen to these podcasts.
Best True Crime Podcasts
True Crime podcasts are my absolute favorite, so I have listened to a lot more podcasts to do with true crime than anything else.
One tip before you get started – don’t binge listen to true crime podcasts, anything more than a couple of hours may make you start feeling really bad about the world/fear that you will be murdered yourself.
The true crime podcast that started them all, Serial is iconic. Serial follows the case of Adnan Syed, a young man who was imprisoned for the murder of his ex-girlfriend. But is he actually guilty? There is intriguing evidence that supports both sides of this mystery.
There are two more seasons of Serial out now with different subjects, and I am planning on listening to them. I just hope they are as good as season one.
Wow, this podcast is a doozy. If you haven’t heard of Dirty John then you must have been living under a rock – Dirty John is another legendary podcast, and was even made into a TV mini series.
Just incase you haven’t heard of it, the podcast follows the story of a con man named John, and his relationship with wealthy business owner Debra Newell in California.
Her kids don’t like him, and as they start uncovering more about him, you can see that they have a very good reason to feel the way they do.
If you don’t already know the full story, DON’T google it beforehand, because the ending is so gripping and it’s even better if you don’t know what’s coming.
I am addicted to this show! Every episode is about a different murder, disappearance or Serial Killer, and it is impossible to get bored listening to Crime Junkie. A lot of the murders and disappearances have never been solved, and some of them just defy explanation, with very unusual details, coincidences and more.
I have to actively stop myself from bingeing this because nearly every episode is intense and super interesting, but obviously pretty dark too due to the subject matter. I once listened to eight hours straight of Crime Junkie and it wasn’t a good idea.
To Live and Die in LA
Probably the best podcast I have ever listened too – at least equal to Crime Junkie and Dirty John – To Live and Die in LA is a must listen, and I promise you that you will be on the edge of your seat and yelling ‘Oh Shit!’ out loud more than once.
To Live and Die in LA was recorded in real time, and follows the presenter and a Private Investigator looking into the disappearance of aspiring model and actress Adea Shabani.
What makes this podcast one of the most addictive and exciting out there is that the craziest shit unfolds as time goes on, just one unbelievable development after another, and you are just swept up in it all.
You have to listen to this podcast, and like with Dirty John, make sure you don’t read anything about it beforehand.
Unravel True Crime: Snowball
Someone recommended Season 4 of Unravel True Crime: Snowball to me because a large part of it is set in New Zealand, and I was hooked. Snowball tells the story of a master manipulator, American Lezlie Manukian, who weaves a web of lies and deceit after moving to New Zealand and marrying the brother of the podcast’s host, Ollie Wards.
Once Ollie starts looking into the details of Lezlie’s deceit, he uncovers other people she has wronged in the past, and more questions than answers around who Lezlie really is, and if anything she has said has been true.
Culpable investigates the death of Christian Andreacchio, a death that was ruled as a suicide despite multiple sources of evidence saying that it was anything but. There are so many different narratives from different people involved in the case that it’s hard to know what really happened, just that it was very unlikely that Christian took his own life.
There is so much corruption in Culpable that you will never look at the cops in small American towns the same way again.
Up & Vanished
Although I did think that it dragged on a bit, I still enjoyed listening to the first season of Up & Vanished. Season one covers the disappearance and presumed murder of Tara Grinstead, a beauty queen and teacher in Georgia who went missing in 2005.
As locals started talking about the case again, new leads and suspects come into the forefront, and there were two arrests shortly after the podcast wrapped.
I have just started to listen to Season two now about the disappearance of Kristal Reisinger in the small town of Crestone in Colorado and it is good so far.
Root of Evil
This dark and twisted podcast is about the Hodel Family, and how the patriarch of the family, Dr. George Hodel, may very well have been the murderer of Elizabeth Short, the Black Dahlia. Even if it wasn’t him, this man was pure evil, and that evil corrupted his entire family.
George’s own son investigated him for the murder, and now his great grand daughters started the Root of Evil podcast to air dark family secrets that are so shocking, that they are almost unbelievable.
Any family dramas that you have will likely pale in comparison to the horror that George inflicted upon his own family.
In the Dark
In the Dark season one follows the abduction of 11 year old Jacob Wetterling in rural Minnesota. There were no answers for 27 years, until finally there was a confession that led to the discovery of Jacob’s body in 2016.
In the Dark uncovers how law enforcement mishandled the case, leading to national anxiety about stranger danger. The bungling of the case is almost as shocking as the murder itself.
Over my Dead Body
Season one of Over my Dead Body follows the trajectory of Dan and Wendi, two attorneys who seemingly had the perfect relationship, but after a nasty divorce Dan ends up murdered.
Who did it? It’s definitely a lot more complicated than you would think and the podcast pulls you into the dark underbelly of murder for hire plots and poisonous family dynamics.
If you enjoyed Tiger King then you will love Over my Dead Body, in fact season two is all about Joe Exotic! That’s on my list to listen to next.
Best Supernatural Podcasts
Along with True Crime, I am also really into anything to do with the supernatural. I haven’t been able to find many good supernatural podcasts, but these are the ones that I really enjoy.
Let me know of any other supernatural podcasts that you come across – I need more!
I binged like crazy when I first discovered Simply Strange, and now I wish I had saved some episodes because the host only releases one per month.
Every episode covers a different supernatural event, whether it is a strange monster sighting, an unusual murder scene, a bizarre disappearance, or something to do with aliens.
Get ready to get scared and intrigued!
Supernatural with Ashley Flowers
Supernatural with Ashley Flowers is a new podcast that is hosted by Ashley Flowers of Crime Junkie, and is all about strange and unexplained stories from around the world.
There are only a handful of episodes so far but Ashley adds a new one every week, so make sure to sign up to get your need for crazy supernatural stories sated.
Best Dark Fiction Podcasts
Along with all the true crime and true story podcasts I follow, there are also a couple of dark fiction podcasts that I really enjoyed, check them out.
The Horror of Dolores Roach
I loved The Horror of Dolores Roach! The acting was fantastic and the story was dark AF – just how I like it. Dolores gets out of prison after serving 16 years and returns to the New York City neighborhood she used to live in with her boyfriend.
Everything has changed and Dolores ends up living in the basement of an empanada store which is owned by an old friend. I don’t want to give too much away but I will say that when shit goes DOWN, Dolores does what she feels she has to do to survive – and it is super dark.
Season Two is out now and I can’t wait to see what happens to Dolores next!
Recently made into a web television series after the success of the podcast, Limetown is a gripping tale about a reporter who is investigating the disappearance of 300 people from a neuroscience research facility in Tennessee.
There is a supernatural angle to this story and it will have you on the edge of your seat.
Best Comedy Podcasts
After all that macabre stuff I love, I often need to listen to something to lighten my mood, and there are a couple of comedy podcasts that I have really enjoyed.
Life is Short with Justin Long
lf you are interested in finding out more about the lives of celebrities and important people that you admire, then Life is Short with Justin Long is great for this. The show is hosted by the actor Justin Long and his brother Christian, and they interview a different guest each week about how they find the meaning in life, among other things.
It sounds deep but the episodes I have listened to have actually been quite light-hearted and funny.
My Dad Wrote a Porno
My Dad Wrote a Porno is definitely cringeworthy, but also endlessly hilarious. When Jamie Morton found out his Dad had written a porn novel, unlike most of us that would hope that no one they knew ever heard about it, Jamie decided to create a podcast where he would read a chapter per episode.
Turns out his Dad has a knack for comedy, without meaning to, and the porno is so funny, as is the commentary from Jamie and his two best friends, James and Alice.
Best Informative Podcasts
Sometimes it is good to learn stuff from podcasts too – other than how many murders there are in Bellingham (Crime Junkie), and that Jamie’s Dad thinks that a cervix and a vagina are the same thing (My Dad Wrote a Porno). These podcasts are more educational and informative while still being fun and interesting.
Stuff You Should Know
I have learnt so much from Josh and Chuck, while also having a lot of laughs, because the banter between these two is legendary. Every episode of Stuff you Should Know is about a different thing you should know, with Josh and Chuck having done research on the topic before discussing it between themselves.
There is a massive library of past episodes so I just scroll on through and find topics that I am intrigued about.
Favorite episodes have been Why Postal Employees go Postal, The Disappearance of MH370, Did Climate Cause the Collapse of the Maya?, The Satanic Panic of the 1980s, The Tylenol Murders, How Ouija Boards Work, What Happened to the Neanderthals?, and What’s the Deal with MSG?
Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness
I love Jonathan Van Ness, who shot to fame as the flamboyant stylist on Queer Eye. In his podcast, Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness, Jonathan covers a different topic every week that he is curious about. He interviews an expert in the subject, asking questions to learn more about the topic, and being his usual sassy self.
The episode topics are varied and some of my favorites are What Happened to the Racist F***ing A**hole Dick Officials of the Confederacy After the End of the American Civil War?, What’s the Difference Between Sunni and Shia and Why Don’t They Love Each Other?, and How the Heck do we use our Privilege for Good?
This American Life
One of the smartest podcasts out there, This American Life is a weekly public radio program and podcast. This American Life covers a different human interest topic every week, and has reporters put together a couple of different stories that reflect that theme in each episode.
Episodes that I have enjoyed are Too Close to Home, Get Back to Where you Belong, and Death and Taxes.
So that’s all I have for you so far, but I am still only a year into my journey as an avid podcast listener so I am sure there will be a lot more added to the list as time goes on.
What are your favorite podcasts?
If you liked this post, check out some of my other favorites posts:
- The Best Cemeteries Around the World to Visit
- Ten Best Offbeat Islands to Visit
- The Best Markets in London
- The Best Sydney Walks
- Five Places That I Will Definitely Return to
- The Best Lighthouses Around the World