I love podcasts. If I’m travelling or writing, chances are I’m listening to a podcast on my phone. That said, I’m extremely picky about the series I’ll invest my time into, mostly because I have the patience and attention span of a carrot. Although I’ve listened to numerous series and I’m subscribed to dozens on iTunes, there are only a few that I am consistently loyal to. If you’re also an avid podcast listener and haven’t heard of these productions already, I recommend you get listening!
If I Were You
I literally cannot remember a time in my life when I wasn’t watching or listening to Jake Hurwitz and Amir Blumenfeld.
Their series on Collegehumor, appropriately entitled Jake & Amir, kept me entertained throughout my college and university days. It never failed to cheer me up when I was on the brink of setting my Macbook on fire due to dissertation-related stress.
If you’ve never watched Jake & Amir I think it’s important that you watch this episode before I tell you what this podcast is about:
Yup. And what do these two do in their podcast? Give advice. If I Were You is the only advice podcast on the internet hosted by Jake and Amir; and it’s hilarious. Audience members send in their questions and the duo give them advice.
Although I’ve been listening to If I Were You since it’s very first episode back in May 2013, I am constantly and alarmingly behind on episodes because they tend to be released every Monday and Thursday. I may as well just go kill myself in a Starbucks.
Stuff You Should Know
If you regularly listen to podcasts or you like learning about everything that ever happened ever then there’s a chance you’re already subscribed to Stuff You Should Know.
The hosts Chuck and Josh make every topic they cover interesting, which is why they have an absolutely huge back catalogue where they discuss everything from folklore to fingerprinting and abandoned cities to real-life fight clubs.
Stuff Mom Never Told You
In Stuff Mom Never Told You, Cristen Conger and Caroline Ervin discuss everything every woman could ever possibly want to know about the world. Like their site says: ‘fueled by boundless curiosity and rigorous research, Cristen and Caroline are girls-next-door gender experts who skillfully decode the biology, psychology and sociology of ladies and gents, from their evolutionary past to millennial present, to better understand all the Stuff Mom Never Told You.’
Sword And Scale
Unlike the first three podcasts on this list which I have been listening to for years, Sword And Scale is a new favourite. I came across Mike Boudet’s true crime podcast at some point around mid-June, and managed to catch up to the newest episode within a fortnight. It’s completely addictive and extremely well produced. If you’re into true crime and aren’t easily shaken, you have to listen to Sword And Scale.
Following my discovery of Sword And Scale, I got stuck in the true crime podcasts section of iTunes. Dan Zupansky’s True Murder focuses on the most shocking killers of all time, and the authors that have written about them. With a back catalogue of two hundred episodes, all true crime fans will become instantly immersed in this detailed interviews.
However, there are some serious production problems that can become annoying, and yes, the artwork is very Microsoft Paint. Still, most of the episodes are without flaws – just skip the ones that aren’t so great.
Continuing the theme: Criminal shares ‘stories of people who’ve done wrong, been wronged, or gotten caught somewhere in the middle.’ Created by Phoebe Judge, Eric Mennel and Lauren Spohrer the first episode of Criminal wasn’t released until January 2014, and so there are only twenty-four episodes to catch-up on currently. Although the creators are full-time radio hosts, Criminal is a side project they clearly put a lot of time and effort into in their free time.
If you’re into more eclectic crime stories, Criminal is definitely a podcast for you.
Speaking of eclectic: Lore is a fantastic and relatively new bi-weekly podcast which explores fairy tales and folklore, and the real life stories that inspired them. Lore is currently only on episode thirteen but creator Aaron Mahnke has already explored the real world of vampires, beasts, the Mcmillin Mausoleum, insane asylums, witches and curses, just to name a few.
The Generation Why Podcast
The Generation Why Podcast discusses ‘unsolved murders, controversies, mysteries, conspiracies, as well as anything that impacts our culture.’ Every episode – there are currently 139 – hosts Justin and Aaron discuss a particular topic in-depth and ask the most important question: why?
Of course Serial was going to make an appearance! With the second season fast approaching, anyone has so far managed to avoid listening to the first season should definitely download it ASAP. Hosted by Sarah Koenig, Serial explores the real case of Hae Min Lee who disappeared on January 13, 1999. Lee, a senior at Woodlawn High School in Baltimore County, was found a month later in a park, strangled. Her 17-year-old ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed was convicted for her murder less than a year later, despite an astounding lack of evidence and Adnan’s refusal to accept blame for the crime. With intricate characters and twists at every turn, Serial is a fantastic production everyone can invest in.
This Is Actually Happening
I’m a bit worried about This Is Actually Happening, as a new podcast hasn’t been released since early July. I’m assuming they’re on hiatus, but it’s just so hard to wait for a new episode! Each podcast ‘probes the chaotic interiors of the human experience as we find out what happens when everything changes’. Season Four alone has so far explored questions that many of us have never even thought to ask. What If Oral Sex Triggered A Near Death Experience? What If Your Roommate Had A Deep Dark Secret? What If You Touched The Spirit World? These are all questions posed and answers throughout This Is Actually Happening.
Welcome To Night Vale
One of my all time favourites is, of course, Welcome To Night Vale. Turn on your radio and hide: Welcome To Night Vale is wonderfully weird and comfortingly creepy. Released every 1st and 15th of the month, WTNV is a radio show for the small desert town of Night Vale, hosted by Cecil – who you will love by the way. Each episodes features ‘local weather, news, announcements from the Sheriff’s Secret Police, mysterious lights in the night sky, dark hooded figures with unknowable powers, and cultural events’.
The Moth Podcast
Finally, let us return to the real world. The Moth is a ‘celebration of both the raconteur, who breathes fire into true tales of ordinary life, and the storytelling novice, who has lived through something extraordinary and yearns to share it. At the center of each performance is, of course, the story – and The Moth’s directors work with each storyteller to find, shape and present it.’
If you’re also an avid podcast listener and love some of the millions of podcasts I haven’t mentioned on this list, I’d love to hear from you. I’m always looking for new podcasts to listen to whilst I’m writing, so please recommend any you think I’d enjoy!