Podcasts are entering a golden age in my humble opinion - and for me that's kind of funny because podcasts rely on the most fundamental of radio techniques and formats - interviews and serials. When I first started listening to podcasts they were mostly interview style and I do still love them (and there are more than a few on the below list) but now there are so many incredible serialised podcasts - from the investigative journalism of Serial to the more comedic style of Welcome to Nightvale to the actually scary The Black Tapes.There's something so beautifully full circle about enjoying (albeit digitally) something that my grandparents also enjoyed. It's awesome - and I am so excited to share my favourite podcasts with you!
These podcasts fall into two categories; podcasts that you can pick and mix - listening to the episodes that interest you in no particular order, and podcasts that you have to listen to in order. To help you out I've divided the podcasts into two categories. I've also added all the locations you can listen to each podcast.
Listen in order
- Welcome to Nightvale:is a "twice-monthly podcast in the style of community updates for the small desert town of Night Vale, featuring 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."
itunes | Stitcher | Libsyn | Soundcloud
- Serial: "is a podcast from the creators of This American Life, and is hosted by Sarah Koenig. Serial tells one story - a true story - over the course of an entire season. Each season, we'll follow a plot and characters wherever they take us." The first season about Adnan Syed kept me on the edge of my seat over many train rides in Europe and my husband had to deal with me dissecting the case over dinner. The second season was just as fascinating - looking at Beau Bergdahl who abandoned his post in Afghanistan and then was held by the Taliban for five years.
Serial.org | itunes | Stitcher | Soundcloud
- The Black Tapes: Okay so if Limetown is suspenseful, the Black Tapes is scary. It's very X -Files with cheeky nods to Supernatural. Each week looks at a different "Black Tape" (similar to an X File) - an unsolved case involving the paranormal. Do not watch at home, alone, at night.
itunes | Android app | Black Tapes | Libsyn | Stitcher
- Tanis: Tanis podcast is brought to you by PNSW - the team behind The Black Tapes podcast. But what exactly is Tanis? Is it a place, a person or a conspiracy? Is it all three? Only by listening along do you have a chance of knowing.
Tanis | itunes | Stitcher | Libsyn
- The Message: A message was discovered over 70 years ago and has only just been declassified. It almost definitely comes from an alien race. What are they trying to say? And to whom? And - is the message cursed?
- LifeAfter: Ross lost his wife Charlie a year ago and comforts himself by listening to recordings she made on an audio social media platform. Except one day she starts to talk to him from within the platform. So is there digital life, after?
- Zombies, Run!: Okay so technically this isn't a podcast - it's a running app - but the story is so intriguing - you can't help but get sucked in. Set in the standard post apocalyptic zombie wasteland you are Runner 5 - sent to help Abel Township with...well you'll have to download the app to find out! There is a free version that gives you full access to the runs (but you have to wait a few days between each run to "unlock" it) and a paid version which gives you instant access to all of them. I know a lot people aren't runners but I think you could listen to this on a walk (and you can set how long the story runs for as well).
- Small Town Horror: The best way to describe Small Town Horror is Stephen King-esque. It has that really creepy feel where you don't quite know what's going on or who is responsible. It is a very slow burn podcast which might be frustrating for some.
- Buffering the Vampire Slayer: This podcast is a recap of all the episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer by two wonderful and hilarious ladies (who happen to be married to each other). I love Joss Whedon and talking about TV shows. It's really interesting and dives pretty deep into the characters and the themes of the show. And it's also completely hilarious.
Pick and Mix
- Elise Gets Crafty:Elise Cripe interviews people about her favourite things, "blogging, business, creativity, inspiration and motivation". It's always a really interesting conversation to listen to - Elise feels a lot like a kindred spirit to me so it always feels like she asks the right questions
Elise Joy | itunes | Stitcher
- The Good Life Project: This started as a web TV series and has now morphed into a podcast hosted by Jonathan Fields. I really love his interview style and the range of guests. He also does "riffs" on things he thinks are important which are also incredibly enjoyable.
Good Life Project | Stitcher | Soundcloud |
- Happier with Gretchen Rubin: I love Gretchen Rubin's books Happier at Home and the Happiness Project and now she has a podcast with her sister Elizabeth Craft where she discusses tips and tricks to live a happier life. It's very light hearted and it's fun to hear these two bounce of each other.
itunes | Soundcloud | Stitcher
- Girl on Guy: Aisha Tyler has been in kind of everything (Friends, Ghost Whisperer) but most of you probably know her for her role in Archer (she plays Lana) but she also has podcast where she interviews all the coolest people in the nerd world (primarily). She is incredibly insightful as an interviewer and it is insanely fascinating to hear more about the film and TV industry. Plus she is as much of a fan as her listeners are which is exactly what you need.
Libsyn | itunes | Android app | Stitcher
- Lore podcast: So the Black Tapes and Limetown are fictional but inspired by real legends and tales. Lore podcast looks at those tales and walks you through the history of the lore behind vampires, or witches, or werewolves. Lore doesn't try and necessarily unravel and "solve" the mystery. Instead it tells the true story behind these myths and looks at the human emotions that can sometimes help to feed these myths. It is occasionally super creepy because it is true.
Lore | itunes | Stitcher
- How Is This Movie?: One trait I picked up from my dad is his obsessive love of film trivia (his favourite game when we were growing up was "Guess what other TV show/movie this person was in?") and so of course How Is This Movie is right in my wheelhouse. Each episodes focus on a particular genre or film and looks at the how and the why these films came to be. In addition look out for host Dana's Star Wars mini episodes where he regals us with tales of his worst movie going experiences.
Support How is this Movie
- Book Versus Movie: This podcast is pretty self explanatory - the two Margo's compare and contrast various books and their movie counterparts. Like with How is this Movie they dive deep into the creation of both the book and the movie. It's equal parts fascinating and funny. I will warn you though - the sound quality isn't always the best but the content is absolutely worth it.
- Night Time Podcast: So - confession time - as a child I was obsessed with mysterious occurrences; aliens, spontaneous human combustion, the Bermuda triangle. So the Night Time podcast is right in my wheelhouse. it looks at the mysterious happenings in Atlantic Canada (so yes you get to listen to the awesome Canadian accent) and it's really really interesting.
Casefile True Crime: The name of this podcast says it all; it examines true crime stories (both solved and unsolved). It is a really well researched and as an Australian it's really interesting to hear about Australian cases. I think it is really important to note that this podcast does not gloss over details and some episodes might be disturbing. There were several that I didn't listen to because I found them too distressing.
itunes | Stitcher
Support Casefile True Crime
- Star Talk Radio with Neil DeGrasse Tyson: If you have seen the most recent version of Cosmos then you know how entertaining Neil DeGrasse Tyson is, and how interesting he makes science. Star Talk Radio features Neil and a comedic guest answering questions, talking science and making you feel smart.
itunes | Stitcher
I love to hear new recommendations of podcasts so if you have one that you think would be worth listening to let me know over on Instagram.
Photo courtesy of: Death to the Stock Photo