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The Most Bingeable And Gripping Podcasts Series That Make Doing *Any* Chore REALLY Enjoyable

I listen to no less than 10 hours a week of podcasts, usually nearing 15 hours. It’s a real thing. Brian and I started listening to This American Life And Slate’s Political Gabfest in 2001 when we moved to New York for our subway commutes when the internet was a tiny little baby. Point is – we are podcast enthusiasts, more than any other medium for sure (besides design blogs of course). Now, I’m not sitting on my back porch staring at our flowers growing while listening, no, this is all while I’m doing something that was once menial, but with a podcast is now enjoyable. This is my dog walking and doing house chores time. The hobby turned into a real habit during lockdown when Brian and I would divide up the house on Sundays and clean for four hours straight, each taking a floor (the kids also did their chores and otherwise learned to not bug us). We actually came to love this time and it was only in the last two months that we’ve hired a bi-weekly cleaning service again – not because we were self-righteously rejecting the help, but because we legit enjoyed our podcast time that much (and there is a lot of dopamine you get from completing housework which we’ve now turned into yardwork for the summer).

But like all media right now there is just SO MUCH OUT THERE. I rely heavily on friends’ recs and some help from my algorithm to find the best podcasts. I listen to almost every genre, but they all HAVE to be entertaining – whether it’s psychology, self-help, parenting, news, culture/society, true crime, or comedy. They HAVE to keep me entertained. This is why I feel like I’m a great resource here for today’s list which is the best bingeable podcast series – i.e. the ones that you don’t want to stop listening to because you have to find out how it ends. Think “page-turners” and “unput-down-able” books. Today’s list will be less about single episodes (I’ll do that, too) and more 6-10 part series with a beginning and an end. Grab your laundry and a mop, because these will make your Sunday chores FLY BY.

The Classics – The Podcast Series That Made This Genre

I would be amiss not to go back in time for those of you who might have missed the podcast series that really made this form of media:

Serial, S-Town, Dr. Death, and Dirty John. Sometimes I want to listen to them again almost like watching a classic movie. These totally transformed journalism and frankly gave hope to an industry that is increasingly being forced to chase headlines (to all of our demise).

Important Gripping Cultural Stories

These were mind-broadening and highly educational and entertaining. These are the ones that you can’t stop talking about at dinner parties – big cultural stories/movements that make you smarter.

Rabbit Hole: A deep dive into how the Internet and social media radicalize people (specifically young men). Sounds boring, but totally gripping, I promise.

1619: A must listen to better understand Black American history. I learned so much. Extremely well produced with a momentum that drives but with really good pacing (there is a whole episode about racial appropriation in Yacht Rock).

The Witchhunt of JK Rowling: I can’t stop talking about this one – it documents the last 20 years of society, culture, social media, feminism, trans rights/backlash against trans rights, cancel culture, extreme religion, and even Harry Potter (??) … I wouldn’t be surprised it won many awards for brave journalism. Doesn’t matter where you land on any of those subjects, if you are a curious person you’ll enjoy this series.

Bone Valley: This bridges true crime and the justice system. It’s incredibly well-researched about someone wrongly fully convicted of a crime, serving decades, and how that even happened. It also goes into the childhood of the real killer which I always find to be a fascinating layer.

Nice White Parents: About a public school in New York and how white liberals don’t necessarily always put their money where their mouth is when personally challenged. Definitely forced me to take a look at myself after this one. Nimbyism anyone?

Cover Story – Seed Monday: About two White Fish billionaires and a potential sex scandal. A large subplot about how the super-rich are changing Montana, not for the better, and the pushback they are getting from locals.

Cover Story – A Power Trip: Y’all, this made me absolutely question how we might potentially use psychedelic drugs for trauma and PTSD therapy. Shows you how any industry can be corrupted and we shouldn’t just take “data” at face value.

True Crime (More Gripping Than Scary)

I need to give a caveat here – I don’t listen to any podcasts that give me fear/anxiety around my kids (aka missing kids, mysterious accidents, etc) which there are a lot of. Most of the true-crime I love is more white collar, cult, or sure, “creepy old murders” that they feel far away from my own life. I also don’t love the one-offs as much as other people but I also haven’t tried that hard.

To Live and Die in LA: Both seasons are so gripping and are about a mysterious disappearance of a woman in LA. And the publishing of these podcasts has led to information about who dunnit. Just excellently produced and as you can imagine, it’s someone close to them (which always makes me feel better somehow).

Root of Evil: The history of the Black Dahlia murderer, as told by his relatives who are younger journalists. This was fairly disturbing at times, but my goodness it was excellent and I couldn’t stop listening. They deep dive hard, and even after they prove the murderer, there is a follow-up episode that offers some hope and redemption re inherited trauma/abuse.

My Own Backyard: This was a huge story when I was in college so I was genuinely curious who did it. This podcast was so well researched with intrepid and relentless journalism that it actually helped bring justice. So good.

Looking For The Todt Family: Truly disturbing but I couldn’t stop. This does have to do with kids but the circumstances are so bizarre and family related so for whatever reason it didn’t give me anxiety (but totally creeped me out). Extremely unsettling (and generally not what I love).

Chameleon: Hollywood Con Queen: Not my favorite of them all, but a fun listen. Also, Wild Boys (second season) is also really weird and good.

Harsh Reality: The Story of Miriam Rivera: Really sad.

Suspect: Mislaid justice via a Halloween party crime – it’s so good. (I haven’t listened to season 3 yet).

Betrayal/Double Lives/Scams/Cults, Etc.

The Shrink Next Door: LOVED. Kinda Stockholm syndrome-y, and dealing with Hamptons wealth culture (always a favorite). So good.

Sweet Bobby: I stopped this the first time around because I felt it was the usual catfish story (which honestly I find myself not really relating to). But out of desperation I picked it back up and then it blew my mind. There is a twist. Just wait for it.

Twin Flames: UGH, SO GOOD. This is about a self-help relationship cult and how they guided people to do disturbing things in the name of finding their true love.

Scamanda: A blogger that uses cancer to make money from followers. Oof. I don’t want to spoil it for you, but as a blogger, I was gripped.

Betrayal: Definitely made me start tracking Brian on “find my phone”. As someone who is currently happily married, it’s honestly so hard to believe when people say that had NO IDEA about their partner’s double life, but the first season specifically feels so true and I had such empathy for her. The second season is your worst nightmare as well!

Escaping NXIVM: Growing up religious I have a real place in my heart for self-help or enlightenment cults. This is a good one.

OC Swingers: Exactly what you think it is, and then worse.

Queen of Con: Admittedly I didn’t finish this yet because I had heard so much about the ending, but it was good and felt like it should be included here.

Something Was Wrong: I loved the first few seasons then it fell off for me (now there are 17 seasons so I’m sure there’s some real good ones in there). But the first two follow specific relationships and how one person was unbelievably betrayed and manipulated.

Deep Dives Into Infamous News Stories

I love these because they confirm in my mind how much “growing the business” so fast is not always the healthiest choice and how we in America push for MORE MORE MORE at all costs.

WeCrashed: Loved it. Just another story of a dude abusing his power with greed and narcissism.

The Dropout (and Bad Blood – I think I listened to both, strangely): You might know the story too well, but if you haven’t seen the documentary or the TV series I loved this one.

Flipping The Bird: I mean, such a douche. It’s about Elon Musk, obviously, and his life and purchase of Twitter.

The Just Enough Family: SO GOOOOOOOOOD. It’s about a famous and rich New York family and how they reacted to and squandered their fortune. My old boss, Jonathan Adler, is on it a lot as he was great friends with Liz Lange – the heiress of the fortune. I signed up and paid for season 2 the second it was over (which I rarely do, and they still haven’t delivered).

What Podcasts Am I Missing???

I KNOW I’m forgetting so many – please leave them in the comments (for me, too!). And if you are into this I’m SO happy to also do a list of my favorite one-off podcast episodes in all my favorite categories (self-improvement, parenting, relationship, science, work/business, etc). Leave your favorites in all categories below!!!

P.S. If you are in need of long-lasting headphones that stay in your ears these are my all-time favorites. I don’t know how people do chores with AirPods in without falling out one million times a day, so I know that these look dorky but I literally couldn’t care less – they stay in, the battery lasts for 5-6 hours straight and they aren’t tiny so they don’t get lost easily. Hot Tip: I only listen with one in at a time (especially while walking) so even when the battery wears out I can just switch to the other side.

Opening Image Credits: Photos by Kaitlin Green | From: The Farmhouse Kitchen Reveal And All My Thoughts And Feelings About It

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Mitten
7 months ago

So many here I haven’t listened to yet! Thank you! Some of my favourites that I think belong here: Heavyweight (funny and poignant). British Scandal (funny and recently historical, comes in bingeable sets of 3-4 eps per scandal). Who Shat on the Floor at My Wedding (funny true crime ;-). Terrible Thanks for Asking (not funny but good). What Was That Like (not funny either but insights into unimaginable situations). I got more but those are my top 5 recs.

Terra
7 months ago
Reply to  Mitten

LOVE Heavyweight! I miss it so much! TAL rebroadcast a show recently that gave me Heavyweightish vibes: “The House on Loon Lake.”

mallory
7 months ago
Reply to  Mitten

Who Shat the Floor had me literally LOLing on the streets on my walks. SO funny!

Nicole
7 months ago
Reply to  Mitten

Also came here to say Heavyweight!

zerka
7 months ago
Reply to  Mitten

I love Heavyweight too and most things by Gimlet Media. Also Revisionist History.

Louize
7 months ago

Thanks for this list, I am a huge podcast fan (when I am doing chores, working on my home renovation and while driving). I have listened to a lot of these, but there are some new ones to check out too! I recently listened to « stolen hearts » a British romance/crime series and « love janessa » about online scams – you might enjoy them!

Amy
7 months ago

I think you’d like The No-Good, Terribly Kind, Wonderful Lives and Tragic Deaths of Honey and Barry Sherman (https://www.lionsgatesound.com/shows/the-no-good-terribly-kind-wonderful-lives-and-tragic-deaths-of-barry-and-honey-sherman). It’s a murder mystery but not super disturbing. There’s plenty of news articles about it, if you like a primer or post-listen research. It’s about the bizarre unsolved homicide of a billionaire Canadian couple.

Eileen
7 months ago

Thank you for sharing this list! I usually listen to one- off podcast episodes. A few I always return to- Happier with Gretchen Rubin, Happier in Hollywood, Bad on Paper, The Mel Robbins podcast, We Can Do Hard Things, Marriage and Martinis, The Shit No One Tells You About Writing, and many more. I would love another post about your favorites!

ali
7 months ago

Thank you! I will need to check many of these out. I have previously enjoyed your podcast recommendations.

I would add In The Dark, Season 1 (Curtis Flowers) to the list. A heartbreaking insight on how our justice system can fail.

K
7 months ago
Reply to  ali

Season 1 is Jacob Wetterling, Season 2 is Curtis Flowers. Both are excellent! I appreciated the deep dive into the various layers and mechanics of our justice system.

ali
7 months ago
Reply to  K

You are right! Thanks for the correction.

A
7 months ago
Reply to  ali

YES to In the Dark Season 2!!!

7 months ago

Great post— I always forget to listen to podcasts. Can’t wait to dive into these. A few recommendations:

  1. Kai Wright’s Notes from America, from WNYC (New York’s NPR station). Excellent coverage of contemporary issues and the historical origins; my college friend Andre Lee produces it.
  2. Throughline, also from NPR: deep dives into everything from the history of house music to Sesame Street to the ‘thin layer’ of civilization theory— episode 224 from January— on how societies organize themselves.
  3. Now and Then with rock star historians Heather Cox Richardson and Joanne Freeman. Okay, I’m a history nerd and longtime history teacher, but these two women are at the top of their game. HCR’s daily sub stack, Letters from an American, is on my daily reading list.
Juanita
7 months ago

Love this!! Gearing up for a 14 hour drive this weekend so the timing is perfect, will try some of these out 😊 and yes to podcast recs in other genres please! Science, food/cooking, celeb-hosted shows, etc. (I’m personally not as into self-help podcasts because most of them are really not evidence-based, so just be cautious in what y’all listen to- lots of quacks out there… but standbys like Glennon Doyle and Michelle Obama tend to be pretty well researched!)

Christina
7 months ago

Emily these are all great! I would add Scamfluencers if you like stories about scams… Trust Me…. About cults or culty things ( like MLM’s , not the occult) and my newest obsession Under Cover of Knight. Was she CIA? In WITSEC? Or is all this just a crazy list of coincidences and misremembering? Happy binging!

Kelly
7 months ago

The 3 I’d recommend are both no longer putting out content, but so good:
1) The Longest Shortest Time (Hillary Frank and Stitcher) – I’m not a parent, but this was such good storytelling. The Accidental Gay parents series is a great place to start here.
2) Wind of Change (Pineapple Street Studios/ Crooked Media/ Spotify) – Examines whether the CIA was involved in the Cold War era hit song
3) Human Race (Runners World/ Panoply) – Good storytelling/ interviews, I particularly enjoyed Episode 10: The Cut Off Queen.

I’m curious about The Retrievals (Serial) and The Lazarus Heist, and can’t wait to hear what others recommend.

Jesse
7 months ago
Reply to  Kelly

I forgot The Longest Shortest Time! So good! and ‘The Accidental Gay Parents’ was such a good series!

mallory
7 months ago
Reply to  Kelly

I found the Retrievals fascinating but be ready to feel angry. I finished the whole series in a day.

Anna
7 months ago
Reply to  Kelly

The accidental gay parents is such a life affirming beautiful series!

The retrievals was so important – especially how woman’s pain is dismissed so easily – felt important to bear witness and hold space for the women that went through this.

Lane
7 months ago

Sharon McMahon’s (Sharon says so on IG) podcast: Here’s where it gets interesting. Sharon is a former government teacher, she covers lots of topics about how policies are made, supreme Court decisions, etc. objectively. She sometimes covers other newsworthy topics with her guests.

Emily
7 months ago

Thanks for sharing your favorites!
I listen to the daily news/business podcast ‘Marketplace’ by APM (it is also broadcast on NPR). The host is great.

Kim
7 months ago

Great list! I would also recommend Jonathan Goldstein’s Heavyweight podcast where he finds people who have some longtime regret and helps them undo it – hard to explain, but so entertaining. He’s a brilliant storyteller. And there are multiple binge-worthy seasons.

L
7 months ago

I have been recommending Normal Gossip to everyone I know! It’s super clever, charming, hilarious, and well-told stories that are perfect for anyone who is a little bit nosy or loves to dish with friends.

7 months ago
Reply to  L

Another vote for normal gossip! It’s the perfect podcast when you’re in the mood for something light hearted but also totally gripping. The stories are so good and just really fun.

Cse
7 months ago
Reply to  L

Me too! It is so fun and well done.

Liz F
7 months ago
Reply to  L

Yes!! LOVE Normal Gossip!! Just saw the live show in Seattle, and it was great! So fun. Shifting gears completely, Bear Brook is amazing. Murder mystery, but they get into some really fascinating science and genetic genealogy to identify this family that was killed – like testing the isotopes in their teeth to figure out what part of the country they came from.

7 months ago
Reply to  Liz F

Liz F, I also was fascinated with Bear Brook. I teach a high school forensics class and we listened to an episode a week. So interesting!

Jessica
7 months ago
Reply to  L

Yes!! The first few episodes are a bit rocky (though the gossip is still great) but then they hit their storytelling stride 😊

Molly
7 months ago

As a fellow podcast lover who binges while doing home things, thank you so much for the relatively inexpensive ear buds recommendation that stay in! I’ve blown through 4 pairs of Bose and Apple varieties and get so frustrated when they fall out in the middle of me doing something where my hands are gross. I even had one fall between drywall as I worked on our renovation! I’m so glad
these are reasonably priced because it’s hard to justify reordering those expensive ones.

Katie O
7 months ago

I haven’t listened yet, but my sister has raved about Wilder, which is about Laura Ingalls Wilder and the Little House series, including the controversies that surround it today. Supposed to be very good for anyone who grew up with the series.

Lisa
7 months ago

These will help with good emotional health and/or fun:
– This is love
– Heavyweight
– Criminal
– Hit Play not Pause

7 months ago
Reply to  Lisa

Criminal is so good!

Lori Mascarenas
7 months ago
Reply to  Lisa

This is Love: The host’s voice is sooo smooth and relaxing I sometimes relisten when I can’t fall asleep

Mary
7 months ago

Oh thank you for this, so many that sound amazing that I hadn’t heard of. From my list, here are some I have loved recently: Bone Valley – devastating and just amazing all at once. Leo Schofield was wrongfully convicted for murdering his wife and has now spent 34 years in prison. Gilbert King (the pulitzer prize winning author) meticulous investigate and tell the case, it’s so powerful and sad and infuriating and filled with hope. It is told with such empathy, not just for Leo but also the man who did kill Michelle, and they somehow focus on the humanity and the forgiveness and redemption of people in the midst of destroyed lives and sadness. Just so good! Mandela the Lost Tapes – i never wanted this to end. What would it be like to take long walks with Nelson Mandela and have extended time to hear him all of his life story? Here it is packaged up in 10 episodes with Rick Stengel brilliantly guiding it. It is captivating to say the least…to hear what a Mandela hug felt like was in and of itself worth the listen! The Coldest Case in Laramie – another Serial production and… Read more »

patty
7 months ago

Father Wants Us Dead. Big murder story in my area when I was a teenager. Dad was a complete weirdo.

Alison Gresik
7 months ago

I’m disappointed to see The Witch Trials of JK Rowling on this list. It may present as impartial but it is trying to normalize harmful anti-trans positions, which is unsurprising since it is produced by Bari Weiss’ organization. Vulture has a good article explaining the problems with it.

Alice
7 months ago
Reply to  Alison Gresik

Your link is interesting, especially the comments, many of which disagree with the article. In fact, scrolling through them, I’ve yet to find one that agrees with the author’s article. I would recommend that anyone clicking your link be sure to read through the comments.

Alison Gresik
7 months ago
Reply to  Alice

On the contrary, I think the comments demonstrate just how effective a piece of propaganda this podcast has been for platforming and mainstreaming transphobia. Here’s another rebuttal of the series from Natalie Wynn, whose video essays won a Peabody award. She is a transwoman who was interviewed for the podcast and now regrets her involvement.

A
7 months ago
Reply to  Alison Gresik

Seconded. So tired of airtime given to anti-trans positions being seen as “balanced”

K.D.
7 months ago
Reply to  Alison Gresik

The Guardian says it best: … we avoid the trap that befalls much US media – the tendency, born of a desire to please all sides, to engage in false equivalence in the name of neutrality. While fairness guides everything we do, we know there is a right and a wrong position in the fight against racism and for reproductive justice. When we report on issues like the climate crisis, we’re not afraid to name who is responsible. And as a global news organization, we’re able to provide a fresh, outsider perspective on US politics – one so often missing from the insular American media bubble.

Alexandra
7 months ago
Reply to  Alison Gresik

To anyone reading this, I would highly recommend you listen to the podcast yourself and form your own opinion of whether or not you think she is anti-trans rather than read an opinion piece on someone’s supposed view points.

E.R.
7 months ago
Reply to  Alison Gresik

I came here to say the same thing as Allison. It is disappointing to see The Witch Trials of JK Rowling on this list. If folks are interested to hear media that engages with trans people as human beings instead of as problems, threats, or perverts, check out the Gender Reveal podcast (genderpodcast.com).

Liz M
7 months ago

These all seem heavy into drama! I like to listen to much lighter stuff – Office Ladies Pod is my all time favourite. Red Pill your Healthcast!!!! Joe Rogan is always awesome too.

JeffreyC
7 months ago
Reply to  Liz M

Lots to question and/or dislike about Joe Rogan and his frequent amplification of conspiracy theories and theorists.

Maggie
7 months ago

Some great recommendations! Adding a bunch of these to my list. Some I have on regular rotation are My Favorite Murder (two funny ladies tell crime stories of all sorts), Buried Bones (a journalist presents cases – most really old – to a forensic expert and he puts a modern spin on the investigation) and National Park After Dark (two sweet gals that cover everything outdoor crime related). Enjoy! and SSDGM!

Jesse
7 months ago

Podcasts are a close third after my kids and husband of what I love most in life!
My new favorite is Ologies with Alie Ward. Its a deep dive into the science of just about anything -bats, trees, voting, abandoned houses… I’m constantly impressing (annoying) friends and family with my new smarts. Plus, the shows been on for a few years, so there’s so many back episodes to dig into. And the host Alie Ward, a science reporter, is delightful!
Others: Burnt ToastPlanet Money, The Sporkful, Unladylike, How To Be Fine (and the hosts previous show By The Book).

Elizabeth
7 months ago

I listen to podcasts at night to help me relax for sleep. Two great ones are: Get Sleepy and The Sleepy Bookshelf.
I also love Phoebe Reads a Mystery – she released an episode a day all through the pandemic and has just released a new one The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. She reads the classics.

🥰 Rusty
7 months ago

They spund so great, but I don’t have much cleaning to do – live on my own, neat and tidy person, small house. 🤣 so I’d never get through them.
I have a large garden, but I get very sweaty and dirty ‘ninja-gardening’, standing up ladders, weilding power tools, so….nope.
However, I’m really interested in non-fiction, one-off podcasts….bring that list on, please!

Mitten
7 months ago
Reply to  🥰 Rusty

Try British Scandal – they cover each in 3-5 episodes. There is American Scandal too but it’s nowhere near as funny (to me here in NZ). What Was That Like is also all one-offs. You may never have wondered what it’s like, for example, to have your arm torn off in a machine or be trampled by an elephant – but it makes for pretty gripping listening!

Diane Bowe
7 months ago

Wiser Than Me. Every episode is revelatory and oh so emotional. Julia Louis Dreyfus (and her mom) is a phenomenal host.

mallory
7 months ago
Reply to  Diane Bowe

She is such a skilled interviewer – something that lacks from a lot of celeb hosted podcasts. I’m anxiously awaiting more episodes!

mack
7 months ago

Love listening to Glenn Beck’s to get a different point of view & Joe Rogan’s for not holding back! My husband and I enjoy listening to Rogan together on a long drive and it leads us to great conversations. We look forward to road trips now!

Caitlin
7 months ago

60 Songs that Explain the 90s was so popular the host added more episodes. I laugh out loud so much and will be devastated when it’s over. Hopefully they will move onto other decades but I am a similar age to the host (and Emily) so the 90s was my adolescence and the music memories run deep! I listen on Spotify. https://www.theringer.com/60-songs-that-explain-the-90s I also love WTF with Mark Maron. I’m not sure why I find him so soothing. His emotional intelligence and self reflection impressed me. Cat angels everywhere. I search for podcasts based on my TV watching. Pamela Adlon and Better Things, Kate & Leisha from The L Word, and I have listened to two entire podcasts about The Sopranos. I live in the Bay Area and there are great local shows that folks anywhere can enjoy: Ear Hustle (about life in prison), Home Cooking (I want Samin Nosrat to be my best friend), City Arts & Lectures (kind of similar to Fresh Air but recorded live in front of an audience). I used to love true crime podcasts but then I realized they really negatively affected my mood and view on humanity. Also, when I learned I could… Read more »

Dena
7 months ago
Reply to  Caitlin

thank you for the mention of Libby. Do you happen to know if the audiobooks can be played on Alexa? Been trying to figure that out but not very good at electronics!

Michelle R
7 months ago
Reply to  Dena

You have to download the Libby app and you need a library card (not sure if all libraries offer access to Libby).

K.D.
7 months ago
Reply to  Dena

Dena, stop by your local library. They’d be happy to show you how to use their electronic/digital offerings.

Lisa Mariano-Grise
7 months ago
Reply to  Caitlin

I noticed the same re: crime junkies podcast – negatively impacted my mood and made me paranoid a bit. Prefer We Can Do Hard Things, Don’t Ask Tig, Marc Maron…

CJK
7 months ago

The Retrievals is a new podcast by NYTimes and Serial that is gripping and so well done. It is about a nurse who was stealing fentanyl from the Yale Medicine Fertility Clinic where she worked, and the hundreds of women who underwent egg retrievals without adequate pain control as a result. Trigger warning for anyone who has struggled with fertility – I have close friends and family who couldn’t listen because it hit too close to home for them.

Jessie
7 months ago
Reply to  CJK

Such an infuriating story! The Retrievals was very well done.

Lisa H
7 months ago

Hmm, not into podcasts, but love audiobooks. I download them from Libby. I recently had some major projects, and some driving time ahead of me, so borrowed a book from the Outlander series…about 40 hours! I’d read it before, but never listened to it. Audiobooks are SO WELL PERFORMED! They’re an escape. A recent favorite was listening to Tom Hanks read “the Dutch House” by Ann Patchet. An old favorite was listening with my kids (now grown) to The Harry Potter series, narrated by Jim Dale. Magical!
I often listen to audiobooks that have received an Audie award or nomination.
Something I notice about podcasts, is that they’re often about true crime. I prefer fiction for relaxation. I also like to be sure that if I’m reading about current news events, that I get my information from a non-biased source.

K.D.
7 months ago
Reply to  Lisa H

I used to listen to a LOT of podcasts but am currently 100% into audiobooks. Great to listen to while doing chores, running errands or walking. I feel like I learn so much more from a well written novel than a podcast.  I have two library cards in CloudLibrary, one in Hoopla and one in  Libby. 

Maura
7 months ago

In the dark season 2! Doesn’t involve kids. One of the best pieces of journalism ever. Period.

Alyssa
7 months ago

The Retrievals is fascinating and well done. I listened to it right after Scamanda, which I thought was fine-not-great, and I was blown away by how much more I liked the Retrievals. Listen listen listen!! Stolen, both seasons, is also one I’ve recently listened to–it’s a tough one due to the content (MMIW in season 1, residential schools in season 2), but important AF.

7 months ago

Noble Blood (scandals in history)
Even the Rich (celebrity life deep dives from Elton John, Liz Taylor, Lucy Ball, to Mariah Carey, etc.)
What’s her name (fascinating women you’ve never heard of)
Book Chat (book discussions between two older books you wouldn’t necessarily put together)
Deathbed Confessions (what it says on the tin)
Cautionary Tales (lessons from crimes, accidents, and scandals of the past)
Conspiracy Theories (conspiracies examined by non-conspiracists)
Significant Others (about the lesser known spouses of famous men, hosted by Conan O’Brien’s wife)
Lady Killers with Lucy Worsley ( historical murders by women through a modern lens on why they did it, not gory)
The Happiness Lab (from a Yale class, about how to be fulfilled and content)

kiki
7 months ago

I LOVE podcasts, but really really don’t like true crime. So, my list is:

  • You’re Wrong About
  • Maintenance Phase
  • If Books Could Kill
  • The Daily
  • Not Skinny but Not Fat
  • Planet Money
  • The Allusionist
  • Armchair Expert (honestly surprised this wasn’t on the list!)
Eve
7 months ago
Reply to  kiki

Hi! Prob b/c Emily has talked about listening to it for years now! LOL

Stacy
7 months ago
Reply to  kiki

Another vote for “you’re wrong about”! Basically what it sounds like, but the host is so lighthearted and funny and yet sensitive with important topics. Really great. The martha stewart episode was a favorite.

Frances
7 months ago

A must listen for anyone into home design in The Great Indoors. It’s hosted by two Brits, Sophie Robinson and Kate Watson-Smyth who have hilarious debates over the use of color and pattern and offer really great advice on remodeling, styling and sustainability. I would love to hear Emily interviewed on there one day!

🥰 Rusty
7 months ago
Reply to  Frances

Yes! This is a great9ne!👍

Caitlin
7 months ago

Thank you! I am ALWAYS looking for good podcasts for the dog walks, cleaning time, and cooking hours. A few more recs:
This is Happening (a first person account of something usually traumatic, and I check the trigger warnings) that really centers the person and lets them tell their story in a really compelling way. It is so good.
City of the Rails, a podcast made by a journalist and mother who looks for her daughter and discovers an entire world of people living on and hopping on and off trains all over America.
Articles of Interest – “a show about what we wear” – which doesn’t sound like it would be fascinating BUT IT IS.

L
7 months ago
Reply to  Caitlin

I love Articles of Interest, especially their season about the history of Ivy/Preppy style in the US and Japan!

Teresa
7 months ago
Reply to  L

Yes this was a great series!

Sarah
7 months ago
Reply to  Caitlin

I recently found This is Actually Happening and love it! Amazing to hear people tell their own stories in their own words. I also love how it’s edited and the fact that it’s not an interview format, you’re truly just hearing their story.

Alice
7 months ago

I recommend Sam Harris’ Making Sense podcast. He has discussions with scientists and scholars and they are always interesting and enlightening.

Maureen Hamburger
7 months ago

The Moth, Modern Love, Terrible Thanks for Asking, This is Love, Strangers, Criminal, Family Secrets.

N.
7 months ago

Ooh thank you! I’ve been meaning to get more into podcasts and will devour this list.
Two recommendations:

  • Believe in Magic: Similar to Scamanda. Tells the story of a mom who faked her daughter’s brain tumor. They eventually start an organization that One Direction ends up promoting.
  • Sold a Story: This is a must listen for anyone who teaches elementary or even middle school. I’d also highly recommend it to parents (and other family members) whose children had difficulty learning to read. It provides an in-depth into how and why reading instruction evolved into what it is today and the negative ramifications.
Miruska
7 months ago

I would highly recommend the following 3 podcasts:

  1. 60 Songs that Explain the 90s, even though the episodes are longer they are super entertaining and funny. The host has a lot of anecdotes about his own life/childhood, and great interviews at the end. I think he is now at the 100th song so not just 60 songs
  2. One by Willie, it’s a series of interviews with some famous folks (singers and some actors) around a Willie Nelson song they chose. It’s very entertaining, funny and just plain cool to hear about their lives and why that song is so special to them. You also hear about Willie’s life and it’s all just amazing to me.
  3. You Must Remember This, a long running podcast that started as a podcast about the golden era of Hollywood but went into 80s and 90s Hollywood, the Rat Pack, etc. Extremely well researched and very entertaining.
JeffreyC
7 months ago

Wiser Than Me™ with Julia Louis-Dreyfushttps://lemonadamedia.com/show/wiser-than-me-with-julia-louis-dreyfus/
Julia Louis-Dreyfus wants to know why the hell we don’t hear more from older women, so she’s sitting down with Jane Fonda, Carol Burnett, Amy Tan, Diane von Furstenberg, Isabel Allende and Fran Lebowitz (and more!) to get schooled in how to live a full and meaningful life. Join the Emmy award winning-est actress of all time on her first-ever podcast, where each week she has funny, touching, personal conversations with unforgettable women who are always WISER THAN ME™.

R
7 months ago

Some of my favorite series podcasts:
The Dream (esp. season 1) – about MLMs and capitalism and wellness
Bad Women – historical true crime that centers the lives of the victims. Extremely well researched.
I’m sure most people have heard of Slow Burn already but I want to make a plug for the season about the Clinton impeachment trial and Monica Lewinsky. So fascinating to revisit a period of history that I only vaguely was aware of the first time around.

Dena
7 months ago

I love true crime but I usually need a balance or a break from it with just funny nonsense that is easy to listen to. My favorite funny/interesting podcasts are:
-David Spade and Dana Carvey “Fly on the Wall”. They are hilarious together and are from my era of Saturday Night Live but they have all kinds of comedians and former SNL members on the podcast for a behind the scenes and breakdown of their skits, their childhood, what made them funny, etc.
-Kate and Oliver Hudson (Goldie Hawn’s kids), “Sibling Revelry”. They have great sibling banter and stories and then they have other siblings on their podcast to talk about their childhoods. Not quite as downright funny, but just easy and good!
-Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes and Will Arnet in “Smarless”. Just funny and ridiculous!!
If anyone knows of any funny female forward podcasts I’d love to know!

L Alexander
7 months ago

My current favorite is The British History Podcast. I love Jamie’s voice and he has become my chore time buddy. The podcast is really well researched and starts at the very beginning of what we know about Great Britain and then goes chronologically through early history onward. I’m now at about episode 140. There are hundreds more. Loving it.

Michelle R
7 months ago

Thank you! I listen to a LOT of podcasts and it’s hard to find new ones but found a few new ones to follow here and in the comments. I recommend these!

History/current events:
-British Scandal (super well done and a lot of stories not known outside of the UK)
-Short History of
-Real Dictators
-Fiasco (season 5 on the AIDS epidemic)
-The Bomb (both seasons are hosted by people with a personal connection to someone involved in creation of the atom bomb and are amazing)

True crime:
– The Missing Crypto Queen (can’t believe this story isn’t more widely known, it’s wild)
-Firebug (creepy and compelling but not gorey)

Misc:
-Think Twice: Michael Jackson (deals with abuse, his life, and complicated feelings on his legacy
-Worlds Beyond Number (immersive storeytelling/roleplaying game that is hard to explain)
-Aria Code (Metropolitan Opera — explains the story from multiple points of view and provides musical, cultural and historical context)

Ellen M
7 months ago
Reply to  Michelle R

I loooooove Aria Code. I am crossing my fingers for another season.

Sue
7 months ago

Smartless.

Kat
7 months ago
Reply to  Sue

Totally agree! My FAVORITE!

A
7 months ago

Maintenance Phase!!!! And if you enjoy true crime but find the ethics of it icky, I highly recommend Missing & Murdered, reported by Connie Walker—it is SO DIFFERENT to learn about the crisis of missing & murdered Indigenous women (in this series, in Canada) through the lens of an indigenous reporter.

Jeanne
7 months ago

Human interest stories:
Another vote for The Moth
Snapped Judgement

If you like real life spooky stuff:
The Chilling Podcast
Real Life Ghost Stories Podcast (her Irish accent is the best!). Particularly good is #195 The Boy They Tried to Hide (you can FF the movie review) and her follow-up interview with the social worker. Bonus Ep with Shane Dunphy
Snapped Judgement Presents Spooked
Jim Harold’s Campfire (the OG! Going on 18yrs)

Frances
7 months ago
Reply to  Jeanne

Love spooky podcasts too , including Jim Harold and Spooked! Have you tried Uncanny?

Jeanne
7 months ago
Reply to  Frances

No! I need to listen to that one. I’m on the lookout for new ones too so open to any suggestions to well produced ones.

Jeanne
7 months ago
Reply to  Frances

Frances: I’m currently bingeing through Uncanny now and it’s so much fun. Thank you! If you really liked the Room 611 story, you must listen to The Chilling, the true story of some Kent University students who end up renting a haunted house off campus.

Emilie
7 months ago

A few more multi-part podcasts that I’ve really liked:
-“The land that never has been yet” by Scene on Radio: A fresh examination of American democracy, throughout history and in its current state. The hosts are really thoughtfully critical, they have great guest experts, and the whole things unwinds like a soft-focus thriller rather than nonfiction. I also really liked their seasons on the environmental crisis and the construction of race in America.
-“We were three” The story of a family, revolving around the deaths of two of them to COVID; but using it as a lens to examine the fractures in their family and in society.

Ellen M
7 months ago
Reply to  Emilie

Thank you for this recommendation “The land that never has been yet” by Scene on Radio. I listen to A LOT of podcasts and find I can’t really listen to current event political news anymore, but a big subject that spans decades, that sound good.

mallory
7 months ago

Thank you for this list! Some of my favorite weeklies:

  • The Read (Black queer pop/culture focused)
  • My Favorite Murder
  • Why Won’t You Date Me
  • Alright Mary (Drag Race recaps but delightful in its own rite)
  • Fresh Air every night at bedtime
  • Maintenance Phase

Some of my favorite series:

  • Who Shat the Floor at my Wedding
  • The Retrievals
  • all the Serials
  • Even the Rich
  • Up and Vanished
Jan Jessup
7 months ago

You are missing two fascinating podcasts about American history from Rachel Maddow:
ULTRA about how sitting members of Congress aided and abetted a plot to overthrow the government in the late 1930s-early ’40s. With help from Nazi propagandists, extremist elected officials plotted against America with the violent ultra right. Amazing comparisons to what is happening today!
BAGMAN is about former Vice President Spiro Agnew who was taking bribes (even in the White House basement) from his time as a Baltimore County official. This was all during the Watergate scandal, and prosecutors had to get Agnew to resign so that he would not become President if Richard Nixon stepped down.