So, you’re like us and you love My Favorite Murder, but you’ve run out of episodes and what’s next? Today we’ve got all our favorite podcasts (don’t worry, still a lot of true crime) plus our go-tos when you need a break from all that murder.
My Favorite Murder
This has been my favorite podcast for the past year or so. Most podcasts I had listened to in the past were a limited run of episodes, but My Favorite Murder has new episodes every week. Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark discuss murders and other true crime and survival stories in a way that manages to be respectful and entertaining. They talk honestly about mental illness and how it relates to everyday life as well as criminal acts, and they are constantly learning more about things like sex work, suicide, addiction, and more. This definitely isn’t a podcast to turn to if you’re looking for facts; it’s very anecdotal. But for someone who has fallen into a Wikipedia true crime hole one too many times, it’s refreshing to hear two women talk about pretty terrible stuff in a realistic way.
Also, I’m seeing them live Friday night so I’m EXTRA HYPED.
If you haven’t listened to Serial, do you even listen to podcasts? From the creators and staff of This American Life, season one of Serial focuses on the murder of Hae Min Lee and the conviction of Adnan Syed. It arguably sparked the popularity of podcasts when it was released in 2014. This limited run of episodes takes in-depth reporting to a new level and was incredibly thought-provoking. I’ve listened to it a few times and it’s just as good on repeat as it is the first time around. If you haven’t gotten into a podcast, start here.
Season two is garbage, don’t bother.
Also from This American Life and Serial, S-Town dives deep into the life of one man in the rural south. With the NPR production staff behind it, the show begins by investigating a murder that everyone in a small southern town knows about but no one is being charged for. Spoiler: the podcast doesn’t end up focusing on the so-called murder. Someone does die, and that death leads to “a nasty feud, a hunt for hidden treasure, and an unearthing of the mysteries of one man’s life.” It’s a really good story and well worth a listen.
Someone Knows Something
Another true crime podcast (we’ve definitely got a favorite genre). Someone Knows Something has three seasons and, like Serial, each season the host, David Ridgen, takes on a new cold case. Season one focuses on the disappearance of five-year-old Adrien McNaughton while on a family fishing trip, never to be found again. Season two follows the disappearance of Sheryl Sheppard days after a surprise NYE proposal by an aggressive boyfriend. And season three investigates the murder of Charles Moore and Henry Dee in Mississippi in 1964. All very good, all worth a listen.
Hollywood & Crime
So full disclosure, I just started listening to this one this week. The first season follows the Black Dalia murders from the late 1940s in Los Angeles. It’s a mix of formal storytelling and actors recreating conversations from the case. I can’t tell if I’m 100% sold on the actors’ part yet but I’m learning so much I never knew about the Black Dalia and I can’t stop listening!
If you’ve ever been interested in cults, this one is for you. Heaven’s Gate was a sci-fi cult that started in the late seventies until 1997 when 39 of the members carried out a mass suicide. Hooked yet? Plus the host was born into a cult himself so his insider perspective makes it even better. Word of advice- try not to look at the Google Images of this one.
Society & Culture
This American Life
Ah, the original. This American Life is technically a radio show that is available as a podcast. Its popularity can be attributed to its flawless storytelling and production. Now with over 600 episodes, This American Life has something for everyone. Each week’s episode has a theme with different stories told in “acts,” although some episodes are just one long story. There are so many episodes to choose from, but if you’re new to This American Life, consider starting with host Ira Glass’ suggestions or their award-winning episodes, especially the series on Harper High School.
This one ticks the box for me when I want something quick and light because all those true crime podcasts can weigh a lady down. The host, Flora Lichtman, examines sometimes odd, sometimes mundane topics and dispels them down to every little thing about it. I highly recommend the episodes, Don’t Underestimate the Flamingo (did you know they can drink boiling water?) or The Hide Rug of the Plant World, (did you know almost all the office plants are grown in Florida?). All facts learned from this great podcast.
How I Built This
If you’ve ever dreamed of starting your own business, this is a must listen. Guy Raz interviews successful entrepreneurs about how they got their start, other companies they created first, and all the advice they have to share. Great episodes to check out are Airbnb: Joe Gebbia, Spanx: Sarah Blakely, and TOMS: Blake Mycoskie.
Famous People’s Podcasts
Young House Love Has a Podcast
John and Sherry Petersik of Young House Love were some of the original home bloggers on the scene. After years of running their successful blog, they have really cut back on posting and have focused on other endeavors, one of which is their podcast. Each week they talk about stuff they like related to home design, DIY, and just life in general. They’re so down to earth and relatable and I always learn something new when I listen.
Bonus: Michelle also likes to listen to YHL Has a Podcast while driving between Cleveland and Cincinnati and she hates podcasts.
Homecoming was my first foray into fictional podcasting. It’s kind of like listening to a radio drama from the 1920s or 30s. It’s billed as a psychological thriller and focuses on a conspiracy theory/government cover-up. It’s really better to just listen to it, but if that sounds even vaguely interesting to you I’d suggest you check it out.
Full disclosure: I’ve only listened to season one, but I really like it.
Have you listened to any of our favorite podcasts? Any suggestions that you think we’d like? Let us know what you’re listening to in the comments!