Ever since I got hooked on Serial last year (like everyone else in the world), podcasts have become a big part of my life! I listened to them LOADS when I was learning to run, I find them really soothing to listen to when I'm in bed if I can't quite be bothered to read a book, they make tidying the house so much more interesting, and they make boring plane and train journeys go by in a flash.
Here's a few of my current favourites...
If you didn't listen to Serial last year, what were you doing with your life? Last year Serial investigated the murder of Hae Min Lee, an American student who was killed in 1999. Her ex-boyfriend was charged with the crime and put away for life, but did he actually do it? They go through all of the evidence (which does not add up in many places), and it is fascinating. If you were hooking on Making a Murderer, you will be obsessed with this!
2. The Message
The Message is a science-fiction podcast and it is SO creepy. Each week you get an update from Nicky, a student who is working with a team of cryptologists as they attempt to decipher, decode and understand an alien message that was received over 70 years ago. Did I mention it is CREEPY? I loved it.
3. This American Life
This American Life is a weekly public radio show, produced by the team who also made Serial. Each week is focused on a different theme, from status updates to changing your mind to education inequality. It's always fascinating, and Ira Glass (the host) has the most soothing voice! I'd recommend you start by listening to their favourites page and take it from there.
I really hate maths, so it's possibly a bit surprising that Freakonomics, an economics-based podcast, is one of my favourites, but it's so good! Each week the show uses the tools of economics to explore real-world behaviour, telling stories about cheating schoolteachers, self-dealing real-estate agents, the secrets of online dating, and crack-selling mama's boys.
5. The Mortified Podcast
The Mortified Podcastis a storytelling series where adults share the embarrassing things they created as kids - diaries, letters and lyrics - on stage in front of total strangers. It is hilarious, and strangely comforting to realise that we were all embarrassing nightmares as teenagers. I almost cried with laughter listening to this episode - a boy who, inspired by the Wu Tang Clan, wrote in his journals as if he were a hip hop star.
Another science-fiction podcast, Limetown is what would happen if Serial met the X-Files. This seven-part podcast looks at an American mystery, when over three hundred men, women and children disappeared from a small town in Tennessee, never to be heard from again. I couldn't stop listening to this, even though it absolutely terrified me at times!
Criminal is a podcast (unsurprisingly) about crime. Stories of people who've done wrong, been wronged, or gotten caught somewhere in the middle. Each episode is only about 20 minutes long, which makes it easy to dip in and out of, and gives you a fascinating glimpse into people's worlds.
8. Game of Owns
Do you want to listen to a group of pals talk for hours on end about Game of Thrones? This podcast is for you! Each week they dissect the show, try to make sense of what is actually going on, and guess what's going to come next.
I've included a couple of creepy podcasts on this list, but Lore beats them all. This podcast looks at true-life scary stories (waaah), picking a uniquely scary tale each week and covering the truth behind it. I have tried to listen to this at night but I actually can't - I always have to turn it off and watch some nonsense on youtube to shake the fear off. It's so good/terrifying!
10. You Must Remember This...
Last but not least, You Must Remember This is a storytelling podcast about the secret and forgotten histories of Hollywood's first century. I first started listening to tale of Charles Manson's Hollywood and I've been hooked ever since.
I hope that's given you some listening inspiration! If you are also a podcast fan, let me know what you're listening to at the moment too.