More than recommended podcasts to make your drives or walks entertaining.
What did we do before podcasts?
(yeah, I know, I probably listened to more music and books on tape!)
But now that I have discovered some of my favorite podcasts, they keep me occupied on long car trips, while working on projects, and while working out.
It is just another ‘listening’ opportunity.
I often see folks on Facebook asking for Podcast recommendations, so I’m sharing some of my recent favorites here. Please share some of your favorites as well. Several of these podcasts have few episodes, so I am always looking to fill my listening queue.
And if you are looking for book recommendations, pop over here for the list of books I’ve read thus far in 2023.
Self-Help and Motivational Podcasts
Happier is a weekly podcast that shares insights and suggestions to improve happiness and create healthy habits.
Tiny Leaps, Big Changes podcast host Greg Clunis shares simple, day-to-day strategies you can implement into your life to start achieving your goals.
Dr. Laurie Santos has studied the science of happiness and found that many of us do the opposite of what will make our lives better. The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos will take you through the latest scientific research and share some surprising and inspiring stories that will change the way you think about happiness.”
Emily P. Freeman’s podcast, the Next Right Thing, distills the essentials of good decision-making.
If you are like me, you are always looking for that ‘next book’…an empty nightstand is a scary thought! On a weekly basis, Anne Bogel, of Modern Mrs. Darcy blog, shares reviews from readers and makes book suggestions in her podcast, What Should I Read Next?
I started listening to The Splendid Table years ago on NPR when Lynne Rosetto-Kasper was the host. The podcast has a new host but remains an enjoyable listen for those of us intrigued by food and cooking.
Each week, the Freakonomics podcast, presented by the author of the books, Stephen Dubner, tells you things you always thought you knew (but didn’t) and things you never thought you wanted to know (but do)!
The How I Built This podcast dives into the stories behind some of the world’s best-known companies, like Toms, Whole Foods, and AirBnB each week.
Where to begin…Dan Carlin just has a way of bringing history to life in his Hardcore History podcast. I plowed through his free podcasts and then paid the small fee to access some of his others and was never disappointed, in fact, always enthralled. The Hardcore History podcasts are the kind that I would look for reasons to drive and listen to them.
True Crime/Truth is Stranger Than Fiction Podcasts:
To be honest, this is where my podcast passion lies. Give me a good True Crime podcast, and I’ll happily pressure wash the driveway or paint a room.
I don’t want to give anything away, but it is worth a listen if you enjoy ‘true crime’ podcasts. It had been recommended to me multiple times, but for whatever reason, the description just didn’t appeal to me. But once I started listening, I couldn’t stop. It actually physically affected me; I realized I was clenching my stomach!
This podcast does a fantastic job of sharing the stories of the victims of LISK and how they ended up in situations that were fatal to them. Truly heartbreaking. When I listened, the suspect had just been arrested but not tried, so I imagine this will pick up when the trial starts.
Love is a Crime
The story of 1940s movie star Joan Bennett and her producer husband, Walter Wanger, and how they arrived at the point in 1951 when Walter shot her agent, Jennings Lang, in the groin.
Imagine discovering that your dad is a serial killer. That’s exactly what happened to April Balascio; “The Clearing” is her story. This podcast follows her as she takes a hard look at her father’s past and even helps law enforcement close old cases. It’s haunting and yet incredibly courageous.
“Uncover, NXIVM” dives into the enigmatic world of NXIVM, a supposed self-help group that went dark, really dark. From branding its members to manipulative practices, this one is a rollercoaster of “What the heck did I just listen to?”
The Shrink Next Door
Think your neighbors are weird? Wait till you hear about this guy. This podcast focuses on the dark and complex relationship between a psychiatrist and his longtime patient. The story unfolds as you discover just how much influence the ‘shrink next door’ really had. It’s creepy, it’s curious, and it’s oddly compelling.
Shadow of Truth
Based in Israel, this podcast centers around a shocking murder case that divided the nation. It delves into the complexities of justice—or lack thereof—and tackles systemic failures that led to a man’s incarceration. It’s thought-provoking and painfully human.
Up and Vanished
Focused on the case of Tara Grinstead, a high-school teacher and beauty queen who just vanished one day, this podcast takes you on a citizen sleuth’s journey. The host’s personal investigation turns up new leads, prompting law enforcement to act. It’s a heady mix of true crime and amateur detective work.
Suspicion | The Billionaire Murders
This podcast takes you on a hunt for the killers of Honey and Barry Sherman, a wealthy Canadian couple found dead in their home. Money, power, and murder—it’s like a Shakespearean drama for the modern era.
To Live and Die in LA
Hollywood dreams and nightmares collide in this gripping tale of a missing actress. The podcast combines investigative journalism to explore the dark corners of fame and human relationships.
The Teacher’s Pet
This Australian podcast is as unsettling as it is addictive. It centers on Lyn Dawson, who disappeared in 1982, and her husband Chris, a former rugby star and high-school teacher with secrets. The case reopens old wounds and questions the role of authority figures in society.
Hosted by author, Michael Connelly, the two seasons of this podcast focus on two different unsolved homicides and the detectives who ultimately solved them. From Connelly, “In the last couple years as I have seen a growing threat against the integrity of journalism and law enforcement, it has awakened a desire in me to return in some way to telling the real stories of the unsung heroes of law enforcement.”
When a man on the U.P. of Michigan goes missing, the investigation lands on Kelly Cochran and her husband, Jason. This story dishes up sex, drugs, pig farming, alleged cannibalism, manipulation, and serial murder.
This podcast tells the story of Kirat and a man named Bobby. Sweet Bobby is about a catfishing relationship that turns from sweet to sinister.
From the moment Susan Woods was found dead at home in the summer of 1987, everyone in Stephenville, Texas—including the police—was certain her estranged husband had killed her.
Shadow of Doubt
Ugh, I don’t know what to think after listening to this podcast. The story, set in Australia, revolves around a man accused by his daughters of sexual and physical abuse. But it will definitely leave you with more questions than answers.
Your Own Backyard
Focused on the disappearance of Kristin Smart, a college student, this podcast reinvigorates public interest in an old case. It combines investigative journalism and a community’s fight for justice.
The Thing About Pam
Pam is not what she seems. This podcast dives into the twisted story of Pam Hupp and her role in a friend’s murder. It’s like watching a car crash—you can’t look away.
Ah, the perils of online dating. “Dirty John” chronicles the life and lies of John Meehan, a man who conned his way through life and love. It’s a modern-day cautionary tale that’ll have you swiping left on your dating app.
Oh my heavens, this podcast will leave you speechless. This is the story of the Black Dahlia and one family’s awful history.
The DropOut details the story of Elizabeth Holmes, who started Theranos and raised a whole bunch of money even though she didn’t have a product. It’s a crazy story of how a whole bunch of smart people lost a lot of money.
The life and death of Frederic Brandt, world-famous plastic surgeon. This podcast pushes hard questions about the beauty industry and the quest for perfection.
Fair warning…a whole lot of F*Bombs in S-Town. I was so sad to see this one come to an end; it’s a captivating, though sad, story.
I listened to Season 1 of the Crimetown podcast and didn’t realize there was a season 2 until I started writing this. The story of Providence, RI’s organized crime-invested government was compelling, so I’m excited to dive into Season 2.
This podcast is narrated by Sammy ‘the Bull’ Gravano and is his story, the story of the Mafia in general and the Gambino crime family specifically. It is gripping, especially for any other true crime buffs out there.
Deepcover Mobland is the story of an FBI undercover agent and how he brought those involved in the drug trade to justice. His work ultimately led to the arrest of Manuel Noriega. This really captured my attention. It’s the second of three seasons. The other two seasons are equally interesting.
When a popular young man in a small Texas town is murdered, the people in the town are all irreversibly changed. I really liked the podcaster in this podcast, too.
Broken Harts might truly break your heart… the story of 2 moms and their 6 adopted children…how appearances might not be the truth.
There are two seasons with two completely different crime stories to the Bear Brook podcast. The first season is especially shocking and heartbreaking. I think it was really well done, and I’m looking forward to season three.
Holy Cow! Where to start? First of all, settle in…this is a LONG one! And be patient. The journalist who started The Murdaugh Murders podcast is a journalist first, not a podcaster. But she really unravels all the lives that Alex Murdaugh and his family have impacted. It is often heartbreaking and always infuriating.
Homecoming is a drama starring David Schwimmer, detailing a government program gone awry. It made stripping, sanding, and staining our deck last year enjoyable. It has been made into an Amazon Prime series, which I haven’t watched.
Phew…did you make it to the end! That’s a whole lot of podcasts to listen to! Have you listened to any of them?
I hope you find one or two that interest you…and once again, please share some of your favorite podcasts. You know how much I love crowdsourcing!
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Thanks again for spending a few minutes of your busy day with me today, and hope you find some time to listen to some of these favorite podcasts.
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Until next time…