If you’re like me, you may have experienced a case of ‘music fatigue’ from time to time where your Spotify playlist becomes kinda boring, and you’re just listening to it for the sake of blocking out the sounds of your commute. Instead of doing that, why not give your ears a change of scenery with an episode of a podcast?
Initially viewed as the less popular, niche form of audio entertainment, the world of podcasts has since grown into a wide and exciting selection of shows that are hosted by journalists, celebrities as well as like-minded individuals who talk about anything and everything under the sun. (Fun fact: Podcasts are so cool now that it has become the fundamental element in Apple TV’s Truth Be Told!)
Get started with this list of podcasts covering true crime to paranormal and everyday life that will get you hooked!
And That’s Why We Drink
Category: Comedy, Paranormal and True Crime
For those who enjoy a mix of crime and paranormal, this one’s for you. Hosted by college friends Em Schulz and Christine Schiefer, And That’s Why We Drink is one of my personal favourites because they make the show feel like a light-hearted (albeit serious) discussion amongst budding sleuths and ghost hunters. The informal format makes every episode seem like a conversation between friends at their house with an occasional bark or two from Christine’s dog, Gio.
Their monthly Listeners’ episode is also a treat to look forward to as it’s solely dedicated to the listeners and their personal true crime or paranormal accounts which have included one where a girl’s mother narrowly avoided becoming Ted Bundy’s next victim!
Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend
Get ready for laughs with Conan O’Brien who has joined the podcast world with his audio show, Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend. After spending 25 years at the Late Night desk, Conan realized that he has never made a real or lasting friendship with any of the celebrity guests he has interviewed. Through this show, Conan hopes to change that by hanging out with the people he enjoys most. His guests to date include Michelle Obama, Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, and Ellen DeGeneres.
How Did This Get Made?
Category: Comedy, Film Review
Have you ever seen a movie which was so bad that it is actually amazing? How Did This Get Made? brings together three comedians — Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael and Jason Mantzoukas — who will not only make jokes about the films but also attempt to unscramble the plots. It’s basically trash-talking a bad movie with your friends! Expect to hear additional input from special comedic guests like Big Mouth creator Nick Kroll and Amy Schumer as they roast films like Sharknado, The Avengers and the Star Wars Holiday Special.
My Favorite Murder
Category: Comedy, True Crime
Probably the OGs who inspired the spike of true crime podcasts (and my very first listen to a true crime podcast), My Favorite Murder is hosted by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark who meet every episode to discuss either a single murder; true crime story; survivor story; or historical event. Unlike other true crime podcasts, Karen and Georgia often pepper their discussions with personal experiences and anecdotes which aim to empower women to ‘f**k politeness’ and take control of an uncomfortable situation.
Category: Drama, Thriller
If you prefer an audio drama for your morning commute, Blackout might just fit that bill. Voice-starring Academy Award Winner Rami Malek, this apocalyptic thriller centres around a small-town radio DJ who is fighting to protect his family and community after the power grid goes down nationwide; upending modern civilization. Gripping and shockingly relatable, it makes you wonder what really happens when we’re rendered helpless by our once dependent devices.
My Dad Wrote A Porno
What would you do if your father told you that he has written an erotic novel? You turn it into a podcast, of course! That’s what host Jamie Morton does with his father’s book in My Dad Wrote A Porno, together with his co-hosts James Cooper and Alice Levine. Contrary to its NSFW namesake, the show is more funny than raunchy with its cringey descriptions and hilarious dialogue. The best part about this show is the fact that the books are actual copies you can buy online! It’s no wonder the podcast is such a favourite with celebrities like Elijah Wood, Daisy Ridley, Josh Groban, and Lin-Manuel Miranda, who have also appeared in discussion episodes of the show!
Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard
Category: Self-Improvement, Relationships
Hosted by actor Dax Shepard, Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard delves into the messiness of being human. Together with his different celebrity guests, each episode explores the struggles and shortcomings that make their stories while also celebrating the challenges they’ve overcome which have led to their personal growth and betterment.
Category: Drama, Thriller
What happens when a truck driver picks up a loaded trailer without knowing what’s really inside? Carrier is an original scripted thriller that takes you on a journey with Tony, Grammy, and Emmy award winner Cynthia Erivo, who voice-stars as the lead on this immersive audio experience which will leave you on the edge of your seat.
Marvel’s Wolverine: The Long Night & The Lost Trail
Category: Drama, Thriller
Yes, the Marvel Universe has now joined in on the podcast business! This scripted podcast expands on Wolverine’s story with season one (The Long Night) set in Burns, Alaska where Wolverine (voiced by Richard Armitage) becomes entangled in the investigation of a string of mysterious deaths before he returns to New Orleans in season two (The Lost Trail) on a search for redemption.
K-pop! Daebak with Eric Nam
Category: Music Commentary
As both a K-pop artist and a veteran in the industry, no one knows K-pop better than Eric Nam. In each episode of K-pop! Daebak with Eric Nam, Eric reviews the week’s best new K-pop songs and occasionally interviews the artists themselves while also giving some personal insight on what it’s like to be a part of the industry. It’s the perfect show for any K-pop fan!
Category: Book Review
Given our hectic lifestyle, we definitely don’t have enough time to rest, or let alone read. Overdue settles that problem by discussing a different book every episode. Instead of boring opinions, you get an entertaining and fun discussion that helps you to decide if you are willing to set aside time to read, or just hear the gist of the story.
Here’s how Natalie, my fellow NYLON writer and resident bookworm, defines the podcast: “It’s like having a mini book club but you don’t have to contribute anything, and showing up just means pressing play.”
We’ve all heard of haunted houses, haunted cemeteries, and haunted islands but did you know that even a normal location can become haunted by the paranormal? Hosted by podcaster Greg Polcyn, Haunted Places takes you on an audio tour of a new haunted place in each episode where its history and legends come alive. Our very own Changi Hospital also makes it into the list of places the show covers!
Category: Documentary, Investigative Journalism
Hosted by American journalist Sarah Koenig, Serial takes listeners on an investigative journey through a true story over the course of a whole season. Each season follows a plot and real characters with many surprising twists and turns along the way. If you find the story in season one somewhat familiar, that is because Serial had a hand in bringing to light new evidence which warranted a re-look at Adnan Syed’s case since his conviction in 2000.
The No Sleep Podcast
If you are someone who enjoys the chills and thrills of a good fright, The No Sleep Podcast will be right up your alley. This multi-award winning show features an anthology of original horror stories with some taken off the nosleep reddit thread. Just reading these stories doesn’t do it much justice which is why listening to it heightens the suspense, fear and all-around creepiness so much more. Trust me when I say that you don’t need coffee to perk you up for the day especially when you are listening to tales of Black Eyed Kids, creepy ice cream trucks from hell, and creatures from the unknown.
Category: Arts, Commentary, Education, Health & Fitness, Society & Culture
Presented by a Swedish couple with a gift of the gab, The Mustards sees them going into a discussion on relevant and hot social topics in an honest, unfiltered manner. While it often seems like a stream of consciousness that does not have a real or serious conclusion, it is extremely entertaining to see their dynamics and often very different views. It is similar to listening and talking amongst friends where there are interesting perspectives to consider.
Here’s why Joe (another fellow NYLON writer and niche podcast listener) highly recommends this podcast: “I like that they don’t bother to be PC all the time which is how most people are, and they own it. Even if they feel a certain way about some things that may be wrong, at least they also explain their point of view.”