Have you run our of your favourite podcasts? Don’t worry – I’m a podcast nerd. I have a problem and it’s called I listen to too many podcasts and now my ears are going to fall off. So I figured I should use my obsession and help you guys out – maybe you’ve run out or maybe you have no idea where to start. I’m your guy. I am, I swear.
From true crime to politics to lifestyle to stories, there’s something here for everyone. Get your headphones ready because you’ll be binging for a while.
1. All Aussie Mystery Hour
I’m writing this so OBVIOUSLY I’m putting my baby first. My Editor Josie and I started this true crime and mystery podcast last year, and I wouldn’t be going on about it if it hadn’t amassed a huge following (we’ve almost hit 500k listens as I write this) and fanbase. Because I’d be embarrassed, lol. But I’m not – give us a listen if you love true crime deeply but also like to feel as though you’re discussing cases and weird shit with your mates, because that’s basically what we do.
2. Keep It!
I started this on the recommendation of my friend Alex, who is a bit of a politics nerd but also loves dumb entertainment shit. That’s what you’ll get – some smart conversation about US politics and the shit-show that it is, mixed with “what’s Ariana Grande doing” and so on. The hosts are fun and hilarious, but they also know their shit and mix it up with guests constantly.
I became deeply obsessed with this creepy storytelling podcast on a road trip to Canberra a couple of years back. It’s got big names behind it like David Schwimmer from Friends fame, and they turned it into a TV series starring Julia Roberts – so you know it’s legit. It’s a mysterious tale of a facility with a secret, and that’s all I’ll tell you so you don’t get the story spoiled.
As someone in the office said, this was the first Australian true crime podcast and it’s still one of the very, very best. Following the unsolved murders of three Indigenous children in a small Northern NSW community, the podcast led to renewed interest in the case from a legal perspective, although sadly the application for a retrial was rejected. The case remains unsolved.
5. It Could Happen Here
Concerned about the state of American society? Same – I binged this incredible podcast last month and was terrified into oblivion. Headed up by a journo, the podcast looks at how a second American Civil War could feasibly go down in the States – it just wouldn’t look like how you think it would look. It’s a wake up call and a fascinating observation of everything from gun laws to left/right wing politics.
6. My Favourite Murder
The pioneers of the chatty true crime podcast genre, these ladies paved the way for podcasts like my own to become accepted. They did something really controversial (chatting casually about murder) but proved the haters wrong with their sensitivity regarding victims and raising awareness for everything from mental health to domestic violence. Big love for Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark.
7. Pod Save The World
As they call it, this podcast is a “no bullshit conversation about foreign policy”. It’s for politics nerds who aren’t boring, basically, and was spawned off the back of Pod Save America (similar, but with American focus). If you want to school yourself more on global issues, this is where to start.
8. This American Life
The OGGGGGG you guys! This American Life was doing podcasts before podcasts were even a thing. The long-running WBEZ Chicago show is still just as good as it was years ago, offering amazing investigative journalism and explaining big issues in really understandable ways. My advice – google their best episodes and start there.
9. Ladies, We Need To Talk
This podcast for women, by women has opened my mind on issues I previously thought I was totally schooled up on. One episode that’s stuck with me since I listened to it last year is ‘Fat Talk’, which discussed how we talk about our bodies. I ended up in deep discussion with a friend I was on a road trip with for an hour on the subject. It’s the kind of podcast that makes you re-think your attitudes, which is always a good thing.
I am OBSESSED with these ladies because I AM these ladies – I love pop culture but I’m also a smart woman who gives a shit about other important stuff as well. Shameless grew it’s killer following because most women who love the fluff (reality TV, etc etc) also care about the serious shit and would rather listen to two like-minded smart women discuss their fun shows and gossipy things with a similar attitude.
11. The Drop Out
OBSESSED. This podcast had me gripped so bad, I just sat in the car when I got to my destination to finish the final episode. All about how Elizabeth Holmes duped massive investors and the world with a phony invention.
12. The Last Days Of August
An incredible work of investigative journalism from Jon Ronson, this podcast looks at the seemingly sudden suicide of August Ames, a prominent porn actor. Did Twitter bullying lead to her decision to end her life, or did something else?
I come back to Casefile constantly, because the level of research the team puts into each episode is phenomenal. Sure, the host (Anonymous) can be polarising for his strong Aussie accent and flat way of delivering the cases, but he’s also garnered legions of fans – like all podcasts, you love it or you hate it. I love it.
14. Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations
Look you’ve gotta love Oprah to get into this – but her guest list is insane, and the episodes often delve deeply into their defining life moments in a way that will make you consider your own gripes and roadblocks. I’m a massive Brene Brown fan and her episodes had me hooked.
15. My Dad Wrote A Porno
How this podcast is still running is a miracle, but the premise is fantastic (the hosts dad wrote erotic fiction and he reads it out to his friends), and the content will genuinely make you laugh til you wheeze.
16. Keep It Cleaner Podcast
I recently discovered Laura Henshaw on Instagram and I’m obsessed with her extremely real approach to social media. She’s teamed up with her bestie/Instagram superstar Steph Clare Smith and together they discuss all things lifestyle, often with special guests.
17. Where Should We Begin? With Esther Perel
Do you love gossip? This podcast will be wild for you then – you’re literally a fly on the wall inside a couples therapists office as she helps real couples through their shit. Equal parts fascinating and helpful.
Amazing reporting from NPR, this podcast will take a story and go deep, often interviewing subjects multiple times over a long period to get the full story. It’s fascinating stuff for anyone who loves investigative journalism.
19. The Dollop
One guy tells his comedian friend a story from history, but the comedian friend has NFI what the story will be about and it’s always, always super bloody weird. I didn’t think I’d love this as much as I did because the guys are a bit “bro”, but Christ they’re hilarious.
20. Wardrobe Crisis With Clare Press
In a time when sustainability in fashion is a conversation that’s finally come to the forefront, this podcast is a must-listen for anyone who wants to dive deep. Clare Press is a fashion journalist who has long been focusing on sustainability, and in this podcast she chats to key players in the industry who are fighting for change.
21. No Feeling Is Final
I remember listening to this and thinking “wow, this woman really nails what it’s like to live with crippling mental health issues”. It was a bit triggering for me at times, recalling moments when my anxiety was so bad I felt hopeless – but it’s also a beautiful and raw look at how every feeling will pass, so holding onto hope is always worth it.