I feel almost ashamed to admit how long it’s taken me to finally hop onto the podcast appreciation wagon, after countless recommendations from my friends. Until last month, I had myself convinced that I don’t have the attention span for podcasts, considering how effortlessly I zone out during lectures when I’m not actively channeling all my energy into taking extensive color-coded, visually pleasing notes.
As an avid reader at heart, retaining information I read comes naturally to me, but when it comes to listening with no visual aid, it’s a whole other ball-game. So, after months of mindlessly replying “I’ll check it out!” to my friends’ suggestions, I found myself in bed, struggling to sleep and unable to quiet my racing anxiety-inducing thoughts. To tune my own inner monologue out, I plugged in my earphones and finally pressed play on the Podcasts app.
It’ll be cliché to say that my life has now changed and that I’m a whole new person, but since that night, you won’t find me doing a chore or walking to class without a podcast to keep me company. It turns out I just hadn’t found the right podcast, and simply giving one a chance opened up a world of new, exciting content that I can now consume merely from my fingertips.
So, from a podcast amateur to a reader in search of podcast recommendations, here is a list of podcasts I now religiously tune into on a weekly basis:
- Parcast Network’s Conspiracy Theories
Putting this podcast on the top of my list of recommendations is a no-brainer for me because of how instantly I was hooked onto this podcast from the get-go. This podcast is a Spotify Original and is hosted by Carter Roy. It tackles a broad range of interesting topics, such as UFO sightings across the country, literary conspiracies, conspiracies that have to do with pop culture, international mysteries such as the disappearance of the MH370, and borderline paranormal mysteries. Roy’s storytelling is so compelling to the listener that at no point during the podcast was my attention even slightly wavered. His style of delivery is highly immersive and never fails to give my chills, with his dramatic pauses and manner of speech. While the topics that Roy handpicks is enough to capture my interest, it’s his storytelling that has me holding onto every word of his with sheer anticipation. Roy posts a new episode once every two-five days.
- Morbid: A True Crime Podcast
Morbid is hosted by Ashleigh Kelley and Alaina Urquhart. Despite the nature of the title, the podcast is easy to listen to because its episodes flow just like a typical conversation that takes place between two long-time friends over coffee. In this podcast, one of the hosts occupies the role of a storyteller while the other listens, providing timely reactions and gasps that mimic the audience’s own reactions. Each podcast episode is centered upon a specific true crime case, and the hosts walk us through the case with such extensive research and brilliant storytelling that it almost seems as though the scene is unfolding as we listen. I’ve always been a fan of true crime documentaries, but true crime always leaves me with an eerie feeling that takes hours to shake off, especially if the case is particularly haunting and gruesome. This podcast helps in this aspect because of its conversation-based approach, which provides a comforting element to it in spite of the horrifying nature of the cases.
- Ari Eastman’s Sobrietea
I’ve followed Ari Eastman’s poetry and prose throughout my teenage years on Thought Catalog, often looking to her for advice related to mental health and dating. So when I found out that she’ll be hosting a podcast, I was ecstatic – this is the podcast that I tuned into, by the way, when I couldn’t sleep and decided to give podcasts a go. In Sobrietea, Ari Eastman walks us through her journey with sobriety and recovery with once a week podcast episodes. Through her focus on sobriety, she covers a range of topics that’ll appeal to any listener in their early twenties, such as grief, mental health, dating, adulthood, sexuality, and loneliness.
It is no doubt that Ari has a way with words, considering her years of experience with having published poetry books, freelancing online, as well as sharing her words with her Instagram followers. However, Ari’s delivery in her podcasts specifically is worth noting here because it seems so personal, ensuring the Ari’s content resonates with her readers. I personally felt immense peace and comfort when listening to Ari put into words her struggles and ways of copying, which I began to apply to my own life.
- Katy Bellote’s Thick & Thin
Bellote’s podcast feels like catching up with a friend. The podcast covers a broad range of topics that will appeal to any young woman, those in college as well as those in their early 20s looking to navigate the professional world. Bellote’s podcast doesn’t exactly feel as personal as Ari’s, but it feels like a guide to adulthood, professionalism, living by oneself in a brand new apartment, as well as a mental guide of sorts that helps me make sense of my own anxieties.
- 1. Michelle Reed’s But What’s Next
This podcast is for anyone feeling even remotely lost after graduation. Reed deals with topics such as managing finances efficiently, nailing a job interview, dealing with post-grad anxiety, etc. With most podcasts being so broad that they cover any and every topic that fits into the genre, this podcast is more centered upon the audience as it covers topics that are more specific to its target audience, which is graduates fresh out of college and struggling with navigating the world outside the college campus. I listen to this podcast when I’m looking for specific advice on my current situation, before a job interview, and before making life-altering decisions such as deciding where to apply, what kind of job to accept, etc.