Over the holidays, I came across an article in The Atlantic titled “The 50 Best Podcasts of 2016”. I had never paid much attention to podcasts before, but was interested in finding more of them to subscribe to on iTunes. The first podcast I had ever listened to was Serial, which features real-life crime stories. After listening to the first episode, I was hooked. So you can imagine my excitement when I came across a list of 50 new podcasts to explore. I spent the rest of the night learning about everything from D-list celebrities to missing and murdered indigenous women in Canada.
That being said, I thought it would be useful to compile a list of my favourite podcasts to date. Some are funny, some are tragic, and others will make you think about the world that we live in. Regardless of your interests, there’s something for everyone. Be prepared to laugh, cry and get angry about a variety of issues:
Beautiful Anonymous: The concept of this podcast is unique, which makes it one of the most interesting offerings on iTunes. Host Chris Gethard receives a call from a random individual, who has to remain anonymous for the entirety of the one-hour episode. But there’s another catch: no matter what, Chris can’t hang up first. Listening to different life stories has been such an eye-opening experience. One of my favourite episodes is about a woman who describes her escape from a cult.
Stranglers: The Boston Strangler is known as one of America’s notorious serial killers, having committed 13 gruesome murders from June 1962 to January 1964. All of his/her victims were female, and each was sexually assaulted and staged in a bizarre manner. I’ll admit, listening to the first episode was chilling. Host Portland Helmich interviews individuals who were closely involved with the case, from victims’ family members to reporters who followed the story from the very beginning. This audio-rich podcast is not for the faint-hearted.
Embedded: As a follower of the news, I always try to look beyond the headlines and explore stories further. Hosted by Kelly McEvers, each episode features extensive reporting and interviews on a wide range of issues such as: El Salvador’s homicide rate, the NBA’s minor league (also called the D-League), and the US immigration system. This podcast also sheds light on problems that aren’t frequently covered by major TV networks and newspapers.
I hope I’ve provided you with enough listening material to get started. The next time you’re on a bus, studying in the library, or relaxing in your room, plug in your headphones and immerse yourself into the world of podcasts. You might just learn something new, or be inspired by a story that you wouldn’t have heard anywhere else.