I should really keep an ongoing diary of the random facts, interesting tidbits and helpful advice that pours into my ears each day listening to podcasts. It’s hard for me to even make it through a conversation without interjecting at least once: “I heard on a podcast…”
For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved ingesting information in an audio format. I could listen to NPR for hours back in my 20s. I would go to the library and stock up on books on CD in my 30s. And I’m so thankful that the podcast has developed into such an expansive source of listening material in the past decade.
I love being able to listen to interviews with interesting people on any topic. I can’t get enough of long-form investigative reporting. And I especially enjoy being able to feed my mind with information in a specific area or find quick entertainment on my favorite topics while driving, folding clothes or going for a walk.
If you are looking for a new podcast or you haven’t yet discovered this amazing world of audio entertainment, here are some of my favorites from 2018:
The tagline of The Popcast is “Educating you on the things that entertain, but do not matter.” The hosts of the show, Knox McCoy and Jamie Golden, incorporate that sarcastic, hilarious motto into their conversation on pop culture. They discuss all things related to TV, movies, books, podcasts and celebrities in excruciating detail in their weekly show.
I got to go see The Popcast Live Show in September when they were in Chicago. I wrote about that here.
The Big Boo Cast
I’ve been listening to The Big Boo Cast since before podcasts were even a thing. The hosts, Melanie Shankle and Sophie Hudson, are both Christian authors, bloggers and moms. I started reading their blogs and listening to their podcast before they each published their first book.
I find this show fascinating because the hosts have mastered the art of appearing completely unscripted and unpredictable and seem like your average moms. But I’m certain they have more business savvy than they let on to have each published multiple books and filled a schedule with speaking engagements.
Their podcast is pretty much an hour-long phone conversation with the best friend you wish you had. They talk about their favorite TV shows, skin care products, fashion, parenting and lots of sports. I consider them my best imaginary friends, which I wrote about here, after I got to see them in real life last fall.
That Sounds Fun
That Sounds Fun is a new podcast for me this year, but it has grown to be one of my favorites. The host, Annie Downs, is a Nashville-based writer and speaker. She loves the Enneagram and apparently knows everyone in Nashville. She always has fun and interesting guests who talk about faith, books, life, the Enneagram and whatever sounds fun! Annie also wrote the devotional that sparked my word of the year, 100 Days to Brave.
Typology is a deep dive into the Enneagram by the author of the book that started my Enneagram obsession, The Road Back to You. Host Ian Cron interviews people about their Enneagram type. I love hearing what makes other people behave the way they do and learning more about my own personality type.
Lead to Win
I’ve been a huge Michael Hyatt fan for years. Lead to Win is his newest podcast about leadership and personal growth.
Those are my top five informative and entertainment-related podcasts.
Next are my top five investigative podcasts from 2018. These are all more like a TV show that you can binge. While the podcasts listed above are ongoing, these have a start and an end. Most of them are less than 10 episodes.
Bear Brook is a about a serial killer and a New Hampshire cold case. What makes it fascinating is that it was the first case to use DNA from genealogy companies like 23andMe to solve a murder. The reporting and editing are great, as well.
You will never have brain surgery after listening to this podcast. Dr. Christopher Duntsch claimed to be the top neurosurgeon in Dallas. But soon his patients began experiencing life-altering complications. A few even died under his care. Dr. Death not only looks at the man who destroyed their lives, but the system that failed to stop him.
Up and Vanished
Up and Vanished explores the unsolved disappearance of Tara Grinstead, a school teacher and former beauty pageant winner. The cold case was the largest case file in the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s history, with no arrests in 11 years. The case was solved in real time during the airing of the podcast.
Uncover: Escaping NXIVM
NXIVM (pronounced “Nexium”) calls itself a humanitarian community. Experts call it a cult. Uncover: Escaping NXIVM is an investigative podcast series about the group, its leader, Keith Raniere, and one woman’s journey to get out.
Debra Newell is a successful interior designer. She meets John Meehan, a handsome man who seems to check all the boxes: attentive, available, just back from a year in Iraq with Doctors Without Borders. But her family doesn’t like John, and they get entangled in an increasingly complex web of love, deception, forgiveness, denial, and ultimately, survival.
A few others that I listen to when my feed is empty:
The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivy
For the Love with Jen Hatmaker
Happier with Gretchen Rubin
Do you listen to podcasts? I would love to know which ones are your favorite! Leave me a comment below!