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The best podcast series to pass the time

The best podcast series to pass the time

The best podcast series to pass the time
April 09
12:00 2020

Last week, we gave you a watchlist for quarantine, but movies and TV shows aren’t the only way to pass the time. If you haven’t yet explored the world of podcasts, now is the perfect time.

Podcasts offer a bit of a wider range of content material to choose from. While TV shows and movies are typically fiction-based (unless you’re watching a documentary or docuseries), podcasts are geared toward real life and offer commentary on virtually every subject you can think of. You can enjoy more narrowly-tailored niche series or shows that encompass a broader range of topics. Fiction podcasts exist too, many of which offer readings of short stories and poems. If you’re new to podcasts and don’t know what to listen to, here are a few favorites in different genres of interest.

Crime podcasts: “Serial,” “Over My Dead Body,” “Dr. Death” and “Crime Junkie”

“Serial,” “Over My Dead Body” and “Dr. Death” are all series-based podcasts, meaning they explore one individual story over multiple episodes grouped into series. Series one of “Serial” is the best, exploring the devastating story of a young girl’s murder and the arrest of her ex-boyfriend despite conflicting evidence. The series was so popular it was turned into a docuseries on HBO called “The Case Against Adnan Syed.”

“Over My Dead Body” has two series — the first is called “Tally,” which investigates the suspicious murder of a man who was in the middle of a nasty divorce battle. It’s a perplexing story about family, religion and loyalty. Their second season, “Joe Exotic,” explores the star of Netflix’s recent “Tiger King” series.

If you’re looking for something a bit more close to home, “Dr. Death” is a great series detailing the heinous crimes of a neurosurgeon who killed several patients at Dallas and Frisco hospitals. “Crime Junkie” is not series-based but rather episode-based, and each episode explores its own crime. While many of the cases they talk about are open-and-shut, others still have yet to be resolved. Each of these series echo the same chilling sentiment — you never truly know anyone.

Self-improvement and learning podcasts: “The Tim Ferris Show,” “How I Built This” and “Happier with Gretchen Rubin”

Podcasts can be a great way to learn new skills, tactics and mindsets to improve your overall well-being and catalyze personal growth. “The Tim Ferris Show” has been around for five years and is hosted by the author of bestselling book “The 4-Hour Workweek.” He chats with some of the world’s most high-achieving individuals and pinpoints what exactly makes them so successful.

“How I Built This” is somewhat similar, and host Guy Raz interviews entrepreneurs about their quest for success. The creators of Lululemon, Lonely Planet, SoulCycle and Five Guys are just some of the innovators who have been featured. Gretchen Rubin, author of “The Happiness Project,” hosts the ‘Happier’ podcast. While still about success, it’s geared more toward mental health and emotional growth rather than task-oriented or achievement-based accomplishments.

Comedic relief podcasts: “Tiny Meat Gang” and “Girls Gotta Eat”

If you’re looking for podcasts that’ll have you bust out laughing, these two are a must. “Tiny Meat Gang” is hosted by YouTubers Cody Ko and Noel Miller, known for their “That’s Cringe” collaborations. The pair upload roughly hour-long episodes every Friday, and pretty much every subject is on the table. Much of what they discuss has to do with current events, so their episodes can be informative as well. Cody and Noel have hosted a few special guests, including Post Malone and Logic.

While “Girls Gotta Eat” is geared a bit more toward women, it’s still an enjoyable listen for everyone and they have garnered a pretty hefty male audience as well. Hosted by Ashley Hesseltine and Rayna Greenberg, “Girls Gotta Eat” serves mainly as a dating and relationships podcast but explores other areas of life as well. Almost all of their episodes feature a special guest pertaining to the topic they’re exploring.

Fiction podcasts: “The New Yorker: Fiction” and “Welcome to Night Vale”

Fiction podcasts are a great way to immerse yourself in literature because for many, audiobooks are a more practical format than physical books, and podcasts that feature short stories are quicker to consume than a 500-page book. “The New Yorker: Fiction” podcast is hosted by The New Yorker‘s fiction editor Deborah Treisman. Each episode features an author who reads a short story from the publication’s archive, so you get to hear a range of materials spoken from a plethora of voices. In an almost book club fashion, the readings are followed by a short discussion featuring reader-submitted questions.

“Welcome to Night Vale” is a fiction series based in the town of Night Vale. While each episode fits into the larger community, it’s not necessary to listen to every episode in order. The series presents spooky and mysterious tales in a town where every conspiracy theory is true, and it’s a great podcast for lovers of Stephen King.

Featured Illustration: Miranda Thomas

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Haley Arnold

Haley Arnold

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