From walking on the treadmill to weekend sewing sessions, I listen to podcasts almost non-stop.
I’ve put together a list of six binge-worthy podcasts! They’re perfect for long drives or listening to while you clean your house or cook dinner or drive in circles around the block because your toddler is napping in the car seat…
1. The Drop Out (open in iTunes)
On the surface, it may seem to be the story of a deceitful medical technology company, but at the root of this complicated story is an even more complicated founder. Unpacking the layers and mysteries of Elizabeth Holmes, a 19-year-old Stanford drop-out with the revolutionary “invention” of medical technology that could perform thousands of tests with one drop of blood, will keep you listening to episode after episode.
HBO released an Emmy Nominated documentary about the scandal called The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley. I’m heavily considering an HBO subscription just to watch this.
If you become hooked on this story (you will), you can re-ride this rollercoaster of a story in this recap of the rise and fall of Elizabeth Holmes.
2. Slow Burn, Season 2 (open in iTunes)
Season 2 was so juicy. I was too young to be as wrapped up in the Bill Clinton impeachment scandal(s) at the time they were happening, but it didn’t stop me from being completely sucked into the drama of this podcast!
…it’s hard to know, in the moment, how history will judge us down the line, or what ideas, beliefs, and biases will seem embarrassingly blinkered when we look back at them decades later. – Source
Season 1 featured Watergate which was also riveting – I recommend listening to both!
Slate announced earlier this year that Season 3 will feature the murders of Tupac & the Notorious B.I.G..
3. Up & Vanished (open in iTunes)
The Hubs introduced me to this podcast (He went to high school with the host!), and it did not disappoint!
Season 1 featured the disappearance of Tara Grinstead, a former beauty queen and beloved high school teacher in Ocilla, Georgia, who has been missing since 2005. Following Season 1 of this podcast, TWO arrests were made in relation to this case.
Season 2 featured the disappearance of Kristal Reisinger, a young mother who had recently moved to Crestone, Colorado in search of spiritual enlightenment when she went missing in 2016. Kristal’s story is very different than Tara’s but equally as fascinating.
Payne is a truly notable host. Not only does he thoughtfully tell the stories of these women, but he bravely treks into their lives to uncover secrets and push these investigations back to the surface.
4. Believed (open in iTunes)
If you are a fan of Olympic gymnastics, Larry Nassar was a familiar face. As the trusted team doctor, it was hard to guess he would take the title as one of the largest serial sexual abusers in U.S. history. The abuse took place over two decades with absolutely heartbreaking impact.
It is truly shocking that so many of the girls not only shared their experiences with a trusted adult, but were dismissed. It’s an eye-opening tale of how powerfully persuasive perpetrators can be and how important it is to believe survivors. Hearing the story of many of the survivors and how they harnessed this horrible shared experience to take Larry Nassar down is empowering.
5. Embedded (open in iTunes)
In this podcast series, Kelly McEvers takes a deep dive into stories that have been in recent news. There’s always more to the story than what we hear in news sound bites. If you’re curious about backstories, you’ll enjoy this podcast!
Embedded launched in 2016 so there are quite a few you can listen back to (many are still quite relevant and ALL are still interesting!).
6. Serial, Season 1 (open in iTunes)
Season 1 features the story of a teen girl’s murder and the skeptical arrest of her ex-boyfriend. At 17-years-old, Adnan was arrested and later sentenced to life in prison. On the surface it may sound like a straightforward tale, but Sarah Koenig dusts off the nearly two-decade-old evidence to raise suspicion around the conviction.
There are multiple seasons to the Serial podcast – the first is probably the most popular, but the other seasons are just as binge-worthy.
Season 2 is the story of Bowe Bergdahl’s abandonment of his U.S. Army outpost in eastern Afghanistan. After being captured and imprisoned by the Taliban for almost five years, he was returned home…and controversy ensued.
Season 3 takes us inside a Cleveland Courthouse. Hearing the inner workings of these “ordinary cases” provides quite a perspective – particularly for folks lucky enough not to interact with the justice system regularly.
Looking for more binge-worthy podcasts?