Well, it's back to work this week (boooooo), so to get back into productivity mode, I thought I’d share my favorite way to crank through work – podcasts! I don’t know how I survived the workday before I dug into the endless variety of podcasts out there.
I still listen to music when I work, especially during my left-brained tasks like writing or even looking at numbers (not my forte haha). When I’m working on a design or piece of artwork, I like something a little more engaging on in the background since my brain is in visual mode.
I’m pretty sure 80% of the podcasts in my feed are about murder or ghosts or conspiracies or crime (wait, is that weird?) and the rest are either storytelling or comedy (or a good recap of The Bachelor when it's on!). However, these are my current favorites that I'm always blazing through:
This is a true crime podcast that I can’t get enough of. Each episode focuses on one true story (or two, if they relate) and it’s really well produced. The stories are told by a narrator, with clips of real audio or interviews throughout. It really puts you in the shoes of the criminal/victim — so it’s totally gripping and can definitely be a little creepy. I remember listening to the episode about the Gainesville Ripper while I was walking Cooper at night, sometime around Halloween — I was thoroughly creeped out (but I loooove a good scare). Not all of the episodes are like that, though; some are more focused on crime or just unusual stories. I’m so addicted to it, I’ve almost gone through the entire archive! Going to be really sad when that happens.
As stated in their description, Criminal is a podcast about “people who've done wrong, been wronged, and/or gotten caught somewhere in the middle.” Some of the crimes discussed are more playful and occasionally funny, so it's a bit of a lighter listen. Each episode is accompanied by an illustration, and they're not to be missed. You can see the images on the show's website.
Who in America isn’t addicted to Serial by now? This feels like an obvious pick but it’s one of my favorites. Serial wrapped its second season, and Undisclosed is the spinoff which picks up where Serial leaves off. In addition to diving deeper into the cases discussed on Serial, Undisclosed explores other wrongful convictions and bungled cases and investigations. It’s an eye-opening look at how the criminal justice system works (or doesn’t). A similar podcast I like with an Ohio connection is Accused — a re-investigation of the 1978 murder of Miami University student Elizabeth Andes. A few friends recommended it to me and I finished the series in a weekend.
Unlike the previous shows, this podcast is full of stories told in the first person. There’s no narrator or audience — just a well-produced story hour with perfectly placed music. The topics are those those dark “what if" questions, which range from “what if you were supposed to be on that plane?” to “what if your roommate had a dark secret?” I never know where each episode is headed, so the show keeps me on my toes. I find myself sitting in my car after I've parked just so I can keep listening. Definitely mysterious and occasionally haunting.
I love stories (and not just scary ones!) and the tales on Radiolab will make you laugh, think, and break your heart. Happy or sad, I always take something personal away from each episode. I also listen to This American Life religiously, but these stories are a little more specific and usually only include one tale per episode. They dig into the human experience with great sensitivity and excellent storytelling. This one is always a good listen!
I’ve learned so many interesting/helpful/weird tidbits and anecdotes from all of the shows I listen to, and I'm always looking for more. If you have any you'd recommend, send them my way!