After many requests, I’m finally getting around to sharing some of my current favorite podcasts!
Over the past six months, I’ve become a huge fan of podcasts. I used to listen to them a few years ago back when I was driving to my teaching job (1 hour+ every day), but then I started working from home and didn’t necessarily have a set-aside time to listen. But now that I’m working out 3 days a week, I have another “official” time for me to listen – and I’ve been going through them like crazy!
Since I’m always sharing my current favorites over on my Instagram, I thought I’d compile them all here so I have somewhere to point people in the future when they ask!
And for those of you that want to listen to podcasts but don’t think you have the time, don’t write off this post. I think everyone can squeeze them in if you really wanted to! I used not having a commute to work as an excuse not to listen, but I realized I was missing out on some good stuff. I’ve compiled a little list of times when you can listen to podcasts throughout your week to get motivated:
- During your commute to work
- During workouts
- While in the shower
- While cooking
- While walking the dog
- While cleaning the house
- While grocery shopping
|| My Current Favorite Podcasts ||
I’ve broken my favorites into 3 sections that I’m drawn to: True Crime, Storytelling/Learning, and Christian Life. There are obviously tons of other genres out there, but I wanted to share my personal favs. Below are the podcasts I’ve been loving, a quick summary (don’t worry, no spoilers!), my take on them, and which episodes to start with:
|| TRUE CRIME ||
Serial || This one’s a huge “duh” as it’s probably one of the best podcasts ever done, ever. Season 1 was the first podcast I ever listened to all the way through and it’s the reason I continue listening to podcasts – in hopes that something else will be just as intriguing and well-done. If you’re new to podcasts, I’d recommend starting with Serial Season 1 because it’ll be the best thing you’ve ever listened to! And side note: I only listened to a few episodes of Season 2 and just couldn’t get into it. I guess they kinda set themselves up for failure after such an amazing first season!
Up and Vanished || This podcast is the closest thing I’ve found to Serial. Payne Lindsey loved “Serial” and “Making a Murderer” so much, that he decided to investigate a crime on his own that had gone cold. Without giving any spoilers, the podcast brought the crime back into the limelight and the story is continuing to develop. Highly recommended!
Convicted || I just recently started listening to this one as it just came out in May, but it’s been interesting so far. It’s the story of a man who was convicted of killing his two-year-old daughter and is spending the rest of his life in prison. But it asks the question, “What if he didn’t do it?”
True Crime Garage || While there are several podcasts out there like this one (hosts that talk through popular cases), this one’s my favorite. The hosts are really chill and aren’t too vulgar nor do they add too many of their own opinions like other podcasts I’ve listened to. If you’re wanting somewhere to start, I’d recommend listening to the Casey Anthony episodes or John Wayne Gacy.
|| STORYTELLING / LEARNING ||
This American Life || This American Life is my go-to podcast when I don’t know what I’m in the mood for because I know whatever the topic is, it’s going to be well-told and interesting. Every week it’s a new topic and they tell multiple stories based on the theme. Not to mention, Ira Glass’s voice is so soothing to listen to! They have a Favorites page if you’re unsure where to start, but really any episode you listen to will be excellent!
Invisibilia || “Invisibilia” means invisible things, and it’s a podcast about invisible human behavior: ideas, beliefs, emotions, etc. I would highly recommend listening to the very first episode, “The Secret History of Thoughts”, because it’s the episode that got me hooked!
S-Town || This is a compelling story about an Alabama man that hates his town and asks a reporter to investigate and ends up having all kinds of crazy turns. Okay, so, I know I’m going to cause an uproar here, but this wasn’t podcast wasn’t truly one of my favorites. But – I’m including it because it seems to be just about everyone else’s favorite podcast. I’ll say this: It’s really well done (from the same producers of Serial and This American Life) and they’re fabulous storytellers. But, without giving any spoilers, I didn’t connect with the main character and therefore didn’t care too much about the storyline. It seems like I may be one of the only people in the world to think this though, so I’d encourage you to give it a listen and decide for yourself!
The Way I Heard It || Mike Rowe (whose voice I love, btw) tells the stories of famous people throughout history with a twist. The twist being you don’t know who he’s talking about until the very end. These are short little episodes (around 10 minutes) that are perfect to listen to when showering or getting ready. I will say this though – The length of the advertisements is so annoying. I mean, seriously. It’s about half the length of the episode sometimes. But once I fast-forward through them, the stories themselves are actually very entertaining. I’d recommend starting with “The Man Behind the Microphone” or “The Paint Salesman”.
Stuff You Should Know || This one’s pretty self-explanatory: They talk about interesting things that you should probably know about. They’ve done hundreds and hundreds of podcasts, so they’re definitely not short on topics. When I’m in more of a “learning” mood (versus entertainment or journalism), I always come back to this podcast. I can’t really recommend a starting point because I don’t know what your personal interests are, so I’d just tell you to go to the podcast for yourself and explore some of the topics until you find one that sounds interesting to you!
|| CHRISTIAN LIFE ||
The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey || Jamie is a worship pastor’s wife from Austin, Texas, and invites female guests on her show to talk life – everything from “marriage, faith, children, parenting, sorrow, grief, joy, justice, books, what they are loving, plus so much more.” It’s different from a sermon or conference in that, instead of preaching or feeling like you need to take notes, it’s just Jamie having encouraging conversations with her friends and guests. I’d recommend listening to “Happy Half Hour #25: Jennie Allen” or “Happy Hour #142: Cheryl Scruggs” to give you an idea of what the show’s about. I also loved “Happy Hour #126: Sazan Hendrix” and “Happy Hour #137: Lauren Scruggs Kennedy” since those ladies are both bloggers in my industry!
Epiphany Fellowship Sermons || If you’re looking for some solid preaching that will get you pumped up and hollering “Hallelujah!”, then Eric Mason from Epiphany Fellowship is your guy. They’re an Acts 29 church (just like our church here in California), and the preaching is truth-filled, convicting, and encouraging!
The Village Church – Sermons || The Village is our previous home church in Texas. Because it was the first church Jay and I ever attended together as a married couple, it holds a special place in our heart. It’s where we first experienced community, grew together in the Word as a couple, and where Jay grew as a man and husband after being on the worship staff. The Village is where Acts 29 is headquartered, so again, they’re a solid, truth-filled church. Matt Chandler’s sermons are engaging, informative, and call us to action.
The Gospel Coalition || The Gospel Coalition actually has 3 different podcasts: “Help Me Teach the Bible”, “Word of the Week”, and “The Gospel Coalition”. I’ve had a few people ask me about Christian podcasts that aren’t necessarily sermons, so these would be great options for that. The podcasts vary in length but cover all kinds of topics, so these are a good resource for gaining biblical knowledge and learning how to apply the gospel!
I took to social media a few weeks ago to ask about y’all’s favorite podcasts and got some awesome responses! Below are the most popular answers (after I already said I knew about Serial and Up & Vanished!):
- The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey || This was probably the most popular podcast amongst my readers, so I’m glad I already had it on my list!
- Missing Richard Simmons || I haven’t listened to this yet, but apparently it’s intriguing!
- Criminal || I haven’t listened to this one either, but it’s another true crime podcast that covers a new story each week.
- Sword and Scale || This might be the next podcast I try out! It covers “true-crime stories, high-profile trials, unsolved murders and missing persons cases” and reveals “the underworld of criminal activity and the demented minds that perform the most despicable and unthinkable actions, proving that the worst monsters are very real.” Basically, twisted and interesting!
|| SHOP MY ATHLETIC WEAR ||
Thanks for reading about my favorite podcasts. I hope you discovered some new podcasts for yourself! As always, leave some love in the comments section or let me know if you have any other podcast suggestions. I’d love to hear from you!