I really do enjoy a good podcast.
They can be educational, entertaining, moving, and when made properly, they are just as addictive as a decent series on Netflix.
For me, they are perfect for when I travel or commute, and espeically when I don’t have the energy to focus on something visual like a TV show or reading. I can get lost in a good story or interesting conversation, instead of scrolling the hours away on social media.
Here are some of my favourites.
Quick summary: True crime, murder mystery, Irish
My top podcast, without a shadow of a doubt, is ‘West Cork’, by Jennifer Forde and Sam Bungey. They draw you in right from episode one, as they tell the story of Sophie Toscan du Plantier. Sophie was a quietly glamourous French woman who was murdered in her holiday home in West Cork in December 1996.
Throughout the podcast you get to meet her neighbours, friends and even her family. You almost feel as though you have a seat at their kitchen table, as you listen to them recount her story in their own words.
You also meet the infamous Ian Bailey, who was arrested on numerous occasions in relation to the case. Ian was never charged, but you are left to make your own assumptions throughout the show. Be prepared to have those assumptions flipped on their head time and time again. Ian is still fighting this case which is currently in the french courts.
If you liked ‘Making a Murder’ on Netflix, you will love this Irish equivalent. You can only find it on Audible at the minute, but the good news is Amazon has a 30-day free trial with zero cancellation fees, so it is possible to listen for free.
Quick summary: Real life, lots of twists
This podcast took about two episodes to really grab me, but when it did it didn’t let me go.
You are invited into the world of an eccentric man from Woodstock, Alabama, John B. McLemore, who you may find yourself growing fond of throughout the show.
John is a pessimist and conspiracist, which makes for an entertaining combination. He is also a horologist and seems to have brains to burn, underneath the deep-south hillbilly character he portrays.
The podcast starts off in one direction and then quickly takes an unbelievable turn, leading both the podcast creator Brian Reed and the listener down a completely different path.
I can’t say too much without giving the story away but trust me, it is well worth a listen.
You can listen on your browser HERE or on Cast Box.
Super Soul Conversations
Quick summary: Mindfulness, feel good, spiritual, life lessons
If you are looking for food for your soul, then any of the episodes in Orpah’s ‘Super Soul Conversations’ podcast will do the trick. She hosts an array of impressive and thought-provoking guests for long chats about everything form the universe to their own personal and inspiring journeys.
I love to put this on and just absorb whatever piece of wisdom her guest is offering and I always feel really good after listening to an episode. It’s like spending time with one of those friends who gives you lots of positive energy and leaves you feeling lifted and ready to take on the world.
Some of my favourite episodes are:
- Brené Brown – Daring Greatly
- Paulo Coelho – What If The Universe Consipred In Your Favour?
- Shawn Anchor – The Secrets Of Happy People
- Shonda Rhimes – Change Your Life By Saying “Yes” (And “No” Too)
She also has Iyanla Vanzant on, who is just a goddess in my eyes. If you’re ever feeling low and need someone to pep you up, check her out on YouTube. She does a series of vlogs around relationships and she has some longer talks called ‘Peace from Broken Pieces’ which are brilliant.
Check out Oprahs Podcast HERE (You can also find her on Cast Box and itunes)
Iyanlas YouTube channel – HERE
The Joe Rogan Experience
Quick summary: Real life, conversational, funny, educational, fitness
I feel like I can’t talk about podcasts, and not mention Joe. He’s my go-to-guy whenever I’m not sure what to listen to.
I don’t always agree with what he says, but I am always entertained and often even challenged. Sometimes he just gets his ‘buddies’ around for a few drinks and a chat, and then other times he has these super-intellectuals on talking about their work. I tend to prefer the shows that have a bit of a message behind them, like that, but the other types can be fun to zone in and out of.
If you’re into sport, fitness, nutrition, society, science, (to name a few), then there are bound to be some episodes that will float your boat.
Some of my favourite guests have included:
Dr Rhonda Patrick – for nutrition and health – she is SO bloody smart, if you can stay focused you will learn a lot from her.
Russell Brand – Russell has done a lot to get himself on the straight and narrow in the past couple of years. His most recent appearance on the podcast can be a bit waffley in parts, but I still really enjoyed listening to him.
Rich Roll – Such a likable and chilled guy, he’s a wellness advocate and Ultra-Athlete. He’s also a vegan, but not the type to shove it in your face or judge anyone who doesn’t live the same way as him.
Joey Diaz – I’m not even sure what this guy does/is famous for, but I can’t deny that it is always funny whenever he is a guest on Joes podcast. I do not recommend it for the light hearted though, he can be a tad crude!
You can stream Joe’s podcast directly from the website HERE or else you can find him on YouTube/podcast players.
Serial, Season one
Quick summary: True crime, murder mystery
Serial is hosted by Sarah Koenig and is a similar style to West Cork. Based in Maryland, USA, it tells the story of Hae Min Lee, a young woman who went missing after school in 1999.
Hae’s ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, was arrested for the crime and charged with her murder. To this day Adnan still denies all charges, most of which are based on one single testimony.
This is a story of love, murder, betrayal and cover ups.
You can listen HERE or on most podcast players.
Note: I only recommend season ONE.
I listened to both seasons and I just didn’t enjoy the second. It is based the story of Bowe Bergdahl, a U.S. soldier who was a prisoner of the Taliban for nearly five years but who managed to return home. Throughout the podcast they speculate whether he was captured or was a deserter.
I just felt like I was waiting for the story to begin for the the entire show, and at the end I was left deflated and underwhelmed. I feel like I wasted 10 hours of my life to be honest. Not my cup of tea.
Art of Charm
Quick summary: Self development, life lessons
This is a lifestyle podcast that basically promotes self-development and encourages people to improve themselves – be it in work, relationships, or just life in general.
There are 100’s of episodes, and I usually try to find them based on topic. I love listening to anything that gives me a bit of a kick or inspires me to push myself that bit further, so this podcast was a real gem to find.
Whether you are looking to build your confidence, become a more positive person or just be more productive, I guarantee this podcast will have lots of episodes to help you out.
It is a lot less ‘touchy-feely’ than the Oprah podcast, so if you want a straight talking kind of vibe, go for this one.
You can listen HERE or you can download their app.
Someone Knows Something
Quick summary: True crime, cold cases, mystery
I love this series. The director David Ridgen really has a knack for getting to the root of a story and digging up all the details.
Each season looks at a different cold case in Canada. David speaks to family, friends and other members of communities where a case has been left unsolved.
Throughout each season he often uncovers new evidence which keeps you on the edge of your seat and wondering if these cases will ever be put to rest.
Season 1: HERE
*Season 2: HERE – My fave out of all three.
Season 4: HERE
You may notice I don’t have season three here, that’s purely because I haven’t listened to it yet, so I can’t recommend it.
So that’s it, hours of podcast-listening condensed into one blog post, I hope you found one or two useful recommendations.
My favourite podcast app is Podcast Player (by Cast Box FM), everything is free on it!! You do have to deal with a few annoying pop ups, but it’s worth it for the free content.
However, there are also lots of other ways to listen to your favourite shows. Most have their own website or app, where you can directly stream episodes or else you can find them on YouTube.
If you have any recommendations of your own please feel free to share them with me, I am always looking for something new to listen to.
Written with love,