Listen up:: Podcast Recommendations – Second edition

It doesn’t take much to get me excited these days after so much time at home. So when a few friends texted me recently to ask if I’d listened to any good podcasts recently, I was giddy and couldn’t wait to respond.

If you haven’t read my previous post from last summer about all my favorite true-crime podcasts, you may want to start there.

Podcasts that are must-listen

The true-crime genre is still a personal favorite. Here are more than a few binge-worthy podcast listens from the last year:

True Crime Podcasts

  • Bad Batch: Do I need to tell you more than the fact that this is brought to you by the same folks as the incredibly done podcast, Dr. Death?
  • Chasing Cosby: These episodes shatter the wholesome image of Bill Cosby that some may have had from the 1990s, and this podcast includes a lot of good reporting.
  • The Officer’s Wife: This isn’t a whodunnit…or, is it?
  • Verified: A heavy subject matter, and it won’t be easy for women to listen to, but one that’s important and emotional in giving “victims” their voices back.
  • Case Closed: The format of this podcast is similar to a show like Dateline in that it isn’t a mystery, but they’re interesting solved cases.
  • The Vanished: This is another I wouldn’t say is super well-produced, but the host is well-intentioned and well-researched, so they’re easy to listen to. Each episode features a different missing person’s case to bring attention and ask for help with cases that haven’t been previously covered by the media.
  • Bundyville: Both seasons are great and need not be listened to in order. The story in season two has so many parallels to other current events, and it’s smart and well done.
  • Sick: It’s a sensitive subject matter for some, trialing how one infertility doctor scammed many families and fathered hundreds of children. The story is fascinating and educational for those who can handle it. In future seasons, the podcast of this same name will explore other incidents of mistrust.
  • Hit Man: A story from iheartRadio about a former Motown record executive spirals into betraying his own family.

Other faves

  • The Dream: I enjoy all seasons of this podcast, but the most recent season (three), is all about the wellness industry and provides a lot of interesting information. I’ll leave it at that.
  • Passenger List: You’ll get addicted to this one immediately. They go to great length to make this podcast seem real, though it’s a fictional thriller. It’s a total cliffhanger from what I remember, and it’ll leave you wondering what’s next.
  • Catch and Kill: I’ve already written at length about my thoughts on this book, and the podcast is a ‘killer’ companion to the written story.
  • ESPN 30 for 30: All of the television shows are also available in podcast form, but what I really love are the specific podcast series they’ve produced. You can’t go wrong!
  • Blood Ties: Another audio drama for you, and this one stars the voice of Josh Gadd. It’s strange to hear Olaf in this kind of capacity as he leads this cast through a mystery, but you’ll love it.
  • The Gravy Train: I can see your face now after Googling this one. Trust me, though, it’s excellent! It explores the life and legacy of Canadian politician Doug Ford. Never heard of him before now? I hadn’t either – and I still enjoyed following the twists and turns of his story.
    • There are actually a few more fascinating political podcasts I’d recommend. Not about specific candidates or parties, but rather more rooted in history. If you’re into that sort of thing, also check out Strangehold and Caucus Land, each about the role New Hampshire and Iowa play in the political process. Though the primary elections are over, these are good stories and facts for Americans to know about the country and how things work in general).
  • Dolly Parton’s America: Hear me out on this. Even if you have no knowledge of Dolly or no desire to listen based on the title, YOU HAVE TO. Dolly Parton is woven into the fabric of so many things we all hold dear, and I, for one, had no idea until this podcast.
  • Ear Hustle: This is the first podcast to be recorded and released from inside a prison. I’ve learned so much, and I can hardly keep the spoilers safe!
  • WTF with Marc Maron: This is an OG in the podcast world. Marc is a comedian (you may recognize him from Glow on Netflix) and interviews celebrities much more in-depth than the typical celebrity interview.
  • Mind’s Eye: Here’s another fictional audio drama worth your time. The episode length is short enough that you’ll fly through them, and I didn’t see the end coming at all!
  • This American Life: It’s no secret to those who know me well that I LOVE Ira Glass, who hosts this podcast. His storytelling ability is second to none, and this public radio show explores seemingly mundane topics but presents them all under relevant and timely themes. One week’s episode of the show just won a Pulitzer prize – a first for audio journalism!
  • Slow Burn:  I wholeheartedly endorse all three seasons of this one. Season three is one I will periodically check in on for a few episodes to cleanse my palette between other darker stories. For someone who grew up while rap was somewhat coming of age, I thought I knew everything there was to know about the Biggie and Tupac saga, but this behind-the-scenes retelling is pretty interesting.
  • Running from Cops: Everything Dan Taberski touches is podcast gold. That is all.
  • You Can’t Make This Up: If you watch the latest original series on Netflix, you will be interested to hear more of those stories – how producers got access, deleted scenes, etc.

Recommended Podcasts from others

I also have a running list of single podcast episodes that are for more personal- or professional development instead of pure entertainment.

What other podcast recommendations do you have for me?

Blair Bonczynski is a wife to one, mom to two. Born and raised in the Metro area, she finds great joy in playing intramural sports, listening to a good audio book, figuring out ways to save the environment, and indulging in a craft beer every now and then. She spends her days working as the marketing and communications coordinator for the Archdiocese of Omaha Catholic Schools Office, and she spends her nights playing with her kids and picking up toys at home. She is constantly discovering the joy in the little things.


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