I see friends and Facebook group members asking for podcast recommendations on nearly a daily basis. Have you jumped on the podcast craze yet? Podcasts are a great way to listen to your favorite celebrities and experts on a variety of topics, including pop culture, business, religion, sports and news. If you have an obscure (or mainstream) hobby or interest, there is bound to be a podcast covering that topic. Whether you’re looking to learn or be entertained, there is a podcast for you. I use the Stitcher app (available on both iOS and Android), but you can also listen with the Apple Podcast or Spotify and many other independent options as well.
Here are my favorite podcasts broken down by genre:
True Crime is a huge category in podcasts and one of the most popular. While My Favorite Murderer is usually at the top of the charts, these are my favorites in the category.
Season 1 of Gangster Capitalism takes us through the College Admissions Scandal of 2019. Including taped phone calls between the parties involved, you learn the background and how the scandal was able to occur. I’m just amazed at the money that was thrown around and how easily college administration was swayed to allow these students in. While having money can definitely afford you luxuries to get an advantage (tutoring, college prep services), there is a difference between that and buying your actual spot.
Sold in America
Sold in America is an eight-episode podcast focused on the business of selling sex in America. The host interviews several individuals involved in the business, uncovering some misconceptions and surprising facts.
The Drop Out
John Carreyrou of the Wall Street Journal first exposed Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos for deceiving investors, retailers, partners, everyone, promising fast, accurate results from a prick of blood. The podcast follows along closely to Carreyrou’s book Bad Blood, including interviews with key players and actual audio of Holmes.
Last Seen takes us into the biggest unsolved art heist in history. Was it an inside job and just a spectacular theft? 28 years after the theft of 13 artworks from Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, additional interviews are held with further investigative work.
The Band Played On
A CBC investigative podcast investigating a five decades sexual abuse scandal involving three teachers and the multitude of students involved.
Dr. Death was one of the top podcasts of 2018, covering the neurosurgeon Christopher Duntsch who claimed he was the best in Dallas. You will never go to the doctor the same way again. This podcast was last updated with information about Dr. Duntsch in December 2018. There’s a new podcast from the same creators as Dr. Death as of October 2019 – Bad Batch. It covers a group of patients who received bad stem cells and the shortcuts that were taken to take them to market. It’s another good listen.
One of my absolute favorites, Criminal explores all aspects of the law and criminal world by interviewing criminals, family of criminals, and others affected. I recently listed to Episode 118: Stowaway, where they interviewed someone who got away with stowing away on a multi day cruise vacation.
I’m building both a network marketing business, along with a traditional franchise operation, so I love all podcasts that provide insight, motivation and especially tips for growing on social media.
The School of Greatness
Lewis Howes hosts this podcast interviewing top performers in athletics, business, and Hollywood to find out what makes them great.
Host Jenna Kutcher started in the photography business, but has turned into a business mogel selling internet courses and sharing tips and tricks to help you grow your business too.
Build Your Tribe
Chalene Johnson and her son Brock host Build Your Tribe, focused on building your following on social media. From effective use of Instagram to newer platforms like Tik Tok, I love their fresh and open attitudes towards everything going on in the social stratosphere.
Your Virtual Upline
Bob Heilig provides his no nonsense advice for growing your network marketing business. I would consider this a must listen for anyone in the industry.
Don’t Keep Your Day Job
This podcast is full of interviews of successful entrepreneurs who have made that jump from day job to working on their passions. Designed for the creative entrepreneur, but take-aways for anyone looking to make that jump.
Do It Scared
Ruth Soukup leads this podcast to help individuals get past their fears and thrive. Relevant to both the business world and your personal life, Ruth provides great insight to help you grow.
The Chalene Show
Another podcast featuring Chalene Johnson, who is a celebrity fitness instructor turned business woman. This show covers everything related to fitness, diet, business, self improvement and more. I love Chalene’s frankness and openness regarding her family, where she has struggled, and what has worked for her in all these areas.
Social Media Marketing
From the website Social Media Examiner, the Social Media Marketing podcast covers all areas of social media, including interviews with experts and insights into new apps to help create content and improve your social media use for business. I love learning about everything that is new and this podcast is full of practical tips and recommendations to succeed in the digital landscape.
Personal Development / Inspiration
The Purpose Show
Allie Casazza hosts this show geared towards moms who want to be more present for their families. Includes lots of elements of minimalism and simplicity.
Better Than Happy
This is the show that got me into podcasts. While looking online for something to get me out of a slump, a friend recommended this podcast which teaches you that you have control over your feelings. Someone or something can’t make you feel unworthy or bad, you choose to feel that way. I love the host’s straight talk and life coaching lessons to apply to your own life. Was my first podcast and definitely will continue to catch anytime I see it.
While I am not a minimalist, nor profess to be one, I’m highly interested in trying to minimalize areas of my life. I see the benefits, but am just not able to commit or convince the family of the same. But I love their tips and focus on “Love People, Use Things, because the opposite just doesn’t work out”.
The Life Coach School
Brooke Castillo is a Master Coach, who coaches other life and wellness coaches. Her podcast is full of both advice you’d get from a life coach and advice for becoming a coach. She also trained Jody Moore from Better Than Happy, which is how I discovered this show.
The Tim Ferriss Show
Tim Ferriss, author of the 4-Hour Workweek, hosts this podcast interviewing individuals from all walks of live to find the tools, tactics and tricks that we all can use to improve our lives.
The Brendon show
Brendon is one of the world’s leading high performance coaches. In his podcast, he talks about what’s going on in his life and how he deals with it. He also does frequent “best of” shows where he shares top motivational quotes from his Instagram account.
Good Life Project
Uplifting and inspirational interviews with big-names like Brene Brown and Seth Godin and everyday heroes. Just people trying to live their best life and inspire others to do the same.
I had a hard time fitting these remaining podcasts into “like” categories, but these are definitely some of my favorites and couldn’t end this post without them.
NPR Hidden Brain
Super interesting podcast on the science behind the unconscious patterns that drive human behavior.
30 For 30
ESPN’s podcast gives the story behind the athletes and sports stories. Each season covers a different topic, including Bikram (yoga), Wrigleyville, UFC and the Sterling affairs.
Malcolm Gladwell is the host of this podcast that looks at history and asks if we really got it right.
The Art of Catholic
While religious podcasts make up a huge category, The Art of Catholic is the only one I catch regularly. Matthew Leonard is a lay person, who interviews various individuals in the religious life and religious scholars and authors. It’s a great listen for anyone wanting to learn more about the Catholic faith.
Find out what really happened at the likes of Toys R Us and Kodak. What made these retail giants fall and get sometimes funny, sometimes tragic truth behind some interesting business failures.
Chernobyl is the official podcast of the HBO miniseries featuring the series creator, writer and executive producer Craig Mazin. I don’t have access to HBO and haven’t seen the miniseries, but the podcast is great on its own. They cover a lot of the details and behind the scenes information, but don’t get into the show’s critics or address any of the rebuttals of key details. While the Chernobyl series was designed to educate, it is in fact a fictitious reenactment.
Proof provides the behind the scenes stories about our food.
This is usually the first podcast that I recommend when someone asks. Each episode stands alone and focuses on some obscure topic that is effectively 99% invisible. One of my favorite episodes discusses the Sears Roebuck home. At one time, you could order a home kit from the Sears Roebuck catalog and they would ship you every beam of wood, nail, and other supply, along with detailed plans to build it yourself. Great podcast if you like random knowledge and knowing something that your friends don’t.
Imagine discovering as an adult that the parents you grew up loving weren’t really your parents. That’s what host Dani Shapiro discovered and is now on a quest to help others discover their family secrets and work to discover what they mean.
If you liked the book, you’ll love the podcast. Host Stephen J. Dubner looks for the hidden side of everything, with interviews, live episodes and his own game show.
The Dark Side Of
With episodes grouped into categories like Music, Holidays and Hollywood, The Dark Side Of digs deeper into some of our favorite things and discovers the unglamorous, dark side we try to push away.
What are your favorite podcasts?