Confession: I’ve only listened to one single podcast in all of my entire life.
It was Serial.
The one about Adnan.
And I started it because it happened near where I live and I’d heard about how awesome it was.
I loved it and I would sit in my car while my kids played soccer and football and whatever just to finish an episode.
I’ve never listened to another and, if I’m being totally honest, I’m not even sure I know how to download one at this point.
I figure iTunes will guide me when the time comes.
Which is now apparently, because even my children have started listening to a few and have convinced me that my life is not complete without them.
Naturally, I’m not about to listen to the one my kids are obsessed with (it’s about Wolverine-the X-Men character with the knuckle knives), so I figured the best place to find the best podcasts would be the place I go for all of my best advice: the DudeMom Facebook page!
This community full of women (and men) happily shares their best tips, tricks, ideas, and recommendations for everything from leggings to wear to stay at Disney World and I am so here for it!
When I asked them to share the podcasts they love, they were super forthcoming and provided some great reviews. I’ve not had a chance to listen to any of them myself yet, but I’m happy to say I have a list of the best podcasts at my fingertips for whenever I decide to embark on that journey.
Now you do too!
Read more for the full list of arguably the best 15 podcasts according to women.
Arguably the Best: Women Share the 15 Best Podcasts for First Time Listeners
Genre: True Crime
The most recommended among the respondents to my post, Serial is is a podcast from the creators of This American Life, hosted by Sarah Koenig. Serial tells one story — a true story — over the course of a season.
I listened to Season 1, the story of Adnan Syed, accused, convicted, and imprisoned for the murder of his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, while in high school. He maintains his innocence to this day, and the podcast explores the evidence.
Learn more here: Serial Podcast
Genre: Self Help
Hosted by Dax Shepard, it’s said to “celebrate the messiness of being a human”. It includes storytelling with celebrity guests.
Learn more here: Armchair Expert
Review: “I am totally addicted the Armchair Experts!!! Its so amazing and mind-blowing. It’s a must listen!” –Stasia R., DudeMom Facebook Fan
This American Life
Genre: Radio Short Stories and Essays
This American Life is a weekly public radio program and podcast. Each week they choose a theme and put together different kinds of stories on that theme. And sometimes, it seems, they do these reality show type things. The show has been on since 1995 and created Serial as a spinoff.
S-Town and Planet Money are also spinoffs from this OG podcast.
Learn more here: This American Life
The Longest Shortest Time
Stories about the surprises and absurdities of raising other humans—and being raised by them. The Longest Shortest Time is an award-winning podcast about parenthood in all of its forms. But you don’t need to be a parent to listen.
Learn more here: The Longest Shortest Time
Genre: True Crime
Criminal is a podcast about crime. Stories of people who’ve done wrong, been wronged, or gotten caught somewhere in the middle.
Learn more here: Criminal
Ear Hustle brings you stories of life inside prison, shared and produced by those living it. The podcast is a partnership between Nigel Poor, a Bay Area visual artist and Earlonne Woods, formerly incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison, and was co-founded with fellow inmate Antwan Williams.
The team works in San Quentin’s media lab to produce stories that are sometimes difficult, often funny, and always honest, offering a nuanced view of people living within the American prison system.
Ear Hustle was the winner of Radiotopia’s Podquest contest in 2016, chosen from more than 1,500 international entries. Radiotopia from PRX is a curated network of extraordinary, cutting-edge podcasts.
Review: “Prob my favorite podcast of 2018 – the first podcast ever recorded from inside a prison. And not just ANY old prison….San Quentin prison!” –Heather B.
Learn more here: Ear Hustle
Genre: Pop Culture
The Hey Frase podcast features media personality Sarah Fraser and co-host AJ on the Mic, weekly in the Nation’s Capital. Funny, enlightening, and pop-culture driven, the show aims to entertain and inspire its audience with a mix of personal stories; discussions of societal issues big and small, including uncomfortable topics such as conversion therapy, dog breed bans, and blow job classes; and humanizing interviews with vilified celebrities such as Omarosa and Miko Grimes.
Learn more here: Hey Frase
Up and Vanished
Genre: Investigative Journalism/True Crime
Atlanta filmmaker Payne Lindsey of Tenderfoot TV originally envisioned Up and Vanished as a true-crime documentary. Lindsey selected a missing-person case from his home state, Georgia, and embarked on a journey as an amateur investigator. After starting his research and initial interviews, he decided to present the project in audio form as a podcast.
Season 1 of Up and Vanished explored the 2005 disappearance of beauty queen and high school teacher Tara Grinstead from her home in Ocilla, Georgia. The cold case was the largest case file in the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s history, with no arrests in 11 years. The podcast quickly drew attention, both in South Georgia and nationwide. Reviewing old leads and uncovering new ones, Up and Vanished quickly expanded from a planned six-episode season to a final count of 24 episodes with numerous bonus episodes. As the people of Ocilla began talking about the case again, new leads and stories emerged. In February 2017, the GBI arrested two suspects for Grinstead’s murder. Up and Vanished will continue to provide updates on this no-longer-cold case as the criminal trial proceeds in 2018.
Season 2 debuted in August of 2018 and covers an entirely different disappearance story.
Learn more here: Up and Vanished
Lore is an award-winning, critically-acclaimed podcast about true life scary stories. Lore exposes the darker side of history, exploring the creatures, people, and places of our wildest nightmares.
Each episode examines a new dark historical tale in a modern campfire experience. With more than 23,600 5-star reviews on Apple Podcasts and over 185-million listens, that’s clearly a good thing. New episodes are released every two weeks, on Mondays.
Learn more here: Lore
Genre: Investigative Journalism/True Crime
S-Town is a new podcast from Serial and This American Life, hosted by Brian Reed, about a man named John who despises his Alabama town and decides to do something about it. He asks Brian to investigate the son of a wealthy family who’s allegedly been bragging that he got away with murder. But then someone else ends up dead, and the search for the truth leads to a nasty feud, a hunt for hidden treasure, and an unearthing of the mysteries of one man’s life.
Learn more here: S-Town
Hidden Brain helps curious people understand the world – and themselves. Using science and storytelling, Hidden Brain reveals the unconscious patterns that drive human behavior, and the biases that shape our choices.
Hosted by NPR social science correspondent Shankar Vedantam, Hidden Brain links research from psychology and neurobiology with findings from economics, anthropology, and sociology, among other fields. The goal of Hidden Brain isn’t merely to entertain, but to give you insights to apply at work, at home and throughout your life.
Hidden Brain began as a weekly series on NPR’s Morning Edition and launched as a podcast in September 2015.
The show has won numerous awards.
Review: “My 11yo and I both really like listening to Hidden Brain. It sort of gives you some insight on why people do the things they do. I think it helps me to be less judgy and hope he gets the same from it.” -Rebecca H., DudeMom Facebook Fan
Learn more here: Hidden Brain
Oprah’s Super Soulful Conversations
Genre: Self Help
Awaken, discover and connect to the deeper meaning of the world around you with SuperSoul. Hear Oprah’s personal selection of her interviews with thought-leaders, best-selling authors, spiritual luminaries, as well as health and wellness experts. All designed to light you up, guide you through life’s big questions and help bring you one step closer to your best self.
Learn more here: Oprah’s Super Soulful Conversations
Terrible, Thanks for Asking
You know how every day someone asks “how are you?” And even if you’re totally dying inside, you just say “fine,” so everyone can go about their day? This show is the opposite of that. Hosted by author and notable widow (her words) Nora McInerny, this is a funny/sad/uncomfortable podcast about talking honestly about our pain, our awkwardness, and our humanness
Learn more here: Terrible, Thanks for Asking
Sword and Scale
Genre: True Crime
Sword and Scale is an internet radio show and website covering the dark underworld of crime and the criminal justice system’s response to it. The show and website were launched January 1st, 2014 and feature stories of murder, abduction, rape and even more bizarre forms of crime. It’s the purest form of true-crime where nothing is off the table. Everything from 911 calls to court testimony, interviews with victims and sometimes with perpetrators give listeners a 360 degree look at the entire story. Told from the narrator’s point of view, Sword and Scale goes beyond the news clips and the sensationalist headlines to give listeners the whole story and deeper insight into the cases it covers than any other medium.
Learn more here: Sword and Scale
TED Radio Hour
An idea is the one gift that you can hang onto even after you’ve given it away. Welcome to TED Radio Hour hosted by Guy Raz – a journey through fascinating ideas: astonishing inventions, fresh approaches to old problems, new ways to think and create.
Based on Talks given by riveting speakers on the world-renowned TED stage, each show is centered on a common theme – such as the source of happiness, crowd-sourcing innovation, power shifts, or inexplicable connections – and injects soundscapes and conversations that bring these ideas to life.
Learn more here: TED Radio Hour
You can see all of the recommendations for best podcasts here: DudeMom Facebook page