I used to always have Netflix or a TV show playing in the background while I worked to keep the silence from interfering with my work flow. A few years back, I got hooked on Serial (my first podcast as a listener!) and love finding a new one to tune into. I typically binge listen as much as I can while working, driving, sitting in car line or doing chores around the house. If you haven’t gotten into podcasts or need new recommendations, now’s the time to jump in. Clearly, I have a thing for true crime podcasts. After putting together this list, I realize that category far outweighs the others. Oh well!
I’ve also included a few favorites for influencers, entrepreneurs and our favorite kid-friendly podcast below. If I’ve left off one you absolutely love, please please tell me so I can add it to my list!
Crime & Thrillers
Uncover // I love that this one already has 3 different seasons because it’s enough to cover 3 separate shows, which is amazing. I absolutely love a current events story and the first season is all about the cult group NXIVM, which was positioned as a self help / motivational group, but was ultimately a pyramid scheme to recruit sex slaves and maintain master-slave relationships among women. It is bananas. Seriously, BANANAS! The second season is interesting though not quite as good, covering a Canadian plane crash and the third season explores a serial killer targeting gay men in a small town in Toronto.
Over My Dead Body // This real-life murder mystery is set in Tallahassee, which makes it somehow even creepier knowing it took place fairly close to home. It’s the story of FSU law professor Dan Markel who is found shot in his driveway in broad daylight not long after enduring a messy divorce from ex-wife Wendi Adelson. I love that this podcast has real audio from many of the people involved via police interrogations and recorded conversations. It really digs in to cover various theories – one being that his former in-laws may have orchestrated the killing. It’s such a sad situation and I found it really fascinating to think about what depths someone will go to to get what they want.
Cold // This one is so sad and so unthinkable. It’s a story centered around Susan Powell, a woman in an intense and very controlled relationship with husband Josh. In December 2009, she’s discovered missing without a trace and to this day hasn’t been found. Her husband and father-in-law are questioned without any arrests made. Just when it seems like a discovery is on the brink, something truly heartbreaking happens.
Broken Harts // Two women and their six adopted children drive off a cliff in a heartbreaking tragedy about the real-life story of Jen and Sarah Hart. The podcast starts there and does its best to work backwards to find out why. It’s one of those things I really can’t imagine and the details that come out from neighbors and co-workers is wild. One of the craziest details of this story to me, was that every social media post by one of the adopted moms was rather lengthy detailing life as a modern family in an overwhelming positive, uplifting and hopeful tone, only for her to end up in an apparent murder-suicide by car. It goes to show that you never know what goes on behind the screen and that things are certainly not always what they look like.
Atlanta Monster // This story details the Atlanta child murders a few decades back that rocked the city with around 28 kids, teenagers and adults missing. It goes into detailed police efforts, suspect Wayne Williams and ultimately the potential evidence to make a break in the case.
Criminal // I’ll be honest. The tone of host Phoebe Judge’s voice almost always puts me in sleepy mode. It’s just so soothing and calm. The show covers a different criminal act each episode and take a much more detailed, complex look at how it happens and why. It really digs into the stories behind the crime. Some of my favorites recently have been about hijacking a plane (Ep 100), a homespun lottery (Ep 108) and how an online comment turned into The Homewrecker (Ep 109).
The Drop Out // This podcast gets into the world of tech startups with the story of Elizabeth Holmes who founded Theranos, a company that could supposedly use a few drops of blood to do the work cheaper and faster that 2 huge lab corporations nearly monopolize now. It’s about how she faked so much about the company from the actual lab testing to lowering her speaking voice to copycatting Steve Jobs’ everyday outfit in a black turtleneck. The strategic moves keeping up the charade are really something considering that for years, the whole thing fooled countless people in healthcare, tech and even former President Bill Clinton.
Young Charlie // This podcast shares the story of Charles Manson, one of the most notorious . It goes back to his childhood and the first signs of devious ways and manipulation. Like the story of NXIVM, I’m still blow away by how these individuals recruited such a devoted group of followers to serve his agenda. It really is fascinating!
Influencer & Entrepreneur Focused
The Influencer Podcast // I had the pleasure of connecting with Julie in real life a few years back and love keeping up with how she’s evolved as an influencer to an influencer expert and coach. She does major interviews with all of the who’s who as far as bloggers, Youtubers, brand executives and industry elites but also provides a little one-on-one commentary with shorter Influencer Insights episodes. If you’re running a small business or interesting in the influencer space, this is one you can’t miss.
Swipe Up // I’ve been listening to this since episode 1 and love how Katherine always keeps the tone a mix of warmth and knowledge. It feels like you’re on a phone call with a friend thanks to her casual approach, but she drops some major tips and insights from her experience in PR (she was formerly with Property Brothers) as well as her first-hand advice as an influencer coach.
Goal Digger Podcast with Jenna Kutcher // I feel like I’ve been listening to this since Jenna’s episodes were in the single digits, but I really can’t remember when I started. I love how down-to-earth Jenna is and can appreciate 1000% that she’s evolved from buying a $300 Craigslist camera to launch a photography business to now being a self made millionaire through her social media courses and business insights. She scores some pretty amazing guests and the fact that she keeps it real as a non-XS woman is only more to love.
Rise Podcast with Rachel Hollis // If ever you needed a motivational speech to get moving and start working toward your dreams, this is the podcast for you. Rachel has incredible interviews with some truly impressive guests, but I keep coming back for her real talk conversations, tangible takeaways and honest assessments. She’s definitely not holding back and I love that she shares the imperfections along the way. Plus, if you’ve been putting off buying her books, you can find several of the chapters read by Rachel on the podcast!
The Blogging Millionaire // This podcast wins the award for making me write the most notes while listening. Brendan Gailey is a successful blogger with over 1 million monthly page views who shares step by step details on how to boost, improve and grow your blog. The amount of useful information that comes from this podcast is crazy! I find myself relistening to sections I need to understand more and he covers everything from SEO to pageviews to writing the perfect blog post title.
Becoming Fearless, Style Collective Podcast // I love scrolling through these interviews with female entrepreneurs and boss ladies to find one that fits my mood or current situation. So many good chats with the Style Collective founder and host Annie Spano, who has navigated leaving the corporate world to launch a successful startup geared toward bloggers and influencers.
Personal & Motivational
Hello Baby // Husband and wife duo Matt and Angela Lanter are an adorable couple with their first daughter born about a month behind Collins. They launched Hello Bump and later Hello Baby to document their time as first-time parents. They always share details of what they’re up to, what stage they’re in, how they’re dealing with it and even current trends and topics in parenting. Bonus points because they love 30A!
Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations // No one does it quite like Oprah. These interviews are inspiring, uplifting and give such amazing insight into some of the most successful people in the game.
30A Mama Podcast // At the risk of being too self-promotional, I’m including my own podcast in this list since I’m so excited to be diving further into this whole podcast journey this year. I’ve been loving the interview style episodes and sharing more of each 30A Mama’s story. Our area continues to inspire, but it’s the amazing people that truly make it special.
One -Off Episodes
Arm Chair Expert episode with Mila Kunis // This episode was so insightful and I loved their rapport, but especially appreciated how Mila recounted how she began being more hands on in her business and standing up for herself during negotiations and finance discussions.
Wow in the World // This one wins hands-down. I’ve tried to get Emery into other podcasts and she always ends up back at this one. The characters / hosts are Mindy and Guy Raz, who find their way through random topics (and I mean very random!), but present the episode with full sound effects, acting and humor so that all of the many educational details make their way in without even signaling that it’s learning science or history or whatever the topic of the week is. They cover everything from edible insects to black holes to why onions make us cry. Plus, my kid’s favorite part is the call-in facts at the end. Listen and your kid will be hooked.