Enter the world of podcasts with these must-listen shows

How many times have you pulled out your smartphone, browsed through your music playlist and found yourself looking for something new? It happens to me frequently, I end up running out of options and playing things I’ve already listened to many times. While there’s nothing wrong with that, there’s an exciting alternative which provides fresh experiences the moment you plug in your earphones…

When you enter the world of podcasts, choices expand daily. Any topic that interests you, chances are a podcast about it exists. I’ve discovered several shows in the past years that have kept me entertained, intrigued and fully immersed during my daily commutes. Podcasts are a fantastic way to make the most out your time wherever you are— working out at the gym, or even as you fall asleep at night. Here are a few podcast recommendations you should try:

RABBITS

This is a perfect show to listen to during those characteristically foggy, rainy days of the Pacific Northwest. It’s a fictional docudrama that follows the story of radio producer Carly Parker. She is in search of her missing friend, Yumiko, who disappeared under mysterious circumstances. As Carly investigates the disappearance, she uncovers the secrets of an underground alternate reality game called Rabbits. Only a few people know about this enigmatic game, which is said to hold answers to the meaning of life — among other cryptic things. The concept of Rabbits intrigued me from the moment I read the show’s description. So far, it has met my expectations. I enjoy how every episode focuses on different parts of a bigger puzzle, tying plots together as they progress. It is incredibly atmospheric in its presentation, making the listener feel as if they are part of the investigation. This podcast is a must listen for fans of games, mysteries and secret societies.

SNAP JUDGEMENT

If you struggle waking up early after a long night of study, this show is a fantastic listen as you sip your coffee. Snap judgement is a show about real stories thematically different each week. The narration is accompanied by laidback instrumentals which make the auditory experience more pleasant. This combination helps deliver powerful narratives that may sound like a fictional piece of work, but are actually based on true stories.

The story of Brian Robson from the episode “Boxed In” is one of these stories. It revolves around a man who traveled to Australia in 1964, but was so homesick he mailed himself back to England. Through Robson’s narration, you’ll hear every detail on what it’s like to be trapped inside a travelling wooden box for four consecutive days. Another great episode is “One in a Million,” which features stories about events that shouldn’t have happened, but did. One of the stories is about a man who avoided being hit by lighting once, but nature took revenge and lightning struck him on the second try. What happened to this same man at a concert during a normal day is even more unlikely — but you’ll have to listen the story to find out. Snap Judgement has hundreds of episodes. So think about a theme that interests you and look for an episode about it. You’ll be fascinated by some of the things that actually happen to people!

CRIMINAL

This is a great listen during those drives at night when you are looking for something to keep you on the edge of your seat, preventing sleep from kicking in. Each episode of Criminal focuses on different themes in the complex world of crime — from bizarre cases like a black-market for Venus Flytrap plants, to a pair of lovers counterfeiting money for fun. This podcast appeals to our desire for understanding the criminal mindset, as well as solving challenging problems. If you ever wondered if an animal could be a suspect in a criminal investigation, check the episode “Animal Instincts.” This tells the story of a man convicted to life without parole for the murder of his second wife. Several years after the verdict was given, an attorney found evidence suggesting the cause of death to be an owl attack. Another great episode is “Dear Sheila,” which tells the story of a TV reporter obsessed with landing an exclusive interview with serial killer Sheila LaBarre. Criminal’s short episode format makes it an addictive show to binge-listen. No matter the episode you pick, you’ll learn something new about the distorted but fascinating world of crime.

Entering the world of podcasts can be intimidating. The amount of shows available is overwhelming, but variety is part of the appeal. Exploration is essential in finding podcasts that connect with you, making the process feel like an adventure. Once you discover an intriguing show, it will become a part of your daily routine. It excites me to see a notification about a new episode of my favorite show. You might feel the same after giving the previous recommendations a try!

ILLUSTRATION BY ALEXX EDDER

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