If you've not yet gotten into podcasts (seriously, what have you been doing?), this holiday season is the perfect opportunity to come over to the enlightened side. Way less effort than reading a book (read: trashy mag) or watching Netflix (because series binging requires a surprising amount of effort), podcasts also have the added benefit of being insanely entertaining and often educational at the same time—so it's wins all round.
Whether you are in it for laughs, compelling true crime mysteries, or want to be mind-blown by unforeseen truth bombs, here are our picks of the best podcasts you should spend your time on this Christmas season.
We are of course kicking this list off with the most bingeable podcast in the history of podcasts, Serial. If you are a true crime buff this one is sure to thrill and enthral you as you are led through the story of a bewildering murder trial that will have you hanging on every word.
Looking for a laugh at the expense of our steadily declining planet, social justice directed society, and unstable political climate? Throwing Shade has you covered, leaving no contentious issue un-mocked with their hilarious podcast. If you are sensitive to pretty much any current relevant topic this one may not be for you, but for those of you whose life is about throwing shade and spilling tea on the reg you'll feel right at home with hosts Erin Gibson and Bryan Safi.
Good Life Project
The holidays are the ideal time for a bit of self-care, so if you are looking for a podcast to aid your mental wellbeing then Good Life Project is here for you. Listen in on authentic and inspiring conversations about how to live in the moment and what that actually means (yes, we're fully aware of the irony listening to this on a podcast...), fully engaging with the world around you and gaining meaning from everything you encounter.
From the same minds who created Serial comes the equally enthralling series Sh*tTown. It all starts with a man named John imploring a reporter to investigate a murder in his rural Alabama town, which, by the way, he hates with a passion. The story grows into something much more intriguing and confusing as you are taken through the remarkable story in which someone ends up dead and all sh*t hits the fan. Literally. There will be hidden treasure, unknowable secrets, and unsolved mysteries that will stay will you well after the final ep.
My Dad Wrote A Porno
If you haven’t checked out this hilarious, and somewhat iconic, podcast yet you need to get cracking—and there is no time better than over the hols. It all started when Jamie Morton found out that his dad wrote a porno. We aren’t talking your garden variety fan fic; this is an epic in the porno variety, and so Jamie naturally had the thought that the best way to deal with this utterly cringe-worthy discovery was to share it with the world. Join him as he reads chapter after chapter with his friends and thank your lucky stars that your parents are just the usual level of embarrassing.
If you are after chilled out vibes and plenty of laughs you should grab a glass of wine and join Kelsey and Kate for their chats about life on AdultSh1t. The Buzzfeed girls are self-professed wine addicts who tackle big questions and issues about mental health and female sexuality—in the most relatable way possible. If you have ever thought you were completely crazy or have no idea how to adult, have a listen to the show and feel connected safe in the knowledge that we are all completely crazy and nobody has any real idea what is going on.
Invisibilia from NPR has to be one of the most interesting and thought-provoking podcasts on this list. It explores the invisible forces that control our behaviour, and whether we can possibly have any control over those forces. A great episode to start with is their two-parter on emotions (of course this subject deserves a double ep), where they delve into how emotions are conceptualised through two hard-hitting stories that will keep you thinking well after the episode ends.
Don’t worry, this isn’t a bunch of Wall Street tycoons chatting about the stock market in a language unbeknownst to us. Planet Money asks the important finance questions that are plaguing our society; covering subjects like whether basic income should be a thing, how to make it in the music business, and our personal faves titled, ‘free money’ and ‘hard work is irrelevant’. The narrative of money is what drives our consumerist society, so it is definitely something worth learning about in your precious time off.
Not on holidays? Here are the best podcasts to listen to if you're having a crappy week. Sucks to be you right now...