Nothing could possibly replace the joy one can get from a weekend spent watching a brand new Netflix show, but there’s another form of media that just cannot be replaced: Podcasts. Is there anything better than listening to a new episode of a really good podcast while heading off on a long drive? Here are some of the best podcasts of all time. They’ve been super successful since their debut for a reason, so if you’re looking for a new obsession, starting one (or all) of these is probably a good place to start.
This American Life
There’s a reason This American Life is on this list — it’s so popular that over 3.1 million people download each episode. Hosted by Ira Glass, this podcast focuses on journalism in a really entertaining way to fit a certain theme each week, with some episodes being funny and some being more serious, involving some interviews and narrative storytelling.
Inspired by This American Life, Serial is another wildly popular podcast that you’ve probably heard of before—if you haven’t already listened to the entire thing (two or three times). Over the course of the first season of the podcast, host Sarah Koenig told the true story of the murder of Hae Min Lee in 1999, and the conviction of Adnan Seyed, her boyfriend at the time. Serial also spawned two more seasons telling other stories, giving us plenty of listening material.
My Favorite Murder
Hosted by comedians and true crime enthusiasts Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark, My Favorite Murder is perfect for anyone who loves learning about the darkest things that humans are capable of, with a little humor and fun banter mixed in. Each episode, Karen and Georgia take turns telling different crime and murder stories, many of them listeners have never heard of before.
WTF with Marc Maron
On every episode of WTF, host Marc Maron interviews a different celebrity or public figure. Even if they’re from an area of the entertainment world that you’re unfamiliar with, it’s still totally interesting to hear their discussion with Maron—and these conversations are all recorded straight from his house.
On Armchair Expert, hosts Dax Shepherd and Monica Padman interview different celebrities each episode, and somehow, Shepherd seems to get them to open up about super personal things they probably haven’t talked about beforehand. As a bonus, his wife, Kristen Bell, sometimes stops by… and in the past, so have cast members from The Good Place.
Dirty John is a podcast focused on telling one incredible true crime story over the course of the entire podcast. A woman named Debra Newell meets a man named John Meehan, they fall in love, and things seem to be too good to be true—because they are. The podcast was so popular that it inspired a Bravo series starring Connie Britton that told the story (which is also worth watching after listening to the podcast).
Terrible, Thanks For Asking
Want to listen to a podcast that talks about the stuff that most of us don’t want to talk about? Terrible, Thanks For Asking might be perfect for you. Host Nora McIrney started the podcast after losing her husband, and even though each episode addresses the harder, darker stuff in life, it will still leave you feeling lighter for having listened to it.
On Reply All, hosts PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman explore different corners of the internet on each episode, and it’s pretty fascinating. Truly, nothing is off limits… and it will make you even more amazed by technology.