In last week’s blog post, “Get to Know Me,” I mentioned that I listen to podcasts more than watching television, but what is a podcast?
I thought the same thing when I first saw the term in an online article I was reading. That article linked to the insanely famous Serial podcast: I began to listen, and I’ve been hooked on podcasts ever since. They are great for listening on road trips, riding to work, or just washing dishes.
So, a podcast is a digital audio file that you can listen to, like the radio. Some podcasts are structured as series of the same storyline told over time or can be new episodes with a different story each cycle. Podcasts are free to listen to or to download via Apple Podcast or Google Podcast. There are a range of topics: true crime, self-help, business, food, reality show; basically anything you’re interested in, there’s a podcast about it.
Now that’s out the way, let’s move on to the fun stuff. Here are my top 8 podcasts that are in my regular rotation and why. I also list a few series that are a must listen.
Criminal podcast is about people who’ve committed crimes or have been the victim of a criminal offense. This podcast finds the most interesting storylines from around the world and interview the actual people involved in the crime, scheme, etc. This aspect makes the storytelling engaging and the host is a natural storyteller.
Recent episode: Ep. 121 – Off Leash
I have no idea how the Ear Hustle podcast got permission to broadcast INSIDE a prison, but the idea is genius. Ear Hustle shares life stories about the guys who are incarcerated at the California prison, San Quentin. Initially the podcast was hosted by a visual artist and inmate who had been in prison for 18 years. Until… his sentence was commuted and now he is hosting the podcast on the outside, along with a new host on the inside. A perspective on prison life of guys who still have a chance of getting out, while others will never leave the walls of San Quentin alive. These are stories I’m sure you’ve never heard before.
Recent episode: Ep. 31 – Inside Music
Myleik is the creative entrepreneur who owns the company CurlBox. Curlbox is a successful subscription box, dedicated to natural hair. I was a subscriber to this box, so naturally I learned that Myleik hosted a podcast, the My Taught You Podcast. She has said that if she became successful, she’d tell everyone how she did it. When I say she does just that, she does just that. She gives you all the tips, details, and the mindset needed. Basically, it‘s a blueprint on how to start and run a successful business. Just about everyone refers to her as the big sister or cousin who tells it like it is, that you wish you had in your back pocket. Well, this podcast is as close as it gets. Be prepared with a pen and a notebook because even if you’re not an entrepreneur, you’ll want to write down all her gem droppers and execute them word-for-word.
Recent Episode: Summer Refresh Your Finances
It’s Oprah! Need I say more? Super Soul Conversations are conversations with “thought-leaders, best-selling authors, spiritual luminaries, as well as health and wellness experts.” Soul conversations allow you to think of the world in a much bigger way. Not just the life in the bubble I operate in daily, but how life fits into the bigger scheme of everything that life is meant to be. It’s exactly as it’s titled: conversations with your soul. Recent episode: Bob Igler: The Ride of a Lifetime
Stuff You Should Know (SYSK) is a podcast about things you should know, and a bunch of random things you didn’t think you should know. I laugh at least once in every episode of SYSK. If you like to know a little about a lot of things, SYSK is a lite, fun and quirky podcast that will give you some fascinating topics for conversations in any room you’re stuck in.
Recent episode: We Are Running Out of Sand and That Actually Matters
My sister-in-law hipped me to The Casey Crew podcast three years ago when it released its first episode. She said they reminded her of me and Edward (my husband), been together forever, married young, and have a whole bunch of kids. If you’re familiar with the morning show, The Breakfast Club, then you’re familiar with one of its hosts, DJ Envy (Raashaun Casey). He and his wife Gia Casey co-host the podcast, and they discuss the gamut of their lives, marriage, kids, work. EVERYTHING. They hold nothing back. Envy gives his rough and sometimes smooth-around-the-edge’s perspective, and Gia brings the level headedness, let’s-look-at this-from-all-perspectives view to the podcast.
Recent episode: Ep. 126 – Can You Afford Me
Therapy for Black Girls (TBG) is hosted by a licensed psychologist. Every week she tackles real-life topics suggested by listeners or topics and themes that are apart of our world every day. Mental health, personal development, and discussing how to be the best versions of ourselves are TBG’s focus.
Recent episode: Session 118 – Making Friends As An Adult
The Undisclosed team consists of two practicing attorneys and an attorney who is a law professor. The team investigates wrongful convictions and the U.S. criminal justice system. Every aspect of the crime is investigated, when law enforcement began the investigation, the trial, the verdict and even through the appeals process. They turn up facts, evidence, etc. that never made it to court. I am intrigued by the Undisclosed team because they are potentially giving the wrongfully convicted a voice that might not otherwise be heard.
Recent case: State v. Greg Lance
Podcast Series that are binge worthy:
Atlanta Monster – Tells the story of 25 Atlanta missing and murdered children. The accused is currently in prison, but is he the actual Atlanta Monster?
Bear Brook – “Two barrels. Four bodies. And the decades-long mystery that led to a serial killer.” One barrel found and the second barrel found 10 years later. Were they related is the question that keeps you hooked.
In the Dark – Season One, the abduction of Jacob Wetterling. No answers for 27 years, until. Season Two, a man named Curtis Flowers has been tried for the SAME crime SIX times. Say what!?!
Serial – Season One, the Adnan Syed story and Season Three, Inside the Cleveland Juvenile Justice System. The podcast chose Cleveland because it let them record EVERYWHERE.
Up and Vanished – Season One, the disappearance of Tara Grinstead.