My Top 5 Podcasts

HELLO! After ten days of silence, I finally have internet and can confirm things will be back on track from now on. *celebrates!* It feels mighty good to be back.

So, to kick things off, I wanted to share with you my favourite podcasts to listen to on the tube, at work, before bed and on the go. I have never been a fan of podcasts until recently, if I'm honest. I liked audiobooks but podcasts seemed boring and as far as I knew, relatively unpopular. That was until I was told to give Serial a try and after listening to just one episode, I happily jumped on the podcast bandwagon.

If you haven't heard of this one, then you have to be living under a rock - this 12 episode roller coaster, told week by week has to be my favourite podcast of all time. Serial tells the real life story of inmate Adnan Sayed, who was arrested in 1999 for the murder of ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee. Investigated and narrated by This American Life's Sarah Knoenig, Serial delves into the case and re-examins the evidence and witnesses, uncovering more than the original investigation did 16 years ago. It's gripping, incredibly addictive and will have you on the edge of your seat whilst you yourself desperately try to answer the one question we're all dying to know... Did he do it?

This American Life
I always find This American Life a little hard to describe. The best way, I guess is that it's like a series of weekly documentaries, each focusing on a theme. Serial was born from This American Life, so if you enjoy one, you're bound to like the other.  No matter what you're interested in, these guys will have something for you - I often browse their archive for a few minutes before deciding on what episode I'm in the mood for. Covering everything from ghost stories and mysteries to police investigations and internet trolls, This American Life is a true online treasure trove.

This brand-spanking new podcast from NPR explores the intangible forces that shape human behavior – things like ideas, beliefs, assumptions and emotions. For a newcomer to the podcast pantheon, it's done incredibly well and the episodes are well constructed, researched and always interesting. One of the reasons I like Invisibilia (Latin for "all the invisible things" in case you were wondering), is because I always come away having learnt something I didn't know before and recounting these stories at social events makes me feel super intelligent and that... Yeah.

After I finished Serial, I was desperate for more of the same and Criminal was the perfect remedy. Also a newcomer, this podcast focuses on people who’ve done wrong, been wronged, or gotten caught somewhere in the middle. Each episode is only around 20 minutes long, so they're perfect for the tube or a walk to the shops and they're guaranteed to make you stop and think. Beware though, they are extremely addictive and I'm often impatiently waiting for the next episode.

I always turn to Radiolab when I'm stuck for something to keep me entertained. Like This American Life, it's kind of a tough one to describe, it markets itself as this: "Radiolab is a show about curiosity. Where sound illuminates ideas, and the boundaries blur between science, philosophy, and human experience." I mean, yeah, it does all that. But one of my absolute, all time FAVOURITE podcast episodes is by these guys. It's called Outside Westgate and it explores the discrepancies between the official report and witness accounts from the 2013 terrorist attack in Nigeria. Give it a listen - you won't regret it.

Got a great podcast that isn't on the list? Please let me know! I always love finding new ones.