5 of the best storytelling podcasts you can listen to now
Do you listen to podcasts? I’ve become a podcast tragic. From business pods to pop culture to true crime and lifestyle, I LOVE a good podcast.
The thing I love most is the vivid way the stories are told. There’s something about the spoken voice that creates an image, a feeling and a reaction that you can’t get with movies, TV or even words on a page.
As a copywriter, I’m always looking for ideas and techniques on how to tell a story. A good story stays with you. It resonates.
Over the past few years, I’ve heard stories of great triumph, crushing defeat, heartbreak, tragedy and success. I’ve felt close to perfect strangers and learnt about people and places I’ll never know anywhere but in my ears.
Oh, how I’ve laughed, cried and hoped with these storytelling podcasts. I hope you will too.
With Richard Fidler and Sarah Kanowski
I discovered Conversations when my babies were young, and I’d spend hours driving around while they slept. While there are many conversations with celebrities and notable figures, I find the stories of the everyday people most fascinating. Both Richard Fidler and Sarah Kanowski have beautiful ways of helping their subjects tell their stories in a way that makes you feel you are there. Conversations uncovers fascinating stories of humanity in all its glory.
Modern Love: The Podcast
Hosted by Meghna Chakrabarti
Modern Love had me at the tagline, ‘Stories of love, loss and redemption.’ This podcast features celebrities reading essays from the New York Times Modern Love column. These true stories, written by the people who experienced them, range across the depths of emotions that love, in its many forms, brings. Each episode concludes with a follow-up discussion to find out what happened next.
Don’t miss: Marry My Husband
Hosted by Brian Reed
S-Town is probably the best example of gripping, compelling storytelling I’ve experienced. (I’m not going to say too much for those who’ve yet to catch this series.) I came away from S-Town thinking these were the kind of stories humanity needs to hear. Stories of people and places we’ll never know. People and places who don’t matter to many. But who should matter to everyone. It was heartbreaking, uplifting, uncomfortable and brilliant.
P.S. If you’re planning on experiencing S-Town and you don’t know much yet, just listen. Don’t Google. Just listen.
Don’t miss: All of it. You have to listen to all of it.
Hosted by Phoebe Judge
Criminal is different to your typical true crime podcast. It’s not a running series that tries to uncover new truths. Nor is it entirely focused on the grim details of horrible crimes (though at times, there are a few of those). Criminal explores a new case in each episode and what I love most about Criminal is how diverse each one is. From identity theft to missing persons to making pot brownies to cases of false evidence, Criminal delves into the stories of the ‘people who’ve done wrong, been wronged, or gotten caught somewhere in the middle’.
Don’t miss: The Editor
Death, Sex & Money
With Anna Sale
Death, Sex & Money claims to, ‘explore the big questions and hard choices that are often left out of polite conversations’. And you know what? It does. From feminism to class barriers to surrogacy and finding love (and a new kidney) on Tinder, Death Sex & Money tells it like it is. I’ll admit I don’t listen to it religiously, more jump in and out when I can, but this is one podcast that tells stories with no holds barred. And I love that.
Don’t miss: Diane Guerro on Debt and Deportation
Other great storytelling podcasts
There are so many wonderful storytelling podcasts out there. Here are a few more that get my thumbs up:
The secrets of storytelling
I love how all of these podcasts tell ordinary stories about ordinary people in an extraordinary way. If your story is told right, it will draw your audience in. They’ll be emotionally attached. They’ll never forget you (as I’ll never forget John B. McLemore).
And if you’ve got them binging until 2 am because they want to listen to ‘just one more episode’, you’re telling your story right.
Over to you
What’s your favourite storytelling podcast? And what have you learnt about telling stories from it?
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