20 excellent podcasts for listeners who love a good story
Now that summer is here, many of us have the opportunity to spend a little more time digging into the media that we missed out on over the past several months. That’s especially true for podcasts, which are perfect for passing the time during a long road trip or waiting out an airport layover.
A good story makes any podcast more compelling, and these 20 podcasts are essential listening for folks who appreciate a seriously good story. From fictional creepy tales to real-life love stories, add these story-driven shows to your queue ASAP.
Perhaps responsible for kicking off renewed interest in podcasts upon its release in 2014, the first season of “Serial” follows the murder of Hae Min Lee, a teenager in Baltimore County, and there are a slew of twists and turns along the way. Subsequent seasons follow accused Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl, and people incarcerated in Cleveland’s Justice Center Complex. Find it on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and all other major platforms.
This harrowing podcast from Wondery tells the story of Texas doctor Christopher Duntsch, who maimed and killed more than 30 patients during his time as a spinal surgeon. Packed with interviews of people impacted by Duntsch’s butchery and the Dallas medical professionals who tried to stop him, “Dr. Death” is a riveting listen and an indictment of the American healthcare system. Listen on Wondery, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and all other major platforms before streaming the brand new Peacock series based on the podcast.
In one of those tales that is truly too bizarre to be true, Dirty John is based on a true story originally reported by the Los Angeles Times. In the podcast, listeners hear about the increasingly twisted ways that serial scam artist John Meehan ingratiates himself into the life of Debra Newell, a rich Newport Beach woman who quickly fell in love. Be sure to listen for the seriously shocking ending. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and all other major platforms.
This American Life
An outgrowth of the long-running National Public Radio series, “This American Life” is one of the quintessential storytelling podcasts. Here, the stories run the gamut from author Lindy West’s confrontation with a hateful online troll to an exploration of the true meaning of “camp.” Stream via the NPR app, Apple Podcasts, and all other major platforms.
One of the most iconic narrative podcasts in the genre’s history, S-Town was downloaded more than 10 million times in the days following its 2017 release. It follows the story of John B. McLemore, an eccentric horologist who originally wanted the show to investigate a murder in his small Alabama town. Without spoiling anything, suffice it to say that the story is much more complicated than that. Stream via NPR, Apple Podcasts, or Spotify.