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Podcasts are trending: Here are some must-streams

Whether you love true crime, drama or just want a pick-me-up, podcasts are incredibly diverse in genre and scope, ensuring that there's something for everybody. – Photo by Unsplash.com

In the past few years, podcasts have grown tremendously in popularity. They’re great to listen to on the go, when running errands, in the car or when going on walks.

Podcasts vary in genres, with hundreds of thousands of options on platforms like iTunes, Spotify and Amazon Music.

Whether you’re new to podcasts or love them as much as I do, one thing is for sure: There’s one out there for everyone.

I’ve compiled a list of four of my favorite podcasts, and hopefully, this will help out any podcast newbies and give you guys some ideas on what new podcast to start the next time you have some free time!

"Serial"

“Serial” is a true-crime investigative journalism series, hosted by Sarah Koenig, who worked as a journalist for the Baltimore Sun for many years before turning to the world of podcasts. 

The series has three seasons, consisting of 32 episodes in total. In each season, Koenig delves into great detail about a different case and explains the criminal and police mindset needed to solve the cold case.

Koenig is a fantastic storyteller with exceptional interviewing skills, and it really shows through the podcast.

This podcast is high-quality, thought-provoking and truly an intriguing evaluation of an investigation from the eyes of someone outside of law enforcement. Koenig's idea of looking at a crime from a different perspective, trying to solve it as a journalist and civilian instead of a cop, gives the cases a new and fresh outlook.

The podcast uses multiple forms of media such as physical evidence from original cases, maps, blueprints, phone calls and letters as support.

Koenig really goes all out, acting as a real detective to get to the bottom of what happened and solve the crime, and she has my utmost respect. The show is everything a true-crime podcast should be and is an example of an intense dedication to journalism and the prospect of uncovering the truth.

"Dateline NBC"

“Dateline NBC” is one of the best true crime podcasts out there — I would say it’s a tie with "Serial" — and has been around for a very long time as a television series as well. 

The show goes through one crime each episode, telling the story of what happened, speaking to witnesses, family members of victims, scholars and police. The podcast is just as great as the show and, honestly, is precisely the same as the show, minus the video's visuals.

Lester Holt’s suspenseful narrating style makes him the perfect host for true crime. He tells stories in a way that keeps listeners invested until the very last second.

The show itself has 341 episodes, meaning there are 341 different true crime stories, give or take, that you can listen to. Some stories go on for multiple episodes, and those tend to be my favorite because they are full of detail and imagery, making it great for anyone who wants a long podcast to listen to the whole time they are running errands.

"Stuff You Should Know"

“Stuff You Should Know,” hosted by Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant, is an iHeartRadio podcast streaming on almost every podcast platform out there. The show has more than 1600 episodes and isn’t only super funny but also super informative.

This podcast is great because it’s not just one genre nor is it centered around just one topic. An episode can span anywhere from true crime to technology, to myths and legends, to politics. It’s a multi-faceted podcast and is excellent for anyone interested in a myriad of topics. 

The best part about the podcast has to be its two hosts: Bryant and Clark. These two can turn any topic into something both educating and engaging, making this one a must-listen.

"Crime Junkie"

"Crime Junkie" is a classic and is featured on the top hits podcast list on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. The true-crime show is hosted by two women, Ashley Flowers and Brit Prawat.

Each episode goes into a new case, telling the story of the victim. The hosts let you know if you’re going to be listening to a case in which the victim was murdered, a crime that ended with survivors or is an infamous case. This is great because you can pick and choose what kind of crime you want to listen to that day, and you don't have to listen to the series in order because each episode is different.

Some of my favorite episodes are the infamous cases, as they cover cases that made headway on television and changed the lives of everyone around the country.

Podcasts are an excellent way to fit some education, entertainment and fun into your free time. So many of them are free through streaming platforms that there’s no excuse to not start listening. Although many of my favorite podcasts are true crime (I have an unhealthy obsession), you can find a podcast in any genre. It’s guaranteed you will find one that’s right for you to start your podcasting journey. Happy listening!

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