Want to find a way to keep yourself awake and entertained in the car? It’s not easy to do and still keep your eyes focused on the road. Unless you’re listening to a really engrossing audiobook or even a podcast.
Yes, what’s old is new again. While podcasts have been around for years and even had to ability to go mainstream as early as 2005 when Apple’s iTunes offered support for them, they really picked up steam in 2014 when, “Serial,” an addictive NPR podcast that delved into a true crime story, gained the attention of millions and reportedly broke iTunes records as the fastest-downloaded podcast in history. Although you can still listen to the original series, many people were anxiously awaiting Season 2 for their weekly dose of intrigue. Luckily, it’s baaaack!
If you’re new to Serial territory, it’s a podcast from the creators of This American Life, hosted by Sarah Koenig. Serial unfolds one story – a true story – over the course of a whole season. Season 2 of the podcast deals with the case of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, an American soldier who was held for five years by the Taliban, and arrested for desertion on his recapture. Considered a “mystery podcast,” it’ll make new discoveries each week along with Sarah as the investigation unfolds.
If Serial isn’t your thing or you’re not feeling Season 2—these five podcasts will likely keep you entertained wherever you’re driving.
This weekly podcast is a spinoff of the best-selling book by the same name. The book’s award-winning authors, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, question why things happen the way they do or, as they say, they explore “the hidden side of everything.” Topics have included “Is college really worth it?” “The truth about online dating,” and “How we can save money without even trying.” The tone is smart and sometimes quirky, but each episode will definitely keep you thinking even after it’s over.
If you liked the feel of “Serial,” you’ll definitely enjoy “This American Life” (“Serial” was this program’s spinoff series). Hosted by Ira Glass, each episode of “This American Life” dissects a fascinating true story, ranging from mysterious to light. For instance, a popular episode investigates the true story of two children switched at birth in Wisconsin and interviews all of the family members involved to get their reactions upon finding out the truth. Another episode examines the nation’s top “party schools” and questions what makes these colleges party destinations. Sarah Koenig (“Serial’s” narrator) also narrates many “This American Life” episodes.
If you’re a parent or grandparent of a child age 0 to 3, you won’t want to miss this insightful (and helpful) podcast. Host Ann Pleshette Murphy, a past contributor to “Good Morning America,” interviews a different expert each episode. Listeners learn about many of the most common issues facing parents of babies and toddlers such as establishing self-esteem in the early years or techniques to help your child sleep through the night.
What shapes human behavior? That’s the question this podcast tackles each week. A recent episode asks us to examine our relationship with fear and informs us about one of the only people in the world that is biologically incapable of experiencing fear. Scientists have studied her story and her interview in “Invisibilia” is the first time she discusses her experiences. NPR co-hosts and science reporters Lulu Miller and Alix Spiegel (two of the creators of “This American Life”) narrate each episode. The podcast launched at No. 1 on iTunes and had more than 5 million downloads within the first month of its release. You will be hooked by the first episode!
As this podcast’s website describes, “Criminal is a podcast of a crime. Stories of people who’ve done wrong, been wronged, or gotten caught somewhere in the middle.” With a “Serial”-like reporting style, you’ll zip through each engrossing 20-minute crime story episode. Many call this the real-life version of “CSI” or “Law & Order.”
Written by Jenny Muslin for MakeItBetter.net.