Podcasts: Why They’re Great & Some Recommendations

Why They’re Great

After I had discovered audio books — thanks to a nasty traffic jam on the way back to school — and burned through my Audible credits, I decided to give podcasts a chance. I hadn’t really listened to any before. This is really just because I was overwhelmed by the options. 

I started with some NPR shows, because it was a known name and station to me. Then I tried a few from the New Yorker. Somehow, though, I stumbled upon Hellbent — I probably searched something like “feminist” or “politics” or “feminist rage and politics” — and realized it was my new favorite thing. 

Since discovering Hellbent, I’ve discovered just how vast the realm of true crime podcasts really is. I whittled down the seemingly endless options based on recommendations and pretty much stick to the two or three I listen to regularly. 

One of the biggest appeal of podcasts to me is the fact that they’re free. There’s no real commitment. I always hesitate with my Audible points if I feel like I’m not going to like or even get through a particular audiobook. Plus, sometimes it’s nice to have something shorter and episodic.

From time to time, podcast hosts and names pop up on Instagram. These are my more creative-based podcasts. They’re calming and great for the ride into work. These are quickly becoming my favorite. 



Hellbent Podcast Cover Photo

First and foremost, this feminist podcast leaves me with a feeling of female community. The hosts are intelligent and witty. The topics are well thought out and well researched. I’ve fallen out of a routine of listening to the show, not because of any fault of the show, but just because I’ve gotten so overwhelmed with politics lately that I’ve had to take a step back. Once I get back into it, though, I’ll have a handful of episodes waiting for me! 

Sword &  Scale

Sword & Scale Podcast Logo

This has been one of my more consistent true crime podcast favorites. The stories are super interesting and well-researched. The hosting style can rub me the wrong way, though, with the flair for the dramatics and overly-simplified conclusions. Part of me thinks this irks me because of my background in law, but it can be pretty dramatic. If you haven’t started it yet, I’d recommend starting from the more recent episodes and work your way backwards. Very few of the episodes build on the previous (the ones that do will be clear). The latest two seasons are leaps and bounds better, in my opinion, than the earlier episodes. 

Over My Dead Body

Over My Dead Body Podcast Cover Photo, by Wondery

This podcast is fairly new and pretty close to home for me. It details the case surrounding the murder of a FSU law professor. The story ranges from Miami to Tallahassee, Florida, and mentions a lot of places that are familiar to me as a Florida native. By nature of going to law school in North Florida, even if it wasn’t FSU, there aren’t that many degrees of separation between me and the parties involved, either, which made me even more intrigued by the story. The podcast doesn’t have a whole lot of closure at the end of season one, so bear that in mind. The trials set on the murder haven’t taken place yet, so there’s only so many conclusions that the host can draw. Either way, it’s an interesting podcast and pretty well done. 

Hashtag Authentic

Hashtag Authentic Podcast Cover Photo

Hashtag Authentic is a small and creative business podcast, but you can get a lot out of it even if you’re not interested in starting a business of your own. Sarah Tasker, the witty British Instagram expert from Me & Orla, always has interesting guests and topics. Episodes range from an interview with Pinterest developers to artsy Instagram photographers. Many of the discussions circle around how the guest got started in their field, but the conversations often turn to more universal topics, like balancing work and daily life and maintaining creativity. 

Letters from a Hopeful Creative

Letters From a Hopeful Creative Cover Photo

This podcast is a bit of a branch off of Hashtag Authentic, since it’s hosted by Sarah Tasker and an amazingly creative and insightful business coach she worked with, Jen Carrington. Unlike Hashtag Authentic, LFAHC really focuses on the details of small creative business ownership and development. That’s not to say that you won’t necessarily enjoy it if you’re not in that market, especially for the episodes where they talk about basic online best practices. If you’re interested in the intersection of social media, creativity, and commerce, then this podcast is probably for you.

Little Chapters

The Little Chapters Podcast Cover Photo

Little Chapters is a new podcast that I discovered from Instagram stories. A Scottish blogger I followed posted about it. I liked the cover photo the hosts picked, so I gave it a shot. The hosts — Jessica, a content creator focusing on capsule wardrobe and sustainable fashion, and Kayte of the beautiful slow-living blog, Simple & Season — are amusingly genuine. They’re both creatives, and they talk a lot about building creative businesses, but the bulk of the episodes revolve around their general interests or topics they — and listeners — often struggle with, like routines and comparison. I highly recommend it!

What are some of your favorite podcasts? Do you prefer series that build on each other, like Over My Dead Body, or series where you can pick up any episode and enjoy?

P.S. If this has piqued your listening interests beyond podcasts, why not check out Audible? Click here to check it out.