I’m one of those people who needs noise in the background at all times – too much silence makes me stir crazy even if I’m trying to be focused on one task. Sometimes, however, music just doesn’t cut. Whilst curating yet another studying playlist, I decided to delve into the depths of my iTunes library where I rediscovered a whole host of podcasts I used to listen to back in 2013. Now, I have loads of podcasts that I listen to on a daily basis whether it be for studying, falling asleep, or even just as a soundtrack to my Twitter browsing. So what have I been listening to?
The first podcast I re-found was Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History. Believe me, this podcast is true to its name with each episode being about 5 hours(!) long – including the “blitz” episodes. While not exactly easy listening, Dan Carlin is a very good storyteller and manages to keep you engrossed in the tales he relays. My personal favourite is the Wrath of Khans series which is about Genghis Khan and his successors. New episodes take months to be made and therefore released, so you’re going to need something else to listen to in the meantime.
To fill in the gap of history podcasts, I have been listening to The History of Rome which is a long finished podcast but with 179 episodes it’s going to take a while to finish it! I mainly put this on to help me sleep as the host, Mike Duncan, has such a soothing voice and doesn’t dramatise the history as much as Hardcore History does. Also, at 30 minutes per episode, it is much more “bite-sized” and easy to keep track of where you are in the timeline. If you’re not that into history, I definitely recommend The History of Rome over Hardcore History to get you started in the world of history podcasts.
For something a bit more sinister, I’ve been listening to Last Podcast on the Left which is about everything a little bit dark and macabre. From serial killers to urban myths and creepypastas to cults, this podcast hosted by three friends Ben, Marcus and Henry has everything a fan of all things creepy will love. They do make jokes about literally everything (some of which I find distasteful at times) but each topic is well researched and the jokes largely add comic relief when they’ve just discussed topics such as how Albert Fish would kill and then eat his child victims. I particularly like the series they’ve done on cults like Aum Shinrikyo.
Now for the fun podcasts; those that are light-hearted and not about any heavy hitting topics like history or crime. My absolute favourite podcast right now is The Adventure Zone: a podcast by the McElroy brothers Griffin, Travis, and Justin, along with their dad Clint about their Dungeons and Dragons adventure. Yes, I listen to a DnD podcast and yes, I bloody love it. There are a lot of episodes for this one and they do have to be listened to in chronological order otherwise you just won’t get what’s going on, nor any references they call back to! I’ve also been really enjoying Rose Buddies which is another podcast Griffin does with his wife Rachel. Its focus is on The Bachelor range of shows, though they do dip their toe into other “kissy shows” such as Are You the One? and Take Me Out.
Honourable mentions in this already too long post are:
Homecoming, a serial radio drama about an experimental military facility.
Welcome to Night Vale which is the local radio show broadcasted in Night Vale, a town where nothing is exactly normal.
My Brother, My Brother and Me, an advice show for the modern era and the original McElroy brother podcast.
Sawbones by Justin McElroy and his wife Sydnee about medical history. I really like the McElroys.
My Favorite Murder which is hosted by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark and is about, well, their favourite murders.
Serial Killers, yet another podcast about true crime.
The History of Byzantium, a sort of sequel to The History of Rome as the Byzantine Empire came about after the collapse of the Roman one, though it is by a different host.
Stuff You Missed in History Class a podcast about little-known events in history that is also hosted by two women.
Well done if you got to the end of this whole post – it got rather lengthy in the end! I’m always on the lookout for new podcasts to spruce up my listening routine so post your recommendations in the comments below. And make sure to tell me if you listen to anything I’ve mentioned!
Until next time,