If you aren’t already a podcast listener, it can be a little daunting to look at all the podcasts available. Where do you start? If a podcast has been around for a long time, there may already be hundreds of episodes to work your way through before you are up to date. Here are 4 great episodes from some of my favorite podcasts to get you started. Listen to these first for a good sample of what the rest of the episodes will be like. These episodes can be enjoyed independently from the rest of the season (with the exception of “Long Distance” and “Bikram” which have multiple parts).
I initially listened to this episode accidentally. I had intended to listen to something else for a short road trip, but I selected the wrong episode and didn’t realize it until I started driving. It didn’t matter though because I was hooked on “He’s Neutral” from the very beginning. “He’s Neutral” tells the story of how Dan Stevenson placed a Buddha statue in his Oakland neighborhood and inadvertently decreased crime and brought the neighborhood peace. There is a lot of division in the world these days and sometimes the animosity can become overwhelming. Listen to this “Criminal” episode for a lesson of hope.
My first experience with “Reply All” was this amazing story (“The Russian Passenger”), which investigates how an Uber account got hacked. Now I am working my way through all of the “Reply All” episodes! While “The Russian Passenger” is good, the episode I would recommend you start with is “Long Distance.” If you are suspicious of the unfamiliar numbers calling your phone, this episode is for you. It begins with a phone call to Alex Goldman, the co-host of “Reply All.” The man on the other end of the line begins to try to scam Alex into gaining access to his personal computer, then attempts to charge him to help fix it. Alex clearly knows this is a scam but plays along to see where this call goes. You’ll enjoy the hilarity of Alex turning the tables on the caller and Alex’s visit to India to investigate further.
“30 for 30” by ESPN is known for great sports documentaries and the “30 for 30” podcasts don’t disappoint. This is the perfect story to start while you are travelling or working out because the podcast is in 5 parts. “Bikram” tells the story of Bikram Choudhury, a man who claimed responsibility for bringing a specific series of yoga poses to mainstream America. Bikram quickly became popular with celebrities, opened studios, and trained yoga instructors to open studios in his name. This podcast covers Bikram’s rise to success as well as his legal battles and accusations of inappropriate sexual advances toward students.
“12” documents the story of the Patriots’ tumultuous 2016 season, revealing how the under-inflated football scandal reopened old wounds, placed Tom Brady’s career in question and inspired the team’s Super Bowl comeback.
“Heavyweight” podcast investigates the pivotal moments that may change or impact our lives forever. “Rose” is about a college student who, surprising even herself, joins a sorority. When she gets cancer in college, Rose’s sorority sisters are there for her. However, once she is in remission she is kicked out of the sorority. The mystery of why she was asked to leave has haunted Rose for years, and with the help of Jonathan Goldstein they try to find some answers.
The true account of one boy’s lifelong search for his boarding-school bully. Equal parts childhood memoir and literary thriller, “Whipping Boy” chronicles prize-winning author Allen Kurzweil’s search for his twelve-year-old nemesis, a bully named Cesar Augustus.