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Podcast recommendations to keep you sane

28th April 20

Chris Parsons

Ride the new wave of media and stay entertained with these fantastic podcast recommendations from our editor!
Podcasts are emerging as one of the fastest-growing medias in the 21st century, with a boom of high-quality (and low-quality) podcasts hitting the ‘net since Serial made waves. Podcasts are a great way to learn something or to stay entertained while doing all the menial tasks required to maintain existence. But if you haven’t even dipped your toes into the ocean of audio content, things can look a little overwhelming.

Enter the world of aural entertainment or round out your collection with this list of fun, fascinating and freaky podcasts!

American Scandal
With 15 incredible seasons tackling everything from the Hare Krishna murders to payola in the music industry, American Scandal boasts slick production, an engaging script and incredible true stories. Each season takes on a new scandal, breaking it down over 4 – 6 episodes at about 45 min each, and you can jump into any season.

The Shrink Next Door
This mind-blowing story uncovers a psychiatrist who psychologically manipulates one of his patients, taking over his house, company and life for his own personal gain. Follow along with the host as he reveals twist after twist in this inconceivable tale of a one-man cult.

Hosted by an anonymous “concerned citizen”, Swindled breaks down white-collar crime, political corruption and corporate greed. While the narrator’s monotone delivery may initially throw you off, his tongue-in-cheek sense of humour is bound to win you over.

Stuff You Should Know
As the title suggests, this award-winning podcast looks at all the stuff you should know – from champagne to tidal waves to the legends of lost Nazi gold. With almost 1500 episodes, hosts Josh Clark and Charles W “Chuck” Bryant provide fascinating insights along with some good old fashioned banter.

Think Again
Brought to you by Big Think, this podcast seeks to push well-known smart people out of their comfort zones to have interesting and insightful conversations. Featuring guests such as Neil Gaiman, Bill Nye, George Takei and Margaret Atwood, Think Again always gives your brain something to chew on.

The Moth Radio Hour

The Moth Radio Hour presents captivating stories from everyday people. Tune in for a mixture of funny, sweet, emotive and delightful tales from normal people. The show has been running for over a decade, so you have lots of content to choose from!

Parcast Podcasts

Parcast has a range of podcasts with particular true crime focuses. Their self-descriptive originals include Assassinations, Cults, Con Artists, Female Criminals, Serial Killers and more. Each double-episode spends the first episode on the person in question’s background and psychology, while the second delves into their later crimes and eventual capture.

Truth and Lies: Jeffrey Epstein
His name has become a meme, but what did this serial sex abuser actually do? Find out in this detailed rundown of Epstein’s global criminal network, with interviews from several key players in his trial and insights into how he managed to get away with such blatant crimes for so long.

True Crime Bullshit: The Story of Israel Keyes
Israel Keyes might be the most prolific serial killer you’ve never heard of, an extremely methodical murderer who buried kill kits across America and travelled vast distances to avoid detection – all while maintaining an ostensibly normal life in the suburbs. This podcast utilises a lot of original audio, and takes an interesting look whether true crime podcasts are helping raise awareness or just providing us with some gruesome voyeurism.

Mission to Zyxx

Bear with me, because this is about to sound terrible – an improv comedy podcast based around a loose script, set in space. It may sound terrible, but this show will surprise you with their level of detail and absolutely hilarious adventures, and comes highly recommended.


Taking a completely different approach to fiction podcasts, Rabbits is a docudrama about a mysterious secret game that seems to be claiming lives. Rabbits is presented as a non-fiction podcasts, enabling an enthralling storyline that takes many twists and turns along the way.

Forest 404
Created by BBC Sounds and with a soundtrack by the amazing Bonobo, Forest 404 is set in a dystopian future in which the natural environment has been completely eroded. The protagonist’s job in the new world is to delete irrelevant archived recordings, which she excels at until she stumbles across a recording of a forest. Backed by such an impressive media house, this podcast is truly a work of art.

If you have any recommendations of your own, tweet at us at @whatsondotcoza, message us on Facebook, or shoot us an email at chris@whatson.co.za.
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