Best Storytelling podcasts (Updated April 2018; image)
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show episodes
This American Life is a weekly public radio show, heard by 2.2 million people on more than 500 stations. Another 2.5 million people download the weekly podcast. It is hosted by Ira Glass, produced in collaboration with Chicago Public Media, delivered to stations by PRX The Public Radio Exchange, and has won all of the major broadcasting awards.
Snap Judgment
Mixes real stories with killer beats to produce dramatic, kick-ass radio.
Serial is 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. The show follows the plot and characters wherever they lead, through many surprising twists and turns. Sarah won't know what happens at the end of the story until she gets there, not long before you get there with her. Each week she'll bring you the latest chapter, so it's important to listen in, starting with Episode 1. New episode ...
The Moth
Since its launch in 1997, The Moth has presented thousands of true stories, told live and without notes, to standing-room-only crowds worldwide. Moth storytellers stand alone, under a spotlight, with only a microphone and a roomful of strangers. The storyteller and the audience embark on a high-wire act of shared experience which is both terrifying and exhilarating. Since 2008, The Moth podcast has featured many of our favorite stories told live on Moth stages around the country. For informa ...
the memory palace
the memory palace
Criminal is a podcast about crime. Not so much the "if it bleeds, it leads," kind of crime. Something a little more complex. Stories of people who've done wrong, been wronged, and/or gotten caught somewhere in the middle. We are a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX, a curated network of extraordinary, story-driven shows. Learn more at
Revisionist History is Malcolm Gladwell's journey through the overlooked and the misunderstood. Every episode re-examines something from the past—an event, a person, an idea, even a song—and asks whether we got it right the first time. From Panoply Media. Because sometimes the past deserves a second chance.
Death, Sex & Money
Anna Sale explores the big questions and hard choices that are often left out of polite conversation.
If you like The Moth, This American Life or Snap Judgment, take a walk on the wilder side with RISK! Your colorful host Kevin Allison (of the legendary comedy group The State) helms this surprisingly uncensored show where people tell jaw-dropping true stories they never thought they'd dare to share in public. RISK! is hilarious, heart-wrenching and remarkably real. Think you've heard it all? Fasten your seatbelt.
Love + Radio
Nick van der Kolk’s Love and Radio features in-depth, otherworldly-produced interviews with an eclectic range of subjects, from the seedy to the sublime. Get inside the mind of a rogue taxidermist. Find out what it’s like to experience a stroke firsthand. Or spend time with an artist who gives away her life savings every night. You’ve never heard anything like it before. Love+Radio is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. Learn more at
The Mortified Podcast is a storytelling series where adults share the embarrassing things they created as kids—diaries, letters, lyrics & beyond—in front of total strangers. PS: It totally likes you. The Mortified Podcast is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. Learn more at
Stories of the human heart. A candid, unscripted conversation between two people about what's really important in life: love, loss, family, friendship. When the world seems out of hand, tune in to StoryCorps and be reminded of the things that matter most.
1 phone call. 1 hour. No names. No holds barred. Thats the premise behind Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People, hosted by comedian Chris Gethard (the Chris Gethard Show, Broad City, This American Life, and one of Time Outs 10 best comedians of 2015). Every week, Chris opens the phone line to one anonymous caller, and he cant hang up first, no matter what. From shocking confessions and family secrets to philosophical discussions and shameless self-promotion, anything can and will happen! T ...
Modern Love
Modern Love features top actors performing true stories of love, loss, and redemption. It has included performances by Kate Winslet, Uma Thurman, Angela Bassett, Jake Gyllenhaal, Sterling K. Brown, and more. A collaboration between WBUR and The New York Times.
Mystery Show
A podcast about mysteries, hosted by Starlee Kine. From Gimlet.
Maybe you’ve laid awake imagining how it could have been, how it might yet be, but the moment to act was never right. Well, the moment is here and the podcast making it happen is Heavyweight. Join Jonathan Goldstein for road trips, thorny reunions, and difficult conversations as he backpedals his way into the past like a therapist with a time machine. From Gimlet Media.
From Lea Thau, Peabody award-winning producer and creator of The Moth Podcast and The Moth Radio Hour, comes her new storytelling baby, Strangers. Each episode is an empathy shot in your arm, featuring true stories about the people we meet, the connections we make, the heartbreaks we suffer, the kindnesses we encounter, and those frightful moments when we discover that WE aren't even who we thought we were.
Extraordinary first person stories from around the world
Radio Diaries
First-person diaries, sound portraits, and hidden chapters of history from Peabody Award-winning producer Joe Richman and the Radio Diaries team. From teenagers to octogenarians, prisoners to prison guards, bra saleswomen to lighthouse keepers. The extraordinary stories of ordinary life. Radio Diaries is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. Learn more at
The Guardian's Audio Long Reads podcasts are a selection of the Guardian’s long read articles which are published in the paper and online. It gives you the opportunity to get on with your day whilst listening to some of the finest journalism the Guardian has to offer: in-depth writing from around the world on immigration, crime, business, the arts and much more.
When big news happens, the world tunes in and then moves on. But often the stories we thought were over haven’t really ended; they were the beginning of something else. Undone is a new show from Gimlet Media that digs up the surprising things that happened when we weren’t looking.
Ear Hustle
Ear Hustle brings you stories of life inside prison, shared and produced by those living it. The podcast is a partnership between Earlonne Woods and Antwan Williams, currently incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison, and Nigel Poor, a Bay Area artist. The team works in San Quentin’s media lab to produce stories that are sometimes difficult, often funny and always honest, offering a nuanced view of people living within the American prison system.
Spend an hour in someone else's life. 'Conversations with Richard Fidler' draws you deeper into the life story of someone you may have heard about, but never met.
Dirty John
Debra Newell is a successful interior designer. She meets John Meehan, a handsome man who seems to check all the boxes: attentive, available, just back from a year in Iraq with Doctors Without Borders. But her family doesn’t like John, and they get entangled in an increasingly complex web of love, deception, forgiveness, denial, and ultimately, survival. Reported and hosted by Christopher Goffard from the L.A. Times.
Dear Sugars
The universe has good news for the lost, lonely and heartsick. The Sugars are here, speaking straight into your ears. Hosted by the original Sugars, Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond, the podcast fields all your questions — no matter how deep or dark — and offers radical empathy in return. Send your letters to
An intimate journey into the hidden lives of ordinary people. Welcome to The Secret Room, a podcast about the true stories no one ever tells.
The Kitchen Sisters Present… Stories from the b-side of history. Lost recordings, hidden worlds, people possessed by a sound, a vision, a mission. The episodes tell deeply layered stories, lush with interviews, field recordings and music. From powerhouse producers The Kitchen Sisters (Hidden Kitchens, The Hidden World of Girls, The Sonic Memorial Project, Lost & Found Sound, Fugitive Waves and coming soon… The Keepers). "The Kitchen Sisters have done some of best radio stories ever broadcast ...
A rich selection of documentaries aimed at relentlessly curious minds, introduced by Rhianna Dhillon.
Upvoted by Reddit
Thousands of unique stories are happening on Reddit everyday, propelling people and ideas to an audience of millions. But what happens after those posts go up? What happened leading up to it? Upvoted gives these stories—from the seemingly ordinary to the extraordinary—the creative space to expand, breathe, and grow. Learn more by going beyond the upvote and see what makes Reddit so remarkable.
Backseat Rider
Journalist Anthony Ponce goes from the bright lights of a major news network to behind the wheel of a ride-share car, bringing you the real life stories of his passengers. From businessmen and baristas to strippers and students... hear the unique worldviews of people from all walks of life, as Anthony and his riders navigate the streets of Chicago. (interviews are recorded with full knowledge and consent).
Unbelievably true stories of chance encounters that changed the world. A pair of mail-order shoes that led to the film The Outsiders. A secret road to a California paradise. The day LA and smog first met. Stories that will stick in your head like a memory. It’s UnFictional, hosted by Bob Carlson.
Tell The Bartender is a storytelling podcast hosted by Katharine Heller
Join bestselling author Jon Ronson as he traces a very strange butterfly effect. A teen in Brussels had an idea – to make porn free and easy to stream online. The consequences of that idea are mysterious, delightful, surprising, and sad. This 7-part series takes you on a journey to places you’ll never expect.
Have you ever found a note on the ground, maybe meant for someone else? Help Davy Rothbart solve these mysteries on the FOUND Podcast, where we explore personal stories of love, loss, hope, transformation and aspiration through the lens of lost and found notes --with the power of humor and music. You can see these notes, and more, on the FOUND App on iOS, and help us solve the mysteries behind them as part of a global community art project. New full episodes every other Wednesday, with updat ...
This is Love
From the makers of the award-winning podcast Criminal, This is Love investigates life’s most persistent mystery. Stories of sacrifice, obsession, and the ways in which we bet everything on each other.
Short Cuts
Short documentaries and adventures in sound presented by Josie Long
Simon Mayo considers listeners' darkest secrets and worst misdemeanours, as they beg for his forgiveness.Will Simon and his collective be merciful?
You know how every day someone asks "how are you?" And even if you’re totally dying inside, you just say "fine," so everyone can go about their day? This show is the opposite of that. Hosted by author and notable widow (her words) Nora McInerny, this is a funny/sad/uncomfortable podcast about talking honestly about our pain, our awkwardness, and our humanness, which is not an actual word. From American Public Media.
Through first person, short format storytelling with no commentary, This Is Actually Happening probes the chaotic interiors of the human experience as we find out what happens when everything changes. If you'd like to donate to the show, go to
Hilarious Real-life Stories for the Whole Family
Exploring different aspects of history, science, philosophy and the arts.
Home of the Brave
Home of the Brave: new and old stories from "This American Life" contributor Scott Carrier.
Remembering the good, the bad, and the awkward parts of growing up
Trust the Random
A conversation about how random circumstances or coincidences lead people down different paths to better lives through interviews with great people.
Multi award winning documentaries from Ireland. With over 1,500 documentaries on offer, the Documentary On One has the largest archive of documentaries available globally. These productions are radio stories about real life and contain documentaries dating as far back as 1954, right up to the present day. A wealth of life, ideas and experiences are on offer - but most importantly - stories. Winner of over 150 national and international awards since 2008, why not immerse yourself in a world o ...
Earshot presents documentaries about people, places, stories and ideas, in all their diversity.
The Untold
Grace Dent presents a series documenting the untold dramas of 21st-century Britain.
Making Obama
Former President Barack Obama — along with key advisers, mentors, and rivals — tells the story of his climb from Chicago to the national stage. Season One of Making told the story of how Oprah built a media empire. Now, the story of how Chicago shaped the country's first African-American president.
Story Club
Each week, we bring you stories told live from the Story Club chair at the Giant Dwarf Theatre in Sydney.
Peering into the dusty corners of the night. Produced by Vanessa Lowe.
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show series
In spite of a difficult childhood, Tyler Perry has become the first African-American to have his own film and TV empire. He's now worth over a half a billion dollars and is credited with having revolutionised the entertainment industry by telling the stories of black America. In a revealing interview he tells presenter Joe Pascal how he did it. ...…
Danielle sings about arithmetic, Lydia remembers her grandfather, Robbie writes a letter to the universe, and much more. Recorded live in Chicago. Show notes Support GRTTWaK. Become a patron. Rate or review GRTTWaK in iTunes Join the email newsletter Upcoming live events Music by Podington Bear and Lullatone Closing theme is “Oh Dear Diary” by ...…
In this Episode: Ever wonder what it’s like to understudy four roles in a national tour of a Tony award winning Broadway show? Performer Rob Neill joins The Bartender to talk about his touring adventures with Peter and the Starcatcher, why art is more than just a career, what Tom Hanks is like in the event of an emergency, and then accidentally ...…
Historian and angler Anna Clark on the story of fishing in Australia
The story of Reverend Carlton Pearson, a rising star in the evangelical movement, who cast aside the idea of hell, and with it everything he'd worked for over his entire life.
In this Sunday Feature, historian Chris Harding travels from Tokyo to the deep countryside of Japan's north east to tell the alternative story of the country, looking at how, throughout their history, Japanese people have used ghosts and ghost stories to make sense of themselves and their place in the world. In the aftermath of the Fukushima nu ...…
Joanne thinks her alcoholism began at age 12 or 13. She grew in a small town where she and her friends had easy access to beer. She was, however, fearful of becoming an alcoholic because one of her parents was a drinker and she never wanted to end up like that. Her drinking continued through college, when she flipped her car while driving drunk ...…
American newspaper columnist Joyce Maynard was used to receiving fan mail. One day a very different kind of letter arrived for her - it was from a prisoner in California. She wrote back, starting a relationship with this man, who liked to sign all his letters 'your friend always, Grizzly'. Their relationship deepened, but behind his nickname wa ...…
Bill is an alcoholic. Both sides of his family were filled with drinkers, but Bill grew up a successful young man. He went to college on scholarship and even while at school never touched alcohol. His first drink didn’t come until the age of 22. Bill went to his first bar then, and drank 13 drinks just to see what it was like. He found himself ...…
For the first time on the podcast, the Sugars answer a voice mail message from the Dear Sugars hotline. The message comes from a woman who reunited with her ex-boyfriend, who once assaulted her. Wracked with shame, she wonders if reconciling with him is acceptable and if it’s possible he’ll change. Esta Soler, president and founder of Futures W ...…
This week, we hear three stories from people who did not have much themselves, but looked out for others who needed some extra help.
"The past is concretised and solidified in things", writes Stella Tillyard "and they vibrate with the experience of their use".Stella tells the story of a small Italian Museum - the Museum of Deportation and Resistance - and reflects on how we remember the past.Producer: Adele Armstrong.
As a child, Sue didn’t know her desire to eat certain foods was an illness. Sue remembers hovering around candy dishes, and taking way more than her share of special holiday treats. Much like other addicts, Sue tried to keep up appearances. She did well in school and didn’t look like your stereotypical addict; she was clean-cut and while by no ...…
On the first week in her new role as presenter of World at One, journalist Sarah Montague joins Fi and Jane to talk balanced journalism, interrupting, and presenting Today.Plus Jane’s wet step, Fi’s skiing holiday and the disloyalty of mothers.
In 2014 Polly Weston's sister Lara died. She had just turned 22. Lara and her family had never discussed organ donation, and she wasn't on the register. But when the family were asked if they would consider donation, they said yes. Out of the tragedy of her death, medics managed to donate her organs to four women, while her eyes saved the sight ...…
Two unlikely men meet to swap jobs. One is a 70-year-old chimney sweep, who left school at 13, the other a professor of philosophy at UCD. The professor cleans a chimney while the sweep delivers a talk to the Philosophical Society at UCD (Broadcast 2009).
This week's Confession collection features Sophia's knicker nightmare, Jimbo's 'Club Call' conundrum and Hope's hotel hiccup - Do they deserve forgiveness? There's our regular look at the Parish Notice Board, a shameful amount of 'non-compliant confessions' and there's a Confession from the Crypt which is and A&E disaster.If you have a Confessi ...…
In a country with one of the lowest murder rates in the world, the killing of a 20-year-old woman upended the nation’s sense of itself Read the text version here
SPOILER WARNING: Please listen to our first episode about Sheila, Episode 88: Cold Case, before you listen to this one. This episode contains descriptions of violence and may not be suitable for everyone. Sheila Wysocki became a PI to try to help solve the murder of her college roommate. She wasn't planning on taking on any more cases, but then ...…
The HBO documentary “I Am Evidence” investigates the crisis of hundreds of thousands of rape kits that went untested across the United States. Actress and advocate Mariska Hargitay teams with directors Trish Adlesic and Geeta Gandbhir to focus on the crusade of Detroit prosecutor Kym Worthy and others who campaigned to rescue kits from storage. ...…
Jodee Mundy is the only person in her family who can hear. Ever since she was little, she has moved between the Deaf community and mainstream society, feeling a little out of place in both.
This episode features Kiese Laymon’s memoir about growing up as a young black man in the South. The piece is performed by a small group of young black men who Al mentored in their youth. Errthang is produced and hosted by Al Letson, with co-host and music supervisor Willie Evans Jr., show systemizer Brie Burge and actor Jason Stephens. Check ou ...…
Peter Venn's imagination was captured by the simple physics of the hovercraft. He turned flying them into a business, but the unusual vehicles still bring him joy
Ally McClean on trying to fall back in love with Cosplay when she didn't have the courage to call off the wedding yet.
Over the past few years, there’s been a movement to tear down the Confederate monuments dotted all over the south. At the same time, there are some new monuments going up. On April 26, the nation’s first lynching memorial will open in Montgomery, Alabama. It’s called the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, and it pays tribute to the more t ...…
Claire is a food addict, which she says is a bit different from being a “Overeater.” They are not overeaters, often, but they use food and its ingredients as a drug. Claire says anything floury would relieve her stress, give her confidence, and calm her anxiety. She would also suffer withdrawals if she wasn’t eating certain foods. She remembers ...…
For two years, ISIS fought to take over the city of Mosul, killing 40,000 civilians. This is a story about a group of men and women from around the world who packed up their bags, flew into Iraq, and made their way to Mosul to try their hand at fighting ISIS back. Check out more from the Free Burma Rangers at Al ...…
Moder Magid was just 22 when he became Sweden's most wanted terror suspect. Following a massive manhunt in 2015, the Iraqi asylum seeker was arrested while building a snow horse on a frozen lake with friend. Moder had been completely unaware of the police search for him. He was arrested and taken to Stockholm where the Swedish security services ...…
Archaeologist Serena Love on climbing into history in one of the first villages on earth, where the locals lived with de-skulled bodies buried in the floor
A story of a runaway, sexual identity, and survival in the wake of loss. Part one of this two-part episode follows Jerry Torre - well known for his appearance in the 1975 documentary Grey Gardens. As a child he ran from his home in Brooklyn and began working as a gardener for the wealthy in East Hampton, NY. While there he stumbles upon the now ...…
"It put everything that I thought about myself into question...I didn't know what I believed. I didn't know what was real, what was fake." Producer: Whit Missildine Instagram: @actuallyhappening Music: "Cylinder Four" "Cylinder Five" - Chris Zabriskie This Is Actually Happening Team: Whit Missildine, Lisa Zaid and Ry ...…
Robert drank and drugged for 36 years before choosing sobriety. Coming from Los Angeles’ South Central neighborhood and a mixed Hispanic and Native American family in which alcohol was central to daily life. While he had tastes of alcohol as a young child, his first drink by choice came at the age of 8 when he learned his parents were divorcing ...…
When you're at a bar and someone starts paying more attention to you than you expect -- how do you react? Mel Rodriguez ("Overboard," "The Last Man on Earth") reads Andy Christie's essay, about trying to navigate an unexpected flirtation.
Collage by Charles Hope From following the news lately I feel like I don't know who to believe or who to trust, like I don't know what's going on or why and things are only going to get worse and there's nothing I can do about it. In times like this maybe surrealistic poetry and Dada make more sense than realism. Donate Collage by Charles Hope…
A 22-year-old who calls herself a “professional sugar baby” explains why she goes on dates with much older men for money—and why the men don’t always think of her as a sex worker. Subscribe to our weekly email newsletter, if you haven't already. Every Wednesday we send out podcast listening recommendations, fascinating letters from our inbox an ...…
Seven years ago, Jamie McKechnie was the victim of an unprovoked attack in London and suffered a serious brain injury. He was in a coma for nine weeks and doctors gave him a 30 percent chance of living. Jamie's girlfriend, soul singer Ellen Murphy, played music to him to try bring him back from his coma.Image: Jamie McKechnie and Ellen Murphy C ...…
The crew leaves Earth behind. The Habitat is a production of Gimlet Media. It’s produced by Lynn Levy, Peter Bresnan, and Megan Tan. Our editors are Alex Blumberg, Jorge Just, Caitlin Kenney, and Blythe Terrell. Music, sound design, and mixing by Haley Shaw. Music supervision by Matthew Boll. Additional music in this episode by Bobby Lord and E ...…
The crew explores their new home. The Habitat is a production of Gimlet Media. It’s produced by Lynn Levy, Peter Bresnan, and Megan Tan. Our editors are Alex Blumberg, Jorge Just, Caitlin Kenney, and Blythe Terrell. Music, sound design, and mixing by Haley Shaw. Music supervision by Matthew Boll. Additional music by Charlie Palmieri. Our credit ...…
The crew gets bad news. The Habitat is a production of Gimlet Media. It’s produced by Lynn Levy, Peter Bresnan, and Megan Tan. Our editors are Alex Blumberg, Jorge Just, Caitlin Kenney, and Blythe Terrell. Music, sound design, and mixing by Haley Shaw. Music supervision by Matthew Boll. Our credits music in this episode is performed by Reps, an ...…
The crew feels all warm and fuzzy. The Habitat is a production of Gimlet Media. It’s produced by Lynn Levy, Peter Bresnan, and Megan Tan. Our editors are Alex Blumberg, Jorge Just, Caitlin Kenney, and Blythe Terrell. Additional reporting in this episode by Eric Eddings. Music, sound design, and mixing by Haley Shaw. Music supervision by Matthew ...…
The crew gets pissed. The Habitat is a production of Gimlet Media. It’s produced by Lynn Levy, Peter Bresnan, and Megan Tan. Our editors are Alex Blumberg, Jorge Just, Caitlin Kenney, and Blythe Terrell. Additional reporting in this episode by Eric Eddings. Music, sound design, and mixing by Haley Shaw. Additional music by Alexander Overington. ...…
The crew opens the hatch. The Habitat is a production of Gimlet Media. It’s produced by Lynn Levy, Peter Bresnan, and Megan Tan. Our editors are Alex Blumberg, Jorge Just, Caitlin Kenney, and Blythe Terrell. Music, sound design, and mixing by Haley Shaw. Music supervision by Matthew Boll. Our credits music in this episode is performed by Pavo P ...…
The crew comes back to Earth. The Habitat is a production of Gimlet Media. It’s produced by Lynn Levy, Peter Bresnan, and Megan Tan. Our editors are Alex Blumberg, Jorge Just, Caitlin Kenney, and Blythe Terrell. Additional reporting in this episode by Eric Eddings. Music, sound design, and mixing by Haley Shaw. With help from Bobby Lord. Music ...…
Think for a moment: what's the difference between envy and admiration? When have you felt each emotion...and why the distinction? In this week's episode, you'll hear from a woman who grew up the only black girl in an all-white neighborhood, a former college athlete, a shoe-loving college student, and an aspiring competitive eater.-BACKSEAT RIDE ...…
Stockbroker Clare Keenan has worked in places ranging from a New Zealand prison, to a covert Jordanian broadcaster. She trusts her fierce survival instinct to keep her safe
In this hour we delve into the goodness of humanity through acts both small and large. A tourist has a major setback while on vacation; a holiday gift exchange is botched; and a Medical Laboratory Technician in a fertility clinic secretly blesses hopeful couples. Those stories and more. Hosted by The Moth's Artistic Director, Catherine Burns. T ...…
Raoul is a 15 year-old young man in recovery. His favorite drug to use was marijuana. He began experiencing marijuana at age 3, as his father would smoke it and he would get a contact high. At age 11, Raoul and his friend decided to get high, and they were able to do so by stealing from his father’s stash. For his 13th birthday, he got so high ...…
The true story of a fake planet. Listen to the entire series starting on Wednesday, April 18th.
Journalist and author Sathnam Sanghera returns to his home town of Wolverhampton where a battle raged over the right to wear the turban on the buses in Enoch Powell's constituency at the time he made his Rivers of Blood speech.In 1967 Sikh bus driver Tarsem Singh Sandhu returns from his holidays wearing a turban and a beard, both against the un ...…
'T La Rock' grew up in New York's Bronx and is seen by many as a pioneer of the Hip Hop music genre. He became the first artist to be recorded by Def Jam records and performed around the world but that all came to a halt when he was attacked and left with 70% memory loss. Struggling to recover, he ended up in a Jewish nursing home where he foun ...…
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