This is the ultimate Podcasts 2020 list. Trust me.
You’re about to go on a road trip and you’re stoked because you can finally listen to all those podcasts everyone has been telling you to listen to all bloody year.
The problem is you can’t remember a single one. And like a giant chump your forgot to keep a list in your phone to refer back to later.
Lucky for you (and me because I literally never write these things down) I asked my wonderful followers to tell me EVERY SINGLE PODCAST they would recommend to a friend and here’s the list. It’s pretty bloody cool.
Note the podcasts with the * are ones I’ve listened to and also endorse.
Happy listening, my sweet armadillos.
Podcasts 2020: What you should be listening to this year…
1. Bang On*
Myf Warhurst and Zan Rowe (Aussie music royalty) debrief on the biggest conversations of the week about music, art, life and stuff. It’s mainly music but also heaps of other cool stuff.
2. By The Book*
Jolenta Greenberg and her skeptical friend Kristen Meinzer as they live by the rules of a different self-help book each episode to figure out which ones might actually be life changing.
Leigh Sales and Annabel Crabb (Aussie politics journos and all round fantastic humans) discuss what they’re reading, watching, cooking, listening to or are irrationally exhilarated by.
Criminal is a podcast about crime but it’s not all gory, some of it is downright cute. Hosted by Phoebe Judge whose voice is the most heavenly, honey coated sound on earth.
hosted by Flora Lichtman ELT goes through literally every little thing. Who invented pants? How did ‘pink for girls’ and ‘blue for boys’ happen? What do dogs say when they bark? ELT is here to answer your burning questions.
6. Forever 35
Kate Spencer and Doree Shafrir discuss all those burning beauty questions you have each with and usually with a special guest.
This is a whole bunch of weird stuff it’s half fact half story telling and makes you question your very existence.
Hosted by Yumi Stynes, this is a fabulous podcast where she talks about all the stuff you wish you could about with your girlfriends but you might be too shy. Orgasms, menopause, affairs. It’s got it all.
9. Last Seen
About an art heist at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. The art work disappeared and no knows where it is.
Alie Ward asks a bunch of different ‘ologists’ to talk about their expertise. Super interesting and funny too.
11. One Bad Mother
A comedy podcast about motherhood and how unnatural it sometimes is.
12. Safe for Work
Liz Dolan and Rico Gagliano show how work can be funny, challenging, ridiculous, and — yes, even satisfying. Perfect for anyone who might be having a struggle with the rat race.
13. Science Vs*
Science Vs sorts facts from fiction and that weird area in between. They do the hard work of sifting through all the science so you don’t have to. Topics include – football concussions, heartbreak, 5G networks, sleep, magic mushrooms, free healthcare, police use of force and asteroids.
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.
15. The Cut*
Hosted by Molly Fischer, The Cut on Tuesdays brings you women’s voices on culture, style, sex, politics, and people. It’s basically all the stuff you saw on the internet this week and want to rant about.
Comedian Deborah Frances-White records this podcast about being a less than perfect feminist. My personal favourite segment is ‘I’m a feminist but…’ which starts off the show. ‘I’m a feminist but… I refuse to take out the garbage.’
17. The Money*
The Money is a weekly 30 minute program that explains how the Australian economy and everything in it works, and how this all connects to the global economy – so you’re not relying on Facebook posts about millennial wasting money on avocado toast.
Claire Hooper and a team of no-nonsense experts help sort out a different part of your life each season.
19. The Upgrade
Melissa Kirsch & Alice Bradley of Lifehacker bring in all-star guests to tackle the stuff that matters—like how to be happy, how to buy a TV, how to be less bad with money and how to tell if you’re dating a psychopath.
Ecologists and epidemiologists Erin Welsh and Erin Allmann Updyke talk about infectious diseases – where they came from and if you need to be a little bit or a lot worried about them.
Find out what happens when women break the rules – those unwritten but all too real bullsh*t expectations of how we should live our lives. Cristen Conger and Caroline Ervin (formerly Stuff Mom Never Told You) tackle questions through their trademark obsessive research, stories from rule-breakin’ ladies and a solid dose of delightful feminist rage.
22. Seize The Yay
A lawyer turned funtrepreneur’s investigation into how some of the world’s most inspiring people find their “yay”, whether it’s through work, rest or play and any other pearls of wisdom they have along the way.
23. Armchair Expert*
Hosted by Dax Shepard this is a podcast where he talks to people about their vulnerabilities. He’s also married to Kristen Bell and we all know she’s awesome.
Each season of this show is covers a different story but the most recent is Snowball and it tells how an average family’s encounter with a charismatic Californian con woman cost them everything. If you liked Who The Hell Is Hamish, you’ll love this.
25. Teacher’s Pet*
This podcast is about the disappearance of Lyn Dawson. It’s currently unavailable in Australia because if an impending court case.
26. Dirty John*
Debra meets – 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 with very good reason…
We now know that Jeffrey Epstein was a sexual predator. This podcast goes deeper into who this man really was.
28. Bear Brook*
An unbelievable cold case involving four bodies in barrels and the strange hunt to find man who killed them.
29. The Drop Out*
The story of Elizabeth Holmes and and her bogus technology company Theranos is an unbelievable tale of ambition and fame gone terribly wrong. If you’ve read Bad Blood, you’ll love this.
30. Slow Burn*
In its first two seasons, Slow Burn looked back at two of the biggest stories of the late 20th century—the Watergate scandal and the impeachment of Bill Clinton. Season three of the show tackles another: the murders of Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G.
Casefile is a weekly true crime themed podcast that first aired in Australia and is hosted by an Australian man who remains anonymous. It’s basically the dead pan re-telling of murders and it’s awesome.
Wil Anderson asks smart people stupid questions and tries to find out the meaning of life. Or something…
33. Phoebe’s Fall*
A major investigation by The Age into the death of Phoebe Handsjuk, who was found at the bottom of a garbage chute in a luxury apartment building.
34. Up and Vanished*
Up and Vanished is an investigative true crime podcast hosted by Payne Lindsey and each season follows the story of a mysterious disappearance.
Hosted by Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich, it’s kind of a show about everything. Thoroughly well researched and leaves you thinking.
An unidentified body. Who was she? Why hasn’t she been missed? A BBC World Service and NRK original podcast, investigating a mystery unsolved for almost half a century.
Journalist, Nina Young explores her past in this six-part podcast, she’s going to finally let the skeletons out of her family closet and find out the truth. A truth that will take her back to the scene of her father’s crime and face to face with some uncomfortable facts…
Susan Powell vanished on Dec. 7, 2009. Her body has never been found. From the beginning, West Valley City, Utah police suspected Susan’s husband, Josh Powell, had murdered her.
Paige St. John has uncovered never before revealed details about the man who would eventually become one of California’s most deadly serial killers.
25 years after the crimes that ignited the “Trial of the Century” Kim Goldman, sister of murder victim Ron Goldman, is digging deep into the vicious crime that changed her life, and many others, forever.
A much loved mother, teacher and friend steps on a plane for an overseas adventure and is never seen again. The circumstances surrounding her disappearance are bizarre. Her daughter has never given up hope of finding her. This is her quest.
Hamish is due to be sentenced to jail in early 2019 for swindling a handful of victims out of more than $7m. But these crimes are just the final pages in a resume too thick to staple; for decades he’s duped victims in the US, Canada, Britain, Hong Kong and Australia. How did he do it?
Spend an hour in someone else’s life. Conversations draws you deeper into the life story of someone you may have heard about, but never met.
44. Dr Death*
Christopher Duntsch was a neurosurgeon who radiated confidence. He claimed he was the best in Dallas. If you had back pain, and had tried everything else, Dr. Duntsch could give you the spine surgery that would take your pain away. But soon his patients started to experience complications, and the system failed to protect them…
Alice Fraser brings you a series of three solo stand-up shows, that explore the boundary between comedy and tragedy. You’ll meet her family, her foes and the extremely strange community she grew up in.
At 11.52pm on August 10, 2002, unassuming rugby fan David Breckenridge called his best friend from a phone box and told him he was on his way over to watch an international match on TV. Eight minutes later he was dead. The person, or persons, who stabbed and bashed the Sydney man to death the night after his 28th birthday remain at large. Investigative reporter Nicole Hogan’s five-part true crime podcast series on the perplexing and brutal, unsolved murder of an ordinary guy.
The Maddie podcast series explores what many believe is the well-known story of Madeleine McCann’s disappearance but this is an investigation of the evidence which could make you question everything you thought you knew about the case. Hot tip: If you’re a new parent, this is a rough listen.
We all have limits. And some people who are pushed beyond those limits will do unspeakable things. This is a season by season podcast about feuds that turn SUPER ugly.
Usually when we talk about suicide we say those four magic words: “just ask for help”. But Honor Eastly knows it’s not that simple. At times heartbreaking, and desperate – but also darkly funny, and charming, No Feeling Is Final is a story of difference, identity, and why we should stay alive.
June, 1980, suburban Melbourne: Mother of two Maria James is stabbed to death in the back of her bookshop. Her killer has never been found.
51. 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.
52. Full Catastrophe
In a live therapy session, guests tell stories about when life got so bad it got funny. Hosted by Rebecca Huntley and Sarah Macdonald.
Alone: A Love Story is an award-winning memoir by Michelle Parise. With candour and humour, Michelle delves into the deepest, darkest aspects of her divorce and her new life as a part-time parent, part-time partier.
Julie Yip-Williams tried to stay as present and honest as possible as she watched herself die from Stage IV colon cancer. The series chronicles her process of preparing for her death and revisiting the events of her extraordinary life, through hours of intensely personal and revealing conversations. It is an immigrant story, a love story, and a ghost story. This series is a companion to her posthumous memoir, The Unwinding of the Miracle, published by Random House on Feb 5th.
Ten years ago, over three hundred men, women and children disappeared from a small town in Tennessee, never to be heard from again. Lia Haddock asks the question once more, “What happened to the people of Limetown?”
56. Passenger List
Atlantic Flight 702 has disappeared mid-flight between London and New York with 256 passengers on board. Kaitlin Le (Kelly Marie Tran), a college student whose twin brother vanished with the flight, is determined to uncover the truth.
Death, Sex & Money is a podcast about the big questions and hard choices that are often left out of polite conversation. Host Anna Sale talks to celebrities you’ve heard of—and to regular people you haven’t—about the Big Stuff: relationships, money, family, work and making it all count while we’re here.
58. Love and Radio
Nick van der Kolk’s Love and Radio features 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.
59. Room 20
The sign above his hospital bed called him Sixty-Six Garage. For more than 15 years, he would lay there unidentified and unconscious. Or so, everyone believed. Room 20 is a story about the search for a man’s identity and the truth about his accident.
How did Larry Nassar, an Olympic gymnastics doctor, get away with abusing hundreds of women and girls for two decades? Believed is an inside look at how a team of women won a conviction in one of the largest serial sexual abuse cases in U.S. history.
61. The Clearing
When April Balascio was 40 years old, something she’d feared for decades was finally proven true. Her father, Edward Wayne Edwards, really was a murderer.
A weekly podcast for people who are obsessed with self improvement. Carly Jacobs and Kelly Exeter road test a different life hack each week and will tell you whether it’s awesome or a total waste of time. Full disclosure – this is MY podcast (I’m Carly) but someone legitimately recommend it to me before they realised who ask for recommendations so I figured I’d include it.
Bardstown, Kentucky is just like a lot of small, tight-knit communities all across the country. But just under the surface, there’s something darker. Not everyone wants to talk about it. And a lot of people would rather forget.
Imagine if your Dad wrote a dirty book. Most people would try to ignore it and pretend it had never happened – but not Jamie Morton. Instead, he’s decided to read it to the world in this award-winning comedy podcast. Disclaimer – I’ve TRIED to listen to this but I just can’t get into it but lots of other people love it so on the list it went.
65. Snap Judgement
Snap Judgment mixes real stories with killer beats to produce cinematic, dramatic, kick-ass radio.
Veteran journalist Joe Nocera’s neighbor in the Hamptons was a therapist named Ike. Ike counted celebrities and Manhattan elites as his patients. He’d host star-studded parties at his eccentric vacation house. But one summer, Joe discovered that Ike was gone and everything he’d thought he’d known about his neighbor — and the house next door — was wrong.
Strangers features 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.
Lifelong fans of true crime stories Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark tell each other their favorite tales of murder and hear hometown crime stories from friends and fans. Disclaimer – this my favourite podcast EVER of all time. I never miss an episode.
Hosted by Brian Reed, about a man named John who despises his Alabama town and decides to do something about it. He asks Brian to investigate the son of a wealthy family who’s allegedly been bragging that he got away with murder. But when someone else ends up dead, the search for the truth leads to a nasty feud, a hunt for hidden treasure, and an unearthing of the mysteries of one man’s life.
70. Root of Evil
When Elizabeth Short, also known as The Black Dahlia, was brutally killed in 1947, it gripped the entire country. More than 70 years later, it remains America’s most infamous unsolved murder.
Hosted by Ira Glass this American Life is a podcast that covers a wide variety of fascinating topics. Well researched and beautifully edited.
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. Fun fact – I’m one of those people who had literally never listened to a podcast before Serial.
Each episode, Pedestrian’s resident true crime nuts Josie and Mel bring a different unsolved Australian mystery yarn to the table and share their (often completely cooked) theories on what the f–k happened.
74. Atlanta Monster
This true crime podcast tells the story of one of the city’s darkest secrets, The Atlanta Child Murders. Nearly 40 years after these horrific crimes, many questions still remain. Host Payne Lindsey aims to find truth and provide closure, reexamining the disappearance and murder of over 25 African American children and young adults.
Host David Ridgen joins victims’ family members as they investigate cold cases, tracking down leads, speaking to suspects and searching for answers.
The parenting show for everyone by Hillary Frank.
A podcast about cults.
78. Nowhere Child
William Tyrrell was a three year old boy who disappeared from the village of Kendall, on the mid-north-coast of New South Wales. Key facts were kept from the public, from day one. A lot of what was reported, especially early on, was false.
One of the few things everyone still seems to agree on is Dolly Parton—but why? That simple question leads to a deeply personal, historical, and musical rethinking of one of America’s great icons.
80. Red Handed
RedHanded the podcast jumps head first into all manner of macabre madness. They cover everything from big time serial killers (and those you may never have heard of), to hauntings, possessions, disturbing mysteries, bizarre whodunits and basically anything that tickles our creepy fancy.
The Office co-stars and best friends, Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey, are doing the ultimate The Office re-watch podcast for you. Each week Jenna and Angela break down an episode of The Office and give exclusive behind the scene stories that only two people who were there, can tell you.
Morbid is a true crime, creepy history and all things spooky podcast hosted by an autopsy technician and a hairstylist.
83. Sword and Scale*
The Sword and Scale true-crime podcast is an immersive audio experience covering the dark side of humanity and human nature. Stories delve into the worst of the worst.
84. American Scandal
Every scandal begins with a lie. But the truth will come out. And then comes the fallout and the outrage. Scandals have shaped America since its founding.
85. The Hot Flush*
Mrs Woog and Mrs Berry are the multi non-award-winning, unsponsored duo making it OK to talk about being hot and cranky. Join them as they chant their life’s creed: just keep plucking.
The pop culture podcast for smart women who love dumb stuff.
Extremes is a show about people who’ve lived through extraordinary situations. These are big stories with enormous stakes. There’s no pattern to the stories that our guests tell: some are funny, others are sad. Some situations were accidents, others were created deliberately—but all provide a window into human behaviour.
Edit: After I published this I had heaps of people add more to this list, so in no particular order and with no links here are some more…
Two Peas in a Podcast, Getting Things Done, Beyond The To Do List, Loose Units, The Tim Ferris Show.
So… podcasts 2020! Hit me up with your recommendations so I can add anything I missed to the list.