The 5 Podcasts That Fill the Serial-Sized Hole in My Life

Like much of America I quit my job, stopped eating, and refused to leave my house last autumn after I became obsessed with Serial. Ok, so none of that is true, but I did love the podcast. My dog and I take a long walk every afternoon (or morning, depending on the time of year) and I like to listen to podcasts while we walk. I listened to just about every episode more than once, and when it ended I had to search for podcasts to fill the hole.

I’d already run through most of Marc Maron’s archives, and because I listen to NPR in my office, I didn’t really want to listen to any of its offerings. So here are some of the podcasts (Serial-related and otherwise) to fill the hole between seasons.

  • Lore — This one is perfect for October. In each episode Aaron Mahnke tells us the history of a weird story–often based in New England, because we are the creepiest, most Halloweeny part of the county–or legend. Basically, it’s an entire podcast of campfire stories.
  • Criminal — In this podcast we hear stories of criminality from all angles. We hear from criminals themselves; the stories behind old-timey murder ballads; and about people stealing rocks from the Petrified Forest.
  • Missing Maura Murray — If you’re hoping to lose your life to a case that does not involve Adnan Sayed, this is your best bet. Maura Murray went missing in 2004 under really weird circumstances. She’s basically a real life Gone Girl (or not — who knows?)! Many people have gone down this rabbit hole. You might as well be one of them.
  • Undisclosed — If you don’t want to get away from Adnan Sayed, this one is for you. Want to go over every shred of evidence with a lawyer’s laser-like focus, download Undisclosed now! It can be dry at times, but you’ll find yourself wondering how Sarah Koenig missed (or glossed over) so much of this!
  • Dear Sugar — Need advice? Write to the Sugars because they will spend like 20 minutes talking about your problems, and call in experts. Need someone to speak straight to your soul with an overflow of empathy? Again, this is for you. Love Cheryl Strayed and Wild?

Frankly, there are even more podcasts in my repertoire, but they aren’t quite as universal: Race Wars, Crass to Mouth, and Slate’s DoubleX Gabfest are among them.

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