6 of the Best Podcasts to Get Stuck Into During #Lockdown2020

Serial Season 1

This gripping podcast series, by the creators of This American Life, is hosted by Sarah Koenig and tells the true story (or what can be known of it) of the murder of Hae Min Lee and the subsequent trial of her 17-year-old ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed who was eventually found guilty of her murder.

Sarah Koenig walks us through the trial and all its associated elements after sorting through thousands of documents, listening to trial testimony and police interrogations, and interviewing everyone she can find who remembers anything at all about Adnan Syed and Hae Min Lee. The result is an addictive roller-coaster of “Did he? Didn’t he?” and an exploration of the complexity of the story behind the murder. It also asks one of the most basic (and fascinating) questions of all: How can you know a person’s character? How can you tell what they’re capable of?

Thoroughly addictive and excellently produced, the perfect story to get hooked on during #lockdown2020

Serial Season 1 is comprised of 12 episodes, each about 45-60mins long. Listen online over at www.serialpodcast.org/season-one or wherever you get your podcasts.


Since 2002, Radiolab has been devoted to “investigating a strange world”. Created by Jad Abumrad and hosted by Jad and Robert Krulwich, Radiolab has won Peabody Awards, a National Academies Communication Award “for their investigative use of radio to make science accessible to broad audiences,” and in 2011 Abumrad received the MacArthur Genius grant.

The Radiolab team investigate unusual stories and unpick the science behind them. Presented in layman’s terms, and produced to an exceptionally high standard, Radiolab is the podcast for you if you love learning more about the world in an entertaining and relaxed way.

Hundreds of archived episodes available over at www.wnycstudios.org or wherever you get your podcasts.

Magic Lessons

Magic Lessons is brought to you by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of best-selling memoir Eat Pray Love. In each episode, Gilbert takes a question from one of her listeners about creativity and road bumps in the creative process: we hear from frustrated writers, songwriters with writers’ block, artists who are terrified to show their art to the world, and to all of them, Elizabeth Gilbert and her guests (who are often thought leaders in their own right) offer heartfelt and encouraging advice that is genuinely useful and uplifting.

Perfect listening for anyone who is letting self-doubt hold them back from putting themselves out there in the world.

Big Magic currently has two seasons online. Season 1 episodes are approx 30 mins long and season 2 episodes stretch over an hour. Lister over at www.elizabethgilbert.com or wherever you get your podcasts.

Tara Brach

Tara Brach, Ph. D is an internationally known meditation teacher and author of bestselling Radical Acceptance and True Refuge. Tara shares weekly guided meditations and talks that blend Western Psychology and Eastern spiritual practices. The podcast “addresses the value of mindfulness meditation and self-compassion in relieving emotional suffering, serving spiritual awakening and bringing healing to our world.”

Perfect listening for anyone who is struggling with anxiety or their emotions during these unsettled and uncertain times. Brach is reassuring, funny, comforting and engaging.

Hundreds of episodes available from www.tarabrach.com or wherever you get your podcasts.

The Other Latif

Created by the Radiolab team, The Other Latif is another podcast series that is highly addictive.

Radiolab’s Latif Nasser always believed his name was unique, singular, completely his own. Until one day when he makes a bizarre and shocking discovery. He shares his name with another man: Abdul Latif Nasser, detainee 244 at Guantanamo Bay.

The U.S. government paints a terrifying picture of The Other Latif as Al-Qaeda’s top explosives expert, and one of the most important advisors to Osama bin Laden. Nasser’s lawyer claims that he was at the wrong place at the wrong time and that he was never even in Al-Qaeda. This clash leads Radiolab’s Latif into a years-long investigation, picking apart evidence, attempting to separate fact from fiction, and trying to uncover what this man actually did or didn’t do.

Along the way, Radiolab’s Latif reflects on American values and his own religious past, and wonders how his namesake, a fellow nerdy, suburban Muslim kid, may have gone down such a strikingly different path.

6 episodes available from www.wnycstudios.org or wherever you get your podcasts.

How I Built This with Guy Raz

In How I Built This, Guy Raz dives into the stories behind some of the world’s best-known companies. How I Built This weaves a narrative journey about innovators, entrepreneurs and idealists—and the movements they built. Learn about their successes and failures, the times they were at breaking point, and the growth of hugely successful businesses from a single lightbulb moment of an individual or between friends.

Listen to hundreds of archived episodes over at www.npr.org or wherever you get your podcasts

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