If you love listening to Apple Podcasts, you’ve come to the right place. Although the format has been around for decades, there has never been a better time for podcasts. The only hitch is that podcasts themselves seem to live in the wild. You need a guide to point the way through the undergrowth and stop you from wandering down dead ends.
So to that end, we’ve curated this list of some of the best Apple podcasts of 2020 that we love, spanning different genres.
Part of the rising trend of recap podcasts, Binge Mode delves into the finer details of TV shows and films. Hosts Mallory Rubin and Jason Concepcion bring their eye for detail and hilarity to well-loved shows such as Game of Thrones, Harry Potter and more recently, Star Wars. The hosts have a knack for laugh-out-loud skits and bring plenty of depth to each episode as they dive into the specifics of a character or film in a series.
In this heartwarming podcast, host Jonathan Goldstein takes his guests back to a point in their life where everything changed. Each episode is as touching as it is funny as he helps them unravel the mysteries that sprang from that moment and bumbles himself and his guests to some form of resolution. There’s the woman who never found the right moment to tell the father of her child that he had a daughter, the addict who sold his dad’s prized possession to get high and more.
In January 2017, Nasa placed six people inside a dome at the base of a Hawaiian volcano. And left them there for an entire year! The Habitat is the story of six imitation astronauts who took part in an experiment designed to test how real astronauts would survive in cramped quarters during a long and lonely mission to Mars. The result is a striking docu-series that’s part Big Brother and part The Martian.
Everything is Alive
Trust me when I say this will be like no podcast you’ve ever listened to. Host, Ian Chillag, produces a series of hilarious and surprisingly deep conversations with inanimate objects that are played by a different improviser in each episode. He interviews everything from elevators to pregnancy tests. In one episode, he interviews a Grain of Sand that explains why it thinks of itself in the plural — as one among many grains — and how if humans thought of themselves in the same way, we would live in a more empathetic society. That Grain of Sand might be onto something.
The Clearing is unique in that it is both a true-crime podcast as well as a critique of true crime podcasts. Which might seem counterintuitive, but it works out well for the show considering how a lot of shows in the genre spend too much time on unsupported conspiracy theories or focus on the killer over the victims. The Clearing focuses not on the killer, Edward Wayne Edwards, but on his daughter, April Balascio. The host, Josh Dean, not only explores how police cracked Edwards’ case but, more importantly, how it affected his family. April is a vital part of the show, offering insights into her father’s strange habits and imbuing an often soulless genre with real emotion.
The Horror of Delores Roach
Can we all agree that the best horror stories are just heightened social commentary? The Horror of Delores Roach is no exception, taking a Sweeney Todd-Esque turn halfway through the podcast. When Delores Roach returns to her old home in Washington Heights after serving 16 years for pot possession, she finds that her neighbourhood has been gentrified. And as she struggles to contend with the change, she slowly descends into madness.
No Feeling is Final
When we talk about suicide, we usually say those four magic words: “Just ask for help”. But Australian podcaster Honor Eastly knows it’s not that simple. She has pulled off something incredibly rare with No Feeling is Final by creating a visceral podcast about mental health. She takes listeners inside her head by narrating her experiences with panic, anxiety and fear as she navigates her daily life. Her humour and musical stylings add lightness to a heavy subject and endear her to listeners so that when she delves into more difficult topics, we’re already hooked.
We know this isn’t a very long list, but we promise, we’ve included some of the very best of Apple Podcasts. This should tide you over until you find your own footing in the podcasting world and find stuff that you personally love. Till then, happy listening!