by Kahlia Meeuwsen, Entertainment Columnist
Published in Entertainment on 4th December, 2018
As podcasts become a larger form of media, a plethora of great storytelling podcasts have made their way onto the scene. Whether you like non-fiction, surreal, scary or improv-driven stories, you'll surely find something in this list of 14 great storytelling podcasts. Read on, and you'll find plenty of great stories to take your mind off the mundane aspects of real life.
The Moth is a great podcast to listen to if you like to listen to the stories of real people. The stories cover a wide variety of topics, told by all kinds of people. You'll also be able to listen for just about as long as you want, as there are hundreds of stories to choose from.
You'll also have the ability to be able to jump around, as most of the stories aren't connected, and there are new stories in just about every episode. Regardless of what you're interested in, you'll surely be able to find plenty of stories that inspire and enthrall you.
The premise of this podcast is a simple one. The host and the guest share an hour together on a phone call, with no names involved. During this call, the guest is able to talk about whatever they may need to, whether it's something they're concerned about or an embarrassing story.
It's also important to note that during this call, the host, Chris Gethard, cannot hang up first. As a result, the guest is in complete control of the topic and time spent talking, within reason. The result is an accumulation of stories that can inspire you, leave you laughing or in tears.
The story told in this podcast has just about everything you need, from love, to denial, deception and more. It tells the tale of Debra, who meets the seemingly wonderful John Meehan. However, things don't turn out to be everything they seem to be.
If you like longer stories that you can really dig into, then this one will have you enthralled through each episode. Just like with your favorite TV shows, you'll be wondering what happens next, if the characters will live happily ever after, or whether everything will fall apart.
If you're already a fan of podcasts then it's likely you've heard of the McElroy brothers. From these entertaining hosts comes The Adventure Zone, on top of a slew of other great podcasts. On a bi-weekly basis, you'll get to enjoy this storyline which is loosely connected to Dungeons and Dragons.
As a result, you'll get to see the characters explore fantasy worlds with a number of different story arcs and characters, so you'll never get bored! If you just can't get enough of these great hosts, you can also check out their other podcasts as well as Travis McElroy in his appearances on Hello From The Magic Tavern!
Like some of the other options on this list, The Peripheral podcast seeks out real stories from a huge variety of people. The difference with this podcast is that it tends to focus on darker or taboo subjects. The host, Justin, seeks to empower people through sharing their stories.
In listening to these stories, we learn to take more pride in the things that make us different from others, in the ways we can survive even when it seems impossible, and a whole lot more. This one is definitely worth a listen if you enjoy stories about people owning their experiences and who they are.
Have you ever wanted to explore the haunted places of the world, but don't have the money or time to do so? Haunted places is a fantastic way to get an in-depth look into haunted locations all over the world without ever having to leave your home.
Each episode focuses on a new location, telling stories of events that occurred there, depicting the details of the location, and looking at how it came to be a haunted place. It's like taking a very spooky vacation in your mind!
If you're interested in the paranormal, supernatural, or just downright weird, Scott and Forrest have got you covered. These two talk about the ins and outs of a wide variety of topics, from the frightening skin walker ranch to the curious moth man, and everything in between.
Just about anyone can find episodes they'll enjoy, even if there are some topics you may not be as interested in. This podcast is also great for long periods of work or other boring tasks, as the episodes can be a bit longer, keeping you entertained through it all.
Not all stories are happy, but even the unhappiest of stories can have happy endings. In this podcasts, the hosts talk to people from all walks of life who have been through difficult times. Some have experienced assault or rape, while others have survived addictions or unhealthy family relationships.
What makes these stories unique is that while many of the guests have been through tough times, they have also survived. Most have also made steps in their lives to help others who are in the same kinds of tough situations. Through their past suffering, they seek to pull others out of the mire.
If you love fairy tales, then Tales is a podcast you're sure to enjoy. However, keep in mind that the fairy tales told on this podcast aren't the gentle, happy ones we all know and love. Instead, these stories reach back to the origins of many well-known fairy tales to explore their dark beginnings.
From The Beauty and The Beast, to Hercules and a wide variety in between, Tales tells you the stories you might not be so familiar with. The host also clearly enjoys telling the stories, creating unique voices for the characters. It's surely one you won't want to miss!
When you're looking to scare yourself silly, The No Sleep Podcast is a fantastic option. It's a very well-produced podcast with excellent, scary stories portrayed by talented voice actors. This is certainly a podcast that isn't for those who are frightened easily, as many of the stories are dark, gory and very frightening.
With 11 seasons under its belt, this podcast is going strong and offers a multitude of stories for horror-lovers to enjoy. There are new stories just about every episode and here and there you'll find some longer, more intense stories that span two or three episodes.
Do you want to be taken into a world where everything is backwards? In the town of Night Vale, spiders are cats, angels don't exist and you should absolutely, never ever, go to the dog park. This podcast depicts the events in a town that seems to lie on a secondary realm to our own.
Here, the rules are very different, and things that we would laugh at or be frightened by are simply the norm. The host, Cecil, will take you on some fantastic adventures, telling tales of love, town events and a whole lot of strange happenings. This is also a podcast with a large fan following, which goes to show how great it is!
If you like hearing about the creepy and strange while enjoying a truly velvety voice, then Lore is an excellent choice. This podcast dives into topics like ghosts, creepy places, urban legends and much more, making it a very interesting way to learn about fringe subjects.
The host also does a great job of adding some smaller stories into the larger theme to really draw you in and make you think about the subject matter. If you find that you truly enjoy the podcast, there is also a Lore television series on Amazon Prime for those who just can't get enough!
If you enjoy fantasy and improv fun, then Hello From The Magic Tavern is the podcast for you. This podcast follows the adventures of Arnie Niekamp in the land of Foon. After he falls through a magical Burger King portal, he interviews a variety of magical beings and creatures for the podcast.
Alongside his good friends, Chunt the shapeshifter and Usidore the wizard, Arnie talks to goblins, unicorns, trolls and a whole lot more. This podcast will have you laughing nonstop, making it the perfect way to pick up any day.
This American Life is a great podcast that combines journalism with plot, themes, and interesting concepts to leave you thinking about long after you've finished listening. Like other options in this list, it's a podcast with a lot of shorter stories rather than following one story throughout an entire season.
Furthermore, This American Life has been airing for over 20 years, which goes to show that it knows how to keep readers wanting more. If you're a big fan of stories about the lives of all kinds of people, make sure to give this one a listen!