8 Of The Best Podcasts Out There (Other Than 'Serial')

8 Of The Best Podcasts Out There (Other Than 'Serial')

Podcasts are still a niche interest.
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As if over night, Sarah Koening's multi-part podcast "Serial" became a cultural phenomena. And with good reason -- it's fantastic. Adnan Syed's innocence, or lack thereof, became a global discussion, and Koening was even parodied on "SNL." Yet despite "Serial's" mainstream popularity, podcasts are still a niche interest.

Before "Serial", I didn't even know what a podcast was. I owe a lot to Koening. She introduced me to the wonderful world of podcasting, despite having the handy app on my phone for, well, as long as I've had an iPhone.

Woe is pre-podcast me. I was missing out on a goldmine of entertainment. But you don't have to.

I've compiled a list of eight podcasts that I've enjoyed immensely, and am hoping you will too.

1. "Lore"

Author Aaron Mahnke offers bi-weekly scares with "Lore", a podcast about "true life scary stories." Mahnke's narrative is smart, spooky and stunning; he will likely leave you on the edge of your seat.

Suscribe to "Lore" on Itunes.

2. "The Cracked Podcast"

Funny and surprisingly pensive, Jack O'Brien's podcast is an auditory extension of his website. O'Brien and a myriad of fellow "Cracked" writers dissect pop culture, debate ideas and debunk myths -- and they have a whale of a time doing it.

Subscribe to "The Cracked Podcast" on iTunes

3. "Sword and Scale"

If you're a true crime nut (like me), then this podcast will be right up your alley -- your dark, scary alley. "Sword and Scale" bills itself as an "immersive audio experience covering the underworld of criminal activity and demented minds that perform the most despicable and unthinkable actions..." This podcast will make you lose faith in humanity, but in the most entertaining way.

Subscribe to "Sword and Scale" on iTunes.

4. "The Black Tapes Podcast"

This performance art podcast from "Pacific Northwest Stories" is in the same vein as "Serial." That is, if "Serial" was about demons and apparitions. Hosted by fictional journalist Alex Reagan, "The Black Tapes" follows her investigation of "literal and figurative ghosts." Do you believe?

Subscribe to "The Black Tapes Podcas"t on iTunes.

5. "Welcome to Night Vale"

If there had been a local radio station for David Lynch's "Twin Peaks," then it would've sounded a lot like this. "Welcome to Night Vale" is a faux radio drama about a peculiar town where there are weird lights in the sky and hooded figures in the town square. It is beautiful and bizarre.

Subscribe to "Welcome to Night Vale" on iTunes.

6. "Criminal"

The concept is simple: true crime reporting. However, it's not "the 'if it bleeds, it leads' kind of crime," or so states that show's description. It's a bit more complicated than that. This show is stylistically similar to "Sword and Scale", just writ small. Host Phoebe Judge (could she have a more fitting name?) offers weekly morsels of crime, each one less than 30 minutes long.

Subscribe to "Criminal" on iTunes.

7. "Limetown"

This performance art podcast follows investigative reporter Lia Haddock as she explores the disappearance of the entire population of "Limetown", a small town with a dark secret. Gripping and eerie, this podcast will leave you craving more. But it may keep you up at night.

Subscribe to "Limetown" on iTunes.

8. "Mystery Show

Irresistible and quirky, this podcast features host Starlee Kine as she attempts to make sense of a senseless world. Follow Kine as she delves deep into Britney's Spears' reading habits or as she locates the owner of an unusual vanity plate. If "This American Life" and Nancy Drew made a baby, "Mystery" Show would be it.

Subscribe to Mystery Show on iTunes.

Cover Image Credit: theeverygirl

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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.
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Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs.

In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm...

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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Poetry On The Odyssey: It's a Girl

An ode to the little girl raised to be insecure.

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They raise little girls to be insecure

Little girls grow to be big girls

People always ask big girls why they're so insecure

Big girls aren't quite sure

Day after day the big girl can't keep up

She's exhausted

Her soul feels worn

The big girl learns to grow hard

In a way, she's a bit stronger

People call her a bitch

Bitch

What is that?

How can she let that affect her

It's simply the only way to be her

She mourns that little girl

Hoping that one day

She'll be strong


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