• Erin Zaranec

Fall Favorites: Podcasts

Updated: Nov 12, 2018

While I would typically #ratherbereading, I love storytelling in all its forms! I've recently fallen in love with podcasts - they're now my go-to for any car ride longer than 10 minutes.


This season, I started a few podcasts that I absolutely adore! While my relationship with podcasts is fairly new, I'm already head over heels with a few selections and our relationship is moving pretty quickly... here's a list of the podcasts I'm falling in love with this season!


True Crime / Crime Related listens

  • Serial, season three by This American Life: I feel like Serial is when podcasts became an overnight sensation with my peer group. I hadn't listened to the first two seasons, but when I heard that season three was set in Cleveland my interest was instantly peaked. I began listening on a drive back from Chicago and have been anxiously awaiting every Thursday ever since. The brilliant (and super soothing) Sarah Koenig and the incredibly intelligent Emmanuel Dzotsi follow the Cleveland court system week by week, honing in on several stories that represent larger scale trends they noticed in the Cleveland court system. I am intrigued, angered and slightly embarrassed every episode. I appreciate that Sarah and Emmanuel separate the city from its courts - they clearly stated in the first episode that in no ways did they want to bash Cleveland itself - but simply report on issues and trends that are, unfortunately, happening across the country.

Serial, season 3 with images of Cleveland

  • Happy Face by HowStuffWorks: The Happy Face podcast tells the story of Melissa Moore, the daughter of the infamous Happy Face killer. The podcast is incredibly chilling - listening to Melissa recount stories of her childhood with her moody, yet seemingly heroic, father - who she finds out is a serial killer when she is in high school. I love Melissa's honestly and listening her to piece together the image of who her father really is.

  • Gladiator: Aaron Hernandez and Football Inc. by The Boston Globe: Ok, so, I am not a huge sports gal. I like basketball, but honestly can't even comprehend football. However, I was intrigued by Aaron Hernandez's story when I first heard of his suicide in jail. When scrolling through podcasts, I saw Gladiator and decided to give it a listen. It is incredible. Giving insight on how a man went from a $40 million football contract to serving jail time for murder. His childhood, his sexuality, his high school and college years and tumultuous road to the NFL is on display in this podcast - allowing listeners to better understand the man behind the headlines.

The life of Aaron Hernandez is explored on the podcast.

Lifestyle listens

  • Second Life by My Domaine: A friend got really excited when she heard I, too, was religiously listening to podcasts and sent this one over as a recommendation. (Thanks, Steph!) I was THRILLED to see an episode featuring Lauren Conrad, my original idol, and quickly listened. From that episode on, I was hooked! Second Life is hosted by Hillary Kerr, co-founder of fashion and lifestyle brand Who What Wear, and explores the stories of women who took a major leap into a new career - starting their Second Life. One of my favorite episodes so far is #32 featuring Amber Lewis, who gets real about her postpartum depression and how she truly paved the way for the career she wanted.

The episode that started it all for me featured Lauren Conrad!

  • Oprah's SuperSoul Conversations by OWN: Honestly... it's Oprah. So, I'm bound to love practically anything she does. Oprah was a staple of my childhood - my mom would record her episodes with VHS tapes any time we weren't going to be home to gather on the 'comfy chair' in the living room and watch. The SuperSoul Conversations are interviews with thought leaders and luminaries, covering everything from the importance of being emotionally full to connecting to the world around you. I would 100%... actually, 1000% recommend listening to Part 1 and Part 2 of the conversation with Anthony Ray Hinton. His book was one of my favorites, ever, not just of 2018.

Lovely listens

  • Committed by HowStuffWorks: I LOVE love. I just adore it. Committed puts a whole perspective on what it really means to be in love and the truth behind the vows that those in relationships pledge to one another. From couples who have literally survived a bombing, to a husband who assists his wife through a life with no short-term memory, Committed does a wonderful job of telling awe-inspiring love stories. This podcast has made me absolutely fall in love with Jo Piazza, who is so honest, empathic and soothing to listen to.

  • Modern Love by NPR: Readings of the New York Times Modern Love column, telling stories that have made me laugh, made me tear up and made me fall in love with the names behind the column. The stories are so absolutely honest... there are stories of deceit, stories of death and stories of happy, healthy love. I've heard plenty of stories through this podcast and have been disappointed by none.