Bored of the same old podcasts? Curious to learn about new, strange topics? These are the unusual podcasts for you.
If you listen to a lot of podcasts, there comes a point where it feels like you’ve listened to everything there is to listen to — none of the old talk shows, advice shows or true crime shows cut it anymore. But don’t worry, there are so many podcasts out there that there’s plenty to keep you entertained.
Related: ‘Feel-good podcasts for your morning commute’
Here are some of the most unusual podcasts out there that will keep you surprised, intrigued, and sometimes laughing:
We all have big questions in our past, or issues that need resolving — like, what happened to the childhood friend I lost touch with? Why did my mom take me out of basketball training? What did my college friends really think about me? Is this memory of my childhood real?
Most people don’t ever get to know the answers. But with each episode of Heavyweight, one of the most unusual podcasts out there, comedian Jonathan Goldstein takes a person under his wing and helps them solve one of those big mysteries, through an in-depth investigation and a lot of heartfelt — and sometimes awkward — conversations.
While topics can sometimes get heavy, Jonathan’s self-deprecating humor makes everything funny, and the excitement that builds through an episode always pays off very sweetly.
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to work ins some of the world’s darker industries? In Profession Confession, comedian Gabe Noah and Tevin Pittman interview people who work in taboo or morbid industries: escorts, crime scene cleaners, dead baby photographers, morgue workers, bank robbers and prison inmates.
The hosts are outspoken and decidedly not PC, and they’ll make very dark jokes from time to time, drawing from their own past experiences. But that’s all part of bonding over what can sometimes be depressing. The more laughter there is, the deeper the interviews get, as people open up more and more about the details of their work, their personal journeys, and how true society’s stereotypes really are.
Where Should We Begin?
Esther Perel is a famous psychologist and couple’s therapist, and in the unusual podcast Where Should We Begin, you get to listen in on a one-hour couple’s counseling session, where anonymous couples try to overcome challenging situations with her help.
It may seem strange to listen to other people’s problems, but Perel is a captivating host with a good sense of humor, who offers some great tools to work through relationship and personal problems. As a listener, you can learn a lot just from listening — and maybe feel a little bit better once you see how complicated other people’s problems can be in comparison with your own.
Honorable mention: In How’s Work?, Perel helps business partners work through their problems, and it’s surprisingly similar to couple’s therapy. It might help you also get some insight into the way your past affects your work relationships.
Who the Hell is Hamish?
This one is a true crime podcast, but it’s unusual — no murders, no rapes, no big mystery. What Who the Hell is Hamish? has to share is a winding, increasingly complex story about a conman who made millions off of unsuspecting families across Australia and the world.
While this is far from feel-good, it’s absolutely fascinating, as the podcast aims to uncover the true identity and inner thoughts of one of the world’s most unbelievable conmans through the experiences of his victims. It’s not a gory, grizzly crime — but it’s fascinating nonetheless, and the implications are horrifying. And the story is still playing out in real time… so make sure you keep an eye out for updates.
In Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People, comedian Chris Gethard receives an anonymous phone call from someone from around the world, and he isn’t allowed to hang up. After one hour, the call ends on its own, and he and the caller will probably never speak again.
This set-up makes for beautifully open conversations with all sorts of people, from frustrated artists to talkative nurses and cult escapees. Chris listens, laughs, cries and asks questions, and we become aware of just how interesting people can be if we only get a chance to listen.
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