Over the past few years, podcasts have become as much a part of our entertainment habits as watching TV, reading books, or listening to music. Every day, more talented people with stories to tell are getting into the game, and while the result is an industry that’s always fresh and flourishing, it can be hard to keep up with the ever-growing list of worthy pods. We’ve highlighted some of our favorites in our weekly entertainment planners, but here are a few other new podcasts we’re already loving or looking forward to in 2018 — from true crime to self care to pop culture and beyond — to help you find your next listening obsession.
1. Forever 35: We’ve shouted out this self-care podcast in the past, but since its January launch, Forever 35 has expanded to include weekly mini-episodes, a mailing list that occasionally gives stuff away, and a call-in line for listeners. Plus, the super-active Facebook community has only gotten more lively — and if you’re like us and you’ve noticed that the best beauty and wellness convos happen unassumingly on your friends’ Facebook walls, you’ll be just as into it as we are. While hosts Kate Spencer and Doree Shafrir, as well as their guests, stick pretty close to the pod’s theme — just being friends who love to talk about serums — they cover just about everything that they and their guests do to take care of themselves, whether it’s a good moisturizer, meal planning, home organization, or ways to reduce road rage. Make this one part of your weekly decompression time. (Photo via Forever 35)
2. Night Call: Hosts Molly Lambert, Emily Yoshida, and Tess Lynch originally brought their whip-smart takes on all-things pop culture to the now-defunct Grantland‘s Girls in Hoodies podcast. The Night Call ladies cover everything from movies to weird news to internet culture — and lots of conspiracy theories in between. There are no slick transitions, but they manage to make it sound seamless anyway. If you’re an entertainment enthusiast with a soft spot for incisive hot takes and jokes, subscribe immediately. (Photo via Night Call)
3. This Is Love: The women behind the popular true-crime podcast Criminal recently launched This Is Love, a collection of stories described as “an investigation into life’s most persistent memory.” There are six episodes, which so far have featured the stories of two men who kept their love private for 40 years, a teenage girl’s fixation on saving a whale, a romance author’s perseverance, and more. Each one of them is an unconventional look at unordinary love, and is guaranteed to make you ugly sob — not unlike that *other* show with This Is in the title that we love so much. (Photo via This Is Love)
4. Missing and Murdered: Finding Cleo: This is actually the second season of the Missing and Murdered podcast, which covers the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, and it’s one of the most profound stories we’ve heard in a while. Season 2 focuses on Cleo, a young Cree girl from the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, who was taken by child welfare workers in the ’70s and adopted by a family in the US, only to turn up dead years later. As her biological siblings look for answers, the tragedy and magnitude of the story — which is not relegated to just Cleo — unfolds, all while maintaining the family’s voice and perspective. An emotional and, importantly, informative must-listen. (Photo via CBC)
5. Endless Thread: Fascinated by the vast world of Reddit, but also a little intimidated by it? This new podcast curates some of the “front page of the internet’s” funniest, spookiest, saddest, and most fascinating threads, so you don’t have to go digging if you don’t want to. It’s produced with WBUR, an NPR affiliate, so you know it’ll be an A+ listen. (Photo via Endless Thread)
6. Binge Mode: Harry Potter: After an obsessive year of episode-by-episode Game of Thrones breakdowns, The Ringer‘s Binge Mode team is set to return with a new season based on J.K. Rowling’s beloved Harry Potter books. The exact release date hasn’t been announced just yet, but in the meantime, hosts Mallory Rubin and Jason Concepcion are changing it up with weekly deep-dives into whatever they’re most obsessed with at the moment — including, recently, the first Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald trailer.
7. Late Night Whenever With Michelle Buteau: The producers of the hit podcasts 2 Dope Queens, Sooo Many White Guys, and Nancy are reimagining the late-night talk show in a podcast format. Hosted by comedian Michelle Buteau (who recently guest starred on 2 Dope Girls‘ HBO special) and complete with celebrity guests, live music, and stand-up bits, Late Night Whenever is even recorded with a live audience, and will be well worth checking out. It launched via WNYC Studios on Tuesday, April 3, and you can watch the trailer now.
8. The Happy Face Serial Killer: Based on the best-selling books Shattered Silence and Whole, your next true-crime podcast obsession will tell the story of serial killer Keith Hunter Jesperson — from the perspective of his daughter, Melissa Moore. The Happy Face Serial Killer will be produced by HowStuffWorks, the same studio that brought you Atlanta Monster, so you know it’ll be binge-worthy. According to Vulture, the release date is still TBD, but is expected this spring.
9. Secrets: Everyone has secrets, and the latest season from Radiotopia’s Showcase series delves into the complexities of why people lie, how it affects our lives, and the power of setting the truth free. It’s a powerful and often relatable listen — even when the stories feel more like a movie script than real life — and a good reminder of the fact that you truly never know what a person is going through.
Have a favorite podcast we should know about? Let us know @BritandCo!
(promo photo via Getty Images)