It seems like everyone from your neighbor to your Hinge date has started their own podcast of late—so how do you decide which new podcasts are worth listening to? With our round-up of 2022’s best podcasts and seasons, we made the search a little easier for you. You’ll find just about everything on this list—from true crime podcasts to stories about dating, from political deep dives to laugh-out-loud funny podcasts. When you’re ready to switch up your listening habits, go ahead and add these new 2022 podcasts to your playlist.
Fans of the supernatural and true-crime podcast And That’s Why We Drink are going to love this foray into a different type of spooky topic. Em Schulz and Christine Schiefer dive into another sector of creepy: anything and everything involving the dark arts. From delving into Egypt’s Book of the Dead to uncovering the mysteries of the Ouija board, you’re bound to learn a dark new factoid on the occult in this podcast.
Sounds Like a Cult
When you think about a cult, i.e. a group that is a bit overly obsessed with a specific person, ideology, or thing, cultural phenomena like SoulCycle and Taylor Swift probably don't come to mind. But Sounds Like a Cult will make you rethink your definition. Hosts Isa Medina and Amanda Montell dive into a different zeitgeist-y group every week with the question: This group sounds like a cult, but is it really?
There’s nothing better than spilling piping hot tea with your besties, and that’s the premise of this podcast. Host Kelsey McKinney along with a slew of hilarious guests, discuss the lives of total strangers through listener-submitted (anonymized) gossip. Stories range in subject matter, but they'll all have you thinking: “Wait, this actually happened?” After listening to a single episode, we bet you’ll be hooked on the witty banter and juicy real-life stories.
The next time you feel anxious about a career move, listen to She Pivots to quell your fears. In each episode of She Pivots, host Emily Tisch Sussman sits down with a fascinating woman to discuss their pivot experience and how it led to their new definition of success. Here’s your chance to learn from badass women like Kathy Hochul, New York’s first female governor, and Betty Reid Soskin, the oldest National Park ranger in history. Don’t forget to tune in to Season 2 in March 2023 when Sussman chats with Vice President Kamala Harris.
Slow Burn - Roe v. Wade
This year, the Supreme Court overturned the landmark case Roe v. Wade, pushing women’s rights way back. Slate released their first episode of Slow Burn’s deep dive into the case in June, just weeks after the Supreme Court’s draft decision leaked. In this podcast, you’ll travel back to the early 1970s to learn how the case came about. But the most compelling moments come later in the season when you hear real women’s stories about the case’s impact. This listen is an especially urgent one.
The Trojan Horse Affair
From Serial Productions and The New York Times comes this eight-part twisty true story. The podcast follows Brian Reed and budding journalist Hamza Syed as they dig deeper into one of Britain’s most famous political scandals: the Trojan Horse Affair. In 2013 Birmingham, England, a city councilor received a letter that detailed an elaborate Islamic extremist plot to infiltrate the British school system. In the resulting media frenzy, public panic, and terrorism investigation, Reed and Syed realized nobody was asking the question: Who wrote the Trojan Horse letter? And why?
Host Jonathan Goldstein is back for the seventh season of Gimlet Media’s Heavyweight podcast, and the redemption stories are better than ever. Each week Goldstein unpacks the moment everything changed for the episode’s subject, then tries to right that wrong. Goldstein asks tough questions, and sometimes the stories don’t have the perfect ending, but each episode has a sense of humility you’ll want to keep tuning back into.
With Inventing Anna and The Tinder Swindler taking over our Netflix watchlist this year, it’s safe to say that 2022 is the year of scam. Each week, co-hosts Scaachi Koul and Sarah Hagi unpack the stories of deception from the world’s most notorious “Scamfluencers.” Tales like the fake Saudi prince and the Billionaire Gucci Master will have you hooked.
Dynasty by Vanity Fair
If you’re anything like me and had to fill the gaping hole Netflix’s The Crown left until its season 5 premiere, you tuned in to Vanity Fair’s Dynasty podcast. Hosted by royal expert Katie Nicholl and Vanity Fair staff writer Erin Vanderhoof, the two reveal the royal family’s most unimaginable secrets and scandals. After listening to this podcast, you (hopefully) won’t have to pull up Google every other minute while watching The Crown.
Another gripping podcast brought to you by Slate, One Year dives into the people and events that have shaped our country's history, one year at a time. In the latest season, host Josh Levin explores the significant moments from 1942, aka the most tumultuous year in modern American history. You’ll hear about the year’s massive influx of marriages, the insane inflation rate and the man who tried to stop it, as well as the revolt that changed the music industry.
Paranormal fans are sure to love Ghost Church, the podcast that looks into the rise of American spiritualism. Comedian and podcaster Jamie Loftus takes to the road to explore the history of the movement born out of an infamous dupe and its modern-day believers. Beyond the stories of spiritualist traditions, Loftus speaks with plenty of sensitivity and hits on themes of grief, science, religion, and loneliness.
This is Dating
Thanks to the pandemic, dates over Zoom are now a thing. But the This is Dating podcast takes the whole virtual experience a step further by setting up four singles on a blind date, with the whole world able to tune in. You’ll get all of the awkward small talk and cringy moments of a first date without actually having to go on one. Each episode is a voyeuristic thrill in the best way possible.
In this six-part podcast, journalist Laura Beil, who you may recognize from her Dr. Death podcast, tells the twisted deception put on by a woman with a penchant for sympathy. For 20 years, Sarah Delashmit used a wheelchair, pretended to have a range of illnesses and conditions, and spouted lies of abusive partners and dead children to anyone who would listen. This may be the most elaborate story of Munchausen's syndrome you’ve ever heard.
Will Be Wild
Even over a year after the fact, it’s still crazy to think that a mob of Trump supporters invaded our country’s capital. How did this happen? That’s the question the Will Be Wild podcast hopes to answer in its eight episodes. Hosts Andrea Bernstein and Ilya Marritz interview a range of characters involved in the insurrection, from people who warned officials about the attack to people who actually attended. It’s an urgent, multi-perspective story that reveals just how little we know about the events of January 6, 2021.
Violating Community Guidelines with Brittany Broski and Sarah Schauer
You know how earlier we said it feels like everyone has a podcast? Well, that also applies to influencers, but Brittany Broski and Sarah Schauer are tackling a unique subject matter. In Violating Community Guidelines, the two self-described “internet-hardened succubabes” discuss the deep corners of the internet and social media. From thirst traps to AI influencers on Instagram, Broski and Schauer dissect topics with enough casualness and punchlines that you’ll feel like you’re a part of their hang sesh.
If you don’t know remember who Heidi Fleiss is, aka the Hollywood Madame, then this wild ride of a story is all the better. Host Molly Lambert tells the rise and fall of ‘90s LA girl Fleiss who goes from high school student to the leader of Hollywood’s biggest prostitution ring. It’s a fascinating story on Fleiss’ downfall, but it also dives into our country and, in particular, Hollywood's relationship with sex, money, and powerful women.
Sweet Bobby is the catfishing story you won’t be able to resist binging. The podcast tells the story of a radio presenter named Kirat who was in the midst of a beautiful love story with a handsome cardiologist named Bobby she met on Facebook. Or at least that’s what she thought. Soon, Bobby’s lies and deceptions unravel and Kirat finds herself in the middle of a scam of epic proportions. After unraveling the massive lie, Kirat attempts to connect her life back together, which makes this podcast as emotional as gripping.
Brooke Knappenberger is the Editorial Fellow at Marie Claire, where she writes across the board from fashion and beauty to books and celebrities. As a pop culture junkie, Brooke obsessively consumes and writes about the latest movie releases, streaming TV shows, and celebrity scandals. She has over three years of experience writing on fashion, beauty, and entertainment and her work has appeared on Looper, NickiSwift, The Sun US, and Vox Magazine of Columbia, Missouri. Brooke obtained her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism with an emphasis on Magazine Editing and has a minor in Textile and Apparel Management.
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