Now that fall is upon us, we're about to be spending a lot more time curled up under piles of blankets watching psychological thrillers, reading noteworthy novels, and listening to addictive podcasts. Luckily for podcasts fans, you have plenty to look forward to this autumn.
We've rounded up our favorite podcasts that are perfect for lazy Sundays or nightcaps. From a thrilling podcast that tells the story of the largest unsolved art heist in history to the return of Serial (with a new host), these are our top contenders for the best fall podcasts to binge this season.
Released in 2018 from Wondery, the network behind the hit podcast Dirty John, Dr. Death delves into the unbelievable true story of an unqualified spinal surgeon who brazenly broke the doctor's "do no harm" creed with deadly consequences. The riveting true-crime pod has a solid five-star rating from its thousands of fans.
The Secret History of the Future
"Change your perception of the past and you'll discover the secret history of the future" is the lofty preview of a podcast from Slate and The Economist. Episodes dive into dense topics such as artificial intelligence, cyber attacks, and virtual reality in a way the even the non-tech savvy can enjoy.
Uncover: Escaping NXIVM
If you watched and loved HBO's The Vow, you're in for a treat with Uncover: Escaping NXIVM. A former recruiter for the cult NXIVM shares the story of how she finally escaped the group. Complete with insider knowledge of the "humanitarian community," Uncover: Escaping NXIVM is a must-listen podcast for all true crime fans.
This podcast discusses numerous cases of sexual abuse, which may be triggering for some listeners. If you can't stomach content detailing sexual abuse, consider skipping this one.
Ear Hustle, the podcast produced from inside San Quentin State Prison, is one of the most educational podcasts you'll listen to: It provides honest, funny, nuanced stories from people living within America's prison system.
From the Boston public radio station WBUR and The Boston Globe, Last Seen examines the biggest unsolved art heist in history: the theft of 13 paintings, including works by Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Manet, from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston in 1990. It's like all of the Oceans movies in podcast form, only better because this heist actually happened.
Serial Season Four
Arguably the most anticipated podcast premiere of the year, Serial season four will take listeners back to school. This season, reporter Chana Joffe-Walt is examining inequality in education. She asks the question: Why are black- and brown-majority public schools not benefitting from decades worth of education reform the way white-majority schools are?
The Dream Season Two
In each episode of The Dream's second season, Jane Marie, a Peabody- and Emmy award-winning journalist, focuses on the mystery of pyramid selling when it comes to wellness. The podcast seeks to answer the questions, "What is wellness? Who sells it? And will it bring you eternal happiness…and, perhaps, eternal life?" We're downloading this one for sure.
Kaitlin Prest, the host and creator of Radiotopia's hit podcast The Heart, presents The Shadows, a fictional podcast about a romantic relationship loosely based on her own life. To give you a hint: It's about a struggling artist who chases the kind of passionate love she sees in Hollywood flicks. Aren't we all?