Top 5 Storytelling Podcast Episodes
Why I Love Storytelling Podcasts
One of the reasons I love photographing weddings so much is that I feel like I’m a part of such an integral chapter of a person’s life. Imagine reading hundreds of life stories where the only similarity in them is this beyond belief very tall super extraverted wedding photographer in one line of one chapter haha. That’s how I see it. I’m a part of their life story so I really need to make that part I’m involved in the best yet.
Storys are incredibly important and nothing shows that more than the year the Corona Virus Pandemic came about. All of a sudden our lives become devoid of meaning and none of us really had anything of importance to say about our own story.
Telling stories is also the best way of conveying our emotions and our showing others our experiences. It’s a great way to stand in another person’s shoes and feel similar feelings to how they felt.
So when I discovered Storytelling Podcasts I became obsessed, to say the least. A real easy and quick way to digest loads of stories from across the planet. The great thing about the podcast format is no story seems to be unimportant meaning that more get to be immortalised in this beautiful art form.
Once the Pandemic is over I’ve plans to sit with my Nana and record her dictating stories about her life so I can listen to them forever and share them with my children and their children thereafter.
Enjoy this list, it includes 1,000s of hours of listening to find and bring these to your attention. If you have any recommendations yourself then please pass these on, I’d love to hear them.
no.1 | Heavyweight – #32 Vivian
Heavyweight is by far my favourite podcast series and I could honestly fill this whole list with episodes from it. Jonathan Goldstein produces and hosts this incredible series where people reach into their past to put right something which has been bothering them. It usually involves the connection of long lost friends, lovers or acquaintances to talk through a defining chapter in both of their lives.
In 1995, Vivian’s uncle Helio died of AIDS. Now, 25 years later, Vivian’s on a search to find the man who cared for him until his death.
Why I Love It
As a white middle-class man from a loving home, I often struggle to align myself with the struggles of others. I’ve faced trauma in my own life but this trauma is often generalised and that which could affect anyone. I’ll never know what it is like to stand within the shoes of someone who has suffered abuse because of their skin colour or sexual orientation.
I know this story doesn’t automatically make me an authority on the oppression of homosexual males during the AIDS epidemic but I feel it allows me to at least draw back the curtains and take a peek and what I see is heart-wrenching and disconcerting.
All delivered in a masterful way by Jonathan Goldstein direct to your awaiting ears.
Heavyweight – #32 Vivian
Listen to all 37 minutes right now.
no.2 | This American Life – #655 The Not So Great Unknown Act.1
When I first started to listen to podcasts I just had one series which I tuned in for every week. It was a light-hearted film podcast and I didn’t really know what else there was out there. Once I started to explore more I came across This American Life hosted by the industry behemoth Ira Glass. I quickly piled through their back catalogue and have been an avid listener ever since.
Producer David Kestenbaum tells the story of an astronaut who returns with a very unexpected view of the great beyond.
Why I Love It
Growing up obsessed with Star Wars and all manner of other Sci-Fi influences has always made me interested in the great beyond. As I’ve grown older that interested has collided with my existential thoughts and as a result, I’ve discovered the more serious thinking area of sci-fi and the beauty that these converging topics bring.
I was never expecting to like this podcast but just came away incredibly inspired to live in the now.
This American Life – #655 The Not So Great Unknown Act.1
Listen to all 21.5 minutes right now.
no.3 | The Memory Palace – #117 Elizabeth
The Memory Palace is one of the best short-form storytelling podcasts out there crafting incredibly detailed accounts of moments throughout history. Nate Dimeo hosts and produces this carousel of random exciting tales from years gone by.
A mysterious illness plagues a young girl and many others who live out there remaining days in a research hospital.
Why I Love It
Being a fan of the cinema I would often get emotionally involved in a story stretched over 2 hours as my imagination can really run wild but give me just 10 minutes and I thought I may struggle.
Nate DiMeo proves me wrong with this down to the wire tale of a medical battle featuring the trials and tribulations of the fight against new diseases and conditions. Truly remarkable and vastly unknown to myself.
The Memory Palace – #117 Elizabeth
Listen to all 10 minutes right now.
no.4 | This Is Love – #21 Antelope Island
Just like with Gimlet when you find a company which enables others to produce incredible storytelling podcasts then you find it hard not to love everything they put out. Radiotopia is another one of these podcasts companies and at first, I fell in love with Phoebe Judge‘s Criminal but soon moved on to her new series This is Love as I’m a forever romantic at heart.
Now in its 5 season! Phoebe’s “This Is Love” takes a theme then connects it with love and then produces a series upon it with episodic beautifully crafted stories throughout.
When Kayleigh Davis saw Kyler Bourgeous’ profile on a dating app, she liked that he loved the outdoors as much as she did. But what really stood out is that he said he’d survived a bison attack. So, Kayleigh messaged him, and asked to hear the story. And then, something impossible happened.
Why I Love It
When you’ve seen far too many romantic pieces of cinema such as I have and get that special warm feeling from these kinds of stories it’s easy to think Antelope Island is going to go one way and I was incredibly surprised when it didn’t.
This Is Love – #21 Antelope Island
Listen to all 33 minutes right now.
no.5 | Reply All – #102 Long Distance
They bring a dash of technology and their wit to some incredibly interesting stories whilst also keeping their fingers on the pulse of the world and their nation to put people at ease.
A telephone scammer makes a terrible mistake. He calls Alex Goldman.
Why I Love It
This is the podcast episode that just keeps on giving. As I write this I think we’re on the 3rd of 4th sequel to this original story. That’s how good it is!
Alex and PJ don’t really strike the heartstrings as well as the others but they do bring the thrill of an adventure to their podcasts and this is exactly why I love Reply All and this episode just happens to be one of the best because let’s face it, we’ve all had one of those annoying scam calls. Here’s your chance to find out why they do it.
Reply All – #102 Long Distance
Listen to the whole hour right now.
Meet the Author, Adam Lowndes
a Wedding Photographer & Public Speaker
I could say my life exists to eat pizza, listen to music and watch films but I’d be lying. People are my life. I can’t physically spend enough time with my fiancée, dog, friends and family. It wasn’t always this way though. Several life-threatening diagnoses to loved ones and extended periods spent working from bedsides in hospitals has taught me even the most normal day is a blessing.
I love stories and storytelling so if you want to chat about a wedding or an event then please feel free to get in touch. I’d seriously love to hear from you.