The real world is endlessly interesting. Which is part of the reason that true story podcasts are so great to listen to. These non-fiction podcasts tell stories of experiences from people from all walks of life. Which may make your life look dull.

In true story podcasts, the presenter often speaks from personal experience—whether they lived through or investigated a situation. This means that the stories told often sound unbelievable, which can make them exciting and inspirational.

In this article, we’ve rounded up the best true story podcasts available to listen to right now.

the constant podcast

No-one is perfect. People make mistakes. The Constant is a science and history podcast all about when things go wrong, both in the past and present. It tackles the comedic and the tragic, from small blunders to errors that had catastrophic effects.

Hosted by Mark Chrisler, a playwright who can tell a good story, The Constant is a podcast that will make you feel better about your mistakes.

heavyweight podcast

Heavyweight is about traveling back to a moment when everything changed. Former CBS Radio personality Jonathan Goldstein hosts, and he brings plenty of experience with him as he helps people resolve something from their past. If you’ve ever had a moment you’ve lived to regret, this is one podcast worth checking out.

this is actually happening podcast

This Is Actually Happening tells unbelievable true stories from the average person; the uncanny events that have altered their lives in drastic ways. The stories are sure to stick with you. Like the tale of a son shot by his father or the man who wakes up in the morgue.

The stories are presented without commentary, which gives you a great connection to the person speaking.

terrible thanks for asking podcast

Perhaps one of the most pointless questions to ask someone is, “How are you?” The answer will usually be “fine”. Terrible, Thanks For Asking is the opposite of that.

It’s a podcast where people share their true thoughts and feelings. Some stories are sad, some are uplifting. This is a podcast that shines a real light on the ups and downs of everyday life.

revolutions podcast

History is full of revolutions, from the English Revolution to the Paris Commune to the Spanish American wars of independence. In the aptly named Revolutions podcast, host Mike Duncan takes an incredibly deep dive into these events.

He works through them chronologically and it’s clear that he has real passion and incredible knowledge. You’re bound to learn lots of new and interesting facts while listening to this podcast.

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futility podcast

Produced to “help you waste time as enjoyably as possible,” the Futility Closet podcast features stories across topics including art, philosophy, history, literature, and math.

One of the strengths of Futility Closet is the amount of research that goes into each episode, all cited on its website which also plays hosts to a database of interesting facts.

generation why podcast

In Generation Why, friends Aaron and Justin present theories and share their opinions about various mysteries, including true crime, unsolved murders, and other conspiracies. There’s a huge number of true crime podcasts available, but Generation Why is one of the best, and its longevity is testament to that.

outlook podcast

From the BBC World Service comes this fascinating podcast that tells extraordinary stories from people around the world. The podcast releases daily and some of the past stories include an Australian man who woke up speaking Mandarin, the actor who preferred to die than stop filming, and the portrait artist who is face-blind.

modern love podcast

Modern Love is a podcast based on the New York Times column, where people write about the love, loss, and redemption that they’ve experienced in their life.

What makes this podcast stand out is that it features readings from some superb actors like Kate Winslet and Jake Gyllenhaal, along with follow-up conversations with the people who wrote the columns originally.

outside in podcast

Outside/In is a podcast hosted by Sam Evans-Brown as he investigates and tells stories about the outdoors.

There’s no question that humans are slowly but surely ruining the planet, so many of the episodes talk about our impact on the environment. However, lots of episodes simply explore the wonder of nature, or shine a light on great people like conservationists.

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this is love podcast

If you enjoy the podcast Criminal, you’ll also enjoy This Is Love because it’s made by the same team. While This Is Love applies the same thoughtful approach, this podcast is lighter because it’s all about the experience of love between people, animals, nature, and more.

The stories told are unexpected, like a diver who was saved by an animal or a city in North Italy that stayed quiet to save something dear to them.

the secret room podcast

The best stories are often those kept quiet. In The Secret Room, host Ben Hamm talks to people as they reveal their untold truths. Each episode is well produced and incredibly interesting, diving into secrets like a group who caused a horrific explosion, a woman who catfished for three years, and a student who bluffed their thesis.

dead eyes podcast

Dead Eyes is a podcast about one very specific true story, but it’s so hilarious and weird that it demands your attention.

Actor/comedian Connor Ratliff sets out on a quest to discover why Tom Hanks fired him from a small role in the HBO series Band of Brothers. He ends up talking to the likes of Jon Hamm and Rian Johnson, applying obsessive analysis to a frankly inconsequential event.

this american life podcast

This American Life is one of the most famous podcasts in the world, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth recommending. It’s popular because it combines journalism and storytelling to dive into the stories of everyday Americans. It’s funny, surprising, upsetting, and shocking—that’s life.

the mortified podcast

We all did stupid stuff when we were kids, right? In The Mortified Podcast, they talk to adults who have artifacts (like journals, movies, and art) that reveal embarrassing moments from their childhood.

From a first kiss to the worst job, this is a hilarious podcast that has featured guests like Elijah Wood, Alison Brie, and Bo Burnham.

Listen to Podcasts Telling True Stories

True story podcasts can be addicting and enlightening in equal measure, and these are some of the best. Plus, since they all still release regular episodes, you’ll have something to listen to for many months to come.

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