In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the best podcasts from Wondery, a massive and popular podcast network and publisher, now owned by Amazon after a 2020 acquisition. With a vast range of podcasts on different topics, Wondery has something for everyone. From true crime to politics, from entertainment to business, and much more, Wondery’s podcasts have captivated millions of listeners worldwide.
We’ll explore what makes each podcast unique and why it’s worth a listen. Whether you’re a seasoned podcast listener or new to the medium, there’s something for everyone on this list. I’ve scoured and listened to almost every one of Wondery’s vast library of podcasts to bring you what I think are the best of the best. Without further delay, here are some of the top Wondery podcasts for you to get into.
Note that these podcasts are ordered by category, and some podcasts are now available only on Wondery+, Wondery’s paid podcast subscription.
In the world of business, it can often feel like a battle. Whether it’s the competition between Netflix and HBO, or Nike and Adidas, the prize is often your wallet or your attention. Sometimes, it’s simply the thrill of outdoing the other guy. But the outcome of these clashes ultimately shapes what we purchase and how we live our lives.
WeWork – With a valuation of $47 billion dollars and an IPO on the horizon, the CEO of WeWork, Adam Neumann, was full of charisma and believed he could change the world. Adam and his wife Rebekah had a vision that seemed prophetic, but did it align with the reality of the company? This podcast was the inspiration for the Apple TV+ show WeCrashed, starring Jared Leto and Anne Hathaway.
How I Built This
In his podcast, How I Built This, Guy Raz shares candid conversations with some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world. The show delves into the stories of these founders and how they built their iconic brands from scratch. Through these interviews, listeners can learn about the struggles and failures that come with entrepreneurship, as well as the creativity, leadership, and innovation required to succeed in the business world.
What sets successful companies apart from the rest? Is there a secret recipe for their success that we can learn from? Join Samuel Donner and John Frye, the co-hosts of this podcast, as they take you on a journey behind the scenes of the most innovative leaders, trailblazing companies, and thriving cultures. You’ll discover what these successful companies have done to reach the top of their game.
Spellcaster: The Fall of Sam Bankman-Fried
When Sam Bankman-Fried, a nerdy gamer, became the world’s richest 29-year-old, he promised to donate his billions to charitable causes. However, things took a turn for the worse when his crypto exchange FTX crumbled, leaving billions of dollars unaccounted for, and Sam was arrested. Those who knew him were left to wonder about the true nature of Sam.
American History Tellers
The Cold War, Prohibition, the Gold Rush, and the Space Race are just a few examples of historical events that have shaped our lives in ways we may not even realize. But how much do we really know about the stories that made America what it is today? Explore the events, times, and people that have influenced America, and discover how that history has impacted American lives.
Tides of History
The echoes of the past can be heard in every aspect of our lives. They shape the borders of nations, the way we worship and engage in conflicts, our financial transactions, and our professional lives. They also determine the language we speak and how we bring up our children.
The Fall of Rome Podcast
Putting aside for a moment the recent and hilarious meme of men thinking about the Roman Empire way more often than their girlfriends or wives, this Wondery podcast is an amazing journey into the fall of the Roman Empire. The decline of the Roman Empire has been a topic of study for many years. However, recent advancements in genetics, climate science, forensic science, network models, and globalization studies have brought new perspectives and reshaped our understanding of one of the most significant events in human history.
The History Chicks
The History Chicks is a podcast hosted by Beckett Graham and Susan Vollenweider, which explores the lives and achievements of fascinating women from history. Each episode focuses on a different woman, ranging from famous figures like Queen Elizabeth I and Coco Chanel to lesser-known but equally remarkable women like Ada Lovelace and Annie Oakley.
The year was 1865, and the nation was in a state of chaos after the untimely death of President Lincoln. In this trying time, Secretary of War Edwin Stanton took charge, determined to bring justice to the assassin responsible for the President’s death. But Stanton’s concerns went beyond just capturing John Wilkes Booth.
When we visit our doctors, we are at our most vulnerable. We put our trust in the medical professionals, the hospital, and the healthcare system. Dr. Christopher Duntsch was a highly confident neurosurgeon who claimed to be the best in Dallas. He promised to alleviate back pain through spine surgery after other treatments failed. However, his patients soon started experiencing complications, and the system failed to protect them.
Man in The Window: The Golden State Killer
Paige St. John, an investigative reporter who won the Pulitzer Prize, has brought to light new information about the man who later became one of California’s most prolific serial killers, in the podcast Man in the Window.
Maria Butina, a charismatic Russian woman, sets out on a mission to foster better relations between the United States and Russia. As she makes some influential friends in the country, her true motives become questionable, and the FBI takes notice. In the politically charged world of US-Russia relations, secrets abound, and nothing is as it appears to be.
The Vanished Podcast
The Vanished examines the stories of individuals who have gone missing. This true crime podcast goes beyond traditional news reports to provide an in-depth look into the disappearance of a different person every week. Hosted by Marissa Jones, The Vanished features exclusive interviews with experts, law enforcement, family members, and friends of the missing person.
The Generation Why Podcast
The first episode of The Generation Why Podcast was released in 2012 and it became one of the pioneers of the true crime genre in the world of podcasting. The hosts, Aaron and Justin, discuss unsolved murders, controversies, mysteries, and conspiracies, presenting theories and sharing their opinions on each topic.
This is Actually Happening
Imagine being ensnared by a mysterious cult, facing the fury of a grizzly bear, or surviving 27 knife wounds from a relentless killer. What would be your next move? “This is Actually Happening” delivers gripping true tales of transformative moments, narrated by those who experienced them firsthand.
The Apology Line
Have you ever thought about what you would apologize for if you could call a number and confess your mistakes anonymously? For fifteen years, a phone line existed in Manhattan that allowed people to do just that. The line was run by a man who became known as “Mr. Apology,” and as the number of callers grew, so did his involvement in their confessions. From minor offences like shoplifting to serious crimes like murder, Mr. Apology couldn’t just listen. He felt compelled to take action, even if it meant putting everything at risk.
Guru: The Dark Side of Enlightenment
Seasons 2-6 of this podcast only available on Wondery+
When we encounter difficulties in life, we often turn to those whom we believe are capable of assisting us. But what should we do when a tragedy hits an exclusive retreat run by a self-help guru, and we are left wondering where to draw the line? James Arthur Ray was a celebrated self-help coach, endorsed by Oprah, who had amassed wealth, fame, and power. However, the unconventional techniques he employed raised concerns among his followers’ loved ones, who tried their best to intervene.
Persona: The French Deception
This is the story of Gilbert Chikli, one of the greatest con artists of all time. Evan Ratliff investigates how Chikli duped some of the world’s most powerful people into handing over their fortunes. This show is about the golden age of scammers and the power of seduction.
SOCIETY & CULTURE
It’s hard to truly know someone, especially when it comes to online interactions. In today’s world, influence can quickly lead to money and fame, but it can also result in ruin. The world has seen many Scamfluencers with insidious intentions. Co-hosts Scaachi Koul and Sarah Hagi delve into epic tales of deception from various fields, such as social media, fashion, finance, health, and wellness.
Against the Odds
Against the Odds is an immersive Wondery series that shares thrilling stories of human resilience and survival, including the daring rescue of a soccer team trapped in an underwater cave in Thailand and a woman taken hostage by Somali pirates. Host-adventurers Mike Corey and Cassie De Pecol bring these stories to life, making you feel as though you’re living these experiences with the heroes as they push themselves to their limits.
Even the Rich
If you feel like taking a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life, Wondery’s Even the Rich might be just what you need. Hosts Brooke Siffrinn and Aricia Skidmore-Williams as they delve into the intriguing stories of some of the world’s most prominent family dynasties, ranging from the Murdochs to the Royals to the Carters (that’s Jay-Z and Beyoncé, by the way).
Upon hearing rumours of people experiencing severe side effects from a popular diet, Emily Gellis takes action. With the support of her extensive Instagram following, Emily initiated a social media campaign to uncover F-Factor and its founder, Tanya Zuckerbrot. What ensues is a battle that draws the attention of trolls, lawyers, and eventually, the national media – all due to fibre.
Episodes 2-7 of this podcast only available on Wondery+
Jeff and Shaleia believe in the concept of ‘Twin Flames’ – finding your perfect partner who is designed for no one else. But the path to finding your Twin Flame is not easy. Some followers claim they were encouraged to cut ties with friends and family and to claim their Twin Flame by any means necessary.
In the 1990s, when 1-900 numbers were all the rage, a single company dominated the phone sex industry. American Telnet, established by a man who dubbed himself “The Telephone Pimp,” operated on a scale reminiscent of giants like General Motors. He amassed significant wealth from this venture. However, for the predominantly female workforce handling calls around the clock, the experience wasn’t as glamorous.
Diss and Tell
It’s intriguing how celebrities nowadays use savage subtweets, scathing diss tracks, and tell-all memoirs to battle each other on social media. We can’t help but be captivated by their feuds. It’s fascinating how public figures utilize the various tools available to them to emerge victorious. Why do we have a hard time looking away from these public displays of discord?
The world we live in today has been transformed by science and technology, from DNA science to artificial intelligence, smartphones, and 3D printers. But this progress didn’t happen by chance, although sometimes it did. It was the result of hard work, collaboration, and competition, as well as some incredibly surprising moments.
Sean Carroll’s Mindscape
Join Sean Carroll each week as he talks with the world’s most interesting thinkers in science, philosophy, culture, and more. Learn about how music affects your brain, quantum mechanics, emotional reactions to movies, video game design, and other big ideas.
Ever wondered how it feels to be in the shoes of a world-famous person before they became famous? Have you ever imagined living the life of someone you admire or despise? Imagined Life is a podcast that will take you on an immersive journey of a famous personality’s life. Each episode will provide you with clues to their identity along the way, but the big reveal only happens in the final moments.
Seasons 2-10 of this podcast only available on Wondery+
This fictional podcast is about Ava Richards, a scholarship student who transfers to Bishop Gray, one of the most elite and competitive boarding schools in America. She finds herself in an underground society known as The Night of the Wolf, which caters to the school’s wealthiest students. Ava navigates a dangerous and alluring world where friendships will be tested, romances will bloom, and ambitions cut short.
Wondery’s sports show has won awards for its exceptional storytelling in the world of sports. Twice a week, on Wednesdays and Fridays, the show’s co-hosts, Tiffany Oshinsky and Anders Kelto, delve deep into the most significant and captivating sports stories of the day. They bring you the latest news, insights, and perspectives from the reporters who cover these stories up close.
Life is Short with Justin Long
In every episode, host and actor Justin Long gets personal with all kinds of individuals, ranging from actors to musicians to deep thinkers who fascinate him.
Bad Dates with Jameela Jamil
We’ve all been there. We’ve all experienced a disastrous date that we can’t forget. Now, it’s time to chuckle at those awkward moments on BAD DATES, an uproarious new comedy podcast hosted by the witty Jameela Jamil. Every episode features Jameela and her guests, including top comedians, celebrities, and amusing friends, sharing their hilarious and genuine dating nightmares and mishaps.
The podcast “SmartLess,” hosted by Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes, & Will Arnett, brings together people from diverse backgrounds to discuss shared experiences in an entertaining and insightful way. The show has a unique twist – in each episode, one host surprises the other two with a mystery guest. What follows is an unscripted and genuine conversation that is both funny and thought-provoking.
The Big Flop
“The Big Flop” unpacks all-time epic fails from Quibi to Crystal Pepsi. Host Misha Brown, along with hilarious guests, dissects the most deliciously disastrous flops in recent history. Discover what happens when massive hype turns into a major fiasco and ask the age-old question, “Who thought THIS was a good idea?”
I Love My Kid, But…
This space offers a retreat for parents seeking respite from the challenges of raising children. The saying that having kids is simultaneously the most fulfilling and the most demanding task one can undertake has become a cliche. Furthermore, the task never truly ends as the child progresses through different stages of development, from infancy to adolescence and beyond.
Dying For Sex
When Molly receives a stage IV breast cancer diagnosis, she takes a courageous step: she exits her strained marriage and dives into a whirlwind of intimate escapades to reclaim her zest for life. She confides the most humorous and heartfelt moments to her dear friend, Nikki Boyer. As their conversations deepen, it becomes evident that Molly is not only battling cancer but also confronting unresolved traumas from her past.
For ages, people from various walks of lif, such as generals, politicians, athletes, coaches, writers, and leaders, have sought guidance from the teachings of Stoicism. Ryan Holiday, the author and speaker, shares a daily lesson inspired by the ideas and writings of renowned Stoic thinkers like Marcus Aurelius and Seneca the Younger.
What Should I Read Next?
Have you ever finished a book and then faced the dilemma of not knowing which book to read next? Fear not, as “What Should I Read Next?” is the perfect show for every reader out there! Hosted by Anne Bogel, a blogger from Modern Mrs. Darcy, the podcast invites a reader each week to talk about their favourite books, the ones they didn’t enjoy, and the books they are currently reading.
Do you know of another Wondery podcast that you think should be on this list? Let me know.