I am a pretty dedicated podcast listener, and mostly I listen in the car and when doing chores around the house—just pop in the earbuds and stack that firewood, baby!

BJ Knapp author of Beside the Music enjoyed the Serial Podcast

I started off listening to Serial years ago, and was obsessed with the fate of Adnan Sayed. And from there I branched out. I have several in my rotation, and I started them all from the beginning and listen to 2 episodes at a time so I won’t get burnt out on a single topic.

Here’s a list of my faves! I hope you find something cool that you haven’t heard before.


After listening to Serial, I discovered that the Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC) has some very well researched and nicely produced podcasts.

BJ Knapp author of Beside the Music enjoyed the Someone Knows Something podcast

Someone Knows Something is a podcast in which host David Rigeon taps into a cold case and then goes back to re-interview all the people who were involved at the time. He’s bringing a forgotten case back into the limelight with the hope that someone somewhere hears it and may have new information to bring to light. The cases do seem rather hopeless—the first one was a 4 or 5 year old boy who went missing on a camping trip with his family back in the 70s. They were fishing, he was there and then he wasn’t. Then they brought out a few other cold cases as well. What’s interesting about this one is that they talk about any investigative techniques that they are trying now, so it’s cool to learn about that.

BJ Knapp author of Beside the Music enjoys the Uncover podcast

The CBC also puts out Uncover. The first season was about the NXIVM cult. And hello! Cults! I’m in. The host was friends with Sarah Edmondson, a prominent recruiter for the cult, when they were children. They ran into each other and did the whole what-have-you-been-up-to thing. And she said “Well, I just left a cult….” And then he did a season of Uncover where he interviewed her and learned all about what it was like to be in the cult and then to get out of it. Uncover has done many other seasons about different topics—like the serial killer who has been killing gay men in Toronto, tracking and catching the biggest purveyor of child porn on the dark web, etc. A fantastic and informative pod.

From these podcasts I learned about a few single season podcasts also produced by the CBC.

BJ Knapp author of Beside the Music enjoyed The Outlaw Ocean podcast

The Outlaw Ocean was all about the illegal things that happen on the world’s oceans that nobody knows about and we can’t seem to litigate because they’re happening in international waters. As someone who spends a lot of time on the ocean this one was beyond fascinating.



BJ Knapp author of Beside the Music enjoyed the Run Hide Repeat podcast

Another single season one I loved was Run Hide Repeat by Paula Dakin. Her entire childhood was spent living in hiding. She, her mother and her brother were friends with a minister who helped them hide from her father who was connected to organized crime. She recalls having to flee a house to somewhere safer in the middle of the night, the time her mother threw out all the food in the house for fear it had all been poisoned. I read the memoir as well, and it was truly an insane story and I am amazed that this woman came out of it being as functional as she is, because it was so messed up.

And now, some lighter podcasts. I can’t listen to crime and crazy all the time. Here are my favorite pop culture podcasts:

BJ Knapp author of Beside the Music enjoys the Disgraceland podcast

Disgraceland is about famous musicians and scandalous or even illegal things they’ve done. I will admit I don’t listen to the “after party” episodes where the host and his friend talks about the story they did about someone famous. But being a rock history junkie, I find this one fascinating.



BJ Knapp author of Beside the Music enjoys the Badlands podcast

The sister pod to Disgraceland is Badlands. It’s the same exact format as Disgraceland, but it’s about Hollywood stars or sports figures that have done something scandalous or illegal. I will admit I skip the ones about sports figures as I am not so interested in professional athletes. But the ones about actors are super interesting.


BJ Knapp author of Beside the Music enjoys the About a Girl Podcast

Another one also produced by Double Elvis is About a Girl. I love this one! This one is about the women behind famous musicians—like David Bowie’s first wife and people like that. It’s more about who the woman is, or was, and how she met the guy and how influential she was in his career. Like David Bowie’s first wife was the one who inspired David Bowie to do his whole Ziggy Stardust persona. Very interesting. And the end is always “But this isn’t a story about him. This is About a Girl…”

BJ Knapp author of Beside the Music enjoyed the Scamwow podcast

One day driving along I learned about the ScamWow podcast. I think the hosts may have retired from doing it, but the first few seasons were very funny. It’s two comediennes who make fun of scams that are currently happening. I wrote in to the show twice to talk about scams I’ve been almost involved in, and both times my letters got read on the air.


BJ Knapp author of Beside the Music enjoys the Scam Goddess podcast

The big sister to ScamWow is the Scam Goddess. I saw the host, Laci Mosley, hosting a show called The Con. This show talked about con artists and she was the host of that show. She make some funny cracks on the show and I could tell she was restrained. I am listening to Scam Goddess from the beginning and it is funny. On each episode she has a guest, usually another comedian, who talk about the a specific scam for the episode. I will say the episodes do run long, as she gets overly chatty with the guests, but they are incredibly entertaining.

BJ Knapp author of Beside the Music enjoys the Sounds Like a Cult podcast

Sounds Like a Cult is hosted by two women, one is a standup comedian and the other a linguist, who take things that are common in our culture and discusses whether or not they are a cult—like SoulCycle, Cross Fit, Taylor Swift’s fanbase, Trader Joe’s, The Peace Corps, etc. It’s funny and makes you view things that are normal in every day life in a different way.


BJ Knapp author of Beside the Music enjoys The Dream podcast

If you’re on social media, inevitably you have someone you’re friends with invite you to buy something that they’re selling—whether it’s makeup, vitamins, workout programs, leggings, etc. Chances are you’ve even been to a “party” where someone was selling something. I’ve been to one where they were selling “non-toxic” personal care items and cleaning products. The idea is that at the party you feel guilty and buy something. The Dream is a podcast about the multi level marketing industry, which is a cult in itself. In the first season the host follows a woman on her investigative team who joins up with a multi level marketing company that sells makeup and tries to make a go of it—like so many of your friends on social media. She talks about how there are monthly sales goals she had to reach, she had to buy things every month to make up the difference if she doesn’t make the goals, and she had to buy demo kits she could do makeovers on different people. She had to have so many different palettes on hand for the different skin tones of her customers. It is a very interesting look into what it’s really like to try to make a multi level marketing thing work.

Do you remember Elaine from Seinfeld? Her real name is Julia Louis-Dreyfus and she’s been in a ton of things other than Seinfeld, like her lead role in Veep, for example. I am in love with her podcast and I cannot wait for the next season. Her podcast is called Wiser Than Me. In it she interviews famous women who are in their 70s, 80s and 90s to get their take on life and their advice. In season 1 she interviewed Jane Fonda, Carol Burnett, Rhea Perlman to name a few. It is an incredibly inspiring podcast and I think it’s one that women of all ages should listen to.

If there are any podcasts you think I should check out please hit me up on X: @bjknappwrites, Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bjknappauthor or Instagram


BJ Knapp is the author of Beside the Music, available for purchase here. Please sign up for the Backstage with BJ Knapp mailing list to get updates on events, signings, dog pictures and so much more.