Saturday, December 2, 2023
HomeEntertainment10 Podcasts That Spill Juicy, Scandalous Secrets

10 Podcasts That Spill Juicy, Scandalous Secrets

Image: Tales of Taboo podcast logo

A podcast studio can be a confession booth. A host or a guest, especially an anonymous guest, is free to share their darkest secrets in safety—never mind that they will soon be released for all to hear. Listening to these stories is often more than indulging on some juicy content, though—a naked confessional can also serve as a way to make us feel less alone. Whatever secret you have, whatever weird thing you do, there’s probably somebody else out there having the same experience.

These 10 shows open us up to those souls simpatico, so that for an hour or less, you can walk in someone else’s shoes, hear an incredible story you’d never have dreamed up yourself, and gain a little more empathy for the people in your life—and the people you’ve never met.

The Secret Room

Image: Podcast logo

On The Secret Room, anonymous people sit down with Ben Hamm to tell him a shocking story from their lives. Drug dealers, life-long liars, lawbreakers, people with unusual proclivities (like being attracted to objects, not people), victims of cheaters, and criminals—all of them spill their guts to Ben, your calm, non-judgmental guide, there to help them (and you) navigate the grisly details that unfold. These stories seem impossible to tell, but Ben makes their sharers feel safe—you’ll be dying to google them, but you can’t; everyone remains wholly anonymous. Ben shares photos on The Secret Room’s Instagram account, but all incriminating details are scratched out, which will only intrigue you more.

This Is Actually Happening

Image: Podcast logo

What if you fell in love with a vampire? What if a false allegation stole what you valued most? What if you woke up and couldn’t move? What would you do? On This Is Actually Happening, Whit Missildine gives the mic to people who have experienced the most unbelievable events and lets them share every dishy detail. It’s not a conversation; the show is edited so it sounds like you’re sitting at a bar next to a friend who’s had enough drinks to confess everything—and these stories will have you on the edge of your proverbial bar stool.

Tales of Taboo

Image: Podcast logo

Ring ring…who is it? It’s Tales of Taboo, the podcast that lets people leave an anonymous voicemail with their most scandalous stories, everyone from escorts, to addicts, to people who have been nannies for the rich and famous. (Those stories are somehow wilder than the ones told by drug dealers.) Native New York performer and writer Ali Weis is your emcee for these tell-all mixtapes, and she seems to be drawing from an endless arsenal of stories, each wilder than the last. There are no duds; you could binge these babies forever. They’re assembled into themes, so dip into a subject that interests you—porn stars, Soul Cycle devotees, sorority sisters gone wild—and sit back to leave room for your jaw to hit the floor.

The Secrets Hotline

Image: Podcast logo

Nick van der Kolk started The Secrets Hotline as a segment on his podcast Love and Radio; it was such a hit he spun it into its own feed. The podcast is a place for people to leave anonymous messages about addiction, masturbation, tricky childhoods, salacious mom snafus, and other scenarios you can’t even imagine. Like many of these spilled secrets, these voicemails are voyeuristic and affirming—whatever dark truth you’re harboring, you are not alone. The weird thing about you is not all that weird, after all.

What Was That Like

Image: Podcast logo

On What Was That Like, Scott Johnson collects stories that will make you go “daaaamn…” Stories of plane crashes, terrorist attacks, hoarding, and being a victim of human trafficking are just the start. These aren’t the little secrets you’re a slightly ashamed to reveal, these are amazing stories of survival, each of which deserves its own Dateline episode. Scott does a great job of not just getting the storytellers to spill the details, but helping listeners understand what actually goes through your mind during and after, say, being struck by lightning or buried in an avalanche. Listen, and be grateful that you’re safe and sound, protected by your headphones.

Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People

Image: Podcast logo

Comedian (and super nice guy) Chris Gethard will call up a random person, set a timer, and talk to them for one hour on the dot about whatever they want: thus is created another episode of Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People. You don’t always get a juicy tale, but you often do. Chris lets his guests take him to places of sadness and fear, sharing moments of regret, loss, adventure, and happiness. The guest is the conversation leader, and Chris listens with empathy and patience. He doesn’t rush. Whatever happens in that hour turns into a piece of conversational art. His comedy gives a shine to all of his guests, proving that we are all interesting, we can be great storytellers, and we all have something to get off our chests.

Family Secrets

Image: Podcast logo

When Dani Shapiro was an adult, she signed up for a genealogy website and discovered her beloved deceased father was not her biological parent. That sparked her to write her memoir Inheritance, which in turn led to her launch of the wildly popular podcast Family Secrets. On this show, writers come on to talk about the secrets they’ve kept from others, and the secrets they’ve kept from themselves. Because the guests usually have written memoirs of their own about these life-changing events, they are master storytellers in their own right, able to pick out the most delicate and piercing moments and put them into beautiful words. At this point, Dani is like a confession-whisperer. She knows what it’s like to have a family secret, and is able to draw them from everyone she talks to with that special understanding.

Something Was Wrong

Image: Podcast logo

Tiffany Reese is the host of the Iris Award-winning Something Was Wrong, an immersive storytelling docuseries that gives voice to people who need to talk their way through their trauma and recovery from shocking life events and abusive relationships. Tiffany isn’t there to gawk; she helps listeners identify dangerous patterns of abusive behavior, and helps those of us who haven’t experienced it understand what it’s like to be worn down by a narcissist, or butt heads with a controlling or violent significant other. Each detailed episode is packed with research and insight into real people’s lives and their hard-won battles against their abusers. The reviews of this podcast are mixed, and I think that’s because for some, these stories are too much. This podcast is a warning. But if you’ve experienced abuse, Something Was Wrong can be more than a podcast for you. It can be a community that will make you feel less alone.

The Juice

Image: Podcast logo

Comedian Solomon Georgio hosts The Juice, a rollicking, gossipy interview series with other funny people. In the vein of Normal Gossip, these stories aren’t about celebrities, and they aren’t always the ones that are worthy of their own documentary—they’re the ordinary dishy tales about friendship drama, shenanigans at the workplace, and the secret things happening in our small towns. Solomon’s guests share secrets from their own lives, and let listeners call in to share the kind of scandalous stories that pass through your own community—maybe about your friend’s mom’s aunt’s boss. Solomon and the guest rate each story based on juiciness. Solomon is hilarious and his interviews stand alone as comedy gold, but the caller confessions are what make this show sing.

The Apology Line

Image: Podcast logo

For 15 years, a number in Manhattan let people leave messages with their anonymous apologies. A man known as “Mr. Apology” was at the end of the line, taking in all the secrets. The Apology Line is the story of how his creation consumed him, as he fielded thousands of calls about everything from shoplifting to murder. This isn’t about the apologies as much as it is about Mr. Apology, and his ultimate decision to act on what he was hearing—a decision that put him in danger. Hosted by Marissa Bridge, who knew Mr. Apology, this podcast is a story of lies and obsession, and what can happen to one person who knows too much.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Most Popular

Recent Comments