As we celebrate another remarkable year in the podcasting space, we’ve come to one of our favorite posts of the year…our countdown of the best podcasts of 2023. And 2023 delivered in terms of outstanding audio!
From shocking true crime narratives to heartwarming conversations, and fantastic fiction to insightful discussions, this year’s list has something for everyone! Join us as we take a look back at the exceptional audio content that has captivated our ears this year, as we raise a toast to the power of storytelling and the dynamic voices that have made 2023 an outstanding year for podcasts.
Now, let’s not wait any longer…come with us as we check out the top podcasts of 2023!
*NOTE: The following podcasts are in no particular order.
We Edit Podcasts Best Podcasts of 2023
First up on this 2023 countdown of the best podcasts of 2023 is Scamanda. And if there was a prize for the most shocking listen of 2023, Scamanda would be it.
Scamanda takes listeners on a rollercoaster ride through the intriguing world of scams, cons, and white-collar crime. Hosted by investigative journalist Amanda Hart, the podcast unravels the most notorious scams of the year, delving into the minds of the masterminds behind them. With meticulous research and gripping storytelling, “Scamanda” provides a captivating blend of true crime and investigative journalism that keeps audiences on the edge of their seats.
2. The Trial of Lucy Letby
Number 2 of our best podcasts of 2023 was The Trial of Lucy Letby. In this podcast, Daily Mail northern correspondent Liz Hull and broadcast journalist Caroline Cheetham followed the months-long trial of Lucy Letby, the nurse accused of the murder of seven babies and the attempted murder of ten others, while she was working on the neonatal unit at the Countess of Chester Hospital.
The podcast covered the court case, week by week, and shared the trial’s evidence, just as it was heard by the jury. Liz and Caroline also examined key moments of the trial, and conducted exclusive interviews with investigative detectives, victims, and experts.
Besides sharing the unraveling of a truly shocking story, this podcast puts a new spin on the true crime genre through their excellent courtroom reporting and exemplifies the adaptability of the audio medium as they unraveled a complex legal case, while still leaving listeners eagerly awaiting each new episode.
3. Filthy Ritual
2023 may have been the year of top-notch scam podcasts! (And we’re here for it, btw!) Enter Filthy Ritual. This is a story about a scam. But this isn’t any old scam.
At the turn of the 21st century, set in one of London’s most wealthy suburbs, Hampstead, Juliette D’Souza wreaked havoc on many people’s lives. She became filthy rich, and one of the most prolific con women in British history.
But never fear! Hannah Maguire and Suruthi Bala, the soulmates behind the hit true crime podcast, Redhanded, are on the case. They speak to the reporters who traveled to Suriname to track Juliette down, one of Britain’s leading shamans and the victims who came together in search of justice. Filthy Ritual is an incredible story told by exceptional storytellers, with clarity, care, and charisma! A 2023 best podcast for sure!
4. The Girlfriends
The Girlfriends was another favorite podcast brought to us by 2023…and iHeartMedia.
It’s 1995 and Carole Fisher is a high-flying divorcee looking for love in Las Vegas. It’s slim pickings in the medical community she works in. But then Bob comes to town. Bob Bierenbaum is a plastic surgeon who flies planes and speaks several languages. Her mom loves that he’s Jewish – but there’s something off about him. He’s perfect on paper but he’s quick to anger and he never talks about his ex-wife. Who, it turns out, is missing and presumed dead.
After Carole and Bob break up she tells her friend Mindy all about Bob’s wife and his bizarre behavior. You see, Mindy dated Bob too. In fact, a lot of women in Vegas dated Bob and they all have their own strange stories to tell. Before too long they form a club dedicated to bitching about Bob, eating noodles, and figuring out what happened to his wife, Gail.
Through The Girlfriends, Carole Fisher uncovers the truth of Gail Katz’s death, the systems that failed her, and all the girlfriends that brought her justice.
5. A Very British Cult
2023 also brought us A Very British Cult. Which more than earns its spot on our list of best podcasts from this year.
In early 2019 Jeffrey Leigh-Jones from Portsmouth got a life coach. Someone to mentor him in life and help him realize his business ambitions.
Two years later, Jeff had sold his house, his relationship was in pieces, and he had handed over tens of thousands of pounds. And he wasn’t the only one. In this eighteen-month investigation for the BBC, journalist Catrin Nye and her team expose control, intimidation, and fear at a mysterious life coaching company taking over people’s lives and ripping families apart.
As the investigation hots up, the group fights back, and there’s a surreal final showdown. A Very British Cult is another excellently researched audio expose, sharing a really heartbreaking story really well.
6. Ghost Story
Looking for a little spooky listen? The next entry on our list of the best podcasts of 2023 delivers. On Ghost Story, host Tristan Redman is a seasoned journalist who doesn’t believe in ghosts. But weird things happened in the bedroom he lived in as a teenager. When he discovers years later that subsequent occupants of the same house have been visited by the ghost of a faceless woman, he’s curious.
Because it just so happens that Tristan’s childhood home is right next door to the house where his wife’s great-grandmother, Naomi Dancy, was murdered in 1937. Killed by two gunshots to the face. Could there be a connection between the ghost and the murder? Tristan decides to investigate and soon finds himself going where no son-in-law should go, deep into his wife’s family history, asking questions no one wants answered. We told you, spooky!!
7. Believe In Magic
Next up on our list of best podcasts of 2023 is Believe In Magic. And this one is shocking, unbelievable, complicated, and tragic, often all at the same time.
Believe in Magic shares the story of Megan Bhari, an inspirational 16-year-old girl who in 2012 launched a charity to grant wishes to seriously ill children. The charity is called Believe in Magic and it attracts the support of the biggest boy band in the world: One Direction. Believe in Magic soon becomes a household name in the child cancer community. Putting on parties, sending thoughtful gifts, and organizing trips to Disney. Megan is adored by all those she helps and is given an award by the then Prime Minister David Cameron.
What’s even more remarkable is that Megan is herself extremely unwell. She announces that she has been diagnosed with a brain tumor. She raises money online for life-saving treatment in the United States.
But a group of internet sleuths start to suspect that Meg isn’t ill at all. When they discover Megan is in a Disney resort rather than a US hospital, they decide to hire a private detective to prove Megan is faking her illness, and expose the truth to the world. Then events take an unexpected turn. And the internet sleuths – who are all parents of seriously ill children themselves – to wonder if they’ve got it all wrong.
8. The Retrievals
The Retrievals is another difficult, heart-breaking, layered story brought to us in 2023. The Retrievals shares the stories of dozens of women seeking to become mothers who came to a fertility clinic at Yale.
And this new podcast is bringing to light the shocking events that unfolded there and the terrible violation suffered by these women at this fertility clinic. The Retrievals reveals the story of how a nurse at the facility was secretly replacing the vials of a pain-reducing drug with a saline solution. Which meant that the women going through the retrieval procedure felt everything. And when they voiced that they were experiencing excruciating agony, the clinic downplayed or ignored them.
But when what the nurse, Donna Monticone, had done came to life, very little was done in terms of addressing what these women experienced. And this podcast attempts to do just that.
9. Let’s Make a Horror
Next up, Number 9, and if you loved the Webby award-winning, and New Yorker Best Podcast of 2022, Let’s Make A Sci-Fi, then 2023 has a new offering for you, Let’s Make a Horror! From the same team that brought us the brilliant Let’s Make a Sci-Fi, as well as the hilariously heartfelt Let’s Make A Rom-Com, comes Let’s Make A Horror.
This time, comedians Mark Chavez, Maddy Kelly, and Ryan Beil made us laugh while they tried to make us scream. Over the course of the 10 episodes, Mark, Maddy, and Ryan learn what it takes to make truly frightening horror, once again, by interviewing Hollywood writers, directors, and enthusiasts; probing their deepest fears; which, as always, results in them writing and directing their own shocking short film.
In at Number 10 of our top podcast recommendations is Classy with Jonathan Menjivar. As Jonathan puts it, “The show came about because I grew up working-class. And I have a lot of thoughts and feelings about that, and I wanted to talk to people about it.”
Menjivar was a blue-collar Latino kid who started working in media and became someone who likes oysters, wears cashmere socks, and is very conflicted about all of it.
His collection of stories via his podcast offers an honest, inquisitive, and nuanced look into how class shapes our perspectives of the world and how we belong in it. Classy is a fascinating, eye-opening, and deeply moving exploration of how we view ourselves and those around us. And definitely a top favorite of our best podcasts of 2023.
11. Keys To The Kingdom
Next on our list of the best podcasts of 2023 was Keys to the Kingdom. Keys to the Kingdom is a fun one for all those Disney fans. This podcast is an unprecedented, eight-part docuseries exploring the peculiar backstage life of theme park characters, performers, and fans.
Hosted by recovering theme park employees Matt Gourley and Amanda Lund, each installment promises insider secrets, stories of absurd guest interactions, and fascinating tales of workplace minutiae. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like behind the scenes at Disney. Or if you dreamed of being a “cast member” you’ll love this podcast. We did! Which is why it earned its spot on our list of the best podcasts of 2023.
12. The Deck Investigates
Finally, for our last entry of our best podcasts of 2023, we have The Deck Investigates. And this year, the card is Darlene Hulse, the 4 of Hearts from Indiana.
This series details the harrowing story of Darlene Hulse, who was forcibly taken from her home in Argos, Indiana on August 17, 1984. Her two oldest daughters witnessed the attack. But they didn’t recognize the man who took their mother. But although Darlene’s body would be found a day later, just six miles from her home, her killer has evaded law enforcement for almost four decades and the investigation has remained cold…until now.
Ashley Flowers guides this podcast with such excellent. And although it’s an incredibly tragic story, it’s delivered in an incredible way.
13. Business Beyond the Mic
We may be a little biased, but last but certainly not least on our list of the best podcasts to come out of 2023 is Business Beyond the Mic, hosted by We Edit Podcasts’ Founder, Carli van Heerden.
On Business Beyond the Mic, we get to join Carli as she and her guests deep dive into the business of podcasting and what it really takes to create and sustain a successful show. In each episode, we get behind-the-scenes access and top tips from podcasters in different industries. We find out how they got started, and how they’ve managed to build successful brands around their shows.
We’ve learned so much from all the incredible guests who have already gone beyond the mic. And we can’t wait for all that’s in store!
Final Round-Up of the Best Podcasts of 2023
In wrapping up this journey through the best podcasts of 2023, it’s clear, once again, that podcasts have had another stellar year. As we look forward to the future of podcasting, we eagerly await the exciting narratives, fresh voices, and groundbreaking content that will continue to shape the podcasting landscape in the years ahead.
So cheers to podcasts! Here’s to another year of extraordinary storytelling! And bring on the all great podcasts we’ll get to listen to on our next journey around the sun!