What is your favorite murder?
It sounds like a strange question. To one of the fastest growing groups of people on the internet, it’s a question that has launched friendships.
The podcast “My Favorite Murder” has created countless communities. Not only that, but it has taught people to view the world around them in a different light.
It has made people more aware of causes that desperately need champions. (My favorite murder is the death of JonBenét Ramsey, for the record.)
The frank way that its hosts speak about their struggles with mental health and addiction have inspired millions around the world.
So what’s the appeal? As my husband frequently ponders aloud, “It’s so morbid. Why do you watch/listen to/read that stuff?”
In this post, I’m going to talk a little about my own love of true crime, and how it has helped those with mental health feel surprisingly safer.
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Also, I am not a doctor or mental health professional. Just someone who has lived with anxiety for many years who is passionate about sharing her experiences and tips for success. If you are in crisis call your doctor, then click here for some good mental health resources.
My love of all things true crime
I was introduced to the podcast “My Favorite Murder” over a year ago by the girlfriend of one of my husband’s childhood friends. We got on the topic of true crime, and she recommended it.
That’s always awkward, isn’t it? When you are getting to know someone, there is no definitive rule on when a person should bring up that they find murder interesting.
For fans of true crime, it usually finds its way into a conversation organically. Sometimes more subtly. Sometimes with the rabid, foaming at the mouth name drop of a serial killer that got their start in your home town.
I may not listen to the podcast every single day. But I can say that since I subscribed, it has changed my life in ways I couldn’t have imagined.
My first murder obsession
I’ve been fascinated by true crime for as long as I can remember. It probably started in the summer of 1994. OJ Simpson, a renowned athlete and actor, found himself accused of the murder of his ex-wife, Nicole, and her friend, Ronald.
My grandmother babysat for us often and I can vividly remember her turning on the TV and diving headfirst into car chases on California highways, crime scene photos, and closing arguments.
Around the time of his trial, my cousin died. That catapulted me into a journey I would continue to take for the rest of my life: a journey with depression. I became more withdrawn and not sure how to handle the emotions that came with the loss of my fun older cousin.
My diagnosis has become more refined over the years. What started as a confusing time of sadness and acting out has since become rapid cycling Bipolar 2 disorder. I have also recently entered a period of anxiety and extreme fatigue. (Oh, hey there, 7 o’clock. Are you my bed time?)
You might wonder, why does someone whose mind is already so full of darkness enjoy recreation that involves dark subject matter? Why don’t I run screaming in the other direction?
Click the pictures to check out some of my favorite books about true crime!
Why I love this true crime podcast
I actually think this the perfect podcast for someone with mental illness, for a few reasons:
- It takes sad stories and tells them with humor and empathy. The hosts shows you that when life is crumbling all around you, there can still be light and love if you just look hard enough.
- It gives you a reason to care about others. One of the ugly things about depression is that it has a tendency to make you withdrawn. It leaves you surrounded by nothing but your illness. “My Favorite Murder” showcases stories that make us sees others as victims, thereby releasing us from one of the most toxic prisons our illness creates.
- The hosts, Karen and Georgia, speak openly and compassionately about mental illness. Between struggles with addiction, toxic relationships, and anxiety, they share a variety of snippets of their personal lives. This helps listeners like me realize that I am not alone.
Seeing them live!
This past weekend, I drove about 3 hours north with my husband to attend a live recording of the podcast in Milwaukee. Travel is very triggering for my anxiety. Especially road trips and late nights. Both of those things give me stomach aches and exacerbate my fatigue.
My motivation is usually shot to hell for a few days leading up to a road trip. The thought of a road trip makes me so hobbled by anxiety that it’s all I can focus on.
But guess what? I made it there in one piece. Not only did we have a hell of a time (even my non-Murderino husband who’s not so secretly afraid of me), but I learned something about myself. Or rather, I was reminded of something I keep forgetting.
What going to see them taught me
I am a badass warrior. Hell, I survived something that massively triggers my mood disorder. Bonus: I got the chance to watch two other badass warriors talk about a topic that enlightens, engages, and humbles me.
I may suffer from anxiety and bipolar disorder, but this podcast teaches me time and time again that I am not alone. It teaches me that I can survive.
Are you a true crime lover? What case fascinates you the most? Let me know in the comments, and don’t forget to share the post if you enjoyed it.
You can learn all about the true crime podcast “My Favorite Murder” here.