30 Podcasts that will Make your Commute Fly By
For the last couple years, I’ve been super into podcast- as in I listen to probably 20+ hours a week! I listen on my commute, while doing chores, anytime in the car, while I’m in the shower and getting ready for bed, while I’m working, etc. I love how mobile and entertaining it is, whereas when watching TV I want to be on the couch or in bed and focusing. The multitasker in me feeds off of educating and entertaining myself while still get stuff done! My podcast taste really varies and depends on what I’m in the mood for: comedy, spiritual, long form interviews, short-form poem, pop culture, political, true crime, the royals, current events, entrepreneurship, book club, historical, sermons, and documentaries. Whew! Austin always tells me I missed the boat on starting my own podcast because I was such an early adopter and loved consuming them. While I do think you can start one and be successful, I know that it is a saturated market now and would be harder. Who knows, maybe someday! Knowing my love of podcasts, I often get texts from friends asking for recommendations and I love introducing people to new-to-them series and episodes that I think they’d enjoy! Here are my most frequently recommended… and please send me any recommendations you have!
Armchair Expert- Dax Shepard and Monica Padman are gems! I really enjoy their long casual interviews with their friends in the entertainment industry and psychology experts.
Favorite episodes: Ashton Kutcher, Scott Harrison, Jonathan Haidt, Brene Brown, Amy Schumer, Dax’s Mom (The best!), Jimmy Kimmel, Kristen Bell
Awards Chatter - Produced by The Hollywood Reporter, they interview Oscar and Emmy nominees every year about themselves and the projects they are nominated for.
Favorite episodes: Timothee Chalamet, Mindy Kaling, Alison Williams, Gal Gadot
Keep It! - A weekly roundtable discussing pop culture events with a hint of political bluntness when the topic overlaps.
Favorite episodes: (it’s very topical to the weeks events so worth just starting at the latest episode) Priyanka Marries Twice, We didn’t start the Fyre
Off Camera with Sam Jones - Another interview series of Actors interviewing Actors. It’s very well done and he gets my favorite guests.
Favorite episodes: Hasan Minhaj, Mindy Kaling, Dax Shepard, Kristen Bell, Awkwafina
Origins - In this series, each season has a different focus on the “origin” of that show (or person i.e. Nick Saban!) and then interviews everyone involved with them to craft the story of how it started and what obstacles they faced along the way.
Favorite Seasons: Sex and the City, SNL
On Heir - A weekly news show keeping up with the Royal Family! I love hearing the background of certain traditions and getting an inside look at the Royal Families day to day lives.
Favorite Episodes - All royal wedding episodes
Slow Burn - Two seasons recount two different events: The Clinton Affair and Watergate. They get into the weeds on the details that have been forgotten or were never reported on back then and interview key people that surrounded both scandals.
The Wilderness - This podcast is a history of the Democratic Party. It’s fascinating and I learned so much. It’s very critical of the past but optimistic about the future and I found it very insightful, easy to retain, and entertaining.
The Drop Out - Produced by ABC News, this series tells the story of Elizabeth Holmes who founded Theranos and it’s ultimate downfall. Most people have heard the cliff notes of the 19 year old founder’s supposed to be revolutionary company that raised almost $1 billion in funding all based on a lie.
Serial - The first season was huge a couple years ago and still remains a favorite, but check out the third season for a deep look into the Cleveland justice system on a case by case basis- even listening to the court room and interviews with judges, attorneys, and the convicted.
Making Oprah - Interview producers of The Oprah Winfrey Show and her past bosses and coworkers, this podcast covers how Oprah got to where she is and the rise of her long-running talk show and previous hosting experience in Baltimore.
Making Obama - Created by the same company as making Oprah, this series follows Barack Obama and his work in Chicago as a community organizer before becoming a senator. It was a very fascinating look into a time of his life we don’t hear much about.
Southland Christian Church Sermons - This is the church I attended in college and remains a favorite. For the most part, each month is a different series which is nice to stick to one theme and explore it on all sides and how it affects daily life.
Favorite Series: Generations, Fight, Joy Bomb
Oprah Super Soul Conversations - I am a big Oprah fan! She really interviews fascinating thought leaders from around the world and you can tell that she has really studied their work and is invested in them
Favorite Episodes: Brene Brown Rising Strong, Maya Angelou, Yara Shahidi, Carl Lentz, Reese Witherspoon, Rob Bell
For the Love with Jen Hatmaker - I love Jen! I have read her books and follow her on all social media channels and I just really respect her and how she practices her Christian faith- love and service and justice are paramount. In her podcast, she interviews different leaders about their family journeys and also brings on guests to give advice on relatable topics such as parenting, politics & faith, racism, and building a tribe around you.
Pant Suit Politics - This podcast is unique in that the hosts are two women from both sides of the aisle who don’t fight about politics! It’s super refreshing to get opinions on both sides from two friends who respect each other’s viewpoints so much. Bonus fact: the two hosts went to my college and were in my sorority (though not at the time I attended!) and I had no clue for a long time while listening! Worth starting to listen at the latest episodes because they are very topical on current events.
Pod Save America - Hosted by former Obama speech writers, I feel like I learn so much from really smart but relatable people my age. I don’t agree with all of their views, but their interviews and deep discussions on current events are thought provoking as well as funny and entertaining.
Pod Save The World - Hosted by one of the hosts of PSA, this podcast is a deep dive with an expert on heavy foreign policy topics such as the CIA, Israel, Russia, and North Korea.
Crooked Conversations - These conversations cover a wide range of topics about our society today. From protesting and dark money in politics to art and inequality, it’s interesting to hear different view points and learn more about a smorgasbord of issues that effect all of us.
Smart, Funny Girl Chat
Another Round - This show has been on hiatus for a while, but it’s worth revisiting old episodes! I hope it comes back, but I love the jovial fun friendship of Heben and Tracey as they interview their friends and coworkers at Buzzfeed. The games they play are hilarious, their discussions around mental health are so important, and their interviews are hard-hitting with warm, familial sentiment.
Favorite Episodes: Every episode with Stacey- Marie Ishmael and Bim Adewunimi
Bad on Paper - This podcast is actually a monthly book club between two friends who love young adult books. We have the same taste in books (i.e. romcoms and light reading novels) and I enjoy listening to their latest obsessions, dating woes, and exciting vacations. And they bring on funny guests! Grace has a blog The Stripe that I also follow so it’s a nice addition to knowing her in that way.
Favorite Episodes: Jared Freid on Dating “Everyone is someone’s foot”, A Very Holiday Advice Ep!, Beauty Favorites under $30, Favorite Podcasts, and a grab bag!
Forever35 - This podcast is all about skincare and lady issues! I love Doree and Kate and their heartwarming friendship. You truly feel like a fly on the wall to their hangout and while they are a little older than me and in different life stages but it feels like getting advice from loving, smart older sisters. They have the best beauty, books, and lifestyle recommendations.
Favorite Episodes: Every episode, honestly!
The Slow Down - This podcast is a short 5 minute poem and reflection to start your day! Lead by U.S. poet laureate Tracey K Smith, it’s an uplifting and thoughtful daily meditation.
Second Life - This podcast is unique in that they interview people who have switched careers and excelled. They interview specifically women and it’s such an empowering place to get advice from successful women and learn from their unique paths.
Favorite episodes: Emily Henderson, Marianna Hewitt, Amber Lewis
Work Life with Adam Grant - I saw Adam Grant speak once and he has such incredible insight on our work habits and psychology around work. We really have a lot to learn from him as a society on how to be more productive but also have a more fulfilling work-life balance. He also was a professor at UNC and a couple of my friends had him as their teacher and loved him!
Favorite Episode: Your Hidden Personality, A World Without Bosses, When Work Takes Over Your Life
How I Built This - This podcast interviews people who built huge recognizable brands. The interesting thing about it is that they all had different paths to success. In a way that’s very humbling and optimistic.
Favorite Episodes: Five Guys, VICE, Spanx, Patagonia
Skimm’d from The Couch - This is an extension of the daily newsletter The Skimm, which is a reader’s digest version of the days biggest news stories. The founders are the hosts and former NBC News employees and interview powerful female leaders in different industries.
Favorite Episodes: Arielle Charnas, Hoda Kotb, Sara Blakely
The Daily - An extension of the NY Times, the 20 minute episodes do a hard-hitting report into the news story of the day and focus on one story where you hear the interviews produced by the journalists.
Favorite Episodes: Dispatches from the Border, The Story of Roger Stone
Today, Explained - An extension of Vox Media, they tackle one current event and discuss the details, context, interview people around it, and really explain the situation.
Favorite Episodes: The $600 EpiPen, “A Horrible Miscarriage of Justice”, Take a Penny, Take a Penny, The World in 2018
The Impact - Another Vox podcast, Sarah Kliff investigates how different laws impact people’s lives directly and indirectly.
Favorite Episodes: What Schools Looks Like when we fund them fairly, The curious case of the $629 Band-aid
Have any podcasts you love? Let me know, I’m always in the market for a new one!