I know I’m a little late to the game, but I didn’t really get into podcasts until recently. I was sick at home with the flu several weeks ago, and a couple of my friends suggested I listen to Serial to pass the time. Once I got started, I couldn’t stop. I had finished all 12 episodes by the time I was on the mend, and was searching for the next series to listen to. I’ve been getting really into podcasts lately, and always have one playing when I’m working out or in the car. It’s nice to have something to listen to besides music sometimes. So, today I decided to share a few of my personal favorite podcasts, plus a few suggestions.
Check out my top 10 podcast picks below…
- The Moth
The Moth will have you laughing, crying, and everything in between. The Moth podcast is a selection of true stories told in front of a live audience. Some are sad, some are hilarious, and some are almost too strange to be true—but they all are! If you’d like to get started with some of our very favorite Moth stories of all time, click here, here, and here. And if you get hooked, you can go to a Moth live event in your city, which is where the podcast stories are recorded.
- This American Life
This American Life is mostly true stories of everyday people. Each episode has a theme‑from babysitting to camp to pen pals—and then there are several stories revolving around that theme. The concept is simple enough, but every episode is intriguing and always makes you think about your own life. There’s a reason it’s one of the most popular podcasts in the country.
- Comedy Bang Bang
This improv comedy podcast is a fun one. Each week Scott Aukerman interviews a celebrity guest. But the real craziness starts when one of the show’s hilarious recurring characters interrupts him.
- Freakonimics Radio
This podcast is a spin-off from the popular book published 10 years ago. Yes, it’s technically about economics and statistics, but it’s anything but boring. Listen to an episode and you’re guaranteed to have something you thought you knew turned on its head. For instance, what do you think is more dangerous: a gun or a swimming pool?
Since Serial was the podcast that started it all for me, I had to include it on this list. If you’re one of the few remaining people who hasn’t already listened to Season 1, cancel your weekend plans and download it. Serial is a spin-off of This American Life that tells the true story of a 1999 murder case over the course of an entire 12-episode season. The case is presented in a very investigative, matter-of-fact manner, so don’t let the fact that it’s about a murder scare you away. I can’t wait for Season 2!
- Dear Sugar Radio
If you’re a fan of the author Cheryl Strayed (the new Reese Witherspoon movie Wild was based on her memoir by the same name), you’ll love Dear Sugar Radio. This podcast is based on an advice column that Strayed and another writer used to pen for the website The Rumpus. Their advice is so honest, insightful, and full of compassion.
- Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!
Listening to this podcast will give you some good conversation starters for your next dinner party. It’s a quiz show where guests are given two fake news stories and one real one, and have to pick which one is true. And of course the real news is just as strange as the made up stories are!
- TED Radio Hour
If you’ve ever watched a TED talk, you know how powerful and inspiring they can be. The TED Radio Hour adapts those talks for podcast form, centering each episode around a common theme (i.e. the source of happiness or the seven deadly sins).
- The Ricky Gervais Show
This one is an oldie but a goodie. It’s basically just Ricky Gervais and two of his two funny friends (Carl Pilkington and Stephen Merchant) sitting around having hilarious (and often ridiculous) conversations. Even if you listened to the four seasons of this show when they first debuted, it might be time to revisit them.
I’ve heard great things about Love+Radio. It’s supposed to be similar to This American Life, but with a looser editing style and some fictional stories too. It’s an interview show with several stories relating around a theme, ranging from ghosts to secrets to online dating.
Do you have any favorite podcasts to add to this list?