Anyone who knows me even slightly well knows I’m a podcast fanatic. I listen to one or two episodes every day, and my subscriptions span business development to crime dramas.
Why do I love podcasts so much? Efficiency, for one. I can listen while I’m running, getting ready for the day, or driving to point B. Also, they keep me fresh. I learn so much in a short period of time, and in a way that is often fun and engaging. And finally, I’m sick of screens—I’m on them all day and the last thing I want to do when I’m not on my computer for work is look at a screen. Podcasts are the new radio, and I’m loving them.
So, without further ado, here are my top 10 podcasts of the moment, in no particular order. (Please let me know your favorites in the comments!)
Everyone loves long-time This American Life host Ira Glass. It wouldn’t be a list without him, right? This story-based podcast is moving, insightful, funny, heartwarming, inspiring, and everything in between.
A new favorite! Rough Translation asks the question: “How are the things we’re talking about being talked about somewhere else in the world?” Host Gregory Warner travels the globe to provide a new perspective on American issues.
The Longest Shortest Time is a “parenting show for everyone” and one of my very favorite podcasts. Host Hillary Frank is like a radio bestie, and she covers topics most people shy away from, like racism, LGBTQ parenting, and more.
Oh, the suspense! Homecoming follows a military therapy facility gone horribly wrong. Katherine Keener and David Schwimmer (Ross!) are fantastic in this radio drama that will keep you excited for Wednesdays, when new episodes roll out. Season 2 is over now, so lucky you, you get to binge-listen to both seasons.
StartUp is about, well, business startups. My favorite seasons are the early ones, which follow Alex Blumberg as he founds what is now Gimlet Media, a podcasting company. Alex was a former producer for This American Life. Today, host Lisa Chow follows the journeys and challenges of varied startups, from online dating sites to innovative coffee companies.
I’m a fan of founder stories, and How I Built This does not disappoint. The host, Guy Raz, interviews some of the most successful founders today to hear how they built their companies. Check out this interview with my dear friend, Whitney Sokol, founder of SproutFit.
RadioLab is just great radio. Hosts Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich do a fantastic job “weaving stories and science into sound and music-rich documentaries.” Listen to their coverage of the eclipse, one of the most moving episodes I’ve listened to in a while. Magical.
In an effort to better understand my black friends, I started listening to The Nod, a podcast about black culture. Every week, I get to dive into what it’s like to be a black person in America. After every episode, I feel like I’ve expanded my worldview.
This is such a great podcast: quirky, engaging, kind of weird. If you do nothing else with your life, be sure to listen to #102 Long Distance and #103 Long Distance II. You’ll love hosts PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman.
For all you science nerds (ahem, me included), Science Vs is a podcast that explores topics like organic food, nuclear power, artificial sweeteners, and more. Host Wendy Zukerman is sharp, witty, and punny.
Who knew economics could be so fun? There are multiple Planet Money hosts (a fun surprise each week!) who take listeners on the wild ride that is the economy, explaining dense concepts in a way anyone can understand (and enjoy).
Sincerely X by TED is “an original audio series featuring talks from speakers whose ideas deserve to be heard, but whose identities must remain hidden.” Host June Cohen leads listeners through educational, surprising talks that will be especially interesting to TED lovers. (I also enjoy NPR’s TED Radio Hour, though it didn’t make the cut for this list.)
So, that’s it: my list of 12 best podcasts of the moment. What are yours? Please share your list with me in the comments.