Find Your Perfect Podcast: A Definitive Guide
I love podcasts.
I know they're super trendy now, but I've been listening to podcasts since I started riding the bus in 6th grade (shoutout to Mugglecast for getting me through those long trips).
I don't say that to brag on how much of a hipster I am (roll your eyes if you want to), but to let you know I've listened to a lot of podcasts in the 12 years since I first started.
Today I'm going to fill you in on some of my favorite podcasts out there. No matter what type of person you are, there's definitely a podcast for you. Keep reading to find out what your next podcast binge-listen should be!
For the Upbeat Morning Commuter
Some people like to start their morning with the news or true crime, but if that's not you here are some light hearted, mood-boosters for your drive to work.
The Popcast with Knox and Jamie
I don't think there's any podcast out there quite like The Popcast. The tagline of this show promises to educate its listeners on "the things that entertain, but do not matter." There's never been an episode that didn't make me laugh out loud at least once. They discuss mostly pop culture, but not just in a matter of fact, summarizing way, but in ways that are consistently new and interesting and hilarious. For newbies to their show, they've even put together a Starter Guide to help you know where to begin. My personal fave is "The No's of Weddings" (you will not regret listening to this). I also have to give a 10/10 recommendation to becoming a Patreon supporter so you can get their weekly Bachelor/Bachelorette recaps which are worth every single penny.
Getting Curious with Jonathan van Ness
If you don't know who JVN is by now, you're probably living under a rock. But, if you need some catching up, Jonathan van Ness is the beauty guru starring in the extremely popular Netflix series, Queer Eye. Jonathan is naturally curious, and hosts a podcast questioning a variety of guests. The show has featured experts on climate change, politics, psychology, medicine, entertainment and more; but it also features Queer Eye co-stars and Jonathan's own friends and family on occasion. The show covers serious topics, but it's always hopeful and positive and inspiring. You'll learn a lot listening to Jonathan question these experts.
For the Ladies (Or Anyone Who Wants to Feel Like You're Chatting With Your Gal Pals)
You don't have to be a lady to love these podcasts!! I chose them for this section because they feel like you're having a conversation with your closest lady friends, whether it's a late-night deep talk or a silly gossip session.
Chatty Broads with Bekah and Jess
If you're a fan of The Bachelor, you probably know Bekah M. already from Arie's season. I became a huge fan of hers during her season, and kept following her to see what she would get up to next. She started a podcast with her friend Jess, and I've been hooked ever since. They cover a huge range of topics from recaps of The Bachelor to natural birth to faith & religion and more. If you're just now discovering these broads, you're jumping in at a great time as they'll be starting their Bachelorette recaps this week.
Comments by Celebs
You might've heard of the wildly popular Instagram account, Comments by Celebs. If you haven't, I highly recommend giving their account a follow. Basically, they post screenshots of comments that celebrities leave on each other's Instagram accounts. It sounds simple, but it can be hilarious, and dramatic. Their podcast is a great extension of their account, and they cover celebrity drama and often give you a really informative look at everything going on in pop culture. I'm not ashamed to admit, I sometimes love to sit back, relax and enjoy dissecting some celebrity gossip. If that sounds like you, check out the podcast.
For the True Crime Junkie Who's Already Binged Serial Nine Times
Look, I get it. Don't we all wish we could go back and listen to Serial (season 1) for the first time again? If you're done binging that, here are a few more true-crime podcasts that are worth your time.
Accused is actually the podcast that got me into true-crime podcasts. It follows unsolved murder case of Elizabeth Andes. The description of the podcast reads: "When Elizabeth Andes was found murdered in her Ohio apartment in 1978, police and prosecutors decided within hours it was an open-and-shut case. Two juries disagreed. The Cincinnati Enquirer investigates: Was the right guy charged, or did a killer walk free?" There's so many different suspects, and different twists in this case, it's no wonder police are still searching for the truth. You're going to be left thinking about this case long after the last episode ends.
Missing & Murdered: Finding Cleo
This podcast isn't necessarily the traditional true-crime murder podcast, but I think it's an incredibly important podcast for you to listen to. The Missing & Murdered podcast investigates the hundreds of Native women that have gone missing or been murdered in Canada. Although it's a Canadian podcast, the US has a very similar history when it comes to Native people. This podcast covers everything from residential schools to forced adoptions to the oppression and mistreatment of Native people. It also tells a compelling story about a young girl, Cleo, who went missing years ago and her siblings who are still looking for her. This is incredibly important, and I really think you should take the time to listen.
For the Story-Tellers
These are a couple of podcasts for people who love to tell stories & probably love listening to others tell stories too.
There aren't enough words to express how much I love Invisibilia. They say they take a look at the invisible forces that control our lives, but really they just tell some amazing stories. The hosts take a look at peoples' lives and find some amazing, sometimes unbelievable, stories. One of my favorite episodes is called "I, I, I, Him." I truly left me speechless and in tears.
TED Radio Hour
This is another one of my OG podcast favorites. A lot of us have seen at least one TED talk in our lives, but this takes a more in-depth look at some popular TED talks. The show will play clips from someone's talk, and then often add more depth to the conversation by interviewing the speaker. If you like TED talks, you'll love this.
For the Story-Lovers
It's extremely difficult for me to narrow down this section. I'm going to be giving you some fiction podcasts, or audio dramas. This is an area where podcasts are growing quickly, so there's so many great ones to choose from. Here are two of my favorites, but if you like them keep digging into the genre because there's more to love.
The Bright Sessions
Describing fictional podcasts is like trying to summarize a novel: Next to impossible to capture all the goodness in just a few words. The Bright Sessions follows some wonderfully weird teens with special powers and their highly specialized therapy sessions with Dr. Bright. One girl travels through time and space every time she feels anxious, another boy is an empath, and another girl can read thoughts. They go to therapy with Dr. Bright to help control their powers, and at first it seems like just a cute and simple podcast. As often occurs in these types of podcasts, a much larger, more sinister subplot reveals itself. There's even a musical episode! (pssst - if you like musical episodes, please, please, please listen to honorable mention 36 Questions, it's musical and so cute) It's so sweet, tender and lovely, you can't possibly be disappointed.
Wolf359 takes place on a space station (the U.S.S. Hephaestus) orbiting a weird star lightyears away from Earth. Our gracious narrator is Doug Eiffel, the communications officer, gives us daily updates on the bizarre and hilarious happenings on the space station. Much like The Bright Sessions, it starts off funny and cute, but there is definitely something else going on that is much more serious. You start off laughing, or even a little confused, but you might end up with a warm heart and a tear in your eye. It's beautiful and intriguing, but fair warning, start listening on a long road trip because once you start you're not going to be able to stop.
For the Person Who Wakes Up And Immediately Turns on the News
There's several podcasts like this one, but this is my personal favorite. Released by the New York Times, this podcast recaps the biggest story each morning and breaks it down in ways everyone can understand. You'll often get different perspectives and new takes on each news story. It comes out every morning and it's another great one for your morning commute.
This podcast is one of the more relevant podcasts out these days, even though it covers events of the past. A previous season went through the events of Watergate, and recently they covered Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. You'll learn things about each event that you never knew before, but it also relates each news story to the events going on in our government and politics today.
I had to list a few of my favorites that didn't make the cut in the other categories, so here's my honorable mentions to round out the list:
Much like my list of Netflix shows you need to watch, this *is* most definitely a shameless plug for my favorite podcasts so more people will love them & support them & keep them going. Let me know what your favorite podcasts are by leaving a comment or going to my Instagram page, I'm always looking for new recommendations. If you like what you read here, subscribe to my mailing list by clicking here or follow me on Instagram here (or both!).