Have you ever wondered what to listen to while cleaning the house, working out, or on a long commute to work? Well, if you’re tired of going over all your same old playlists and want a little more substance, these podcasts are all perfect for you!
Covering a wide range of topics and formats, this list will surely have your ears occupied for the rest of the year. Movies, true crime, economics, general knowledge, and even spooky stories, here is something for everybody. Have fun!
1. Stuff You Should Know
Let’s begin with one of the most popular podcasts around today. Stuff You Should Know is a show that talks about, well, everything you should know. From polar bears to what causes the great smell when it rains, hosts Chuck Bryant and Josh Clark will both educate and entertain you with their well-researched explanations, witty banter, and down-to-Earth tone. The format has proven so popular that a few offshoots have sprung up, like Short Stuff. All in all, the show is a good way to pass the time while still learning something new.
An NPR podcast that explores the invisible things - which is right in the title - with narrative storytelling, science, a bit of philosophy, and a lot of heart. The blurb on their website sums the show up pretty well: “Unseeable forces control human behavior and shape our ideas, beliefs, and assumptions.” Invisibilia showcases the stories and subjects related to the many unseen and often poorly understood ideas, phenomena, and forces that play a larger role in our lives than we even imagine.
3. The Trail Went Cold
Canadian writer Robin Warder is the host of true-crime podcast The Trail Went Cold, and he does a wonderful job of creating chilling and detailed episodes that you can still finish in less than an hour. The show focuses on cold cases that range from unsettling disappearances to cold-blooded murders, each more shocking than the last. And, if you get caught up in them, you will definitely burn through the 137 episodes in a couple of weeks. Perfect for long commutes or when you’re cleaning the house alone!
4. Note To Self with Manoush Zomorodi
This WNYC podcast is a great choice for people who want an insightful and well-informed look at modern digital technology and how it affects us personally and the world around us. Things that we use every day, from tablets to phones and email, are just now starting to paint a clearer picture, and their effects on our brains and lives are being understood a little better, but there are so many questions left. Those questions make up the content of this show, including how kids and screens have become so entwined, and if your phone is really listening to you.
5. Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend
Conan O’Brien’s quick wit and sharp humor really shine through on this interview-format podcast. The show’s supposed justification is that, after 25 years in show business, Conan has never made a single real, lasting friendship, so he interviews some big-name celebrities to see if they are true friends or just celebrity connections. As you can imagine, the star power in this podcast is huge, and guests have included notorious TV stars and comedians such as Will Ferrell, Nick Offerman, Jeff Goldblum, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
6. How Did This Get Made
This comedy podcast works on one of the simple pleasures in life: Getting together with a few friends, watching a terrible movie, and spending a couple of hours making fun of it relentlessly. Hosts Paul Scheer, Jason Mantzoukas, and June Diane Raphael talk at length about these cinematic duds in a fast-paced and hysterical way, and the best part is that you will have a blast even if you’ve never seen the movie being discussed. Special guests have included Patton Oswalt, Conan O’Brien, Dan Harmon, and more.
This podcast by Nike is perfect for people who want to listen to the latest in training and fitness from the mouth of the world’s leading trainers and athletes. Focusing on “holistic fitness,” Trained covers everything from nutrition to sleep, recovery, and mindset. The real beauty of this podcast is that it avoids becoming another fitness podcast full of empty motivational anecdotes, giving you instead a lot more to chew on with the latest topics, technologies, and trends in the world of fitness.
8. Ask a House Cleaner Podcast
The Ask a House Cleaner Podcast is a good option for those who want to make their house truly shine. Experienced house cleaner Angela Brown is the host, and her deep knowledge of housekeeping seems to never run out, as this daily podcast covers a different topic from Monday to Friday: Mondays are product reviews and talks about new solutions; Tuesdays are DIY cleaning tips for homeowners; on Wednesdays the topic is turnover service for Airbnb rentals; Thursdays are full of tips and topics for professional house cleaners and maids; finally, Friday is when Angela Brown makes her Top 10 Round-Up of the best cleaning supplies.
A 25-minute show for faster commutes or a short workout, Marketplace goes way past the scandalous headlines and explores in detail the business and economic happenings that define our lives without us knowing the full picture. Kai Ryssdal is the host, and a revolving door of reporters and experts break down complex topics about the market and economics in simple terms so anyone interested in them can understand them. A more serious podcast for those who want to know how the world around them moves.
Host Richard Maclean Smith is the auteur behind Unexplained, a podcast that has been called “the world’s spookiest” by The Guardian. Like the description on their website reads, this is a podcast about “strange and mysterious real-life events that continue to evade explanation”, like the disappearance of three lighthouse keepers from an uninhabited island in the middle of a storm, and the haunting letters received by an affluent family moving into a new home. As Maclean himself explains, all the stories in the show include a “deeply human component,” making them all the more fascinating.