The Best Podcasts for Every Situation

The podcast. It’s the modern day radio. You know there are a ton out there, you know they’re pretty popular, and you want to see what they’re all about. But how do you know which ones to listen to?

I’ve been there, and I know your struggle. And although this list isn’t exhaustive by any means, I’ve picked out a few of my favorites to share with you and help spring you into the world of podcasts.

For the commute to work: TED Radio Hour 

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I love listening to this podcast in the morning because my brain is most absorbent during this time of day. It’s an NPR show that compiles different TED talks about a particular theme, laced with snippets of off-stage interviews with the speakers. They’re really well-produced and the topics are all very interesting and easy to understand. Episodes are generally a little less than an hour and I always come out of them with new knowledge and fresh perspectives.


For the commute home: Barely Friending 

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This podcast is hosted by two comedians living in LA. Their tagline is, “they used to date each other, they kind of hate each other, and now they have a podcast.” They start each episode by catching us up on their weeks, chatting for a while, then they go into a theme such as dry spells, friends with benefits, or dating coworkers. I love this podcast because they have such a great dynamic; they are constantly laughing together and making fun of each other, and I love being a part of it. It’s one of the few podcasts that makes me laugh out loud. Maybe listening to this one on public transportation isn’t the greatest idea (unless you don’t care looking like a goof laughing alone)… but it’s great for an evening pick-me-up after a long day at work. No issue if your commute is in a car! Episodes usually last around 1 hour.

For running/working out (1 of 2): The Rich Roll Podcast

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I say this one is good for working out, but honestly I can listen to it any time of day. This podcast has been truly life changing. It is so inspirational, insightful, and entertaining, and I can’t say enough good things about it. Rich Roll is an alcoholic-turned-ultra runner, who talks about all things wellness with various athletes, doctors, entrepreneurs, etc. His goal is “to educate, inspire and empower you to discover, unlock & unleash your best, most authentic self.” He is a fantastic interviewer and his guests are always really awesome. I also like that even though he’s really successful, athletic, and smart, he’s still approachable and talks to his audience in a relatable way. His episodes are a little longer, around 2 hours, but they are SO worth it.

For running/working out (2 of 2): The Tim Ferriss Show

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This is another really worthwhile and inspiring podcast. Tim Ferriss is an author and entrepreneur who “deconstruct[s] world-class performers from eclectic areas (investing, sports, business, art, etc.) to extract the tactics and tools you can use.” He is very well-connected in the tech world and always has really interesting guests who are usually the cream of the crop in their respective industry. This is a great podcast to listen to if you’re interested in self-improvement, health, entrepreneurship, or if you just want to hear about a variety of topics from some of the smartest people in the world. His Jamie Foxx interview is amazing– start with that and you’ll be hooked!

Sometimes he makes me feel a little underachieving and mediocre, and sometimes I think he’s a little nuts– he has an extremely strict diet (I know, coming from the vegan…), experiments with his body a lot, and is super type A– but overall I have benefited immensely from his show and highly recommend it to anyone trying to better themselves. His episodes range from 30 minutes – over 2 hours, so they vary, but expect most episodes to be at least an hour long.

For cooking dinner: This American Life 


I love listening to podcasts when I’m cooking because it’s like I’m hanging out with someone while making my meals. This is an NPR show that features different stories, usually told in a narrative style, about a particular theme. I like it a lot because it’s light hearted, creative, and well-formatted. I haven’t listened to a single episode and been bored or unmoved. Episodes are around 1 hour.


For when you’re trying to fall asleep: The Meditation Podcast

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OK, so this podcast is meant for meditation, not falling asleep. But I use other apps to meditate (mainly Headspace and Calm), so I use this podcast for when I’m having trouble resting my mind. It does the trick every time with little to no effort. I just close my eyes, let the podcast play, and I’m dozing off within minutes. It’s honestly amazing and I wish I had discovered meditation podcasts sooner.


Other favorites



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This is a documentary-style podcast about a girl navigating postgrad life. It is highly relevant and relatable for anybody at this stage of life. It’s one of my top picks, but my only complaint is the release of episodes is a little inconsistent. Episodes are around 30 minutes.


Guys We F****d: 

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Touted as ‘the anti slut-shaming podcast,’ it’s hosted by two NYC comedians who interview a variety of guests, ranging from comics, actors, and random childhood friends, to talk about all things sexual. It is a lot about sex, but it’s also about gender roles, cultural differences, socialization, etc. It goes much deeper than you may initially assume from the title. I usually don’t listen to this one on public transportation since I’m always paranoid my headphones bleed sound and everyone around me can hear what I’m listening to (ha). Episodes are around 90 minutes.



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