I wrote about the best podcasts for every situation a few months back, but I wanted to do a round 2 because I’ve subscribed to a few new podcasts since then. I updated each situation from the first post with a new podcast, so now you have at least two options for every situation! Woo!
Note: My past recs still hold strong. This new list isn’t to replace the first; it’s more like an expansion of the first.
For the commute to work: Fresh Air
This is an NPR podcast hosted by Terry Gross, an excellent interviewer and a legend in the radio world. Her guests range from actors to politicians, and she has a really unique interviewing style—it’s a mix of friendliness with unapologetic forwardness. She asks a lot of hard, almost awkward questions, and has a good sense of humor. Often times I’ll look at the title and think, meh, doesn’t sound so interesting, but by the end of the episode I’m always glad that I listened. I learn about things I would never voluntarily seek out, so it’s a nice way to start my day. It makes me feel like a responsible, smart adult as I make my way to my 9-5.
PAST REC FOR COMMUTE TO WORK: TED Radio Hour
For the commute home: WTF with Marc Maron
Marc Maron is a stand-up comedian who puts out two new episodes every week. He interviews fellow comedians and actors, with the occasional non-entertainment-industry guest. I feel like he uses the podcast as a way to air out frustrations; he usually begins each episode with a rant or self-deprecating monologue. However, his random rants are one of my favorite parts of the podcast. His interviews, which are generally compelling and intimate, are also very good. It’s a chill, easy podcast to listen to on the way home when your brain is tired.
PAST REC FOR COMMUTE HOME: Barely Friending
For running/working out (1 of 2): Beautiful Anonymous
This is by far one of my favorite podcasts. It’s perfect for a one hour workout or run. Hosted by Chris Gethard, another stand-up comic/actor, it’s an hour-long conversation with an anonymous caller. The caller has the option to hang up at any time, but Chris must stay on until the end. The conversations are often funny, deeply personal, and therapeutic. It’s amazing and I can’t recommend it highly enough.
For running/working out (2 of 2): Guys We F****d
This was on the “other favorites” list of my previous post, but I’ve bumped it up to the main list for this round. The episodes are little longer, around 1.5 to 2 hours, so it’s a good one to listen to on long runs. It’s hosted by two female stand-up comedians (I guess I have a thing for stand-up?), and they start off by reading emails from listeners (these are often highly entertaining), and then they interview a guest. The guests are usually fellow comedians, but they also bring in friends and other random people (e.g. one time they interviewed this badass and crazy mature 15 year-old girl).
What makes this podcast great is that the hosts, while both female comics, have completely different personalities and complement each other really well. Krystyna (yes that’s how you spell her name) is a complete goofball and people-pleaser, and Corinne is blunt and confrontational. The combination of the two personalities make for some really great interviews.
PAST RECS FOR RUNNING/WORKING OUT: The Tim Ferriss Show; The Rich Roll Podcast
For cooking dinner: Happier with Gretchen Rubin
This one is hosted by author Gretchen Rubin and her sister, Elizabeth Craft. It’s a short, 30 minute listen, and they give out all kinds of actionable advice for how to make your life happier. It’s perfect for cooking because it’s lighthearted and useful, but the advice isn’t so pressing that I feel bad if I miss a couple sentences over the sound of sizzling veggies.
PAST REC FOR COOKING DINNER: This American Life
For when you’re trying to fall asleep: Insight Timer App
This is not a podcast, it’s an app. But I don’t listen to podcasts to go to sleep anymore, so forgive me. I only use this app when I’m truly struggling to fall asleep, but it does the trick every time. There are specific recordings for sleep, so just choose one and I guarantee you’ll be knocked out in no time.
PAST REC FOR FALLING ASLEEP: The Meditation podcast
Anna Faris is Unqualified
In this show, Anna Faris forces her guests to do improv, plays games, and harasses her producer, Sim. She also gives advice to callers. It is so very, truly hilarious. I listen to it when I run sometimes, and there have been occasions when I looked like a complete weirdo because I was lolling so hard.
OTHER PODCASTS I SUBSCRIBE TO:
- Revisionist History (Hosted by Malcolm Gladwell; he reinterprets events/ideas from the past.)
- Invisibilia (Produced by NPR; it’s “about the invisible forces that control human behavior.”)
- Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin (Hosted by Alec Baldwin; he interviews people in entertainment.)
- All the Fixins (Hosted by two former Survivor contestants; very strange and very funny.)
- No Meat Athlete Radio (Hosted by two vegan runners; it’s good for people like me who are vegan and run. They are not the best interviewers, but the episodes are informational nonetheless.)
- Rob Has a Podcast (Hosted by past survivor contestant Rob Cesternino; he puts out a TON of content, mainly about CBS reality TV. I listen to his Survivor podcasts as well as his show News AF.)
- Freakonomics Radio (Hosted by economist Stephen Dubner; it’s a really well-produced show that explores socioeconomic issues.)
- Marathon Training Academy (Hosted by husband and wife Angie & Trevor; they interview guests and give running advice for those training for anything from a 5k to an ultra.)
What are your favorite podcasts? If I’m missing any noteworthy ones, please let me know!