Design

6 Podcasts to Get Hooked on This Winter

melissa mccarthy bridesmaids

What are you listening to these days? I’m a longtime podcast fiend, but I still get overwhelmed by how many shows (how many really, really good shows!) are out there. As we head into a new year and the chilly months ahead, I thought I’d share some of my old and new favorites to cozy up with (and please tell me yours)…

IF YOU Love old movies — and scandals
LISTEN TO You Must Remember This
WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT This is one of those shows where I am actually jealous of the people who haven’t discovered it yet. If you’re a sucker for celeb scandals and juicy biopics, or staying up ’til 3am reading Mommie Dearest (hi!), this one’s for you. Karina Longworth researches and reports (in crazy detail) the mysteries, legends and icons of old Hollywood. We’re talking everything from Judy Garland’s tumultuous celebrity childhood to Marilyn Monroe’s mysterious last days to Charles Manson’s infiltration of the Hollywood elite. Some of the most fascinating episodes are on little-known stories (this one on actress Frances Farmer sent me down the Wikipedia rabbit hole). It is. So good.
TRY THIS EPISODE Marlon Brando

IF YOU Just need a little break real quick
LISTEN TO Pop Culture Happy Hour
WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT Listening to this show reminds me of dinner conversations you have with friends after going to the movies: Everyone has an opinion and everyone is in a good mood. This roundtable, led by host Linda Holmes and a rotating cast of podcast and radio personalities, is full of witty folks who are just as capable of waxing poetic about Jeopardy as they are debating the merit of melodrama in A Star Is Born. The biweekly episodes are short (about 20 minutes) but satisfying — a good giggle at the start and end of my week. Every Friday installment ends with a segment called, simply, “What’s Making Us Happy,” and honestly, who couldn’t use more of that?
TRY THIS EPISODE I say start with the most recent (but the episode on Mamma Mia 2 is also really fun — and I didn’t even see Mamma Mia 2)

IF YOU’RE In the mood for something spooky
LISTEN TO Lore
WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT This is my go-to podcast for a chilly night when I’m cooking dinner alone in my kitchen. It’s eerie, but not horror-movie scary. Each episode tells the true story behind a legend: the Mothman, changelings, the New England vampire panic. The stories underscore the ways that human nature is intertwined with myth, and how our darker instincts often create the very monsters we fear. It’s hard to oversell this extremely popular show (FYI, it’s already been adapted into an Amazon TV series), but if you haven’t tried it yet, this is the time of year to give it a whirl. The days are short, the skies are dark, so grab a blanket and dig in.
TRY THIS EPISODE The Castle

IF YOU’RE A fan of This American Life (and who isn’t?)
LISTEN TO The Nod
WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT The Nod isn’t derivative of This American Life (and typically has a much funnier, more high-energy feel), but it does explore fascinating stories and important moments in black culture — the Memphis 13, grape drink, an oral history of Knuck If You Buck — with the same thoughtful storytelling that TAL fans know and love. This show approaches black culture in a way that most media doesn’t, and it’s great to hear stories about black life from black hosts. Brittany Luse and Eric Eddings have a crackling rapport and a friendly rivalry, and I often find myself laughing along as if I’m in the room with them (when I’m actually alone on the subway).
TRY THIS EPISODE It’s hard to pick a favorite episode (I’ve listened to this one about a Beyoncé conspiracy theory three times because it still makes me laugh out loud), but this one, about Afrocentric pre-schools is a great place to start: A is for Afrocentric

IF YOU Listened to all of Dirty John in one day
LISTEN TO The Teacher’s Pet
WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT This Australian investigatory podcast examines one of the country’s most infamous cold cases: the disappearance and “probable murder” of Lyn Dawson. It’s a tangled, fascinating story that grows even more compelling as the podcast continues — but what I love about this show is the humanity with which host Hedley Thomas approaches the subject. Listening to true crime sometimes leaves me with an icky sense of complicity in consuming these stories as entertainment. This one is careful not to treat its subjects like characters, but as real, complex people, each of whom has their own experience of the events.
TRY THIS EPISODE Start from the beginning (and no peeking ahead!)

IF YOU Feel extremely unglamorous after scrolling through Instagram
LISTEN TO Death, Sex & Money
WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT If you’re not already a fan of this contemporary classic, Death, Sex & Money is just what it sounds like. It’s a show about things in our lives that are, as the creator Anna Sale puts it, “often left out of polite conversation.” Anna interviews (in her incredibly soothing voice) people from all walks of life — including the occasional celebrity — about deeply personal topics: a shoplifter on why she steals; a paralyzed newlywed on having a sex life; a Bitcoin mogul who went broke; a Texas town recovering from a series of local suicides; Alia Shawkat on navigating her twenties as a former child actress. This show gets real, no doubt, but it’s also a comforting reminder that there are universal experiences and things we all struggle with — and no one’s life is what it looks like on the outside.
TRY THIS EPISODE Ellen Burstyn’s Lessons on Survival

What’s in your ears these days?

P.S. What podcasts taught us about life and 6 more podcasts to check out.

(Photo of Melissa McCarthy in Bridesmaids.)

  1. Julie says...

    The Popcast with Knox and Jamie- they are hilarious!!!!

  2. Mama Bear Dares makes me try to be a better person. The hosts are adorably funny and so well researched and passionate. I appreciate learning more about real topics like human trafficking & cultural appropriation & raising kids while also hearing what they “probably should feel guilty about, but don’t” segments. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll make the world a better place http://www.mamabeardarespodcast.com/

  3. I used to love true crime, but it was making me too paranoid (and a bit guilty about its sometimes exploitative nature). Pardon the plug, but I wrote a post about my fave crime podcasts that are only peripherally about crime, but super well done and engaging, if anyone is interested!: http://www.ohmyword.ca/2018/06/a-different-kind-of-crime-podcast.html

  4. Teddy Nykiel says...

    Has Cup of Jo ever considered making a podcast? I’d be SO excited to listen!

    • Melissa says...

      Yes to this!

  5. Jenna says...

    I have really been enjoying Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend. Great celebrity chats and the dynamics with his cohost/assistant are so funny.

  6. raq says...

    bad on paper! they review all sorts of young adult novels and give great advice- they are smart accomplished 30-somethings

  7. Evelyn says...

    I got really into true crime recently! I of course listened to Serial when it first came out, but I’ve just finished listening to In the Dark, and I really liked it (the first season especially). I just started on Happy Face, and it’s really good, but definitely more emotionally charged so it’s taken me a little longer to get through it. For any woman who has had issues with her father, Happy Face may just put things in perspective!

    • I’m listening to Happy Face right now and it is gripping! I love storytelling podcasts while I am in my cooking nook of my kitchen and chopping and sauteing. Depending on what I am cooking I will also listen to “Good Food”, “Here’s The Thing” and “Fresh Air”

  8. Starlene says...

    I’m so excited to start listening to some of these! But you guys, my absolute favorite is Cocaine and Rhinestones. It’s about 20th century country music and the people who make it. But the stories are so well researched and detailed. You DO NOT need to like classic country music to fall in love with the weird voice and cadence of host, Tyler Coe and his almost obsessive interest in these little stories that might otherwise be forgotten. This podcast has a little bit of everything. It’s funny and sweet and crazy and unbelievable.

    • Jax says...

      Thank you for that rec! Right up my alley!

  9. Katherine says...

    Check out Curious and Curioser. It’s like having two wise best friends in your ear talking about life. Huge recommend! It’s changed my perspective on the every day.

  10. sarah says...

    Note – I don’t listen to podcasts but kept reading this, just enjoying Kelsey’s high quality writing and description. I.e “The stories underscore the ways that human nature is intertwined with myth, and how our darker instincts often create the very monsters we fear.”

  11. Sonya says...

    I love, love “Hyperbole: The Best Pidcast Ever”! It’s like hanging out with friends. Hilarious and fun!

  12. kelly lewis says...

    Ummm HELLO Amy Schumer’s “3 girls 1 Keith”!!!!

  13. Amanda J says...

    HumaNature!! It is put on by Wyoming Public Radio and features individual stories of people who have had experiences in nature. It is totally addicting and makes me want to move out west and journey through every national park! Great for feeling refreshed during a day stuck inside of an office.

    • Sasha L says...

      Thank you for this!! Can’t wait to give a listen. I live in Montana and love all things outdoors, wild, animals, nature.

  14. Colleen says...

    Forever 35 is one of my favorites! Kate and Doree are the absolute best. It’s like listening to a conversation between two of your best friends. From skin care, to relationships, to books, movies, and Costco favs … they cover it all. Definitively add it to your listening list, if it isn’t already there.

  15. Grace says...

    Highly recommend Sinisterhood – two Dallas-based comedians talk true crime, cults, and all things creepy. The content is always interesting, well-researched, and easy two follow. The hosts are hilarious and have awesome chemistry. Feels like a conversation with friends. Think MFM but without the endless rambling. It’s seriously SO GOOD.

    • nora says...

      Ha ha I can’t stand the rambling and lack of research in MFM, so I’ll try Sinisterhood on your recommendation because obviously we’re the same kind of podcast listener.

  16. Kelly says...

    Just a note to say that I absolutely love and look forward to whenever CoJ does a podcast post. So many great recommendations from the comments to sift through!! Most of my favorites have been mentioned, but here they are anyways: Stuff You Missed In History Class (lesser known history stuff or addressing history falsities), Dressed (history of fashion), 99 Percent Invisible (unnoticed architecture and design), Stuff Mom Never Told You (challenges facing women now/in history and how to advance women’s lives/careers/activism).

  17. Jessica says...

    So many favourites are on here! An excellent mini-series is “the butterfly effect” by Jon Ronson (author of “Men who Stare at Goats”, “The Psychopath Test” among many other amazing books). He researches how a young man started RedTube (porn website) which ended up causing a “butterfly effect” resulting in the porn industry completely changing due to the supply and demand now available. He speaks to directors, performers, everyone…and it’s fascinating. I’m not interested in porn at ALL however this looked at the human side of how one tiny change on the internet made a huge (negative in many cases) difference in many people’s lives. Also, to hear Jon say “bespoke porn” is pretty amusing.

  18. Dawn says...

    I’m obsessed with Lore! I read this yesterday and immediately starting listening. He is a pretty incredible storyteller!

  19. Marianne says...

    These are my favourites:
    Pod Save America
    Fresh Air
    The High Low
    My Dad Wrote a Porno
    Hidden Brain
    Dear Sugars
    BBC Eyewitness

    • J says...

      I LOVE the High Low so much!

  20. Camilla says...

    ‘Ladies we need to talk’ is a funny and insightful series about topics that are often taboo, even amongst friends. Done with a great sense of humour, I have loved learning more about topics such as your pelvic floor, PMS and the mental load. It has alsp sparked wonderful conversations both with my partner and female friends about topics we are sometimes too shy to bring up.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Love the name of that one!

    • Angela Thompson says...

      Love, ”Ladies we need to talk” too

  21. Maeve says...

    There’s a podcast called “Everything is alive” where a host interviews random inanimate objects. My favourite episode is Maeve, Lamppost (and not because she shares my name!). The episodes are quick, funny and odd yet strangely poignant. I often catch myself thinking about the thoughts and feelings of inanimate objects!

    • Kelly says...

      I absolutely love this podcast. Maeve was unbelievable. Ayo the Balloon? Nearly cried at the end. I also loved Dennis the Pillow. (BTW, for those who are like “WTF?” the host interviews actors playing the inanimate objects, not just talking to things with silence on the other end.) 99 Percent Invisible did a show about Everything is Alive, explaining the format and containing the first episode (https://99percentinvisible.org/episode/everything-is-alive/).

  22. Jess says...

    Thirst Aid Kit! Two intercontinental female hosts talk about their “thirst objects” aka lustworthy people (typically in entertainment) and each episode features a drabble, which is essentially erotica. It’s queer, it’s hilarious and it’s sexually empowering. I’m hooked.

  23. Sarah says...

    Sometimes I wonder if I’m the only one who doesn’t enjoy podcasts. I am a visual learner so I really enjoy looking at pictures and words and art and sentences. Just can’t get into podcasts the way I do books or videos! Wish I could get into them though – these sound amazing.

  24. Nash says...

    I LOVE “By the Book” – I just discovered it. Two hilarious ladies try out advice from self-help books and report back. So refreshing and interesting!!

  25. Courtney says...

    I just discovered Wooden Overcoats from the comments on an older CoJ post about podcasts and can’t get enough! It’s 3 seasons of a hilariously dry and quirky British comedy about a funeral home on the channel islands. I’m only on Season 1 so far and can’t wait to listen to more.

    Also, I definitely second the commenters’ love for Forever35. It is my absolute favourite podcast and there’s a lot of Cup of Jo crossover (eg. Samin Nosrat very recently!).

  26. Hannah H says...

    Thank you for this article and subsequent comment section! I, too, am a heavy podcast user (with a penchant for true crime and comedy) and loved getting so many wonderful new recommendations. Here’s a few old favorites/current listens:
    Invisibilia
    Judge John Hodgman
    Cold—about the Susan Powell case
    The Secret Room
    Sagittarian Matters
    The Dollop
    Professor Blastoff

  27. Jody Winter says...

    I’m a New Zealander but am having fun learning about American politics and culture via:

    Pantsuit Politics
    Katie Couric (now ended but ran from 2015 – 2018)

    • Katie says...

      Glad to see the Pantsuit Politics rec! They’re great and have one of the hosts from “the left” and one from “the right” (thought a Trump supporter!!), educated but also down to earth perspective on all the craziness these days. So much craziness these days, bleh.

    • Jax says...

      I listen to Katie Couric too, but hadn’t heard it’s ended. I wasn’t able to Google any mention of this. Was this announced in her last couple of podcasts? I haven’t listened to those end-of-year episodes yet.
      I thought she was just on an extended holiday break.

    • Hi Jax – Katie and Brian announced it at the start of their last podcast at the end of 2018. Sorry to drop that on you! I thought it would be common knowledge by now, especially as I live at the bottom of the planet – ha ha!

  28. My favorite of all is Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People with host Chris Gethard, with the premise being that he tweets out a phone number when he’s in the studio and the chosen caller talks through life – sometimes it’s easy breezy, happy, hilarious… and other times it’s heavy + real life-level gritty, all while remaining completely anonymous… adding to their ability to really spill their guts to a perfect stranger + the world of listeners. It’s full of humanity from top to bottom.

    My favorite episode is #69 – Love Is Everywhere. A mother calls in while waiting in the oncologists office for the results of her daughter’s final round of treatment. There isn’t any more treatments available, so the stakes + emotions are high, but their spirits are even higher.

  29. A Cup of Jo has been my daily go-to, favourite blog for over 10 years and to see your recommendation for The Teacher’s Pet has just made my year! My husband, Slade co-produced this podcast with Hedley Thomas and wrote the music.
    I love your comment about Hedley’s humanity for his subject. I can attest to the heart and hard work that has gone into the production of this podcast and the investigation into this case. Hedley and Slade are so overwhelmed with the reaction to this podcast series internationally and sincerely hope that it will bring justice for Lyn Dawson. Thanks for spreading the word. xx

  30. Emmie says...

    These days I am loving No Man’s Land by The Wing. It’s a collection of stories about “women who were too bad for your textbooks.”

    After reading about Forever35 on this blog, I have become a devoted listener. Thanks for the rec!

  31. Beverly says...

    super soul conversations with Oprah
    the rich roll podcast
    finding mastery michael gervais
    on being- especially poet marie howell
    goop
    tim ferris – great interview with hotelier Liz Lambert
    the weekly word – super wonky ultra running advice, but also just good habit and approach to fitness in general

  32. Amanda says...

    Lately my go-to has been the (often super nerdy) Longform. Generally I only recommend it to fellow journalists.. but I could listen to writers talk craft for daaaaaaays.

    Also on frequent rotation:
    Still Processing
    Unladylike
    Bad With Money
    Heavyweight
    Call Your Girlfriend
    Where Should We Begin

  33. Podcast Fan says...

    150 of the podcasts recommended by Cup of Jo’s Kelsey Miller and the readers on January 15, 2019

    Hello all – These are the first 150 I captured when I started reading in the evening in California. After I captured them, I sorted them alpha order.

    1. 538 Podcast
    2. 99% invisible
    3. After Hours
    4. Ali on the Run
    5. Armchair Expert
    6. Article of Interest
    7. Bag Man
    8. Bear Brook
    9. Believed
    10. Bon Appetit Foodcast
    11. Broken Record
    12. By the book
    13. Caliphate
    14. Call your Girlfriend
    15. Career Relaunch
    16. Chiffon
    17. Circle round
    18. Clarity On Fire
    19. Classical Classroom
    20. Comedy Bang Bang
    21. Committed
    22. Conan
    23. Constitutional
    24. Conversations with Richard Fiedler
    25. Crime Junkie
    26. Criminal
    27. Darknet Diaries
    28. Dear Prudence
    29. Dear Sugars
    30. Death, Sex & Money
    31. Desert Island Disc
    32. Dirty John
    33. Disgraceland
    34. Doughboys
    35. Dr. Death
    36. Dr. Gameshow
    37. Earhustle
    38. Eleanor Amplified
    39. Everything is Alive
    40. Everything Little Thing
    41. Fearne Cotton HAPPY PLACE
    42. Forever35
    43. Freakonomics
    44. Getting Curious
    45. Gladiator
    46. Han and Matt Know It All
    47. Happier with Gretchen Rubin
    48. Heavyweight
    49. Hello from the Magic Tavern
    50. Here to Make Friends
    51. Her Money by Jean Chatzky
    52. Hey Girl
    53. Hidden Brain
    54. High and Mighty
    55. Household Name
    56. How I Built This
    57. How to be Amazing, with Michael Ian Black
    58. Hurry Slowly
    59. Improv 4 Humans
    60. In the Dark
    61. It’s only a game
    62. Jen Gotch is OK
    63. Keep It
    64. Last Seen
    65. Learning The Tropes
    66. Lexicon Valley
    67. Lore
    68. Love Stories with Dolly Alderton
    69. Magic Lessons
    70. Marc Maron’s WTF
    71. Missing Richard Simmons
    72. Modern Love
    73. Mom and Dad are Fighting
    74. More Perfect
    75. Mother May I Sleep With
    76. Mueller, She Wrote
    77. My Favorite Murder
    78. No Man’s Land
    79. No Such Thing As a Fish
    80. Nothing Much Happens
    81. OFF BOOK
    82. Ologies
    83. On Drug
    84. Over It and On With It
    85. PCHH
    86. Philosophize This
    87. Pop Culture Happy Hour
    88. Reply All
    89. Reveal
    90. Revisionist History
    91. Risk! with Kevin Allison
    92. Sawbones
    93. Scene on Radio
    94. Science Vs.
    95. Serial
    96. She Explores
    97. Slow Burn
    98. Small Doses
    99. Someone Knows Something
    100. Song Exploder
    101. Spontaneanation with Paul F. Tompkins
    102. Stay Tuned with Preet Bahara
    103. Story pirates
    104. Storynory
    105. Straight White American Jesus
    106. Studio 360
    107. Sum of All Parts
    108. Teacher’s Lounge
    109. Terrible thanks for asking
    110. That Book
    111. The alien adventures of Finn Caspian
    112. The Allusionist
    113. The Black Tapes
    114. The Dream
    115. The Habitat
    116. The Hilarious World of Depression
    117. The Homeschool sisters
    118. The longest shortest time
    119. The Moth
    120. The New Yorker: Fiction
    121. The next right thing
    122. The Nod
    123. The Other Half
    124. The Queens of England
    125. The Smartest Person in the Room
    126. The Sunday Edition
    127. The Teacher’s Pet
    128. This American Life
    129. This Is Love
    130. Threedom
    131. True Crime Garage
    132. Uncivil
    133. Unladylike
    134. Unobscured
    135. Up and Vanished
    136. WELLBEING
    137. West Wing Weekly
    138. What Should I Read Next
    139. What Trump Can Teach us About Con(stitutional) Law
    140. When to Jump
    141. Where Should We Begin
    142. Why Won’t You Date Me
    143. Wireframe
    144. Without Fail by Alex Blumberg
    145. WOMANS HOUR
    146. WOW in the World
    147. You Must Remember This
    148. You’re Wrong About
    149. Young House Love
    150. ZigZag

    • Sasha L says...

      Just wow!! Thank you so much.

    • Rae says...

      Thank you!!!

  34. Rebecca says...

    This Podcast will Kill You –
    It’s two lovely ladies talking about infectious diseases. I originally didn’t think I would want to here every detail of an illness but it is facinating to learn about symptoms, origins, and how it spreads. They do a great job. I’m addicted!!!

  35. G says...

    Shoot This Now!

    Has anyone else discovered this? Delightful listen – two Hollywood journalists dish on real events that should be movies and who they’d cast.

  36. Cathy says...

    The Better Call Saul Insider Podcast is just fantastic! The day after each new episode various cast and crew members gather together to discuss the episode. The co-creators, Vince Gillian and Peter Gould are always on along with the host, editor Kelley Dixon. The insights into the show are amazing! They also did this same podcast with Breaking Bad and it was marvelous as well.

  37. Jennifer says...

    Love these! Thanks for the great recs. Podcasts inspire me so much that I just launched my own called A Female Lens, which spotlights women across the film industry dedicated to excellence. I found that most film pods were mostly hosted by or featuring men and my best friend and I wanted to change that:)

  38. nellie says...

    The Teacher”s Pet is not only gripping and compelling- and true, it has also led to an arrest and (we all hope) a conviction for the individual at the centre of the investigations. Cannot recommend or applaud this stellar piece of (riveting) journalism enough.
    – and on a side note if Aussie accents are your jam, the Northern Beaches of Sydney delivers in spades :)

  39. Shannon says...

    The longest shortest time – hilarious and thoughtful parenting/family/relationships

    Terrible thanks for asking – life, loss, navigating life

    Committed- love stories of all kinds

    Forever35 – like being with friends

    99% invisible- everything we don’t see all around us

    Missing Richard Simmons – so crazy – seriously – what happened to him?

  40. Ragon says...

    I love advice columns so I love Dear Prudence, Han and Matt Know It All (they review advice columns!) and for parenting advice, Mom and Dad are Fighting.

    But my true podcast love is Binge Mode–they are almost done with Harry Potter and I love it so much, it’s made me appreciate the series even more. I am going to be so sad when it ends. But then I’ll listen to Binge Mode Game of Thrones so I’ll be okay.

    I also like Science Vs. So interesting!

  41. Sally says...

    Haven’t read through all the suggestions but I love “by the book”. 2 women spend 2 weeks living by the rules of a self-help book. They are so funny and honest!

    • Caroline says...

      Seconding this one! I LOVE By the Book.

  42. Ivy says...

    For fans of comedy:

    – Teacher’s Lounge
    – Doughboys
    – Comedy Bang Bang
    – Improv 4 Humans
    – Threedom
    – Spontaneanation with Paul F. Tompkins
    – High and Mighty

  43. Suzanne says...

    Can’t wait to read through these comments to see what everyone is listening to. My two latest favorites are NPR’s Believed, about the Larry Nassar scandal, and Terrible, Thanks for Asking, thanks to Cup of Jo’s interview with the wonderful Nora McInerny.

  44. Megan says...

    How I Built This
    Dirty John
    Happier with Gretchen Rubin
    Magic Lessons
    By The Book
    The Dream
    Last Seen
    In the Dark
    Slow Burn
    Up and Vanished
    Crime Junkie
    Jen Gotch is OK
    Nothing Much Happens – bedtime stories to help you relax and sleep

    • Jessica says...

      The Dream!!! It made me feel so much better about my natural cynical-ness regarding MLMs and was fascinating to hear that type of business backstory. I recommend it to every friend who tries to sell me products from an MLM company ;-)

  45. Erin says...

    Has anyone listened to The Black Tapes podcast?
    Fictional investigative podcast in the style of Serial. Curious to hear reactions – especially to the end of the series (3rd season)

    • Bethany says...

      Erin, Black Tapes is one of my favorites. I so wish it would come back! It is the best fictional podcast. Better than Homecoming, Sandra, Horror of Dolores Roach. It was really the most interesting thing out there.

  46. Sam says...

    Great suggestions!
    I loved all the topics addressed in The Nod, but had to stop listening because they wouldn’t stop doing that thing where they talk through mouthfuls of peanut butter, and it was somehow supposed to be funny. it was not enjoyable for me unfortunately.

    • Becks says...

      I think everyone else felt the same way and they seem to have stopped doing this – at least for the last couple I listened to.

  47. Alexandra says...

    I feel like there’s not a lot here in the humor category, so here are some recommendations if you’rein the mood for laughs:

    – OFF BOOK: The Improvised Musical. Each episode the two hosts plus a special guest improvise an entire musical and it’s hilarious.

    – Everything is Alive. Interviews with inanimate objects. Funny, but strangely deep and profound.

  48. Rae says...

    Thank you for this – I am always looking for new podcasts!

    My current favorite is Straight White American Jesus.
    It looks at American Evangelicalism: the beliefs, the history, why Trump got more of the evangelical vote than any president before him… It is hosted by two religion professors who are both ex-evangelical and it is fascinating and easy to listen to. I recommend it for anyone interested in socio-political discussions or religion & politics in general.

  49. Heather says...

    -“the Homeschool sisters” is one of my faves (good for resources and knowing that you’re gonna make it! :) )
    -“The next right thing” is also great..love how it calms my anxious indecisive spirit
    -for kids we love “circle round”, “story pirates”(episode 3 is my ultimate fave..haha!),”Eleanor amplified”, and “the alien adventures of Finn caspian”

  50. Jess says...

    I’ve really been enjoying and always recommend…..

    -Over It and On With It – Christine Hassler (Life, Insightful)
    -Small Doses with Amanda Seales (Life/Comedy)
    – Scene on Radio: Seeing White, Parts 1-6 (Social/History/Current Affairs) https://www.sceneonradio.org/seeing-white/

  51. Anna says...

    The Teacher’s Pet was so good. I love true crime podcasts (MFM is the best!) but I was listening to so many I was starting to have frequent nightmares so I’ve been making an effort to branch out. Terrible, Thanks for Asking is just a delight. Where Should We Begin with Esther Perel is so insightful and informative. I also enjoy some of the stories on Committed. But my very favourite is Conversations with Richard Fiedler. So many interesting conversations with regular people doing fascinating things!

  52. Katie says...

    The Smartest Person in the Room-the whole podcast is great, but the BIAS series is a must listen! It addresses race and other hard topics and the host, Laura Tremaine, asks the questions most are too afraid to admit they have too. It is so well done!

    • Bridgette says...

      Have you listened to scene on radio??? Their race series was amazing, and there’s one in gender I’m excited to start.

  53. Courtney says...

    Disgraceland! It’s a fascinating look at the stories behind the sex, drugs and rock and roll. I’m not into music but that’s how I know when a podcast/book/anything is amazing- when they take something I didn’t know I needed to know and make it fascinating!
    The Dream, about American MLM’s and Amway, is also worth a listen for anyone whose aunt won’t quit it with essential oils or everlasting lipstick!

  54. Matilda says...

    For history nerds, the Queens of England podcast is so fun. He’s finished it now, but it’s great. It goes from Matilda of Flanders through Mary of Modena. He also has another podcast now, which is The Other Half and takes a look at famous women (who were wives of famous men).

    Anyone have other suggestions for history lovers?

    • Claire Miller says...

      Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History is one of my husband’s favorites. The episodes are super long (like, 2-3 hours). The episodes are pretty few and far between because of the insane amount of research he does, but definitely worth a listen if you like history.

    • Courtney says...

      Ooh these are right up my alley! Thanks for sharing.

    • A E says...

      “The History Chicks” is delightful, I highly recommend!

  55. Shannon says...

    I was needing new podcast recommendations! Excited to try these out.

  56. Christine says...

    -How to be Amazing, with Michael Ian Black (always has fantastic interviews!)
    -Slow Burn (both seasons…so interesting, especially in our current political climate).

  57. Kelly says...

    This was my year of falling in love with podcasts! I know these are probably old to most people but my three faves so far are:
    1) Caliphate by the NYT- sooooo gripping and interesting.
    2) Dr. Death- ugh!! Wow!
    3) Serial- I know, old news! But so well done!
    I don’t have the patience for chatty podcasts- I love ones that are to the point.

  58. Holly says...

    Earhustle!!! I can’t recommend it enough. It’s put on inside of San Quentin prison by prisoners there and it is so eye opening. There isn’t an agenda it focuses on discussing what prison is really like and what the people are really like. It’s honest and raw and I feel changed having followed it for several seasons.

  59. Emily Yelencich says...

    I am a podcast fanatic and early adopter! Always trying to branch out and see what’s new on the scene!

    I’ve been listening to PCHH since the VERY beginning. I think it’s been 10 years!

    I got into podcasts through Marc Maron’s WTF, in which he interviews comedians, musicians, actors etc. Haven’t been listening recently, but it was my first podcast love. In a similar vein is Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard and Monica Padman. This one has great interviews with (mostly) celebrities, but my favorite part is the fact check, in which Monica fact checks the episode. It often turns into a philosophical debate that really gets me going (also the ONLY podcast my husband has ever gotten into. Gives us really good food for conversation).

    Finally, my most recent obsession has been Forever 35 with Doree Shafrir and Kate Spencer. It has literally changed my life. I now practice weekly and daily intentions, and gratitudes. I prioritize self-care in a multi-dimensional way, and feel like it’s helping me become my most authentic self. If that doesn’t sell it, just think about what it’s like hanging out with your best girlfriends and voila, you’ve got the tone of the show. I’ve had SO much alone time recently, and this podcast has kept me in GREAT company.

  60. Bethany says...

    The Dream was definitely my favorite podcast of 2018. It’s about pyramid schemes and multilevel marketing, but fun. They discuss how these businesses have historically leaned especially hard on women’s labor, and they even join one to take the listener through all the money, propaganda, and heartbreaking stories that are involved in so many MLMs. I have listened to several episodes more than once. If you’ve ever had a DM from someone you knew in high school with an exciting business opportunity, you need to listen to this.

    • Sarah says...

      Loved The Dream – all other podcasts hgad to wait whilst I recently binged it.

      I’m Aussie, so The Teacher’s Pet was big here – I gave up on it after every mention of Lyn came with words like ‘loving mother’ – not that being a mother is a problem, it just seemed to become a trope? In any case, recent news is: Chris Dawson was arrested pre-Christmas!

  61. Julia says...

    This winter I’ve discovered the following podcasts:
    • Dr Death – craziness!
    • Bear Brook – wow!
    • In the Dark – Season 2 is SO GOOD. If I could only recommend one, this would be the one.

    Also love:
    • Reply All
    • Everything Little Thing
    • Ear Hustle
    • This Is Love
    • The Dream

    • Debbie Thackeray says...

      We are on the same podpage here! Subscribed to In the Dark, thanks Julia!

  62. I wish I could like all these comments. So many good suggestions! I have my queue ready for and long haul drives I have coming up.

    I hope it is ok to do a little self-promotion. If anyone is interested, I host a podcast called Learning The Tropes. Every week we read a romance novel and review it. I am a long time romance fan, and my cohost (and husbands bestie) is a romance newbie. We try to be funny while still being fan of the genre!

    • Rae says...

      Erin, that sounds like so much fun! I’m off to find it!

  63. Emily says...

    I have been listening to pop culture happy hour for years and so happy to see it on this list! I listen to it when I am feeling lonely because the panel reminds me so much of my friends and the types of conversations we would have. We all have super busy lives right now with filled with kids and careers. We don’t see each other nearly enough so this podcast has become my “stand-in” friends.

  64. Nicole says...

    If you understand french, I recommend « Chiffon » from Valérie Tribes, a french journalist living in Paris, interviewing people known, unknown, people like you and me about their relation to fashion, clothes etc. Very easy to listen to and very revealing! I love this one.

  65. Jenny says...

    I love More Perfect. They wrapped up their latest season recently where they made an album with a song for each of the amendments to the Constitution, so you get to hear clips of the song along with a history of the amendment in each episode. It was so fascinating and I learned a lot, like the fact that the 19th amendment (giving women the right to vote) wasn’t ratified by Mississippi until 1984. 1984!!! The earlier seasons are gold too-highly recommend the Citizens United and Sex Appeal episodes.

    • MM says...

      YES to this recommendation. I felt like I was bettering my humanity, my relationship to important documents of our nation’s history, and opening the door to a deeper understanding (or in some cases, discovery!) of the various amendments in listening to this podcast. Plus, the song angle got me. Totally seconding this rec!

    • Mb says...

      If you liked More Perfect, I strongly encourage you to listen to Constitutional from the Washington Post. Incredibly well done!

  66. Heather says...

    That Book is so great! It’s a couple of friends talking about everything from Jack Reacher to Middlemarch. They have such a fun rapport and I get a ton of book recs from Michael (one of the hosts) especially. Would really recommend!

  67. Amanda says...

    Fellow murderino here, so My Favorite Murder is definitely tops on my list. But from recommendations on that podcast, I’ve gotten into Phoebe Judge’s This is Criminal and This is Love. She’s just wonderful. Her soothing voice and interesting topics got me through a 15-hour road trip to Florida and back.

    Also, despite not being a fan of anything sportsball-related, I started listening to Gladiator about Aaron Hernandez and head injuries in football. I got through all six episodes in a weekend because it was so interesting.

  68. Elizabeth says...

    Malcolm Gladwell’s podcast, Revisionist History is great. The premise of each episode is to “reinterpret something from the past: an event, a person, an idea. Something overlooked. Something misunderstood.”

    Game of Thrones and Harry Potter fans should definitely check out Binge Mode. The hosts go DEEP into these series.

    • Ashley says...

      Totally agree about Revisionist History – it’s incredible! From Season 3, the episodes on imperfect memories and Brian Williams are eye-opening. And in this era of “Border Wall” debates, the episode “General Chapman’s Last Stand” is incredibly enlightening. Really, all episodes are worth a listen!

  69. Emily says...

    I love Pop Culture Happy Hour and You Must Remember This! If you are in the mood for some humor and/or you find wacky medical history interesting, I recommend Sawbones. It’s hosted by a husband and wife team, where the wife is a doctor and her husband is her foil. Really funny and interesting at the same time. :)

  70. Amanda says...

    I take the subway to work everyday, so podcasts are my jam.

    Currently listening to:
    -Here to Make Friends (a weekly Bachelor show recap that is smart AND funny.)
    – Call Your Girlfriend (feels like listening in on your two best girlfriends!)
    -True Crime Garage (all things true crime!!)
    -Under the Influence (a CBC podcast about advertising and marketing – super interesting!)

    Will take a look through some of the other comments for new suggestions! And what a great list Kelsey! Thanks!

  71. I’m always looking for podcast recommendations so I will check these out!

  72. Lauren T. says...

    Commenting before I even read the article because the photo is perfect and made me giggle.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      she is a comic genius :)

  73. Sasha L says...

    If you are in to math and science (and even if you aren’t, still pretty informative and entertaining):
    Science VS
    sum of all parts
    Wireframe

    Alan aldas interview podcast, he’s one of the best interviewers ever and such amazing topics (a lot are fun for science geeks too)

    It’s only a game – about SPORTS, I don’t even like sports, but this is such a great podcast. It’s one of the most progressive and inclusive and feminist shows I’ve heard. Seriously, you won’t believe how many times you’ll be crying over a story. It’s that good.

    The allusionist, just was recommended and I haven’t had a chance yet, but all about WORDS. sounds really fun doesn’t it!?!

    • Becks says...

      I love Alan Alda’s too. He has some great guests and is just so soothing to listen to, no matter the subject.

  74. Andrea says...

    Trump Inc. is pretty amazing.

  75. Ellen says...

    Podcast addict here, with a list of 25 “favorites” on my Stitcher feed.
    The shows I look forward to with the greatest eagerness are:
    Hidden Brain
    Freakonomics
    Studio 360 (Great episodes to look for go waaaay back, so scroll for “American Icons” series with deep dives into topics from Native Son, to The Muppets, Georgia OKeefe’s skull paintings, Campbell Soup cans, and Moby Dick.)
    Reveal – dive in to the “Follow the Money” episode about crowdsourcing a citizen sleuth brigade, which you can join, to track all of the the current members of the current administration and their potential financial conflicts of interest.

  76. Elena says...

    Where are all the murderinos?! I wasn’t a fan of My Favorite Murder at first…and now I’m counting down the days to the live show in March. I start my week on Monday with the mini-sodes and end it with the Thursday episode.

    • Julia says...

      Have you listened to Bear Brook yet? I think you’d love it. In the Dark too. Dark, ugly, fascinating stuff!

  77. Some British podcasts, these 4 are my go -to favourites
    – BBC Radio 4 WOMANS HOUR
    – Fearne Cotton HAPPY PLACE
    -Liz Earle’s WELLBEING podcast
    – BBC Radio 4 Desert Island Discs
    Enjoy!

  78. Lauren says...

    Ahh! I just started a podcast in November and am having so much fun with it. I interview guests about their sex and dating lives, opening up a judgment-free conversation about a topic that shouldn’t be taboo. It’s called Results May Vary…and I’m definitely checking some of these out! :)

    itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/results-may-vary/id1444386379&ls=1

  79. Kristin says...

    If anyone likes Lore, I would suggest Unobscured- Aaron Mehnke’s deep dive into the Salem Witch Trials- it’s so good!

    Also- medical history/ comedy podcast Sawbones makes me bust out laughing at my desk at least once a day.

  80. Lily says...

    I love Nicole Byer’s podcast Why Won’t You Date Me. She is THE FUNNIEST, I recommend it to everyone I talk to.

    • Amanda says...

      I didn’t know she had a podcast! I love her Netflix hosted show “Nailed It”! Thanks for the recommendation!!

  81. Katey says...

    The Longest Shortest Time, produced by Hillary Frank, author of the just-released-today! book, “Weird Parenting Wins.” It is all about parenthood, with a focus on motherhood. It is professional (Hillary was a contributor to This American Life), funny, eye-opening, and empowering. My favorite episode was something like, “A man gets a c-section.” Check it out.

    • Robin says...

      Yes! Love love love. I especially liked the accidental gay parents series, but it’s all great.

  82. I love Stay Tuned with Preet Bahara (former U.S. Attorney who fought corruption, financial fraud and violent crime, in a series about justice and fairness), What Trump Can Teach us About Con(stitutional) Law with Roman Mars, Where Should We Being with Esther Perel (Real couples. Candid conversations. Surprising truths.), Uncivil (a history podcast from Gimlet Media around the Civil War – stories left out of the official history) Radiolab’s More Perfect (a series about the Supreme Court), Hidden Brain, and Darknet Diaries (if you are into hackers, cybersecurity, etc).

  83. Katherine says...

    I almost exclusively listen to pods from our friends across the pond. I think they’re doing it better over there! My all time favs;

    -Desert Island Discs (a total classic, I’ve been working my way through the decades)
    -The High Low (the best mix of – you guessed it- high and low culture)
    -Love Stories with Dolly Alderton
    -BBC Womens Hour

    • Katy says...

      I second The High Low! I love the mix of conversation topics and how willing the hosts are to consider an alternative point of view.

    • Rae says...

      Agreed. Love all these!

  84. Kim says...

    ZigZag – documenting two women starting their own media/tech start-up. They do a great job explaining really techy stuff – blockchain and crypto currency – while at the same time being genuine about how hard it is to juggle family, finances and start a business. Also enjoyed binging the Wilderness, SlowBurn and Serial.

  85. I’m listening to all the back episodes of Mueller, She Wrote to learn all about this Trump-Russia stuff since it seems to be coming to a head and is the story of the century.

  86. Catharine says...

    I absolutely love Stephen West’s
    Philosophize This!
    Lore and You Must Remeber This are also great to listen too.

  87. Anne says...

    If you are into true crime, Bear Brook is very good and has loose-ish ties to the Golden State Killer case (I just finished reading I’ll Be Gone in the Dark so it was a well-timed listen).

    I’ve also recently gotten into Keep It (based on a recommend I found here I believe). It’s a fun, snarky look at the week’s pop culture news. Love it!

    • Sarah says...

      If you liked I’ll Be Gone In The Dark, you may like Evil Has A Name. It’s on Audible and it’s a series featuring detective Paul Holes and the female victims of the GSK. It’s completely gripping. Full disclosure, my husband worked on it… I wasn’t a crime person before but I couldn’t stop listening.

  88. Julia says...

    Oh! and one more – If you’re listening with kids, check out Dr. Gameshow. Jo Firestone and Manolo Moreno, both based in Brooklyn, play game shows sent in by listeners with their comedian friends and listener call-ins. They treat kids like they’re one of the group and frequently have kids of all ages on the show. It’s the only podcast that consistently makes me laugh out loud.

    • Tabitha says...

      I (35-year-old single woman with no children, haha) absolutely ADORE Dr Gameshow! They played one of my games once and I was over the moon. If you haven’t seen it yet, you might enjoy “Joe Pera Talks with You” on the Adult Swim website. Jo Firestone plays his love interest. :)

  89. Ashley says...

    I have a smile glued to my face listening to Dax Shepard’s “Armchair Expert”. He and his co-host, Monica Padman, are witty, intelligent and warm. They make you want to be their best friends. I particularly like his “Experts on Expert” episodes and my all-time fave is the interview with Brene Brown. Two thumbs way up!

    • Emily says...

      Second for Armchair Expert! I was so surprised by how much I loved this podcast and listen every week. Dax is a great interviewer and I learn so much about the people he is interviewing than is typical with a celebrity interview. And definitely check out the episode where he interviews his mom!

  90. jenn says...

    Hello from the Magic Tavern is my JAM. it’s a goofy sometimes-raunchy fantasy podcast featuring improv comedians from Chicago, and i love it so much. also, Comedy Bang Bang (comedy) and One Shot (D&D/RPG).

  91. Julia says...

    I can’t recommend Risk! with Kevin Allison highly enough. It’s The Moth, but uncensored, raunchy, occasionally hilarious, sometimes devastating, deeply human, and always entertaining. If you don’t dig the host’s opening dialogue, skip forward 4 minutes and let the stories take you away.

  92. Kate says...

    I <3 podcasts!

    Hurry Slowly – a fantastic podcast on how to slow down and be more fulfilled and productive at work and in life

    Slow Burn Season 2 – a fascinating dive into the Clinton-Lewinsky affair

    The New Yorker: Fiction – an author chooses a short story from the New Yorker archives to read and discuss with fiction editor Debra Treisman – a really nice break from non-fiction and I learn so much

    Ear Hustle – stories from inside San Quentin prison

    Song Exploder – artists give insight into how they created their songs

    Where Should We Begin – actual couples' therapy sessions with the amazing Esther Perel!

    So many CBC podcasts! Someone Knows Something, The Sunday Edition, On Drugs

  93. I love Podcasts and I’m so excited to check out some of these recommendations! They’re often the only way I can motivate myself to do cardio and tidy my house, so thanks in advance for the heart health and clean home!

    I am in my final week at a job I’ve had for 10 years, which will likely mean the end of a 15 year career, so at the moment I am very into career podcasts: How I Built This, Career Relaunch, When to Jump

    I also love feminist podcasts: No Man’s Land, Unladylike, The Longest Shortest Time (technically a parenting podcast, but very feminist)

    Kid Podcasts: WOW in the World (so interesting I sometimes keep listening when my kids have long since tuned out), Storynory, The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian

    And other random podcasts: The Habitat (it’s like a true science fiction soap opera, so good), Getting Curious, Hidden Brain, Lexicon Valley, Young House Love has a Podcast, Modern Love, and This American Life (always and forever)

  94. Ahh! I just started a podcast in November and am having so much fun with it. I interview guests about their sex and dating lives, opening up a judgment-free conversation about a topic that shouldn’t be taboo. It’s called Results May Vary…and I’m definitely checking some of these out! :)

  95. Amanda says...

    Loved Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History and loved how into it my 11 year old got this summer too. Any others in that ilk? Done well?

    • Betsy says...

      I love love love.

      And I’m not a music aficionado, but his second collaborative cast, Broken Record, is *fascinating.* So many iconic producers!

  96. Amanda says...

    Would love some more historical political podcases a la Bag Man and Slow Burn. Not super interested in group discussions of the current political situation – I’m looking to podcasts to escape that a bit but I’d like to learn something that might help me interpret the current situation too.

    • Rae says...

      Amanda, I posted this separately too – Straight White American Jesus offers a historical look at the evangelical movement in the U.S. and how it affects our current culture and politics. I highly recommend it.

  97. Amanda says...

    I am obsessed with a podcast called No Such Thing As a Fish–there’s a British TV show called QI, currently hosted by Sandi Toksvig (yes, the one from Great British Bake-Off), which deals in fun trivia, but with a panel of comedians. On the podcast, four of the writers for the show each bring their favorite fact that they’ve come across in their research, and they riff on each one for about 5-10 minutes. One recent episode had Stephen Fry as a guest panelist, and they’ve also had John Hodgman on the show in the past. (Hodgman is my pick to host the American version of QI if it ever happens.)

    • Katey says...

      I used to love QI! I stopped around series L. Too much of a good thing.

    • Rakhee says...

      I love both QI and Fish!! Both are fabulous – especially while going for a walk!

  98. Abigail says...

    I love listening to podcasts, but I find that I can do NOTHING else while listening without losing track of the storyline. Does anyone have a recommendation for a light, breezy podcast that doesn’t require my full, undivided attention? Thanks!

  99. Katie says...

    So excited for this post! I just started getting into podcasts last year when music wasn’t cutting it for my runs, and I’m always on the hunt for new ones. So I’m taking notes.

    My first and favorite is still Ali on the Run. Ninety five percent of the people on the show are runners (mostly amateurs but sometimes professional) so it’s about running, but really it’s about life. Her episode with Katie Burke was super motivating and I still laugh my way through The Great Turkey Trot episode, even after listening to it multiple times now. Highly recommend, she asks great questions and fosters great conversations.

    Clarity On Fire feeds my wandering soul. Whenever I find myself daydreaming about all the things I want to be when I grow up, they encourage me (because sometimes you need that) but they also snap me back to reality and get stuff done. It’s like a personal weekly career coaching session, but I can do it when I’m driving to work, going for a run, or eating lunch.

    I’m also digging Conan’s new podcast which I expected to be funny in typical Conan fashion (and it is!) but it’s sometimes surprisingly deep, like when he was talking with Dax Shepard about raising boys.

    Can’t wait to add some of these recommendations to my list!

    • Sasha L says...

      Conan’s show on Netflix is ridiculously funny. Thanks for podcast rec!!

  100. Annie says...

    SO MANY.
    -Believed (the story of Larry Nassar’s victims. A tough listen, but so interesting)
    -Bon Appetit Foodcast (always entertaining and full of good tips – I love to listen while I make dinner!)
    -By the Book (two hilarious friends live by a different self-help book each episode)
    -Dear HBR (Harvard Business Review advice podcast, focuses on a different workplace issue each episode)
    -Article of Interest (fascinating history behind articles of clothing like pockets, jeans, etc.)
    -The Dream (the story of multilevel marketing companies and the people who’ve worked for them)
    -The Hilarious World of Depression (comedians and other performers/artists share their experiences with depression and anxiety)
    -Hey Girl (Alex Elle interviews amazing women about their lives)

    • Meg says...

      Are…are you my best friend? This is a perfectly curated list. Thank you for sharing!

  101. Molly says...

    My favorites:
    HerMoney by Jean Chatzky – really smart podcast about financial issues affecting women.
    Without Fail by Alex Blumberg – incredibly good interviews with all kinds of people who have had success in different ways.
    538 Podcast – good, neutral political analysis. I should say mostly neutral, their disdain for Trump’s decision making definitely comes through. But this is definitely not a “liberals are stupid” or “Republicans are evil” podcast.
    Motley Fool Money – weekly market analysis. Good if you are interested in investing.

    I listen to podcasts a ton – while in the car, at the gym, walking the dog, so there are others in my feed but these are the ones I always listen to first. I’m always looking for good podcasts about travel, health, and nutrition, if anyone has suggestions for those.

  102. Michelle says...

    I’ve been listening to Call your Girlfriend since you guys recommended it and love it! I also like Ologies, as several other readers have mentioned, My Favorite Murder, The Young Turks for progressive political commentary, and the New Yorker fiction podcast are other go-to’s.

  103. Maclean Nash says...

    Thank you so much for your list! I love me a good recommendation.
    My go-to’s are Dax Shepards “Arm Chair Expert”, Jonathan VanNess “Getting Curious” and CBCs “Someone Knows Something”.

  104. Babs says...

    I am really enjoying “You’re Wrong About,” a podcast where 2 journalists explore news events from the 80s, 90s, and 00s (Amy Fisher, the Challenger disaster, Stranger Danger panic, urban legends) and evaluate how they were reported and how they impacted the world today. Fascinating, smart, and great fun.

    • Carolyn says...

      It’s so good! I get excited when I see a new episode available in my stream. Sometimes they can get me too worked up though, I was in a rage for days after the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill episode. The injustice!!

  105. Reply All, Household Name, Criminal and Heavyweight are my go to podcast recommendations!

    • Becks says...

      Yes! Heavyweight.
      I have told so many people about this but only one person has given it as go. Although he did love it too.
      It’s so cringe, so funny, so human. Goldstein just cracks me up.

  106. Carly says...

    Lexicon Valley from Slate. Each episode tackles a different aspect of language (syntax, evolution of specific words/phrases, etc) and it’s incredibly interesting. The host, John McWhorter, is hilarious and so insightful.

    • Hannah says...

      Great recommendation!!

  107. Courtney says...

    -Dirty John
    -Forever 35
    -My Favorite Murder
    -Uncover: Escaping NXIVM
    -Mother May I Sleep With? (For all you Lifetime movie lovers–this one is great! It’s a comedy podcast and covers a lifetime movie each episode. The host, Molly, is hilarious and even if you’ve never seen the movie covered it’s totally fine. Great podcast when you need a laugh!)

    • Holly says...

      Uncover: Escaping NXIVM was fascinating.

    • JK says...

      Mother May I Sleep With Podcast is my new favorite. It’s hilarious!

  108. I LOVE Anne Bogel’s What Should I Read Next! I have yet to be disappointed when I read a book she recommends!

    • Lori says...

      Yes!

  109. Jan says...

    If you’re interested in more business related podcasts that are actually fun to listen to, I recently discovered After Hours, hosted by three HBS professors, who debate the most relevant topics in business, politics, and culture. I love it and always feel like I come out of each episode with something.

    • Meredith says...

      YES! I recently discovered After Hours too, and I am working through all of the back episodes. It’s getting to the point that it is one of the only things I listen to.

      They are three BRILLIANT minds (of course, being HBS professors) with fascinating takes on things, but I also find them SO charming and kind. One of my favorite parts of their dynamic is that, even though the podcast is short, there are three of them, and they cover multiple topics, they rarely interrupt one another – they are patient, but they also genuinely seem to want to hear what the others have to say. I feel like so many podcasts that I listen to consist of the hosts talking a mile-a-minute, jumping in immediately after or over the others in order to get their bit in, so it really makes After Hours a breath of fresh air.

      (Of course, I’m in a Business Strategy role professionally, so the content is right up my alley! Take my extremely geeky interests with a grain of salt!)

  110. lindsay c. says...

    Yay- I am obsessed with my podcasts, and happy to share some I haven’t seen on this thread yet:
    *Fresh Air with Terry Gross (she’s my shero- so smart, so well-spoken, and so interesting to listen to about topics/people you wouldn’t come across)
    *Heavyweight- laugh out loud funny and tear jerking at the same time, each episode is about taking on someone’s “regret” and trying to fix it
    *The Daily (someone above mentioned this)- NYTimes gives some background info on a current event
    *Dear Sugars- advice from Cheryl Strayed and a wonderful male counterpart (whose name I’m sadly blanking on) on all the adult life topics.
    And- I love using Stitcher app for my podcasts. Thanks to all the new recommendations!

    • Hannah says...

      Steve Almond!! I love Dear Sugar and saw them live in Portland. I also listen to Fresh Air daily and regard Terry Gross fondly.

  111. Suse says...

    Last Seen: The Largest Unsolved Art Heist In History
    The ending a tiny bit disappointing but overall it is fascinating.

    • Jacqui says...

      Yes to this! I couldn’t stop listening to this podcast. Great stories and theories about the Isabella Stewart Gardener Heist.

  112. Hannah says...

    I’m a podcast addict; I recently discovered “The Guilty Feminist,” which is a smart, grown-up look at the way as feminists we fall short of our expectations of ourselves. It’s also hilarious. But the real love of my podcast life is “How Did This Get Made?” about terrible movies. Sometimes I listen in bed with earbuds on, and my husband gets mad because the bed is shaking from my barely suppressed laughter.

    • Charlotte says...

      “The guilty feminist” is fantastic. It talks about the gender topic with a perfect mixture of seriousness and comedy. It’s developing into a real hype (in a good way) and is now also available via BBC radio. Great stuff :-)

  113. Claudia says...

    I loved This American Life, Dirty John and S-Town – the characters that were portrayed and their stories were just so fascinating. Now I‘m really excited to check out those recommandations. Thank you

  114. Radio Ambulante
    Savage Love
    Criminal/Allusionist/Anything Radiotopia really
    S-Town
    Someone Knows Something (and a lot of the other podcasts from CBC, specifically Finding Cleo)

    • Sarah says...

      Yes! I loved Finding Cleo! I am still searching for a podcast that lives up to that one.

    • LAURA says...

      does anyone know of good podcasts besides Radio Ambulante? I do like Radio Ambulante. I’m just trying to listen to more Spanish podcasts. Every time I look, I come across a lot of learning the Spanish language podcasts, which is not what I’m going for.

  115. JM says...

    Just downloaded all these, thanks!

    I’m telling everyone about Thirst Aid Kit. It’s just pure joy. It’s about hot guys and sexy fan fiction, and is such a great work diversion. The hosts are smart and hilarious and you’ll want to be friends with them.

    Also really enjoyed the Bill Clinton season of Slow Burn.

    • Kristen says...

      A huge second for Thirst Aid Kit!! I don’t spend a lot of time discussing or even thinking about hot guys (hot women are also included), but it is a total pleasure to listen to Bim and Nicole do it. They’re mostly hysterically, specifically lustful, but also thoughtful about representation and attraction. And they have some fantastic episode themes like “Sadly Dead Baes.” Always a great time!

    • Jess says...

      Yes to Thirst Aid Kit. Did you also find it super sexually empowering? Also, that Patrick Swayze episode…!

  116. Susan says...

    Thanks for the great list! I also LOVE Pop Culture Happy Hour. The hosts are insightful and funny, but also add context and depth to explain/understand popular culture. I’ve also recently started listening to Heavyweight with Jonathan Goldstein. The stories and interviews are intriguing, but Goldstein’s deadpan humor is SO FUNNY!

  117. Blair says...

    I would recommend On Being with Krista Tippett. It is truly a podcast that makes you think. I almost always want to become a poet after listening to her conversations.

  118. Krisel says...

    Hidden Brain!!!! Quick episodes that look into taken-for-granted social phenomena. Leaves me feeling 101% smarter and more critical.

    Jim Kwik – how to maximize our brain’s capacity and our personal capacity for excellence (I love it because he offers very pragmatic and realistic skills on how to improve your brain health, achieve goals, read faster, remember names, etc).

  119. Christina Liviakis says...

    I love:
    Happier with Gretchen Rubin for really good and practical tips for a more creative and productive life
    Planet Money and The Indicator for learning about the economy in a really easy and pleasant way
    My 8 year old son is loving Smash Boom Best and the Tumble Science Podcast

  120. Heather says...

    My book club recently listened to season 1 of Jane Marie’s new podcast, The Dream. It delves into the sketchy/infuriating world of multi-level marketing (Herbalife, Amway, Avon, Young Living, Beautycounter, etc). I was always vaguely aware of those companies and wondered what was up with them. It was fascinating to hear both the political history of the industry and the experiences of everyday people who participate.

    • Meredith Brooks says...

      The Dream was absolutely fascinating. I loved it!

    • Meredith says...

      +1!

  121. Christine says...

    Love both You Must Remember This and Death Sex and Money (which I learned about here and now support with donations). I’ve recommended both several times. If you’re new to YMRT, she over emphasizes a lot at the start of each podcast. You will think, “oh, no way I’m listening to 45 minutes of this”. Hang in, it stops early enough in.

    • Christina says...

      I LOVE Death Sex and Money too. I don’t listen to podcasts too regularly but when I remember and see 4 unlistened-to DS&M episodes I get so excited.

  122. Kiana says...

    Listen to Rachel Maddow’s podcast, Bagman, about the almost impeachment of Spiro Agnew (vice president to Nixon). This podcast may seem like it’s just for historical wonks but I actually recommend it to all my friends because it’s impossible to not feel depressed and hopeless about our current political situation but it’s a good moment to look back at our history and see how a past crisis of the presidency (and vice presidency) was resolved and how ultimately resilient our democracy is. I honestly feel more optimistic when I listen to this story : it shows the power and strength of our institutions and how a few people with integrity can make such a difference in the arc of history.

    • Kirsten says...

      Thank you just started this one and it’s so good!

  123. RO says...

    So hard to pick favourites! One that I really enjoy and think others here would too is By The Book. Each episode, the hosts live by the rules of a different self-help book and discuss their experiences with hilarity but also some serious realness. The epilogues are a must-listen as well. Example books include “The Secret” and “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up”.

  124. Hayley Bloom says...

    Terrible, Thanks for Asking is one of my all time favorites.

  125. Lara says...

    The Happy Face Killer and Dr. Death.

    • Kelsey Miller says...

      Literally just heard about both these podcasts in the last 48 hours! Which one do you think is best to start with?

    • Kelley says...

      @Kelsey — they’re both amazing but start with Dr. Death. It will blow your mind!

      Bear Brook by nhpr is another great one for listeners who like true crime.

  126. maggie says...

    I have been super captivated recently by Broken Harts – which is put out by Glamour and the folks at Stuff You Should Know, and focuses on the utterly tragic case of the Hart family: two white women who adopted a family of six African American children, who ended up driving their car off a cliff off the coast of California, killing the entire family. It is heartbreaking and fascinating to think of the lives these women portrayed on social media, compared to their starkly depressing lived reality. I highly recommend it!

  127. Gemma says...

    Ladies We Need to Talk About is SO GOOD. All the interesting topics that affect our lives as women.

  128. tami says...

    if u like you must remember this u should follow the instagram account @vintagemoviestars. all about old movies and that era. much love from florida !!!

  129. Sheherazade says...

    I just binge-listened to The Dream. An investigative journalist dives deep into multi-level marketing schemes, also known as MLM’s, (Herbalife, essential oils, makeup) and makes it a fascinating topic. I came to it from The Waves, a feminist slate podcast I listen to.

    Even though I already knew that Betsy DeVoss inherited her billions from the Amway fortune, it still blew my mind how entwined they are in our political system. Madeline Albright stumping for Herbalife??? For reals!!

    (If you find the first two episodes dull, you can go straight to ep 3 where things really take off.)

    • Emily says...

      My husband and I got hooked on that as well!

      It was interesting to me how MLMs are marketed now to target women – both for purchasing items and for being a salesperson – all under the idea that “you can have it all, both a career and being available whenever for your kids.” It definitely continued to highlight that societal pressure that women face about being perfect and having everything perfect – career, family, body, hair, physical health, etc.

  130. Katrina says...

    I am podcast-obsessed; especially when I’m doing a lot of long distance running! I LOVE when you post these roundups, so I owe it to you to share some of my recent favorites:
    Believed – an NPR podcast about the Larry Nassar survivors
    Gladiator – a Boston Globe investigative podcast about the life of Aaron Hernandez (fascinating even for a non-football fan)
    Dr. Death – if you liked Dr. John, you’ll like this one!
    Bon Appetit foodcast – an in-depth look at recipes/restaurant reviews from the magazine

    • Christine says...

      Believed was incredible. Obviously very difficult subject matter, but the podcast is so well done & there are a lot of lessons there.

  131. Erica says...

    Oh! I binge podcasts because my current commute is ~45 minutes each way. Criminal is a long-time favorite – the host picks a crime, anything from the extreme misdimeanor (cases of Pappy van Winkle whiskey went missing!) to the serious (murder!) and dives into all of the details, history, etc. It’s fantastic and each episode is so different. Reply-All is a new favorite – the hosts go down the rabbit hole of some random corner of the internet and one of them has the best laugh. Super tech support episodes are my favorite!

    • Kelsey Miller says...

      Yes! Those are two of my favorite cleaning-the-house podcasts.

  132. Cara says...

    My current favorite is Ologies! Every episode is an interview with a different scientist (“-ologist”) about their research and their field more broadly. The host, Alie Ward, is hilarious and makes the episodes very entertaining. Some of my favorites are the episodes on sleep, the gut microbiome, and crow funerals.

  133. M says...

    My personal fave is And Also Podcast— it’s usually beauty, movie, book, etc reviews. It’s new!

    I also really, really love Second Life by Hillary Kerr. I love hearing her interviews with female entrepreneurs and she doesn’t shy away from asking about tough times or struggles.

  134. Elizabeth says...

    People should also listen to The Daily (by the NYT), Omnibus! with Ken Kennings and John Roderick, Ologies with Alie Ward, This Podcast Will Kill You with the Erins, and Binge Mode (for any Harry Potter and Game of Thrones fans) from The Ringer!

    • Abby says...

      +1 for the Omnibus! Ken Jennings (Jeopardy!) And John Roderick (The Long Winters) talk about interesting events and phenomena from our past. They’re both so smart but I listen for their funny commentary and great chemistry. Just a fun, easygoing podcast. Also love another of John’s podcasts Roderick on the Line. His weekly phonecall with a good friend. Anything and everything is covered.

    • Sara says...

      Yes! The Daily is the first thing I turn on during my commute each morning. I am also in love with How I Built This. The stories behind the companies and businesses and their founders are so inspiring! My kids love Wow in the World. Guy Raz is the best!

  135. Kalie says...

    If you like Lore, check out Unobscured! It’s also by Aaron Mahnke and is an in-depth Lore-like investigation of the Salem Witch Trials, so it’s both spooky and historical.

    For fans of This American Life I can’t recommend Snap Judgement enough… their tagline is “storytelling with a beat” and has the same kinds of human stories as TAL, but usually with some kind of interesting twist. The host Glenn Washington is a totally fascinating person and always kicks off the pod with his own interesting story.

    And finally Articles of Interest, a special series by the design pod 99 Percent Invisible, is so fun! It’s about the unexpected, hidden history of different particular genres of clothing… jeans, Aloha shirts, punk, plaid, and a few more.

    • Mims says...

      I ADORE 99% invisible! anything they do is fascinating. But that Articles of interest series was especially fantastic.

  136. Betsie says...

    If you loved Dirty John: Broken Harts (listener beware, it’s super tough to listen to), Dr. Death, Gladiator

    If you love all things birth/labor: The Birth Hour

    • Joaquina says...

      Dr. Death was a fascinating yet perplexing listen. I’m glad I learned about it but these days it’s becoming more difficult to listen/read about psychopaths considering our political climate.

  137. Meredith says...

    My Dad Wrote A Porno. End of list.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahaha i’ve heard this recommended before and was curious — i might just have to start it tonight!

    • Abigail says...

      +1. It’s so good, and only gets better with each season. (Full circle: I learned about MDWAP from “What’s Making Us Happy” on Pop Culture Happy Hour!)

    • Agreed! My husband and I just finished the first season and we LOVE it.

    • Anne says...

      Strong agree! My husband and I listen to episodes while we clean the house on Sundays. I have cried tears of laughter multiple times.

    • Kristen says...

      I have rarely laughed harder than while listening to My Dad Wrote a Porno while folding laundry after everyone else in the house is asleep. The premise is great — each week, a son reads a chapter of his dad’s terrible erotic fiction and makes fun of it with two of his college friends — but the specifics make it. The dad’s book is just SO bad and the friends’ bewildered and hysterical reactions to his lack of anatomical knowledge are priceless.

    • Jessica says...

      Agreed! I have almost crashed my car listening to this and driving to work. Also almost peed my pants – it is THAT funny. You can’t beat Alice’s voice!

  138. Sadie says...

    My favorite is Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard and Monica Padman – it makes me look forward to my commute every Monday!

  139. Autumn says...

    Ologies is my current podcast obsession! Alie Ward hosts it and each episode she talks to a science-y person who specializes in one specific
    -ology. Her latest episode “Felinology” is really fascinating if you’re a cat lover. She covers all kinds of topics: death, ants, whales, our gut biome, and sleep to name a few. 11/10 –> highly recommend

    • Matilda says...

      This sounds fascinating! Thanks for the suggestion!

  140. Betsy says...

    Just finished the Dream about Multi-Level Marketing. If you’re feeling like hearing the weird history of a super sketchy marketing system (and the hosts’ foray into one in the name of research), then give it a go.

    • Joaquina says...

      Yes! This was fascinating! I didn’t want it to end.
      In fact I was so drawn into the world of MLMs that I sunk deep into a subReddit threat on the topic. There are so many out there, it’s depressing how many working class people get sucked into these schemes.

    • Ainsley says...

      I just finished the Dream last night! I learned so much and plan to recommend it to everyone I know.

  141. Jessica says...

    I’m here to second two of those suggestions: The Teacher’s Pet was one of my favorite podcasts from last year, and Pop Culture Happy Hour is a constant source of delight. I’d also recommend listening to the Mamma Mia 2 episode simply because Glen Weldon is a delight and a treasure.

    My favorite podcast ever is a heavy one but it’s so good: In the Dark. I thought season 1 was near perfect, but season 2 blew me away. It’s good, solid, and important investigative journalism. I can’t say enough good things about it.

    • Kate says...

      Yes!!!! In the Dark … case of Curtis Flowers. Like a real life To Kill a Mockingbird. It’s an incredible and though-provoking piece of reporting.

      Adore The High-Low … feminist, funny British pop culture podcast. Always full of great reading suggestions. Interesting to hear a take on American culture from across the pond

  142. Blythe says...

    I’m a SUCKER for old Hollywood drama and am listening to the Frances Farmer episode and having my mind blown that she is buried in INDIANAPOLIS! WHERE I LIVE!

  143. R says...

    Wow great suggestions!
    Thank you for posting..I look forward to new posts everyday around lunchtime..its my little ritual and me time :)
    I tend to get unreasonably antsy if I don’t see a new COJ post by 12ish ..lol

  144. Eloise says...

    I’ve never listened to a podcast but so many of these sound really tempting….

  145. Laura C. says...

    I would LOVE to listen to a good podcast, and give a try to these ones that you linked, but unfortunately my English ia not that good. I wouldn’t understand half the episode. Why can’t we have good podcasts in Spanish as well?!

    • Ah, but we do! Try Radio Ambulante, it is so good!

    • Andrea says...

      There is a version of Chapo in Spanish.

    • Melastab says...

      @Rachel Gracias!

    • Laura C. says...

      Thank you Rachel 😊

    • De nada, it is really good! Disfrutalo!

  146. Ann says...

    I love LORE!

  147. Marci says...

    The Moth – Oh how I love the Moth and I’m so glad they’re available via podcast. I love hearing stories, funny, heartbreaking, whimsical, tragic, epic, honest stories from the people that lived them.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      me too! love it so, so much. have you been to the live shows? they’re incredible.

  148. Kate says...

    I love fiction podcasts! Limetown, Mabel, Homecoming, The Message, The Walk, Alice Isn’t Dead, and Life After are some examples. Also, 36 Questions is a musical podcast that is just wonderful. The songs are so good, and the actors (Jonathan Groff is one!) are great!

    • Kelsey Miller says...

      JONATHAN GROFF?!?! I am ON IT.

  149. Ellen says...

    My favorite podcast is Hurry Slowly by Jocelyn Glei (“a podcast about how you can be more productive, creative, and resilient through the simple act of slowing down”). So many great interviews. https://hurryslowly.co/

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oooh i subscribe to her newsletter and love it!

  150. Robin says...

    I loved No Man’s Land. I can’t wait for the second season. The episode on Queenie gave me shivers! My regulars are Forever 35 (thanks, COJ!), Call Your Girlfriend, and What Should I Read Next. Thanks for these.