Design

My Top Five Podcasts — and a Reader Wildcard

Six Great Podcasts

I’m the podcast person in the group… any group. (Is it possible to be podcast-ish, like a person is bookish?) Whatever the equivalent, I am that. Podcasts are an essential part of my day — I listen on commutes, I listen at a restaurant waiting for a date to arrive, I listen in line at Trader Joe’s. Here are my five favorites, plus a recommendation I took from the Cup of Jo reader comments…

IF YOU WANT to make friends as an adult
LISTEN TO Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend
WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT I’ve loved Conan O’Brien since high school, so when I heard he had a podcast I was all in. I expected to laugh a lot (and I did!) but I didn’t expect to be so charmed by Conan’s sincere side. The premise is simple: Conan chats with celebs — some of them close friends, some of them new friends — about everyday things like growing up, having kids, building careers, and existential dread. My favorite part was hearing about his glory days as a writer for The Simpsons and Saturday Night Live, and his current love for true crime. (Conan is a total Muderino!) Even the intro song will win you over. Ahoy-hoy!
TRY THESE EPISODES Bill Hader and Hannah Gadsby

IF YOU want to learn all the things
LISTEN TO Still Processing
WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT The title alone will soothe any over-analyzing soul (me!), because some things take longer than others to digest. Jenna Wortham and Wesley Morris are two Black, Queer writers for the New York Times, and feel like my uber-educated-in-all-things-African-American-culture-and-so-much-more older cousins. Listening to how their perspectives converge and differ is the most interesting part. I love Jenna’s woo-woo rituals and Wesley’s type-A personality, and how well they blend together. I learn a minimum of 10 new things every time I listen, and you might wanna buckle up, because they go deep. Some faves are the Lemonade/4:44 parallel and when they spoke to director Barry Jenkins days after Moonlight’s infamous Oscar win. Running into J&W in a Brooklyn juice shop is on my list of goals, tbh.
TRY THESE EPISODES Whoopi and We Relive the Oscars With Barry Jenkins

IF YOU want to add a little lust to your list
LISTEN TO Thirst Aid Kit
WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT The dynamic hosts — playwright and producer Bim Adewunmi and poet Nichole Perkins — examine who and what they find absolutely irresistible, like when they describe the curl of Dev Patel’s hair, or whether or not someone is “ambibeardstrous” (has the ability to look hot with or without facial hair). Nichole and Bim are those friends who convince you take that extra shot on a night out — they bring out your spicier side. The best part is the fan fiction, where Bim and Nichole both write a short piece about the week’s “thirst object” and have Twitter followers vote on their favorite one. I love that Nichole’s pieces are racier, and Bim’s have more of a traipsing-around-the-house-on-a-lazy-Sunday vibe. More than anything it’s a joyful celebration of the glorious and complex female gaze. The show just returned after a long hiatus, last week and is available on SLATE!
TRY THESE EPISODES Ruffle My Feathers, Mark Ruffalo (so much thirst for Mark Ruffalo. This episode made me very happy!) and We Learned to Spell Jake Gyllenhaal

IF YOU need a boost after no one liked your idea at work
LISTEN TO How Did This Get Made?
WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT Have you ever watched a movie (say, a beloved one from childhood) and asked yourself, “Who ok’d this terrible thing every step of the way??” Hosts Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael, Jason Mantzoukas and weekly guests examine movie inaccuracies (like the height of bears in The Country Bears — “How tall is the tallest bear? Eight feet? These bears are at least 15 feet tall!!”) to questioning whether Meghan Markle left the palace to come back and play herself in the Lifetime movie about the Royal Wedding. This one had me shamelessly laughing in line at the deli.
TRY THESE EPISODES Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance and Jingle All The Way

IF YOU PREFER your news and pop culture together on one plate
LISTEN TO Keep It!
WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT This podcast has made me realize how tightly politics and pop culture are intertwined. Creator and co-host Ira Madison III says it best: “Popular culture has always informed how we act in culture at large, going back centuries. It’s something that’s just always been a push and pull, because our politics are the laws that we create to govern ourselves, and our pop culture is how we express how we feel about our everyday lives.” Each episode opens with Ira, Louis Virtel, and a weekly guest earnestly talking about everything from the latest celebrity Twitter feuds to the latest news headlines. They also share their personal political and/or pop culture grievances, ranging from outrage over a civil rights issue to the utter dislike of Lime scooters in the streets of L.A. No subject is safe.
TRY THESE EPISODES Pod Save Sports and LouisCKeep It

And now, the WILDCARD! I loved discovering this podcast from the Cup of Jo reader comments:

IF YOU’RE too embarrassed to bring up a burning question
LISTEN TO Ladies, We Need to Talk
WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT This is like kicking back with a La Croix with your deeply knowledgable best friend. The topics lure you in and surprise you, like the one I started with — Being Single and Owning It. This wasn’t the cringe-y pep talk I’d come to know and loathe. Instead, it held beautiful stories of women who’d found absolute joy living on their own, at various stages of life. Most episodes are based around women’s mental and physical health, cultural taboos and subjects you may think you know everything about — but you might not! The Secret Life of Hormones was SO eye-opening.
TRY THESE EPISODES The Pelvic Flaw In All of Us and Footloose and Childfree.

What have you listened to lately? Do you ever switch up your podcast routine?

P.S. 6 more amazing podcasts. Plus, a beauty uniform with Nora McInerny and a week of outfits with the Call Your Girlfriend hosts.

(Illustration by Elizabeth Graeber for Cup of Jo.)

  1. michelle says...

    I love these suggestions (including all of the ones in the comments). I recommend “The Dream” – not the true crime podcast but the one about multi-level marketing. It’s fascinating!!!

  2. Hannah says...

    Oh my goodness I have to mention Second Date Update – for anyone who loves hearing funny dating stories… it’s highly entertaining!!!

  3. Conan O’Brien needs a friend is actually one of my favourites ! In the same vein I’d also recommend Anna Faris is Unqualified. And Thirst id Kit seems like one I’d really enjoy :D

  4. Still processing is great! I loved their episode about Lauryn Hill!

    • Jen says...

      Which one is that? I couldn’t find it. Thanks!

  5. Erin says...

    These are great recs (HDTGM and Keep It! in particular). But oh MAN do good podcasts run deep.

    Yo, Is this Racist?
    Do You Need a Ride?
    U Talking U2 To Me?
    Terrible, Thanks for Asking (full disclosure, ep 55 was about meeee)
    Unspooled
    Hysteria
    Last Day
    The Last Days of August
    Lovett or Leave it
    AND MY PODCAST, TOTALLY MENTAL
    And honestly, try to find the Comedy Bang Bang episodes about Farts&Procreation and Gilly&Garry. Start from the first ones. They’re LIFE GIVING.
    TBH anything on CBB with Harris’ Foam Corner.

  6. Ela Aktay says...

    Love, love, love The Sheri + Nancy Show https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-sheri-nancy-show/id1271868787

    Sheri and Nancy are two best friends talking and sharing about their journey to transform the second half of their lives. They interview experts but also have episodes with just the two of them chatting. It’s like sitting in with your friends and having a meaningful, real, funny, and powerful conversations about things that matter to you. What I love is that they are down-to-earth, genuine, and transparent. Great podcast!

  7. Heather says...

    Another wildcard: the Integrated Schools podcast. If you’re planning to have kids, are pregnant or have young kids at home – this is a must listen. It’s absolutely changed the course of how we’ll approach schools for our own children. Start from the beginning!

  8. Colleen says...

    Whoa, how about a language warning on some of these recommendations? I was listening to Conan talking with Julia Louis Dreyfus and they were getting into it just when my daughter walked into the room…egad.

  9. Lori says...

    I’m deaf, and all of my friends are into podcasts, and it just bums me out because all this stuff sounds so interesting. Does anyone know of any good podcasts that have transcripts? The only one I’ve found so far is for Margaret Roach’s gardening podcast on public radio.

    • Amanda says...

      Today Explained by Vox has a transcript. It’s a great news podcast . . . super informative and interesting.

    • Emily Laclau says...

      I’m not deaf, but I’m totally here for transcripts! I hate headphones and don’t often have time to listen to podcasts (especially ones that are longer than my 45 min commute).

    • Em says...

      Lori — OnBeing is, by far, one of my favorite podcasts. Each episode comes with a transcript. If you decide to read long, I hope you enjoy it! xx
      https://onbeing.org/series/podcast/

    • annie says...

      this american life does transcripts too! click on the episode you want and on the episode page you can select the transcript option. this is one of my tried-and-true podcasts. i hope you love it too ❤️

    • Kristian Olson says...

      Stuff You Missed in History Class has transcripts (er, the newer episodes… which are still years’ worth of episodes)! And so does Harry Potter and the Sacred Text. Both are two of my all time favorites.

  10. MT says...

    SO so so happy to see that Ladies, We Need to Talk pop up on here! I’ve recently moved to Australia from the US and discovering this Aussie podcast was like finding a core group of girlfriends here. Highly recommended.

  11. Kate says...

    For food and cookbook obsessed folks, a new, wonderful find is Salt + Spine, which interviews cookbook authors about recent publications.

    But my ABSOLUTE favorite is Keep Calm and Cook on with Julia Turshen. Julia is a talented interviewer and podcast host. I learn so much from each of her episodes – specific cooking tips, about the food and cookbook industry, so much information is shared about food systems/structures and its intersections with culture, race, gender, and, not surprisingly, how to be a great listener and conversationalist.

    • Thanks from your friends at Salt + Spine, Stories Behind Cookbooks! Glad you hear you enjoy our show. 🎧📚

  12. Lisa says...

    I was really late to the party when it comes to podcasts – I HATE radio and listening to people talk so I just thought it was the. Worst. Idea. Ever. But then I listen to an episode about a murder case I had read stuff about and it was really interesting. And I realised there was a podcast that made documentaries with actual audio from murder trials (this is in my home country so unfortunately not in English) and then I was hooked. So basically I was only listening to really depressing stories until someone recommended me My Dad Wrote A Porno – and I have probably never laughed so hard in my entire life. I recently started listening to No Such Thing As A Fish and it’s nice to listen to random facts and funny anecdotes while doing dishes or cooking. After all the comments here I also downloaded Thirst Aid Kit!

  13. Dienesa says...

    I have been super stressed lately, so The Next Right Thing podcast by Emily Freeman has been calming and lovely during crazy days.

  14. Megan Rowlinson says...

    I am also the podcast person in my group of friends. I can’t get enough and there is nothing like a podcast that you can’t stop listening to! I am definitely bookmarking this post for all the amazing recommendations! Wilmington, DE

  15. sijia says...

    New Wizards! i rec this like a crazy person. it’s a harry potter recap podcast, and if you’ve ever, even for a second enjoyed those books, i recommend you listen to aaron and josh talking about it. Even if you’re not a big HP fan, the two guys are the funniest people i’ve ever heard on a podcast. Come for potter, stay for the best friend vibes of two good natured dudes who find each other hilarious and have the ability to make off the cuff jokes that are better than most people’s written material

  16. Martha says...

    Heavyweight! You’ll laugh and cry. So wonderful!

    • Lily says...

      Season 4 just came out and it’s so good! I still think about the episode “Rob” all the time. The questions it raises about memory and identity are so, so fascinating.

    • annie says...

      +1 ! Jonathan Goldstein is SO funny. I used to love his old CBC show Wiretap and Heavyweight totally shows up for the same humor.

  17. Francesca says...

    I am hooked on Forever35 since it was mentioned many moons ago on this blog. Kate and Doree are calming to listen to and make non-judgemental space to so many topics from beauty to mental health issues and everything in between – and how they factor into self-care. I love all the beauty recs and also appreciate how they de-stigmatize things like acne. Plus they are hilarious and have great chemistry together!

    • Francesca says...

      *for so many topics :)

    • Laura says...

      Was just here to make sure someone suggested this one! I LOVE Forever 35!

  18. xena wpx says...

    Long time lurker, first time poster :) Came here to drop my favorite podcasts!

    In The Thick – Breaking down the latest news from a POC (person of color) perspective
    The Ezra Klein Show – if you’re a policy wonk/deep thinker on social issues, this is a must-listen
    The Nod – Stories on and celebrations of Black life
    Switched on Pop – for music buffs of all stripes!
    Code Switch – Conversations on race & identity to get you unstuck in sticky conversations
    The Weirdest Thing I Learned this Week – Popular Science’s weekly podcast, hosted by women!

  19. Jennyg says...

    I love podcasts. My current favorites are:
    Unspooled- 2 movie critics take on one movie each week from the AFI top 100. Next week is American Graffiti
    The Man In The Window- in-depth loom I to the Golden State Murderer.
    Motive- from Chicago’s WBEZ story of a teen convicted of murder, does time, then awarded millions.
    Fresh Air. Best interview show ever
    Pod save the world and Pod Save America-and The Daily-a must listen to understanding our insane political world
    Criminal- a cool crime story thoughtfully told each week
    COJ is where I first heard about podcasts!!!

  20. Christina says...

    Don’t know how many posts there are mentioning “My Dad Wrote a Porno,” but it’s soooooooo funny! Like, cry while driving/don’t drive off the road/I have to pull over funny. Please listen!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s such a ringing endorsement! can’t wait to listen :)

  21. Jen says...

    I absolutely love Last Podcast on the Left. It’s unbelievably raunchy but soooo good!

  22. Suzanne says...

    I’m really into “Culpable”, which is about a murder that took place in my hometown of Meridian, MS back in 2014 yet the police classified it as a suicide. The family and the podcast hosts are investigating the many twists and turns, the mysterious roadblocks thrown up by the Police Dept and Cit DA. It’s incredibly riveting and I believe is now one of the top rated podcasts on Apple Podcasts.

  23. Agnes says...

    I love love love The Connected Life by Abi and Justin Stumvoll. It’s Christian but not overtly so – they are both therapists and what they talk about relates to almost everyone. Right now they are doing a 3-part Mother Series based on dealing with mother issues. Honestly the only podcast I look forward to each Monday..

  24. Amy says...

    Interesting and important conversations about climate change and climate justice… Mothers of invention!

    • Lindsay says...

      This was just recommended to me and I am SO looking forward to diving into it!!

  25. Jess. says...

    I’m excited to try Still Processing. I think Shaun King’s The Breakdown should be required listening for all Americans.

    Currently loving “Harry Potter and the Sacred Text” for their insightful, inspiring interpretation of the HP books, chapter by chapter, each through a different lens ( gratitude, hope, etc.).

    If you haven’t tried Armchair Expert yet, I feel like the episode with Dr. Rahul Jandial was exemplary and mindblowing. Can’t wait to listen to the Avett Brothers ep!!!

    If you like cooking or are stuck on what to have for dinner this week, Dinner Sisters is great. They’re like members of our family now (my kids love this podcast).

    • Elizabeth O’B says...

      Happy to know someone else listens to the Dinner Sisters! I recently realized how entertaining it is when I became really bored listening to some other ( probably better known) cooking podcasts. I enjoy the Sister dynamic, and how realistic it is. I need real ideas that I can cook on a weeknight and that my family will eat, and I have found several hits in the few months listening. Loving all the suggestions to expand my playlist- thanks COJ!

  26. Jenn says...

    Oh my goodness, the Bill Hader episode of Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend is not to be missed! I listened to it while I was running on a treadmill at the gym and was laughing so hard that I nearly fell off. Listen and enjoy… preferably while sitting down, for safety’s sake. :)

  27. Eve says...

    On an old BBC podcast of Adam & Joe’s radio show, they would refer to the podcast only listeners as ‘Podcat’s’. So as book readers are bookish, podcast listeners should be podcat’s. In my world anyway.

    • Phebe says...

      I love Adam and Joe! Stephen!

  28. M says...

    Love Life Kit from NPR.

    Sooooo useful but not too didactic. Feels like talking to your smart best friends!

  29. Hanna says...

    I’m chiming in late to the party to recommend Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History. It’s basically insanely in-depth treatments of military history, from ancient to near-modern. Three episodes on the Punic Wars, five episodes on WWI, three episodes on the kings of Persia preceding the conquest by Alexander, etc. Currently he’s 2 episodes into treatment of WWII from the Japanese perspective, beginning with ~50 years of context on the political and military build up to the war. You have to wait 3-6 months between new installments, the episodes are long and complex — and sometimes horrifying. But all totally worth it. He recommends tons of cool books that he used as the reference material. There’s a big back catalog to explore if you’re new to the podcast, or just waiting for new content to come out. And I have a giant crush on Dan, who is delightfully nerdy and empathetic.

    I also really like David Tennant does a Podcast for basic happy chit chat. Sometimes I go on news blackouts and re-listen to his interviews just to feel better about the world.

    Terrible Thanks for Asking is also strangely comforting for anyone whose life is divided into “before” and “after” by a tragedy. Which is all of us, eventually.

    Thanks for all the great recommendations!

  30. Angela says...

    I, too, am podcast-ish. However, I have some caveats. I’m almost overwhelmed looking at the comments, because I feel like my tastes are so specific. I like to learn something, so I like my podcasts educational. In the same way I wouldn’t be caught dead reading 50 Shades, I can’t stand just listening to people chit chat or discuss reality TV. I need substance, not escape. The rambling of Beautiful Anonymous drives me insane, though I have heard some gems. I don’t like fictional podcasts like Welcome to Night Vale or The Heart or being read to like Modern Love. I almost like WTF with Marc Maron, but it sometimes is less educational and more chatty than I like. My favorites are This American Life, “Death, Sex, and Money”, Hidden Brain, Armchair Expert, The Daily , Longest, Shortest Time, and 99% Invisible. I can only handle so much true crime. I listen occasionally to MFM and have enjoyed previous seasons of Dr. Death and The Dream, Serial, Slow Burn, and Family Secrets. Anyone out there my podcast twin and share these idiosyncrasies? Let’s swap faves and form a podcast club!

    • Ludo says...

      If you love learning (but also being entertained!) I suggest Ologies and This podcast will kill you, both hosted by smart and funny women with a thirst for knowledg.

    • mb says...

      Angela–I commented way down below, I think your tastes and mine align. I put up a list that has some of yours too but also include In the Dark, Throughline, and a few more. I loved Slow Burn (need to listen to the first season) and 99% Invisible is I think the top quality GRADE A CERTIFIED most wonderful podcast.

    • Anna says...

      Another of your podcast twins here. I love reading fiction–cannot handle fictional podcasts. Have you listened to Reply All? I learn something new every time I listen. Also, Reveal, WorkLife with Adam Grant, and Your Last Meal.

    • Devon says...

      I have similar tastes! I like most NPR podcasts. Snap Judgment and Invisibilia are favorites of mine, besides the ones you listed.

    • I am with you when it comes to wanting a story or wanting to learn something when I listen to a podcast. You are the only other person I have heard mention “Death, Sex and Money”. It is GENIUS! It not only gives us great stories but so many great insight into the human condition. I also love “Ear Hustle”. It is about life inside prison and told from the perspective of different prisoners. “Strong Opinions Loosely Held” is another gem. It’s a feminist podcast but it breaks down subjects around women and feminism in a granular way. My current fave is 1619 by the New York Times. Hope you enjoy these :)

    • anna-katharina says...

      Hi Angela, my favorite podcast is Hidden Brain and my second favorite is the TED Radio Hour which you also might like. Hugs, annakatharina

    • Kara says...

      I really love Every Little Thing for learning stuff! It’s funny and they do hell’s deep dives into random questions like “why is there an organ at baseball games?!” Or “who invented forks?” It’s also on the shorter side (20-30 minutes) so it’s perfect for doing dishes or short commutes

    • Tara says...

      I have similar podcast taste! If you like 99% Invisible, you should try Reply All (quirky, well-reported stories about internet culture) and Criminal (extremely well-told stories that are on the edge of true crime, but typically not as grisly or sensationalist as serialized true crime podcasts). I always learn something new and unexpected from them!

  31. Rachel says...

    I love Adulting! Thanks to your article on Michelle Buteau, where I found it!

  32. Mairead Alwell says...

    I really enjoy An Irishman Abroad, Jarlath Reegan interviews all sorts of successful Irish people like Sharon Horgan, Aisling Bea, Gabriel Byrne, John C Reilly… really inspirational stories

  33. lk says...

    Ear Hustle—– from inside san quintin prison- totally real and raw and thoughtful- amazing story telling with great music.
    The Moth- Bucket list kind of story creation skills- one day I will record my story- and it is a really good one!
    Rachel Maddow- worlds best explainer of stuff- wonky but wow that woman is a master at breaking it all down
    Modern Love- I am a softy- and like a heartfelt moment
    1619- How did I not know all of that ????? it made me smarter and think more
    BagMan- again- amazing history lesson that I never knew
    Clear and Vivid with Alan Alda-Lovely chats with people about communication and how important it is to make sure your message ( what ever it is) is delivered in a way the another can understand it- wow- who doesn’t want that?
    I think that podcasts are a great way to learn as an adult- they move me thru laundry folding and other mindless tasks that suck time- but now are fun—– don’t bug mom she is folding the laundry :)

  34. Erin says...

    I’m late to this party, but I find I revisit these CoJ podcast threads when I’m in need of some new recs, so, incase anyone’s trawling on through —

    You’re Booked with Daisy Buchanan is an absolute delight. Daisy visits the homes and shelves of friends, writers and readers (some more well known than others) and nerds out for an hour about great reads. I’ve been turned on to some splendid reads. The episode with Poorna Bell is particularly great.

    Lit Friction is another really great one for bookish folk. Super in-depth and incredibly thoughtful interviews with authors.

    Happy Place with Fearne Cotton is a surprisingly enlightening listen with a genuinely broad spectrum of interviewees.

    The Blindboy Podcast is probably an acquired taste, but again, is really thoughtful and considered. He also does great interviews that are chatty but expounding at the same time. The Colm O Gorman ep might give you a good feel for those kinds of instalments.

    Unstyled with Christene Barberich is new to me but I’m liking it — the Stephanie Danler ep is great.

    And as well, another vote for My Dad Wrote a Porno. It’s some much needed levity in the world. You will cry with laughter. Do not listen while driving — you will do yourself an injustice.

  35. Marianne says...

    I love(!) ‘The Guilty Feminist’. It’s been a revelation to hear funny, smart women talk about what it’s like to be a modern woman and still make it hilarious and informative.
    Sex education is my favourite.

    Also, ‘The High Low’ with Dolly Alderton and Pandora Sykes is brilliant. If you’re a book junkie and a news addict, they have you covered.

    • Suzi says...

      Yes! I was going to say these exact two. Guilty Feminists manages to be hilarious, cue stand up comedians….and so informative at the same time. High Low like two chatty knowledgable funny and bookish friends! Have you also heard of The missing crypto queen? I got onto it by listening to Fortunately with Fi and Jane…..think the High Low in 20 years like a warm hug!

  36. Isobel says...

    My current favourites are

    How To Fail with Elizabeth Day, she also wrote a book with the same title. She talks to a wide range of guests about 3 of their “failures” it’s always inspiring and real and shows what can often be seen as failures are in fact all part of life and indeed success

    Desert Island Discs great variety of interviews based around 8 tracks selected by the interviwee.

    Motherkind with Zoe Blaskey, she speaks to different experts about all aspects of mother hood, lots of interesting episodes.

  37. Melinda says...

    I’ve just binged Too Peas in a Podcast — an Aussie one by two mums, each of whom has twins with disabilities. It is SO great — funny, warm, empathic, and true. It has taught me so much about how to be and do better with differences among us. It’s heartbreaking at times, but also totally uplifting. A must-listen for any mums who have had premature births, or multiples, or disabilities in their families. I haven’t even had kids and I recommend it wholeheartedly. It is making me a better person.

    My other must-listens are Forever35, Call Your Girlfriend, Longform and The West Wing Weekly.

  38. Kamina says...

    My current favourites:
    The Popcast – really silly, smart, funny pop culture news and deep dives with a couple of endearing personalities.
    Armchair Expert with Dax Shepherd – fantastic LONG personal interviews with celebrities and experts.
    Mystery Show – this is years old, but still just the BEST thing ever made. Starlee Kline takes a very serious approach to solving tiny, unsolvable mysteries. It’s artistically perfect and very funny in a deadpan way. If you only listen to one episode, make it the one where she tries to figure out how tall Jake Gyllenhaal is.

  39. Jessica Cash says...

    THIRST AID KIT! It’s back and it’s more beautiful than EVER. Love Nicole and Bim, thank god for them!

  40. Vicky says...

    Got introduced to Thirst Aid Kit through their feature on Dan Levy and I just about died!!!

    “I think to myself — ‘this is someone who cares about his hair, and his nails. So what else does he care about? That’s right. He cares about me.’ It just feels like a natural progression.”

    As someone who also thirsts for Dan Levy, I love them. They get me. Ugh.

  41. I LOVE The High Low and also Adulting by Oenone – they are all such clever, funny, creative and interesting women.

    Also Talking Tastebuds and Table Manners, if you love food as much as I do ;)

    x

  42. alice says...

    The Guilty Feminist
    Desert Island Discs
    Forever 35 (frivolous and then suddenly not)
    Under The Skin

    I love the first I listed with a passion. I play it when I run and laugh as I sweat.

    Scriptnotes is my most listened to, it’s about screenwriting, films, a bit about the industry, but it’s their episodes on the craft of storytelling that are unbeatable if this is your trade.

  43. Maria says...

    My must-listen podcasts:
    Jill on Money
    The Minimalists
    Stay tuned with Preet
    Parenting without power struggles
    Second Life
    Last but not least: The daily

  44. Sara says...

    Absolutely Not with Heather McMahon! AMAZING

  45. Emily says...

    Anyone else love By the Book? The hosts, 2 friends, live by a different self help book each episode and you get a peak into their lives while they do it. It’s part reality show, part feminist commentary on the nature of the self help genre, and they alternate episodes living by books with taking listener feedback and questions about each book. It’s fun and thoughtful.

  46. Alexandra says...

    I LOOOOVE podcasts! Thanks, Kim, for sharing some of your favorites. Here are a few of mine…
    For strengthening your empathy muscle towards incarcerated individuals: Ear Hustle
    For thinking deep thoughts and feeling inspired: On Being with Krista Tippett
    For inevitably crying (tears of sadness? Tears of joy? You won’t know until you listen): Modern Love
    For endlessly interesting insight into relationships: Where Should We Begin? With Esther Perel
    And last, but *certainly* not least, for laughing until you straight up cry: My Dad Wrote a Porno

  47. Alison says...

    You may know this already, Kate, but many kinds of hearing aids either have free apps you can download onto your phone via Google Play or the Apple iTunes store, or that pair via Bluetooth to your phone (or your tablet or computer), and you can port sound directly from your devices to your ALDs.

    Podcasts are available for download online via iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, or through websites like Stitcher! I don’t know if this helps…

  48. Laura Valle says...

    This Movie Changed Me- On Being Studios
    A variety of tones…during a conversation that feels like you’re with good friends. Try the Say Anything one first—-

  49. Mollie says...

    I can’t believe no on has mentioned BITCH SESH: A Real Housewives Breakdown show! Even if you don’t watch the Housewives, it is hosted by two brilliant and hilarious comedians (Casey Rose Wilson and Danielle Schneider) and it always cheers me up and makes me laugh. HIGHLY RECOMMEND- especially to all Bravo viewers. I recently started Las Culturistas (two gay guys discussing pop culture- quite fun and funny) and Pod Save America and Lovett or Leave it!!! You must listen to Crooked Media’s (their media company) stuff to keep you laughing and to prompt you to take action on the current political environment.

  50. MfR says...

    Speaking of Trader Joe’s, their podcast, Inside Trader Joe’s, is not bad! Should you find yourself short on podcasts :)

  51. Allie says...

    I love podcasts! My top ones currently are:
    – Armchair Expert w Dax Shepard
    – Martinis and Your Money
    – The Ali on the Run Show
    – The Mortified Podcast (so funny!)

  52. Karin says...

    It’s got limited appeal but I’m hooked on “One Heat Minute” where an obsessive fan of Michael Mann’s 1995 LA crime opus “Heat” dissects the movie, ONE MINUTE AT A TIME, with a different guest every episode. They’re not all great, but when they are great, it’s joyous!

  53. Tracey says...

    1. Armchair Expert. Dax Shepherd (Crosby from parenthood) hosts. He interviews both celebrities and field experts and shares vulnerably and with humor his own struggles with upbringing and addiction. It breaks the ice and many of his guests GET REAL real fast.

    2. Esther Perel. Where should we begin? Each episode is a couple in marriage therapy. It’s captivating and really has you evaluating your own behaviors and communication within a relationship. It’s beautiful. Because in the end, it’s couples getting through the worst of things together.

  54. Sarah says...

    So many great recommendations!

    I love Reply All. It’s informative, funny, and some episodes include great storytelling. I’m just sad it’s only on every other week!

  55. I’m a podcast junkie. Some favorites:
    Nothing Much Happens – these are bedtime stories for adults and you will love me forever for introducing you to this
    Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend
    The 3 Questions with Andy Richter
    How I Built This
    Over My Dead Body
    In The Dark
    To Live & Die in L.A.
    Slow Burn
    Wine Face

    • LJ says...

      Love these recommendations! Revisionist History with Malcolm Gladwell is my absolute favourite. Stories Podcast and Stuff you should know are great for road trips with kids.

  56. K says...

    Does anyone have a recommendation for a history podcast that focuses on the viewpoints and stories of marginalized people? I try to listen to “Stuff You Missed In History Class” sometimes, but their approach doesn’t often land with me. It somehow comes off both too boring and too surface-level? I’m sure this is a me problem, not a them problem, but still.

    Other favorites:
    (1) 1619 (required listening)
    (2) old NPR faves like On Being, Invisibilia, and This American Life
    (3) health policy/health justice nerdy podcasts like Death Panel (intersectional and wonky!) and Arm and a Leg (approachable and topical!)
    (4) Call Your Girlfriend, Cool Playlist (talky background podcasts with varying levels of seriousness)
    (5) both seasons of In the Dark are incredible
    (6) More Perfect and Amicus (I’m a third-year law student, so ymmv on these)

    I also fucking love Doughboys, but I am in denial about it and only listen when my partner plays it on his phone. It’s like some people with cigarettes… I refuse to download my own episode but I’ll always bum his if it’s around.

    • K says...

      also Gender Reveal!

    • mb says...

      Caliphate and Throughline! Also, 99% Invisible is not about history per se, but they do some stunning historical ones by contextualizing other things (I don’t remember the title but I CRIED listening to one about the U.S. border crossings and people helping immigrants and going to court for it…it was so powerful).

    • Shira says...

      The History Chicks

  57. Kate the Great says...

    I think one reason I don’t listen to podcasts at all is because of the tech. I get the impression that they need to be listened to with headphones or ear buds… and I’ve worn over-the-ear hearing aids since I was four.

    I listen to radio often– Broadway tunes from two different radio sources on my phone, local radio from the kitchen-cabinet-mounted radio while making dinner… But I have never owned an iPod and haven’t worn earphones since high school. I’m not old– I turned 35 last week– but I think it’s the tech that hangs me up.

    Also, where does one FIND podcasts? Do you download them from an app store? Do you stream them from a radio station or from Pandora or LivetoLive? Do you just search for them on a search engine?

    • Tracey says...

      On your smartphone you will have a podcast app. already unless you deleted it. In which case you can reinstate it through your App Store.

      Then you can sync to a sound system like sonos if you like it to play throughout the house.

      Or you could get a simple phone amplifier/speaker that connects into your phone jack and works as a speaker. We have one that’s called a “bassburger”.

      Other than that, I listen with GIANT fluffy headphone ears on, that perhaps would fit over your devices? Xx

      Oh and I 100% adore Armchair Expert.

    • Adie says...

      I really like listening to podcasts on Spotify. There is a separate tab for podcasts and it is easy to search or look at what’s popular. I usually listen with ear buds, but I can also cast it to my Google home or Bluetooth speaker.

    • Karin says...

      Hi Kate, I totally relate to the tech struggle because it took me YEARS to figure out how to listen to podcasts on my iPhone. But you don’t have to do it that way!

      I just now Googled “podcasts” and then when I went to the links (like NPR podcasts showed up) you can just listen to them on your computer. There will be a little triangle like on a video that you hit to push “play.”

      Or go on Stitcher and here’s a list of the top 100, and same thing – just hit the little triangles to play. https://www.stitcher.com/stitcher-list/all-podcasts-top-shows

      So you don’t need headphones! I would say, just Google, and then see what pops up, and I bet you can find a way to listen to about every podcast on your computer while you’re cooking, cleaning, whatever.

      Good luck!

    • Sarah says...

      On the tech side of things, you need neither and iPhone nor headphones. Try downloading a podcast app like Stitcher – most of them are available for android and iPhones — (anyone else got any other recommendations?) and search for a few of the podcasts mentioned here within whichever app you choose I’m almost 100% sure there’s a broadway focused podcast out there! And you don’t need headphones – I just turn the phone up or run it through a set of speakers via Bluetooth or just an old school cord. Good luck!

    • Rachel says...

      As someone who used to host a podcast, I can help you out, Kate! You certainly can listen to podcasts using earbuds but you can also play them through your phone or laptop like you do for the radio you mentioned! When I’m at home, I sometimes play them through my laptop because it’s just easier that way!

      To find podcasts, you can go to the Apple Podcast App or iTunes and search that way. Or almost every podcast has a website that you can listen through on a computer. So you can just go search the name of the podcast on Google and easily find the website of the podcast which will have a link to click on to listen. There are also websites like Stitcher (also an app) that work the same way. You just go to that website or app and then search within it to find the show you want to listen to.

      If you want to listen through your computer, I would start by googling the name of the show and going to their website. If you want to listen through your phone, start by downloading the Apple Podcast app or the Stitcher app and listen that way! It’s really much easier and less intimidating than you think!

    • Clare says...

      Hi! My sister had hearing aids and listens to podcasts in the car. She does have an iPhone though and most people get them on an app where you can search for whatever you are interested in. Completely up to you but worth looking into a smart phone to get into podcast world as my sister was like you, had never listened because of headphones and felt she was missing out. Listening in car was game changer and she was blown away but the number of topics etc. think can be bit tricky finding podcasts with clear speakers and not too many people talking over each other but worth persevering! Good luck!

    • Elizabeth says...

      Kate, below are are some instructions. If you have iPhone, you can download them from the Podcasts app (it’s purple and you can search “podcasts” on the main search screen on the phone to find the app). You can also play many for free straight from your computer by searching for the name of the podcast you are interested in. I never use headphones or ear buds–just listen straight from my phone or computer.
      https://www.thepodcasthost.com/listeners-guide/how-do-i-listen-to-a-podcast/

    • Emily says...

      Pick a podcast app to download and then you can subscribe to the shows you’re interested in…whenever I come across a suggestion that I might like, I will subscribe and just delete it if/when it doesn’t work out.

      Sometimes I listen with headphones, but often stream them on my phone at my desk at work (after school grading papers/teacher) or when I’m doing chores around the house!

    • Kari says...

      I use Overcast but there are numerous free apps to listen to podcasts.

    • Angel says...

      I don’t like wearing headphones or earbuds. I listen to podcasts from the phone with the volume turned up, or using a phone speaker, or through the car radio.

    • Amy says...

      I already had an app downloaded on my iPhone. From there, I click on top podcasts or top episodes to get suggestions. You can search for specific podcasts too.

    • Kristi says...

      Have you considered blue tooth enabled hearing aids? https://hearstore.com/bluetooth-hearing-aids/ They can be expensive but pair with so many different devices to improve your listening experience. If you are interested at all I recommend talking to your audiologist so they can find the best option for your hearing profile and help you navigate insurance coverage etc.

    • Maria says...

      Download a podcast app – I like pocketcasts. It’s easy to search within the app by genre or title, or anything. Then the episodes can be streamed, or downloaded and played. No ear buds required. Hope this helps!

    • Shan says...

      I usually listen without headphones and play them through a bluetooth speaker when I’m home. I use the Overcast app or Spotify to listen them them, and they’re both pretty convenient.

    • Alanna says...

      A lot of people have said this to me! They don’t get how to FIND them!
      All you gotta do is this: go to the App Store. Download Spotify. It’s free! Start search for Podcasts based on some of the suggestions that sound good to you from this post.
      When you see a good one, you download it to your phone by pressing the little arrow (it’s pointing down) on the lower right hand corner of the episode. Before you download, make sure you’re doing it from WiFi and not 3G otherwise it will cost a fortune!
      To delete it, you just look under DOWNLOADED tab and click on that same down-pointing arrow (this time it’ll be green).
      You can do this! I’m hearing impaired as well. Some production quality is very hard to listen to but overall I’m surprised at how much I can hear. The more popular podcasts tend to have excellent audio.
      Podcasts have helped me so much so I hope you find this useful!
      Also they’re free!

    • Sarah says...

      Hi! I use Stitcher as my usual hub of podcasts. You can download it from the App Store. Spotify also has a podcast station as does Apple Music, so you can create your hub wherever you want! I did notice today that my Bluetooth on my phone asked if it should pair with my hearing device. Technology is crazy!

    • katie says...

      i’ve never listened via earbuds or headphones! I listen via my iphone podcast app. just search there and subscribe and the episodes are automatically downloaded or I can look through the ones I want to listen to. you can also listen via itunes (just search!) on your computer and we’ve taken to asking alexa to play the latest episodes of our favorite podcasts (my girls like science podcasts!). but pretty sure most of them you can just google the name and play directly from your computer. :) once you find your preferred way to listen, I bet you’d love it!

    • MozartsGirl says...

      Kate – I just listen on my iPad while I’m working (I’m a baker) with no extra headphones or anything, just like the radio really! If you have an Apple device, there should be a ‘podcasts’ icon installed. Or if not, try Soundcloud (on the App store) which streams podcasts (there are other ways too, if you Google). You can browse a selection grouped by interest. Just click on anything you fancy to subscribe and download the podcasts (you can then listen whenever) Other suggestions based on your preferences will also appear…I love to just scroll through and find some real gems. Don’t be daunted – I’m really non-tech and in my fifties, but I love it now. I hope you find something you love! x

    • Kamina says...

      I listen to podcasts WITHOUT headphones as often as possible at home, because I think it’s less damaging to my ears. You could listen from your phone exactly as you do the radio.

      I was also clueless for ages as to how to get podcasts. I discovered that my iPhone had a built-in podcast app from which I can search and listen to any podcast. I don’t know how other people do it.

    • Mina says...

      So I often listen to podcasts without headphones at home. When I’m making dinner or cleaning up or folding laundry I’ll just have my phone on the counter nearby and I play the podcasts straight from there. Maybe try that!

      And you can listen from the Podcast app on your iPhone or via Acast or Spotify or stream directly from the podcast’s website.

    • Kathy says...

      You can listen through an app on your phone(on the iPhone it’s called Podcasts) or services like Spotify and Soundcloud have podcasts. You can listen to them as you would music- with the speaker option on your phone- while driving in the car- so many options.

  58. Cara says...

    No true crime? Come on, I live for some true crime podcasts!

  59. MJ says...

    Kim Rhodes, you already have a lot of my faves listed (Still Processing being #1). I think you might enjoy Modern Love, Death, Sex & Money, Why Won’t You Date Me, and Mogul.

  60. Kat says...

    I am 100% addicted to podcasts and subscribe to way too many, but I’m totally going to add these anyway!

    My recommendations are:

    – 99% Invisible. Literally everything interesting I have to say is something I learned from this podcast. No joke, every other day I start a conversation with my husband, “So I was listening to this really interesting episode of 99% Invisible…”
    – Terrible, Thanks for Asking. My mom died last year, and as you can imagine, that has been hard to deal with. This podcast is heavy, but a strange and wonderful comfort to know that other people also deal with terrible experiences. Do not listen without tissues handy.
    – The Anthropocene Reviewed. I’m a lover of all things John Green and his beautiful, poetic, and eloquent way of speaking. This podcast is all of those things.
    – Welcome to Nightvale. I don’t really get into most fiction podcasts, but I love this one. Super quirky, weird, spooky, sometimes unsettling but always hilarious somehow? Very hard to describe, but I love it.
    – Harry Potter and the Sacred Text. Gleaning meaning and life lessons by reading the Harry Potter series as if it were a sacred text. Unexpectedly wholesome. I learn a lot from this one.
    – Conversations with People who Hate Me. The host contacts people who have left him/other troll messages online and gets to know them as a person. I love this one for reminding me that we are all human and sometimes make terrible choices.

    • Ker says...

      I was coming to mention Anthropocene Reviewed as well! Love love love it. Also Heavyweight and the Mystery Show. And of course 99% Invisible. But my favorite is Reply All.

  61. Janine says...

    I already listen to most of these, so I’m so excited for the recommendations that I don’t listen to. Definitely the podcastish one of my group too. I’m so thrilled to hear Thirst Aid Kit is back!!

    For fans of Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, or Star Wars (they choose a different fandom each season), I would recommend BINGE MODE.

    And for fans of science and great interviews, check out OLOGIES.

  62. laura says...

    Rewatchables!

    people dissect a “rewatchable” movie during an episode. examples: when harry met sally, mean girls, good will hunting, etc.

    • penny says...

      this sounds great!!

  63. Rachel says...

    I love finding new podcasts. I listen to them while doing my desk job. Thanks for all the new ideas.

    If you have already gone through a lot of the true crime standards out there (Serial, S town, Up and Vanished, My Favorite Murder etc) I recommend The Murder Squad. A retired cold case investigator and a retired investigative journalist discuss unsolved murder cases. They ask for help solving crimes.

    Also if you enjoy romance books and comedy I recommend checking out the podcast Heaving Bosoms. It’s two best friends discussing a different romance book each episode. They are hilarious and it’s so fun to hear honest reviews of romance books.

    Finally if you really love Harry Potter or Game of Thrones check out the ringer podcast Binge Mode. So funny and so in depth.

  64. Katherine says...

    I’m not a sports person but 30 for 30 from ESPN is just an incredible series. Remarkable stories so well told. Even if you don’t care a whit about poker or boxing (and believe me I don’t) you will be totally engaged with these. (There’s a five part series on Bikram yoga but one from the first season about Women’s soccer in 1999 is the best.

  65. Jacqueline says...

    Any Elizabeth Holmes fans out there? Started listening to Throne Rangers on her rec and just love hearing these Australian ladies discuss Kate and “Megs”! Their amazing accents + level-headed cutting through media bs + feeling like I’m hanging out with friends gets me every time! If you’re a royal fan even in the slightest I’d highly recommend!

  66. Meghan says...

    Forever 35 makes me laugh and spend way too much on skincare. Young House Love Has a Podcast is like listening to a blog. What Should I Read Next keeps my TBR stocked and the to-read stack of books on my nightstand dangerously high. Lavar Burton Reads fills the Reading Rainbow-sized hole in my heart.

  67. Kathryn says...

    Yes! This is the best podcast. Tom Hanks’ episode is so so good. Plus I love that they feature everyday heroes like firefighters, scientists, etc.

    • Tori says...

      Hi Kathryn! Which podcast are you talking about? Sounds so great!

  68. Alex Zap says...

    I’m surprised nobody has mentioned The Tim Ferris Show! I love how he interviews a huge range of incredible people in such a humbling way. His episodes leave me inspired and motivated both personally and professionally.

    • penny says...

      i second this – he is a very generous interviewer

  69. Sarah says...

    My two favorite podcasts are Dax Shepard’s “Armchair Expert” and Daniel Crosby’s “Standard Deviations.” The second one is a clinically trained psychologist looking at money — and life in general! Really great.

  70. Kelly says...

    My current favourite is Desert Island Discs
    – Eight tracks, a book and a luxury: what would you take to a desert island? Guests share the soundtrack of their lives.
    They have had a variety of hosts over the years -Kirsty Young must have the best interviewer voice ever.

    • Kristy says...

      It’s so so good!

    • Kathryn says...

      Yes! This is the best podcast. Tom Hanks’ episode is so so good. Plus I love that they feature everyday heroes like firefighters, scientists, etc.

  71. Katie says...

    Okay, while we are on the subject of podcasts, can anyone recommend an app that aggregates your favorite shows in a way that is actually well designed and user friendly? I am over the built-in podcast app on Apple and hoping there is something better out there. Help!

    • Meghan says...

      Don’t know if you’ve tried it yet, but I like Stitcher. I auto-download new episodes of my fave podcasts and listen to them in offline mode while commuting. I don’t know how it stacks up to Apple podcasts because I’m an Andriod user but its worth a shot.

    • Kristy says...

      I use Overcast and I really like it

    • meg says...

      I use Overcast and think it’s okay!

    • mb says...

      Me too!!!
      I tried Stitcher and I am really not into it–they add in advertisements unless you pay for premium. Were it not because I have a million things already downloaded I would just delete and start over with a new app. If anyone has a great app let me know. I also just want to be able to create playlists so I can order them my way. And is it too crazy to not want to pay extra for something that you can get for free?

    • Mary Bryan says...

      I’d recommend Pocket Casts! It’s one of the only apps I’ve ever paid for (I think it’s $4?) and it’s well worth it for me. I had similar frustrations with the Apple Podcasts app.

    • Laura says...

      Yes! I would be so interested in app recommendations. Apple’s is not great.

    • Sophie says...

      Pocket casts is amazing and I’m pretty sure they have gone free. That said I paid for it years ago and love it

    • Katie says...

      Thanks, all! I am glad I am not the only one! And, yes, MB, podcast playlists would be amazing! Looks like I will have to try Pocket Casts . . .

    • Francine says...

      A bit late to the party, but for Android I recommend Podcast Addict.
      You can absolutely do Podcast playlists and everything else that you could come up with, too – and it’s still really intuitive to use, at least to me.

  72. Frankie says...

    Love a pod! So hard to keep up with them all though. Some of these look so funny. And I LOVE How Did This Get Made.

    Some more to add to your list and inevitably fall behind on:

    Mom Rage ( honest raw funny insightful writers and talk about mom issues big and small….the Dad Rage episode where they have their husbands interview eachother is a great listen)
    Forever35 (serums forever)
    Who Weekly because Lindsay and Bobby crack me up. MOVING ON.

  73. Wendy says...

    Can anyone recommend a discussion podcast about women’s issues and current events? I used to listen to Slate’s Double X, later rebranded as The Waves, but … I don’t like the new line-up very much. I like that the perspectives now are more inclusive and intersectional, but I feel like it went from an exploratory format where the hosts talked with one another to build ideas, to a venue for the hosts to express the opinions they came in with. (No comedian hosts, please and thank you.)

    • kk says...

      The High Low.

    • alexis says...

      I like Call Your Girlfriend and Hysteria, although sometimes on Hysteria, their main topic discussion can feel a little superficial or not totally well informed (and other times I learn something new, so YMMV is all I’m saying).

    • Sarah says...

      It’s not really the same but I like The Cut on Tuesdays.
      (I agree about the double x to waves transition)

    • Annie says...

      Call Your Girlfriend is great!

    • jane says...

      Love The High Low. Pandora Sykes is impossibly gorgeous AND intellectual.

    • Mandy says...

      You should check out Unladylike!

  74. Kaisa says...

    I highly recommend Bear Brook, if you have any interest in true crime. It is SO good and so well done! It’s about the investigation behind the unsolved case of the Bear Brook murders/Allenstown four.
    Not only is the criminal case riveting (so many twists and turns!) but the reporting is respectful and thorough. Unlike many other true crime podcasts, they don’t really focus on the gory details of the crime itself, rather detailing all the work that went into trying to solve the case.

    They’ve released a few updates since the podcast first came out last year… and I highly recommend listening to the new episodes!

    I listened to the whole thing yesterday and am seriously considering listening to it again.

  75. pennynickels says...

    I have been a fan of DOUGHBOYS for awhile and it is pretty special. It’s really the nerdiest thing I’ve ever listened to and is one of my favourites.

    Two intelligent, probably on the autistic spectrum, extremely funny guys discuss and debate fast food chains with the earnestness of Supreme Court lawyers making closing arguments. The first Tournament Of Chompions is what hooked me, and I then I had to start at the beginning.

    REAL LIFE GHOST STORIES is my current absolute favourite. Emma and Dan’s dynamic, their banter, the well-told stories, oh and their UK/Irish accents! It’s a light-hearted funny/scary podcast that I feel is about to get MFM level popular. You heard that here first lol.

    I started with Episode 13: The Haunting at Number 9, then proceeded to binge every. single. episode. in a matter of days. It’s just THAT good.

  76. perla says...

    i have been listening to podcasts for over a year now and i absolutely LOVE it ! in fact not a day goes by where i don’t listen to podcasts . when i’m getting ready in the morning , whenever i’m having lunch or dinner by myself , when i’m taking a shower , at the grocery store … i am glad i discovered podcasts . i can finally be entertained wherever i am .
    one of my favorite podcasts is spilled milk . it’s like having a coffee with a beloved friend every thursday !

  77. Susan says...

    If you’re in the mood for relationship podcasts:

    Sex with Emily: Emily and her friends discuss every sex topic you can think of, from the mundane to the wild. Fun, funny, totally non-judgmental. She gives answers questions and has great chats with guests.

    Dear Sugars: An advice show with radical empathy. Steve and Cheryl are hyper-literate and insightful. They usually start out with a letter from a listener and then go on to discuss the heart of the issue. Their banter is also totally charming.

    Where Should We Begin with Esther Perel: You get to listen in on couples counsel session with Esther. Good production values, and there’s always fascinating twists and turns.

    • Kim Rhodes says...

      Esther Perel!!! She’s so important. WSWB is at the top for me, as well!

  78. liz says...

    love these posts! thanks for sharing these

  79. Julie says...

    My Dad Wrote a Porno is one of the funniest podcasts out there. British comedian Jaime reads his father’s self-published erotic novels out loud to the delight and horror of his friends James and Alice. Bonus episodes have famous fans like Elijah Wood, Daisy Ridley, Emma Thompson (!!), and Lin-Manuel Miranda discussing the books and who should be cast in the movie. My husband almost crashed the car on Sunday driving us home from Baltimore laughing at the titular (oof) character’s sexy not sexy hijinxs.

    • Allison says...

      Was coming here to say this! OMG I have CRIED from laughing at this podcast!

  80. Sarah says...

    podcasts save me in the car with my kids….our favorite is Circle Round. What other podcasts do you like for kids (age 3 -6)? Thanks!

    • Kristen says...

      My kids (5 and 7) LOVE Circle Round. They also love Wow In the World, a silly science podcast, and Smash Boom Best, a funny debate podcast for kids with episodes like Lava vs. Quicksand or Aliens vs. Robots.

    • anna says...

      I didn’t know there were podcasts for kids!? Thanks for the heads up

    • Betsy says...

      We like StoryNory and But Why? Would love to hear more kids recs!

    • alexis says...

      My 3.5 yo loves the Storytime podcast from Bedtime FM. Her favorites are The Stone Goblin, A Crocodile in the Pickle Jar (no idea why she loves this one so much but she does) and The Dragon and the Princess. They have lots of stories (and are always adding new ones) but she likes the comfort of ones she already knows.

    • Victoria says...

      My 4-year-olds fall asleep to stories from Kids Story Room many nights (Fox and the Bilby is so beautiful) and also love Little Stories for Tiny People!

    • Kate says...

      Story Pirates
      Noodle Loaf
      Wow in the World

    • Heather says...

      We loooove Story Pirates (so hilarious and I even listen to it when the kids aren’t around)
      The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian, Earth Rangers, Eleanor Amplified, Big Life Kids are other faves too! Kids in the past is an interesting podcast following a boy through 1914-1918..my kids enjoy it as well..

  81. Becky says...

    Omg I’m so pleased someone said MDWAP! People kept telling me I should listen to it and when I finally got round to it my goodness I can see why. Word of warning though, don’t listen to this in public unless you’re particularly skilled at making laughter explosions look like a coughing fit!

    • megn says...

      Theeeeee best. #leatherroom

  82. Angela says...

    My boyfriend and I have been really into true crime podcasts lately. I like ones that are creepy but not overly sad. Serial (of course) is where to start. S Town (favorite!), Up and Vanished (both seasons!), Dr. Death, Dirty John, The Thing About Pam, The Shrink Next Door, Over My Dead Body (especially Joe Exotic), and The Dream were all really good!

    • mb says...

      Question–did anyone else find S-Town uncomfortably intrusive? I felt like there was no way for the subject to consent to his life’s portrayal and felt there were questionable journalistic ethics taking place by the end. I listened to the whole thing because I was incredibly interested in it, but by the end, it left a bad taste in my mouth.

    • Adrienne says...

      S Town is the best podcast I’ve ever listened to. There’s been nothing like it before, or since. What a fascinating, funny, confusing and heartbreaking story. For more hard hitting single-story crime investigation I recommend Serial (obvs) Accused and In the Dark. Somewhat lighter is Teacher’s Pet and lighter still (reporting style, not necessarily the crimes) are the ones Angela has mentioned which are quite entertaining too. Crime Junkie is good also if you want to hear about a single crime all in one episode. So much to listen to! We talk about Peak TV, but I think we’re in a Peak Podcast era too!

    • Kim Rhodes says...

      OMG S Town has such a special place in my heart! I listened to it again a year later and still found things I hadn’t noticed before!

    • K says...

      MB, I stopped listening for that very reason. It made me really uncomfortable.

  83. Laura says...

    The British History Podcast! I am a data person by trade who never took a single history course that wasn’t required because it “wasn’t my thing” or was “too dry”. Enter this podcast at the recommendation of my sister. Inspired by how his grandfather relayed stories about Wales, the host (Jamie) relates the history of Britain from the Ice Age forward as if it is a story that he is discussing with his listeners. It’s detailed, entertaining, and joyously nerdy in how it covers all the events that a typical history class would gloss over. I would highly recommend!

    • Leah says...

      Yes! I too am a big Jamie fan — I love that I have been listening for YEARS and we are just getting to 1066. I

  84. Amanda says...

    I’m burning through The Ringer’s Rewatchables podcast. It covers the types of movies you could watch over and over again (think, When Harry Met Sally, Jaws, Zodiac, Mean Girls, you name it!). It has also inspired me to re-watch (or watch for the first time) movies in anticipation of listening to the episode.

    • kk says...

      Me too! Me too! I even listen to ones that I haven’t seen the movie yet b/c I still find them entertaining. I love them all.

  85. Lucia says...

    The Fairer Cents would be a great addition to this list! The two co-hosts, Tanja and Kara, tackle “Women, money and the fight to break even.” They cover a huge range of systemic factors, not only income inequality. Sample topics include toxic masculinity, financial feminism, the economics of motherhood, just to name a few. A thought provoking but FUN podcast to listen to. I’m hoping they come back with a new season soon!

  86. Kate says...

    Pantsuit Politics! Two intelligent women, calmly and respectfully discussing news and current events. They’ve become my go-to news source. Their smarts and listenership remind me of the Cup of Jo community and comments section.

    • Heather says...

      Pantsuit Politics is my go-to podcast recommendation. I think everyone should listen to Sarah and Beth.

    • Jody Winter says...

      I live in New Zealand but feel I know more about U.S. politics and civics than my own country through listening to Pantsuit Politics. It’s one of my favourite things.

  87. Sam Proctor says...

    The Adulting Podcast with Michelle Buteau and Jordan Carlos Williams deserves another shout out even though she just did a beauty uniform. It’s so f-ing funny.

    • alexis says...

      yes! i started listening after the beauty uniform, it’s a delight.

  88. Erin says...

    I am obsessed with true crime podcasts. My current addiction is Season 1 of Up and Vanished. I am hanging on every word and have never been so happy to sit in traffic.

  89. Ella says...

    The Allusionist (about word history) somehow fills the hole in my heart left by Fleabag (like some much more functional version of Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s character did an etymology podcast?). More recently the host also started a podcast that recaps Veronica Mars episodes—Anglophiles who have watched Veronica Mars more than once is probably a niche audience, but it is my niche and it has been keeping me sane during a very complicated house move.

    • Christina says...

      Proud member of that niche! I can’t wait to check it out. Thanks for your recommendation, Ella!

    • Sasha L says...

      I love the Allusionist too! She’s so funny and snarky, in a lovely way.

  90. Erin says...

    I am obsessed with true crime podcasts. For me, I just want a really good, gripping story on my commute. I am nearing the end of Season 1 of Up and Vanished and I have never been happier sitting in traffic.

  91. Amanda says...

    Oh my gosh, I just added so many podcasts to my queue! (also, typing ‘queue’ just made me realize what an absolute crazy word it is).

    The Daily has become my daily ritual for my commute home. I find Michael Barbaro’s voice so soothing, and I love the deep dives they do into current events.

    Other podcasts I love:
    Outrage and Optimism – The host panel includes a former UN Chief and dives into developments in the climate crisis that provide both reasons to be pissed off and reasons to be hopeful (hence the name :)
    Revisionist History – Malcolm Gladwell re-examines and re-investigates events from the past to see if they were misunderstood
    Noble Blood – All about history’s most fascinating, ruthless, and conflicted royalty. She highlights many royals that most people have never even heard of, and the episodes are short and sweet – normally under 30 minutes.

    • Bora says...

      I love Noble Blood- so poignantly told and her voice is so soothing.

  92. Oh fun topic! My current podcast lineup:

    Death, Sex, and Money – always so good
    Mom Rage – So I’m not a mom but somehow I feel like I have a lot in common with the hosts . The hosts are writers and spend a lot of time talking about literary endeavors or current events and really just feel like women I could be friends with
    Longform – great in-depth interviews with writers (the recent Jenny Odell episode was so good)
    No Place Like Home – can’t recommend this one enough! It’s a podcast on climate change but the hosts approach it with so much heart that it feels like a therapy session
    How Did This Get Made – for when the world is too much and I need a laugh

    • Maryb says...

      LOVE Mom Rage!!

    • ChloeH says...

      I, too, cannot get enough of Mom Rage. Two fascinating women talking about important stuff. Love!

    • MM says...

      I’m a huge Mom Rage fan too! Eden and Amelia are my people.

    • penelope says...

      Need to jump in to stan for MOM RAge too!!

  93. Denise says...

    These sound interesting. I have an embarrassing question though, What is a podcast? Is it just a radio talk show on the internet instead of the radio? (I know, I know, I’m very old)

    • Kim Rhodes says...

      People literally ask this all the time! And yes!! You nailed it! Welcome to the club :)

    • Ingrid says...

      Thank you! I thought I was the only one who didn’t know what a podcast was or how to find one.

  94. celeste says...

    Ya’ll have so much time on your hands! Still trying to find time to read.

    • Angela says...

      That’s the thing about podcasts. You Listen when you’re doing other things, like the dishes, working in the yard, or taking the dog for a walk.

    • Becki says...

      Listening to podcasts is the literally the only semi-productive thing to do sitting in daily traffic! I’m with you on still trying to find time to read :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh, i think it’s just what you prioritize. kim listens to podcasts whenever she can, including the in-between times, like her commute to work and waiting for a date. i try to read before bed every night. i don’t think everyone does everything, but just picks one or two things and tries to squeeze them into life! :)

    • Chicago says...

      That’s the beauty of podcasts! You can listen to them while doing other things such as cooking, cleaning, and commuting! Reading a book, which I love to do and wish I could do more of, requires you to sit and look at the pages. Can’t multitask!

  95. shannon says...

    Does anyone listen to The Birth Hour? It’s “a safe place for women to come together and share their childbirth stories” (lol apparently I have this memorized after listening to all 400+ episodes). Bryn, the host, is so kind and nonjudgmental. You hear about every type of conception, birth, and postpartum experience. I love the stories, and I’ve learned a TON about birth generally and also my own thoughts and feelings about journeying into motherhood someday. It can be very emotional – I’ve laughed out loud, cried, cringed, and everything in between. If you’re into birth stories or early parenthood generally, I cannot recommend it enough.

    • Rachel says...

      Yes! I was absolutely addicted to it throughout the process of getting and being pregnant.

    • Sasha L says...

      Oooh, as a birth doula I should be listening to this!!!

  96. Libby says...

    3 cheers for How Did This Get Made – I love it so so much. Nothing else makes me laugh like that podcast does! The Royal Wedding episode I totally agree is a classic.

    • Julie says...

      “Where does the butt start” from the Mannequin Two episode is one of my favorite comedic bits to ever happen. Zouks is my biggest celebrity crush because of this show.

  97. Britt says...

    On the recommendation of a friend I started listening to This Podcast Will Kill You and got totally hooked. Each week they talk about a different disease (or something that could kill you) like malaria, AIDS, measles, etc. The show is hosted by two Erins, both PhD disease ecologist and epidemiologists. Before you are like…mmm yes sounds like a v. boring science class, you should give it one episode. The measles episode was fascinating and was helpful in understanding why it is such a scary disease.

  98. S says...

    Just like when CupofJo asks is what we are reading and I then put all the comments section books on hold, i now have subscribed to ten new podcasts!! Thanks all!

    My Favorite Murder – the way Georgia and Karen humorously and respectfully cover true crime…and also mental health issues.

    Caliphate – only one season long but SO good and bingeable.

    Noble Blood – obscure royal stories.

    Criminal – Every episode I think to myself ‘eh this description sounds boring’ and without fail I’m always trying to get my husband to listen to it right after I finish. Phoebe always takes you to such unexpected places!

    Office Ladies – cannot wait for this to air! Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey covering episodes of the office!!!!

    • Kim Rhodes says...

      My Favorite Murder is a long, long held fave for me! Georgia and Karen are doing AMAZING, important work!

    • Dorie says...

      Because of this article, I just started listening to Thirst Aid Kit. I can honestly say that this podcast is the best thing that has ever happened to me. And I have three kids.

  99. Asia says...

    I also love The Daily (now that I’ve gotten used to Michael Barbaro’s vocal quirks;), Death, Sex & Money, and Earhustle, and also Code Switch, The Anthropocene Reviewed, Everything is Alive (AR and this one are both great to listen with kids), and many, many true crime podcasts: Dr. Death, Dirty John, Serial, S-Town, Bear Brook, Root of Evil…

    • Dorie says...

      Because of this article, I just started listening to Thirst Aid Kit. I can honestly say that this podcast is the best thing that has ever happened to me. And I have three kids.

  100. j says...

    Oh man, I looooove How Did This Get Made. A few personal favorite episodes: Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II
    Little Italy
    Jason X
    The Meg
    Ladybugs

    • Libby says...

      The Little Italy episode – I could write a novel on how much I love this episode. June’s surprise at the year the movie was made was one of the greatest moments.

  101. Bethany says...

    If you grew up as a bookworm in the 90s, I recommend the American Girls podcast about the weird world of American Girl-the dolls, the books, the fan fiction. The hosts are two actual PhD-holding historians who love the Bachelor franchise and most definitely will tie Colton’s fence jump to Felicity’s horse jumping over a fence. I read some of the books, circled things I wanted in the catalogues but was too poor to afford, but mostly you don’t need to be an American Girl die-hard to enjoy the banter of these two women.

  102. Emily says...

    I actually prefer Andy Richter’s podcast (The Three Questions with Andy Richter) to Conan’s. In addition to it being really funny, I find his interviewing style to be very genuine and giving, plus I love that he emphasizes how one can have a good life without being overly ambitious and “successful.”

  103. Heather says...

    My Dad Wrote a Porno! It is ridiculous and silly in concept (a retiree decided to write erotic stories and gave them to his son to read. His son then turned it into a podcast with two of his other friends commenting on the poorly written story) and the reactions to the story that the friends have are hilarious but my favorite moments are the times the three get sidetracked and tell stories about their personal lives. I feel like I want to be in their friend group everytime I listen. They also have footnote episodes with celebrities vying for roles if the god awful books were ever to be made into movies. Total escapism podcasting!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i’ve heard such rave reviews of this one!

    • Lindsey Crook says...

      My husband and I laughed so hard listening to this we had to pull off the road on a recent trip LOL

    • Donna says...

      This podcast will have you laughing out loud! So fun and funny!

    • Julie says...

      I just posted this one too! I’m on book three but have started book one with my husband, he’s OBSESSED now.

      “When does the book get hot?!”
      “NEVER, that’s the point!”

    • Heather says...

      I love the sound of this! Question on starting podcasts like this years after they air – would you recommend going back to episode one or just starting right in the most recent ones?

    • Heather says...

      Definitely recommend starting out at the very beginning of this. The episodes are funny on their own but after five seasons there are definitely inside jokes that you would miss out on if you skipped.

    • Bec says...

      I used to LOVE My Dad Wrote a Porno and listened to the first two seasons. Then they came to my city and my friend and I decided to go see the live show. Before the show we went for dumplings at a BYO restaurant and both turned up with a bottle of wine. We worked our way through the two bottles and being both drunk and full I nodded off during the live show and my friend had to prod me awake. I was mortified! Somehow the shame of falling asleep has made me feel embarrassed while listening to the podcast?! So now I can’t listen. True story.

  104. Anna says...

    Doughboys is my current favorite podcast. The premise is two comedians that review chain restaurants, but that doesn’t really capture the silly, hilarious, sweet magic of the two hosts, Mike Mitchell and Nick Wiger (plus the extended Doughboys family).

    • Laura says...

      Doughboys is my favorite, too! If you ever have the opportunity to see a live show I’d highly recommend it.
      #burgerbrigade

    • K says...

      I love Doughboys so much…. hi from Spoon Nation

  105. Lindsey says...

    I am a huge fan of The High Low with Pandora Sykes and Dolly Alderton. They cover current events and pop culture, but also intellectual subjects, particularly what they’ve been reading lately. Their discussions are always so thoughtful, and I always come away with either a list of things to read, or a new perspective on something happening in culture. They are brilliant women, and I look forward to Tuesday every week!

    I also really love Every Little Thing by Gimlet Media. They take what they call “burning factual questions” and answer them. Recent examples include “how did baseball and organ music come to be a thing?”, “how can i get a song unstuck from my head?”, and “who came up with the idea of the bloomin’ onion, and is that even australian?” (so random, I love it, haha). I always learn something new, the host Flora has truly excellent puns, and they’re only 20-25 min, so I can fit a quick one in on a short drive or while washing dishes.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i used to follow dolly alderton’s newsletter, she’s so hilarious! thanks for the recommendation :)

    • kk says...

      Yes! The High Low!!

    • Rebecca says...

      Agreed, LOVE The High Low. I feel like Dolly and Pandora are my extremely clever, well-read friends that I get to hang out with every week. Never miss an episode.

  106. Kari says...

    A few of my current faves:
    – Armchair Expert: Dax is funny and surprisingly insightful. Sometimes veers into cringy dude humor but I love his mix of guests, always good convo. My fave episode is with Dr Gottman.
    – Heavyweight: It’s by Gimlet Media, the same company that makes Reply All. Great story telling, heartfelt and always makes me lol.
    -The Dream: The first season in 2018 focused on MLMs (multi-level marketing, eg. Amway). omg FASCINATING. It’s an in-depth look at the history, political ties, community ties, and they even sign up for a modern MLM. Regardless of whether or not you’ve ever been a part of an MLM, this is such an interesting listen.

    • Eliza says...

      I’m a total Armchairy!!! Did you listen to the episode with Jason Bateman? Oh my god, I didn’t think I could laugh so hard at such a crude discussion, but it was so funny.

    • Kari says...

      Eliza – Yes, the Jason Bateman one is so funny! I also lol’d through the Will Ferrell and Ted Danson episodes. Oh and the very first episode with Kristen was very good – funny and great, real life relationship talk.

    • I used to listen to Armchair Expert regularly but then in one episode a female guest was talking about sexual harassment and assault and he said that he could relate because in high school there was an agressive guy who he found intimidating. I couldn’t keep listening after that, I felt like he wasn’t listening to the woman’s experience at all…

    • Kate says...

      Gabriela – was it the Amy Schumer one? If so, I agree – but at the end of the episode he added in an epilogue where he discusses his realization of how dismissive and ‘mainsplain-y’ he had been and shares (with Amy’s permission) that he reached out to her and apologized and that the two of them discussed and worked through that. It was very sincere and redemptive, in my view. If it was that episode (or if that episode post-dated the one you are referring to) I would suggest giving the epilogue a listen to see if it moves the dial for you at all. xx

  107. Haley says...

    Loving the American Girls Podcast! The New York Times Instagram gave them a shout-out recently which is how I found them. Two historians and best friends spend each episode going book by book through the original American Girls books of the 90’s (going in order of history, starting with Felicity) and they talk about historical context but mostly they just chit chat about the way American Girls dolls affected their childhoods and how interesting it is to look back at the way the AG company approached tricky topics like race in the 90’s ( the “colorblind” approach that we all cringe today).

  108. Tina says...

    The National Review has a music podcast called Political Beats that I’m binging. It’s soooo good! They focus on a specific band/musician in each podcast. They are smart and have a critical ear, but it’s much more fanboy-ish than Pitchfork-y. We have so many of the same opinions — Hey Jude by Wilson Pickett is probably the best cover song ever and Monkey Man is the most underrated Rolling Stones song. I feel so seen!! It’s like listening to my smartest friends talk about music while I’m working and hearing some snippets of favorite songs. Why does the National Review have a music show? Why do I love it when I’d never read The National Review? Why don’t they have more women on? I don’t know. But it’s great.

  109. Anna says...

    I love podcasts, but I’m also bookish, so when the two meet it’s the perfect match!
    May I suggest:
    = What Page Are You On with two smart, stylish and funny ladies talking about books they have recently read; episodes to try: Ghost Stories for Hallowe’en, Bon Appetit.
    = Sentimental Garbage: author Caroline O’Donoghue and her guests discuss their favourite chick-lit, e.g., The Devil Wears Prada, Circle of Friends, The Thorn Birds, etc. Fun fun fun.

    • Rachel says...

      I’ve just gotten into Bad on Paper, another book club-meets-podcast. Might be one you’d like! They review books and interview authors, among other subjects.

  110. K says...

    Thank you for this post – will check these out! I think all CoJo Fleabag fans should listen to PWB’s interviews on How to Fail with Elizabeth Day .

    All the interviews in the series are amazing. Every. Single. One. But the Phoebe ones are particularly great – there are two; one before Fleabag became the big huge success and one after.

    The poddy premise is simple – celebs talk to author and journo Elizabeth Day about their failures and what they have learnt from them. I can honestly say this podcast (and the book Day wrote as a result of it) has made my life so much better. I have cried, laughed and learnt a lot about how to view my own ‘failures’. Magical.

    • Sam says...

      I loved the episode with Samin Nasrot!

  111. Kate says...

    I love fiction podcasts for escape and chill time. If you love Jonathan Groff (who doesn’t?) you have to listen to 36 Questions, a musical podcast. It’s great and the singing is phenomenal. I also love The Walk (best listened to while walking) and Bright Sessions, Limetown, Homecoming, The Message, Life/After, and Mabel. But I will definitely check out some of these suggested in the post!

  112. Louise says...

    If you’re looking for a light, fun podcast I recommend Be There in Five. Kate is hilarious. Lots of funny pop culture tangents.

    • Maureen says...

      Ah yes! I came here to see if anyone else recommended this. I’ve recommended it to all my friends and look forward to listening to it on the drive home.

  113. Alison says...

    Pod Save America! and actually any of the podcasts from the crew at Crooked Media

    • Jo says...

      Be the Good with Christy McCaffrey! Uplifting and a breath of fresh air.

  114. Shannon says...

    The History Chicks! We listened to a few episodes in the car with our kids (11yo and 9yo), and we were all hooked.

    Each episode focuses on a female character in history — the lady who made a huge dinosaur bone discovery in England back when ladies didn’t do that, the lady who set out to bike around the world back when ladies didn’t do that, etc. etc.

    Their lives are so well researched, and their stories presented in such an engaging way. The hosts are astonished, incredulous, admiring, critical, and unabashedly delighted by the whole thing. Their enthusiasm is contagious.

  115. Inga says...

    The OnBeing podcast with Krista Tippett. She is a journalist, author and wonderful interviewer who has deep conversations with people as diverse as brain surgeons, monks, yoga teachers or activists on life, being human and – dare I say? – spirituality. I am not religious but these roughly hourlong episodes while cleaning or commuting really have something to them. They are enlightening, uplifting and thought provoking in a very open and inclusive way. Wherever one might lean with their politics and beliefs, I think, can find something here that resonates with them : )

    • Judy says...

      Oh, I LOVE OnBEING and Krista! Just her voice! So many people are poor interviewers. She’s one of the best!

    • sam says...

      I don’t think of it as a spiritual podcast at all, just a “thinker’s” podcast. The conversation with Mary Oliver almost made me cry at the nail salon. It was so beautiful and moving. Loved hearing Maira Kalman. Loved Ross Gay. So many gems and I finish it feeling better about humanity.

  116. Taylor says...

    I love Keep IT because I find Louis Virtel to be possibly the best ever comedic host/interviewer I’ve ever listened to. So many of his comments make me laugh for days (he’s referred to the bachelorette as “a parade of teeth”) but I find myself mouth agape with his truly freaky encyclopedic knowledge of cinema. I love Ira and I love how they dunk on each other, but when Louis Virtel eventually does his own podcast ala “You Must Remember This” I will die.

    • Kim Rhodes says...

      I’m completely obsessed with Louis and didn’t know about his Jeopardy fame until recently! And OMG SO FUNNY!

  117. Bora says...

    Lately I’ve been listening to podcast “How to Fail With Elizabeth Day” which is about celebrating the things that haven’t gone quite right and how we can use those experiences to better our future choices. Some of the interviews on there have been the most engrossing and inspiring conversations I’ve ever listened to. I especially love the ones where she’s interviewed Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Samin Nosrat, and the episode where Elizabeth Day herself is interviewed by friend and former guest Dolly Alderton. The podcast is such a joy and if you haven’t listened to it, I’d highly recommend it- https://howtofail.podbean.com/

    Another two favorites- Love Stories With Dolly Alderton (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/love-stories/id1343714594) and Passenger List (https://www.radiotopia.fm/podcasts/passenger-list). Both are SO. GOOD!

  118. Sasha L says...

    I just don’t have enough time to listen to all the awesome podcasts! And keep discovering new ones daily!! Sigh.

    Forever 35, Science VS, Only a Game – always so great.

    My latest fave is Behind the Bastards, recommended from an antiMLM FB group, I’ve listened to the Young Living founder Gary Young episode and Rudolf Steiner (Waldorf Schools) episode so far. Enthralling, shocking, highly entertaining. Also really great, The Dream is also entertaining and informative (Madeleine Albright, a shill for MLMs, who knew!?!)

    • Taylor says...

      Ooooh I’d love love love love Cup of Jo to do a post on MLMs so BADLY. I have lost so many smart, ambitious friends to MLMs and it’s insane how pervasive they still are among college educated women, especially newish moms.

    • Sasha L says...

      Taylor join the FB group, Sounds like an MLM but ok.

      I too would love to see MLMs addressed by COJ. MLMs are worse than ever. So predatory and manipulative, so harmful to true and real friendships, the owners and companies are always so freaking messed up, the products are appalling bad, the lies just unbelievable.

  119. Catherine says...

    I’m in deep with Ear Hustle! Has anyone else been listening? It’s recorded inside San Quinten prison and is about daily life in prison. It doesn’t get into the crimes committed by the inmates on the podcast (much anyway), and so, though heavy at times, it’s more enlightening than it is dark. It’s gripping and shining with humanity. I can’t recommend enough.

    • Kim Rhodes says...

      Yes! I listened to Ear Hustle when it first started, and forgot about it, but I totally want to get back into it! Thanks for the reminder, Catherine!

    • Jeannie says...

      I second Ear Hustle: hands-down one of my favorites. The inmates’ stories are moving, the podcast is thoughtful. Also sheds light on the U.S. terrible, unfair criminal justice and prison system.

    • Maureen says...

      Yes, I could not agree more! Your comment about it being heavy, but enlightening is spot on. I listen to a lot of podcasts and Ear Hustle is right at the top of the list. The sound production is excellent, the stories interesting and insightful, the perspective vastly different than my own life experiences. I have learned so much, had my own opinions changed from listening and I find the entire podcast to be phenomenal. I recommend it to everyone I know.

    • Sarah R Steinheimer says...

      This one is so so good!

    • Kari says...

      AGREED! Ear Hustle!! Is somehow both really entertaining and light, yet really moving and powerful, too. Makes me look at the criminal justice system entirely different.

    • Bec says...

      Omg I’ve been trying to find this podcast for ages after hearing an ad for it on another podcast. I thought the host was saying AIR Hustle. Lol. I need a better grasp on the American accent clearly. Thanks, an Australian.

  120. Abbey says...

    I am over the moon that “Thirst Aid Kit” has returned! That podcast has had me giggling and cackling the afternoon away on many occasions.

    My can’t-miss podcast (i.e. I have a Saturday morning ritual around it) is “Under the Skin with Russell Brand.” He has the most brilliant guests (hello, Malcolm Gladwell, Wim Hof, Brene Brown….) and often guests I’ve never heard of but who are absolute experts in some facet of the structures of society or religion, etc. There are always some laughs, but more so I count on this podcast for those juicy mind-blowing moments of depth and insight. And not in the name of self-congratulations about thinking deeply, but for insight into how to lead a deeper more satisfying and meaningful life as a human on earth in this wild world.

    • Erin says...

      I’m obsessed with Under the Skin, it’s prob the most enlightening piece of entertainment I’ve come across, and has definitely made me snort laugh on the commuter train many times :)

    • Dani says...

      My favorites that haven’t been mentioned:
      Throwing Shade (politics/comedy)
      Forever 35 (wellness/beauty)
      Bitch Sesh (real housewives – which I don’t even watch- but they have such good banter)

      My current favorite is Who Weekly, about random and obscure pop culture but completely hilarious.

  121. Laura Ruth Zeugner says...

    It seems like everyone I know loves My Favorite Murder

  122. Jennifer says...

    No one has mentioned John Green’s The Anthropocene Reviewed! It’s smart and funny and covers two topics each cast, like our favorite (which might be the first episode) about Canadian Geese and Diet Dr Pepper. It’s a little deep dive into topics that interest him, and I love his voice, which is really a big reason to like a podcast, in my opinion.

    • Caitlin says...

      I usually dive into long podcasts, but Song Exploder is a perfect 20 minute or less dissection of a song by the artist. It’s the pinnacle of amazing interviewing and editing.
      For snort-out-my-coffee-on-the-train laughs, I listen to Best Friends with Nicole Byer and Sasheer Zamata. Not safe for work or kids or anyone who isn’t ready for raucous discussions about female anatomy.

    • Kim Rhodes says...

      Huge fan of Song Exploder! Hrishikesh Hirway could read me the phonebook.

    • Kat says...

      Love the Anthropocene Reviewed! Really I love all John Green does–I also watch Vlogbrothers and listen to their Dear Hank and John podcast. :)

    • nadine says...

      Huge fan of Song Exploder too!!!
      Another one I like is The soundtrack show.

      Anyway now i’ll go listen to that Hannah Gadsby’s episode, I could llisten/watch/read anything about her.

  123. MR says...

    I’m so excited to check these out! Love this post! Thanks CoJ!

  124. Robin says...

    I am a huge book nerd and love What Should I Read Next!

    And I’m hoping there’s a second season to No Man’s Land.

    • MM says...

      I also love What Should I Read Next!

  125. L says...

    I am listening to the Mark Ruffalo Thirst Aid episode (as I do looooovvvve him) and I.am.dying!!!!

  126. mb says...

    I’ve noticed I’m not too into these types of leisure-styled podcasts. I enjoy them for one or two episodes but I never get too into them. Instead, I love in-depth reporting and anything that makes me feel like I just sat in on a class–current events, design, history, etc… I feel like after I’m done with them I am that much more AWARE of the world around me (there is probably a straight line that connects my preference for these podcasts to my job as a teacher and my anxious personality) :

    REPORTING!
    – Throughline
    – The Daily (always!)
    – Reveal
    – In the Dark–season 2 might be the best podcast season I have heard.
    – 1619
    – Caliphate (it ended a while ago but it was excellent, the reporter’s voice is so soothing I wish podcasting was her job at the NYtimes)

    LEARNING and being AMAZED by our world!
    – 99% invisible
    – What Trump Can Teach Us about Constitutional Law (same host–excellent podcast!)
    – Reply All–It is informational AND laidback!!! Also, both of the hosts’ laugh makes me smile. They are journalists but it is more about internet culture.
    – This American Life–a classic. I have cried by myself in my car to so many episodes.

    • Katie says...

      Caliphate was so good. I just finished it 30 minutes ago. It made me sick to my stomach at times, but I’d recommend it to anyone.. She only added her own commentary once or twice and really just lets you marinate in the complexity.

    • YES to In the Dark Season 2. Should be required listening for everyone in America.

    • Maryb says...

      Sidedoor – behind the scenes and into the stories of Smithsonian museums

      For October Spookies:
      Beyond with Mike Helton – can’t stop playing
      Scary Stories to Tell on the Pod – a JOY to listen to

    • Kim Rhodes says...

      Oh WOW. Sidedoor sounds AMAZING!

    • Amy says...

      I agree, MB. I find the “witty banter” of podcast hosts really annoying and often not even funny. Especially when it goes on and on and on before the actual topic or guest is even introduced. (ie: my favorite murder). I will give your suggestions a try; they sound more my style!

    • mb says...

      @Amy –you hit the nail right on the head about what I mean! Yes, even podcasters who are comedians (and who I see on tv and love!) somehow sound un-funny to me in their podcasts.

    • Francine says...

      MB, this sounds as if “In Our Time” with Melvyn Bragg would be right up your alley!
      This show has been on the BBC weekly for 20 years, and each episode the host covers a scientific topic with a panel of academics who are passionate about it.

      It has everything from philosophy, mathematics through history, biology, etc.

      My hands-down favourite episode: Photosynthesis.

  127. Rachel says...

    Love these recommendations! My favorite podcast right now has to be By the Book–the host are two friends who focus on one self-help book each episode and live by it completely for two weeks. I’ve never been a big self-help book reader, but I can’t wait for it to come out every week!

  128. Bee says...

    Still Processing is so thoughtful and great. I find myself thinking about the episodes long after I’ve finished listening. Both Jenna and Wesley are so smart – and charming!

  129. AGY says...

    Thanks for the rec’s! I commute to work, so always love to try a new one. I was recently turned on to ‘How Did This Get Made’ and really enjoyed it. I just downloaded some episodes of ‘Ladies, We Need to Talk’, and I am going to start with “Walking Away From Your Kids”, and “How To Make Friends As An Adult”, two things currently on my mind!

    Some other ones I have been into lately: Modern Love, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah Ears Edition and The Rewatchables!

  130. Corrie says...

    I love
    – Another Round (currently on hiatus, but their archive is worth a listen twice over)
    – Rough Translation (I so appreciate stories from Asia, where I’m from)
    – Death, Sex and Money by the unflappable, deeply empathetic Anna Sale
    – Reply All got this digital luddite keyed into digital security and of course ALL THE MEMES

    • Anna Sale’s laugh is the most delightful laugh I’ve ever heard from someone I don’t actually know.

  131. I am also a huge fan of podcasts, but I have a hard time branching out past the usual suspects: The Daily, Fresh Air, This American Life, etc. When I try to jump into other popular podcasts, sometimes it feels like walking into an ongoing conversation. I really appreciate you adding specific episodes to try out because that gives non-regulars a place to start!

  132. Lauren E. says...

    If you’re a music/entertainment buff, you’ll like Generation Gap. The hosts are Maureen Van Zandt (from The Sopranos, also the wife of Steven Van Zandt from the E Street Band) and a NYC standup comic, and they discuss pop culture from very different generational POVs. It’s super fun and has my laughing from minute 1.

  133. Rachel says...

    I love “Terrible, thanks for asking”. The host, Nora, is funny and sincere. The stories on there are heartbreaking but have really opened my mind to what other people are going through. I listened to an episode about postpartum depression and it (along with your post Joanna) made me feel like I was not alone.

  134. LK says...

    I’m really into storytelling and personal interest:

    Terrible, Thanks for Asking with Nora McInerny
    Family Secrets with Dani Shaprio

    • kk says...

      I was at a moms/womens networking event with Nora on Monday, and sat next to her. She is just lovely.

      I love movie-related podcasts, where they dig and to everything about a movie. And the “Rewatchables” is AMAZING for that. They seem to have the same list of movies that I think are re-watchables. Think an hour deep dive dissections of shawshank redemption, gone girl, top gun, when harry met sally (!! COJ readers!!), the notebook, field of dreams, pretty woman, reality bites, dave, a star is born, dazed and confused, goodwill hunting, devil wears prada, scream, clueless, titanic, speed, ETC!

    • Annie says...

      Love Family Secrets! Recently binge-listened 6 episodes on a plane…and found myself with tears streaming down my face in one of them!

    • “Goodwill Hunting” sounds like a thrift-shopping podcast, haha

  135. alycia says...

    Thank you for the recommendations!
    Lately my favorite podcast is Ologies with Alie Ward. Alie interviews different -ologists about their particular field (for example, Saurology (lizards!) and Phenology (seasons!), and the interviews are super informative, enlightening, and often really touching. Not to mention, Alie is hilarious and encourages listeners to “ask smart people dumb questions”. I highly recommend it!

    • Sonia says...

      Yes!! I just started listening to Ologies and I love it too.

  136. So many podcasts, so little time (at least for me), but these all sound great. Thanks for the recommendations!

  137. Connie says...

    Oh man. I’m crazy for podcasts. I work at a desk all day, so I can just listen the hours away while I do my work.

    I listen to a BUNCH of different podcasts, but my absolute favorites are: Why Mommy Drinks, Beautiful Anonymous, King Falls AM, and Lore.

    My newest find is “The Edge of Sleep” and it’s really intense in a good way.

  138. Neely says...

    Perfect timing! I was looking for podcast recommendations for upcoming road trips.

  139. So excited to check these out! A fun favorite podcast of mine is Sawbones – it’s all about weird medical history, hosted by a doctor and her comedian husband.

    • Kim Rhodes says...

      Yes!! The McIlroy brothers are another fave of mine! Love Justin and Sydney!

    • Robin says...

      I have got to try out the McElroy’s peripheral podcasts. Glad to hear Sawbones is a favourite of yours! I’ve been a big fan of MBMBaM and The Adventure Zone for a few years now.