10 Podcasts to Improve Your Commute
We’re back! And now with even more podcasts we love — all to help fill that time between wake up and work (coffee not included). Podcasts have seriously taken off since the days of iPod minis (remember when there wasn’t even a dedicated podcast app?) and now we’re inundated with new and trending podcasts at every turn.
We’ve previously brought you some awesome choices (and then even more), but today I'm breaking down a few of my favorites and why you should add them to your “subscribe” list, pronto. (You can thank me later.)
1. The Nerdist
An oldie, but just as good now — arguably even better — as it was back in 2010. Join Chris Hardwick, Matt Mira, and Jonah Ray as they interview hoards of amazing celebs, creatives, and influencers (I HIGHLY recommend all three of Neil deGrasse Tyson’s episodes) with plenty of nerdy delights thrown in along the way. Bonus: New episodes are dropping all-the-damn-time, and with a truly ginormous backlog, you’ll never have “nothing to listen to” again.
Start with: 2016: The Year of No Chill
Roman Mars (podcasting legend) hosts “99% Invisible,” a deep dive into the design all around us, and most that we frequently forget to really see. It's a truly fascinating look at the structures that make up our world — why they exist, how they were put in place, and their relevance now. I learn something new and incredible every time I turn this on. Plus, Roman Mars has one of the BEST radio voices. Delightful.
Start with: 226 - On Average
Need a little motivation to start your day? You’re not alone! Join Jess Lively and her bevy of amazing guests as they talk through struggles, triumphs, and setting intentions for life — from the daily grind to long-term goals. It's the perfect inspiration for anyone feeling overwhelmed or needing encouragement from someone who’s been there.
In “How Did This Get Made,” hosts Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael, and Jason Mantzoukas (#notontwitterguys) seriously ponder — but not all at seriously most of the time — how the more unique movies of our time get made (from “Death Spa” to “Teen Witch”). This is the podcast that introduced me to podcasts and is maybe my favorite thing in the world. It’s HILARIOUS and has turned me on to so many amazing and talented comedians. I’ve recommended it to countless people — solicited and unsolicited, cause that’s how I roll — and have never heard a bad word. Which is to say: Why aren’t you listening already?
Start with: Ep. 95: Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor (w/ Katie Aselton)
“Lore” was recommended to me by one of the coolest people I know and I am now officially obsessed. Delving into the history of superstitions, “Lore” explores the eerie, mesmerizing world of the bizarre and supernatural — in easily digestible 30-minute episodes. Catch it now before the upcoming TV show (especially to be all hipster and claim you knew it “before it was a thing”).
What is it about murder, death, and all things gruesome that is so fascinating? Join Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark as they share their favorite murder and true crime stories. A place to indulge an obsession with the macabre, all judgment checked at the door. I listened to four hours of “My Favorite Murder” on a drive from Ann Arbor to Chicago in the dead (see what I did there) of night and was completely captivated the entire time. This is for anyone looking to fill the “Serial” / “Making a Murder” void.
Start with: Seven Murders in Heaven
Lena Dunham’s podcast did an episode entirely on cats — I’m serious — so it’s instantly aces in my book. Dunham’s impressive dossier of guests includes amazing and influential women who have stories to tell, big or small. It’s fascinating to hear and so important as a space for ordinary and extraordinary women to share a small slice of their journey.
Start with: Trapped: Season 2, Episode 1
A colorful mix of improv, call-in advice, and gentle bickering, “Unqualified” makes me laugh out loud in public places — which is always the sign of something really good. Also a happy coincidence: The unqualified (get it?) advice for call-in listeners is actually really constructive and useful. Who knew? (I did, and now you do too. You’re welcome.)
Start with: 2016 Memorable Moments Vol. 1
Having just moved away from my (lovely, talented, and amazing) bff — miss you, Amy! — I connect with Ann Friedman and Aminatou Sow’s podcast, “Call Your Girlfriend” on a soul-deep level. Episodes range from politics to pop culture to food to emerging tech. A mash-up of earnest conversation between two undeniably smart women, it's truly enjoyable to listen to (and for anyone who needs a little girl talk now and again).
Start with: Episode 71: I Have No Proof
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Another interview style show, but this one gets DEEP — nothing is off limits, including spirituality, death, and any/all of our human vices. It’s seriously nice to hear opinions and thoughts on topics that aren’t usually covered in a standard interview — there’s no judgment here (Holmes is an excellent host that way), it’s just about digging in and getting to whatever truth the guest has to tell. It makes you think, in a way that’s enjoyable and introspective all at the same time.