Getting sick of your workout playlist? Tired of tuning through radio stations on your morning commute? There are better ways to pass time while exercising, driving or going on a walk! Podcasts are a great way to pass time and distract yourself, and they’re often fun, informative and even hilarious. Here’s a roundup of our seven favorite podcasts of the moment!
Serial, a podcast from the creators of This American Life (a weekly public radio show) hosted by Sara Koenig, is more of a story than anything else. The podcast breaks down the details of a true (and suspenseful!) story over the course of an entire season—kind of like a crime show in podcast form.
“It's basically breaking down a murder case that happened years ago,” explains Sara, a senior at Assumption College. “I'm only one episode in, but it's [already] so interesting!” If you’re in the mood to uncover a story and be left in suspense, explore Season One of Serial for free on iTunes.
2. Pop Culture Happy Hour
Though we may imagine NPR sticks to more serious subjects, they stray to a more fun conversation with their weekly podcast, Pop Culture Happy Hour. Hosted by “Monkey See” blogger Linda Holmes and an array of other guests, the podcast covers books, movies, music, television, comics “and pretty much anything else that strikes a nerve,” according to their website.
“It’s basically a group of really smart, really funny people sitting around and discussing various pop culture topics,” says Samantha, a senior at Union College. “I find that even when they're chatting about something I'm not necessarily interested in—say, a show I don't watch or music I don't listen to—I'm still enlightened and entertained by what they have to say.” You can listen online here.
3. Stuff You Missed in History Class
As part of the HowStuffWorks organization, an edu-tainment website with the goal of giving its audience insight into how everything and anything works, the Stuff You Missed in History Class podcast’s goal is to educate listeners. Hosted by Tracy Wilson and Holly Frey, the podcast covers everything from African history to archaeology to exhumations.
“They cover all kinds of historical topics from the very strange or mysterious to great tales of heroism,” says Chloe, a senior at the University of La Verne. “They always make it fun and interesting. It's like all the parts of history that you wish your high school teacher would have gone off on more tangents about.” Catch Stuff You Missed in History Class for free on iTunes.
4. Welcome to Night Vale
If you’re more interested in following a story than learning something new, think about tuning in to Welcome to Night Vale, a podcast presented as a radio show for the fictional town of Night Vale and the strange events that occur in it. The series was created by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, and the host and narrator is voiced by Cecil Baldwin with guest stars popping in as secondary characters.
“Night Vale [is] a really strange and often supernatural desert community,” says Kathryn, a senior at Vanderbilt University. “[It’s] a darkly funny and super imaginative podcast!” Episodes typically consist of “news, announcements and advertisements” from the desert town, which is located “somewhere in the Southwestern United States.” So if you’re in the mood for some spooky humor and a suspenseful story, check out Welcome to Night Vale on iTunes!
5. Guys We F*cked: The Anti Slut-Shaming Podcast
Though it may seem like a nightmare to have a publicized conversation with former sexual partners, comedians Corinne Fisher and Krystyna Hutchinson have no fear in their podcast, Guys We F*cked. The comic duo known as “Sorry About Last Night” hosts one-hour episodes in which the funny ladies freely discuss sex, relationships and how they fit into U.S. culture.
Each week, one of the twentysomething girls brings on a former sexual partner to discuss any topics that come up. They dig into their past and revel in their findings—hilariously, we might add. Occasionally, they bring on special guests like LGBTQ+ supporters, transgender guests, escorts or anyone else that may have an interesting take on what sex means to society. The goal is to ban the idea of slut-shaming from our minds by having an open conversation about sex and relationships. Tune in on their SoundCloud page.
6. The Read
Ashley, a senior at Georgia State University, describes The Read as “a weekly podcast covering gossip/news from hip hop, pop culture and its most famous stars with a humorous attitude.” Hosted by Kid Fury and Crissle, the show “also serves as an on-air therapy session for the two friends adjusting to life living in New York,” she says.
“I love this podcast because they are so funny, anyone can relate to the topics and listener questions they discuss, and you get all of the juicy news about the top celebrities that happened that week!” Ashley says. Tune into The Read for free on iTunes.
While it may be marketed as “a half hour of unfiltered gossip sessions, pop culture scrutiny and stories never told before,” Psychobabble, hosted by best friends Tyler Oakley and Korey Kuhl, usually strays into a half hour convo about Katy Perry, holidays or food—in other words, anything.
LGBTQ+ YouTube personality Tyler Oakley and his good friend Korey embark on short weekly episodes discussing whatever happened regarding celebrity news (read: Justin Bieber’s Calvin Klein ad, Taylor Swift’s latest album and Katy Perry—always Katy Perry), which usually diverges into various other conversations. The two have a hilarious and honest approach to expressing their thoughts, and there’s never a dull moment on air. Listen to Psychobabble for free on iTunes.
Kiss your boring commutes and old workout playlists goodbye! With these podcasts you can listen to stories, learn something new or catch up on the news while you’re going about your day.