If you haven’t heard yet, podcasts are the new thing to obsess over. Maybe you’re sick of listening to the same music or putting in the effort to find new bands to fawn over. Or maybe you feel like learning something completely new. There are literally podcasts for everything. Science, storytelling, journalism, mysteries—you think of the genre, and there’s probably an addicting podcast tied to it.
1. This American Life
Hosted by the loveable Ira Glass, This American Life is pretty much the pinnacle of podcasts, largely due to the fact that it’s been on the radio since 1995. Ira chooses a theme each week and hosts interviews or journalistic adventures that relate back to that theme. Some weeks the episodes are hilarious, featuring contributions from the likes of David Sedaris or Mike Birbiglia, while other weeks they’re daunting and heartbreaking.
TAL is the perfect place to get started in the world of podcasts. Plus their site makes it super easy to listen to their many episodes.
Do you like scary stories? How about scary stories that also happen to be real? There’s something to be said about digging into the rationale behind your deepest, darkest fears, and host Aaron Mahnke doesn’t hesitate to do exactly that. It’s the type of podcast you might want to listen to with the lights on and after checking under the bed a few times, though.
Prep yourself for mild to haunting nightmares, and check out Lore.
3. Stuff You Missed in History Class & The History Chicks
Okay, I’m cheating (or maybe I’m not—my article, my rules after all), but these are two podcasts that both happen to feature badass ladies talking about history.
All those days of falling asleep during social studies classes while trying to commit specific dates and facts to memory, only to dash them right out of your headspace again once your tests are complete, are in the past. History class is history!
Tracy V. Wilson and Holly Frey talk about interesting pieces of history in Stuff You Missed in History Class, diving deep into specific areas and exploring the sects of history that we all probably would’ve liked to actually learn about in school. To take it even further, Beckett Graham and Susan Vollenweider focus on history’s coolest ladies in The History Chicks, dedicating an entire episode to different women in history. It’s definitely time to revive history by delving into these fascinating podcasts.
4. Reply All
Hosts Alex Goldman and PJ Vogt uncover the deep, dark secrets of the Internet—or at least bring to light all the weird stuff that happens on the web. The podcast is (mostly) light-hearted and goofy, with an appropriate dose of seriousness as well. There’s more going on online then we can even begin to understand, but luckily we’ve got Reply All to help guide us through most of it.
5. Mystery Show
If you’ve listened to “This American Life,” then you may recognize the voice of frequent contributor Starlee Kine. And if not, then you’re in luck because she’s adorable and so is her podcast. Mystery Show, unsurprisingly, follows Starlee as she works to solve mysteries, ranging from finding out just how Britney Spears stumbled upon a relatively unknown novel to the hard-hitting question of where exactly that belt buckle came from.
Intrigued? Totally understandable. Now catch up on season one before season two premieres.
Here’s a dose of science and philosophy for the more introspective listeners. Follow the curious Radiolab hosts, Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich, through the questions they pose and try to answer in each episode. If you’re looking for a good episode to start with, I highly recommend “Lucy”, Spoiler, you might (read: absolutely will) cry.
After you shed some tears over “Lucy,” make sure you double back to listen to the other fascinating episodes.
7. Can I Pet Your Dog?
Who doesn’t love dogs? Seriously—who are you people?
For those that do love dogs and feel a connection with every single dog they pass on the street then this podcast is absolutely for you. Not only do Renee Colvert, Allegra Ringo, and Travis McElroy talk about different pups that they’ve met, but they also talk about developments in tech and the world overall that deal with man’s best friend. Plus, their social media pages are full of adorable dog pictures, and what can really seal the deal further than that?
Grab a seat with your pup (or a stranger’s—no judgments), and tune in here: Can I Pet Your Dog?
8. Call Your Girlfriend
So your best friend has moved across the country (or world), and you miss them terribly, but picking up the phone is so 1997 so you inevitably drift apart, leading you to get sad every time you think of them. Sure, you occasionally text or post on their Facebook, but it’s just not the same. Call Your Girlfriend is a reminder of how worthwhile that call to your far away bestie is. Ann Friedman and Aminatou Sow give us a peek into their friendship as they discuss the goings on in the world.
9. Love + Radio
Hosted by Nick van der Kilk, Love + Radio features interviews from people that come from all walks of life, bringing you spine-tingling, enticing tales that’ll have you gripping your seat with anticipation. It’s the sort of podcast where you’ll find yourself completely immersed in the stories, invested until the very last minute.
10. The Broad Experience
For those professional ladies that are taking a hard look at their careers, Ashley Milne-Tyte tells it as it is. There’s been a lot of much-needed backlash lately against unfair workplace standards, and The Broad Experience is a great source for hearing personal stories and advice for how to grow in your specific career. Being a professional woman is definitely hard, but Ashley shows us it is far from impossible.