To me, summer is all about road trips.
And road trip are all about beef jerky, Twizzlers, fun playlists and podcasts.
The biggest hurdle with podcasts is finding one to listen to in the first place. There’s a gazillion out there, so how do you narrow it down?
I posed this question to a bunch of smartypants friends and got so many suggestions that I decided to split up the recs into two separate posts (here’s the last podcast suggestion post). Here’s a bunch more to add to your podcast repertoire.
*And a note on podcast etiquette*
Take the time to rate and review the podcasts that you really enjoy. That’s what boosts them in the rankings and helps interested people discover new shows.
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Love, Life, Relationships, Emotions
Writers Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond answer listener’s questions about love, heartbreak, and how to handle complicated interpersonal relationship questions. I’ve been meaning to listen to this one for awhile, and then I did, and now I’ve basically listened to every single episode. It’s like Dear Abby for 2016. But better.
Familiar with Man Repeller? If not, that’s cool, you can click on this link and learn all about it. If you know and like it, founder Leandra now has a 10-minutes podcast full of thoughts on style, fashion and life thoughts. My friend Rebecca is a huge fan, calling this show “raw and honest and everything.”
Who doesn’t love a good, public cry sesh? These guys talk about the viral videos, commercials, movies and more than make us tear up. But in a fun way.
…. is back! Or almost back (June 17, 2016). If you’re not familiar with this stellar podcast, here’s the gist: Invisibilia explores the invisible forces that shape human behavior – thoughts, emotions, assumptions, expectations. Season One offered six episodes, each one better than the next. Excited to see what these ladies unravel in season two.
Love + Radio
This one is a little polarizing for people, even from episode to episode. Things my friends have said about this show: “Probably my favorite podcast,” “Raw,” “Spooky,” “Uncomfortable,” “mesmerizing,” and “I like Love and Radio, sometimes.” Regardless, everyone (myself included) can agree that the Choir Boy episode will blown your damn mind.
One of my all-time faves. Stephen Dubner examines the hidden side of everything as viewed through an economist’s lens.
If You Liked the Serial Podcast…
Life of the Law
How do you even begin to talk about law if you don’t know the legalease or the court processes? In 2012, Life of the Law is a bi-weekly investigative report on law in America that everyone can understand. After all, doesn’t law belong to everyone?
Criminal is a podcast about crime. Stories of people who’ve done wrong, been wronged, or gotten caught somewhere in the middle.
Detective is a hit podcast from Investigation Discovery. Check out their new season, featuring Detective Garry McFadden, a 27-year veteran of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, aka the largest newsroom in the southeast, delivers investigations and true crime cases that you cannot find anywhere else.
Missing Maura Murray
At 7:35pm, on February 9th, 2004, New Hampshire State Police are called to scene of a single car accident. A U-Mass Amherst student named Maura Murray vanished after she apparently lost control of her vehicle. When authorities arrived not ten minutes later, Maura was gone. There has been no credible sighting of her since, and now there’s a podcast all about it.
Dinner Party Fodder
Lore is an award-winning, critically-acclaimed podcast about true life scary stories. Each episode examines a new dark tale from history, and presents it in a style that’s been compared to a campfire experience.
Note to Self
Is your phone watching you? Can wexting make you smarter? Are your kids real? These and other essential quandaries for anyone trying to preserve their humanity in the digital age. Join host Manoush Zomorodi for your weekly reminder to question everything.
Interviews about outdoors, rock climbing, and mountaineering. My friend Blaine says, “Even if you have zero interest in rock climbing, the host Chris Kalous is a Terry Gross-level interviewer and many of the shows end up being extremely fascinating or funny.” His favorite episodes are Frank Sanders and James Lucas.
Other favorite outdoorsy podcasts include The Dirtbag Diaries (similar content to the Enormocast, but in a more This American Life style), and Out There (a well-produced show about various topics related to the outdoors).
The Art of Wrestling with Colt Cabana
Cabana is an independently booked professional wrestler who travels the world. My cousin Josh says, “I like this podcast for non-wrestling fans because it talks about the sacrifices that these men and women make to follow their dreams. Independent wrestling is a combination of the life of a comedian, indy rock star and truck driver. It’s all about the stories and miles.”
The definitive gymnastics podcast. My friend Diana says, “These people have a wonderful way of getting the juicy dirt, but still understanding that they have kids listening. They cover everything from abuse in kids’ sports and how to deal with it to the Italian MTV reality following the Italian national team. If you want to know what’s going on during the Olympics this year, listen to a few of these this summer.”
Let’s Talk About Race, Baby
Our National Conversation About Conversations About Race
A lively multiracial, interracial conversation about the ways we can’t talk, don’t talk, would rather not talk, but intermittently, fitfully, embarrassingly do talk about culture, identity, politics, power, and privilege in our pre-post-yet-still-very-racial America. This show is “About Race.”
My cousin Josh says, “I got into this podcast because I needed to learn about all this racial turmoil from a safe place without judgement. It’s an interesting podcast that I would advise against bingeing because the topics are heavy at times.”
Denzel Washington is the Greatest Actor of All Time Period
If that last one sounds too heavy, maybe check out this really funny but also full of insights on race in America. Or do both!
Business, Business, Business. Money, Money, Money.
The Dave Ramsey Show
Dave Ramsey teaches you to manage and budget your money, get out of debt, build wealth, and live in financial peace. My friend Ulf is a fan, and says, “Yes it’s personal finance show and not everyone views things this way, but every time you hear someone scream “I’m debt free!” it makes you keep going toward any goal you’re pursing in life.” He also recommends the Ramsey-produced Entreleadership, featuring good advice for leaders, business owners, entrepreneurs and more.
Oh hey conservatives (or the conservative-curious)! Peter Robinson was a speech writer for Reagan (Tear down this wall!) and he pretty much interviews intellectual conservatives. This one comes from my friend Ulf again: “The Peter Thiel episode was a good one. Maybe I just like this because I like smart conservatives? Call that an oxymoron if you’d like.”
Rob Bell talks about spirituality. My friend Katie says, “This podcast feels like going to Church, if church is me running outside while listening to really compelling versions of the bible. It’s not as religious as you might think. It’s thought provoking and comforting at the same time.”
Today’s top political & ethical topics tackled in an Oxford-style debate. The show encourages audiences to “think twice,” fostering intelligent discussion grounded in facts. One of my personal faves.
Health n Wellness n Stuff
Nom Nom Paleo Podcast
Each week, the Tam family gathers around the dining room table to dive into delicious recipes, food trends, and our culinary (and non-culinary) adventures. Great for paleo enthusiasts or the paleo-curious.
Bulletproof Executive Radio was born out of a fifteen-year single-minded crusade to upgrade the human being using every available technology. It distills the knowledge of world-class MDs, biochemists, Olympic nutritionists, meditation experts, and more than $250,000 spent on personal self-experiments. Think of it as the Cliffs notes for self-help and wellness.
It’s Spanish English teachers chatting in Español! My friend Diana says, “It’s great for brushing up in reasonable doses. They even have a handy episode on Spanish swear words. I studied in Spain, so I particularly love that they have those lispy castillian accents. It makes me happy.”
The Memory Palace
Short, surprising stories of the past, sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes hysterical, always super-great. For history buffs, fans of public radio shows like This American Life & Radio Lab.
The perfect companion for looooong drives. Dan Carlin’s hours-long shows delve way deep into all sorts of world history. Like, waaaaay deep. It’s fantastic.
Real Life Stories, Featuring Funny People
Now What Did We Learn
Thought-provoking but fun interviews and topics from comedian and YouTube guy Ross Everett. Now What Did We Learn explores the stories that made the people you love who they are today.
WILOSOPHY with Wil Anderson
Perhaps Australia’s biggest comedian at the moment, Wil Anderson get really deep with other comics about personal life philosophies and what it means to balance ego with art.
Movie, Books, Pop Culture
In depth talk about whatever is trending on Netflix. The perfect antidote for for when you reach the end of a series and you’re devastated that it’s over.
Kerri Miller’s new podcast features all different types of folks talking about a book that influenced them.
Pop culture podcast from NYC transplants Kid Fury & Crissle who hold nothing back in their love or hate of anything music, movie, television, and the internet at large.
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What are you listening to and loving? Share in the comments!
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