When I started my new job two years ago, I nearly tripled my “windshield time”. What’s windshield time, you ask? Well, it is the time I spend behind the wheel… getting from point A to point B, of which I have a LOT. While I know many people don’t have the luxury of car time without little ears, I have at least two to three hours every day when I am driving by myself. When you have that much time on the road, you can only hear “Girls Like You” so many times before you go a littttttle crazy. (Sorry, Adam Levine and Cardi B.)
Embarrassingly, this isn’t a comprehensive list of all the podcasts I have listened to over the years. There have been others, including super popular podcasts like Serial or S-Town, that I latch onto — and then quickly forget. These are the ones which stuck with me, even if they were only one season or a few short episodes. I just listened to my first audiobook (Girl, Wash Your Face) in August. I really enjoyed that experience and may have to dip my toe into the audio book world more soon. However, I am a firm believer in podcasts, especially when I don’t always have time in front of a newspaper, computer screen, or book to stay on top of what’s going on in the world.
A few quick notes: there are very few days I don’t listen to my news podcasts, if only so I can keep my head on straight with what’s happening around me. I also tend to love mystery podcasts, with a little American history and sports mixed in too. I have a couple of parenthood podcasts I tune into regularly, but sometimes, I need a break from thinking about how to tackle lunch boxes after a tumultuous daycare drop-off. There, I said it.
I won’t offer a crazy explanation on each podcast… because it would take me weeks to post, but if it appears here, it piqued my interest enough to share. I consume my podcasts via Apple Podcasts, but there are plenty of ways to listen. In no real order, here are my top 25 favorite podcasts!
- The Daily – This is my “ride or die” news podcast. There are few days which go by when I don’t listen. The episodes are typically 20-30 minutes long and cover the time from when I leave daycare until I get my coffee in hand. I feel much more informed and up-to-speed after I listen.
- Up First – If I need an extra dose of news, I listen to this quick hit from the NPR team. Typically lasting less than ten minutes, I often listen to this after my Daily fix.
- NPR Politics – Should a big political event occur, their team covers it in depth. I’m a fan!
- Someone Knows Something – I fell down the rabbit hole of liking CBC podcasts after discovering SKS. There are multiples seasons on which to binge. Score!
- In the Dark – I could include this podcast under mystery and history. When these worlds collide, I’m bound to love it.
- Dirty John – This podcast will soon be on the big screens, but listen before you buy your ticket. I couldn’t break away!
- Accused – I grew up close to the scenes of the murders on their first two seasons, so I found Accused particularly compelling.
- Missing & Murdered: Finding Cleo – Another CBC podcast, another binge listen. (The second season featured Cleo; I didn’t listen to the first season.)
- Atlanta Monster – This was on everyone’s list — and I gave it a listen too. It wasn’t my absolute favorite, but I still couldn’t stop listening.
- Missing Richard Simmons – I have vivid memories of Richard Simmons growing up, though I’m not sure why. I didn’t realize the mysterious circumstances around his recent years. I liked this one, though it wasn’t a binge listen for me.
- How I Built This – This was one of my “gateway” podcasts. NPR features an entrepreneur in each episode who created an empire from the ground up… and often failed along the way. The Spanx episode will always be a favorite.
- Dr. Death – Working in the medical field, Dr. Death was a must-listen… mostly to see how crazy things can be behind the scenes!
- Uncover: Escaping NXIVM – Cults still exist in America, believe it or not. My eyes were popping out of my head on this one… definitely not safe for little ears, but fascinating all the same.
- Caliphate – The team at the New York Times did a deep dive into the war on terror. I learned a lot from this one.
- Royally Obsessed – This podcast is new to me, but I was thrilled to find something light hearted and royally focused. Every 13-year-old Prince William obsessed girl would, right? (I’m talking about myself in 1998, for the record.)
- Slow Burn – This is truly a hybrid history + current events podcast. The latest season features Bill Clinton and identifies many connections with the current political atmosphere. The first season featured Richard Nixon, which offered a good deal of political context and historical basis for a stretch of American history in which I admittedly know less.
- Unobscured – Living in the Northeast, I am loving this look at the Salem Witch Trials — especially at this spooky time of year.
- Presidential – I don’t believe their team is creating new episodes, but this series is great for a rainy day and fun facts about past presidents.
- The RFK Tapes – There is a little conspiracy theory in this one, but I didn’t know much about the RFK assassination going into it. I found it pretty fascinating! I enjoyed this more than Crimetown — even their season on Providence!
- Believed – Even though I can’t touch my own toes, I loved the 1996 Olympics because of Kerri Strug and have always had a soft spot for gymnastics as a result. I am spellbound to listen to this one as the season progresses.
- Gladiator: Aaron Hernandez and Football Inc. – This may be too New England specific of a podcast, but when you live here, it is hard not to be interested in Hernandez’s story. I live in the town over from where his trial was held, so I am curious to hear more about his life in this season.
- American Scandal – I am halfway through the first season of this podcast. It has been a steady but interesting build, focused on the doping scandals in the last few decades.
- David Ortiz: The Big Papi Story – Ok, ok… this one is definitely even more New England specific, but so be it. If it’s possible, I love Ortiz now more than I did before listening.
- Coffee & Crumbs – The ladies behind C&C do a tremendous job presenting a large variety of topics on motherhood, with a basis in faith-based parenting. Whether you’re religious or not, you’re likely to find plenty of episodes which speak to you.
- The Longest Shortest Time – Endless parenting topics explored, endless laughs + tears to be had. I dig in their archives when I need a good listen. I may not always love every episode, but I do love how they present the topics at hand.
Do you have any favorites not listed here? I’m always up for a new podcast!