There are many different types of podcasts, including but not limited to politics, comedy, sports, business, education, health, music and religion.
According to Podcast Insights, as of June there are over 40 million podcast episodes. While over 50 percent of the population has listened to podcasts, very few people I know enjoy podcasts.
Despite that, I think that it is a great way to consume media. I have broken down my personal favorite podcasts into categories so that each of you can find the perfect one for you.
The following podcasts are available through Apple Podcasts. However, for non-Apple users, most podcasts are available through Google Play, Spotify, and SoundCloud.
- “Stuff You Missed in History Class” — Each episode discusses a little known event in history. For example, “A. Gustave Eiffel, Part 1,” “Catherine de’ Medici and the Scarlet Nuptials,” and the “Highland Clearances” are all topics that have been covered.
- “Classical Stuff You Should Know” — This podcast is exactly what is sounds like — a podcast discussing the classical world. The main topics of the episode are art, literature, philosophy and history. I personally have found this show helpful with understanding topics when I was learning about them in school. Worth noting: All three of the hosts are educators.
- “Dressed: A History of Fashion” — Now, I would say that I am far from a fashion enthusiast. However, this podcast is still extremely interesting. Each episode focuses on a different style, fashion accessory or trend.
- “Stuff You Should Know” — With multiple installments each week, these episodes analyze obscure information, random objects, insights into theories, etc. For example, some of the most interesting episodes that I’ve listened to are “How the Fairness Doctrine Worked,” “The Tylenol Murders Part 1,” “How Trickle-Down Economics Works,” and “How Dissociative Identity Disorder Works.” The show also covers some lighter topics, including “Could There Be a Loch Ness Monster?” and “Short Stuff: Wigs in English Courts.”
- “Breaking Math” — As much as I enjoy math, I find it very difficult at times. Despite this, “Breaking Math” is still a favorite of mine. Each episode focuses on a different aspect of mathematics, for example “Forbidden Formulas,” “Infinity Shades of Gray,” and “Black Hole Heist.”
- “Useless Information” — Don’t let the title fool you. This podcast may be lighthearted, but it is enlightening and interesting nonetheless. None of the episodes cover anything too serious and all of the information could be considered useless, as the title suggests. However, it is certainly fascinating to hear little snippets of forgotten history.
- “Criminal” — This show is a true crime podcast. It was marketed as “stories of people who’ve done wrong, been wronged, or gotten caught somewhere in the middle.” Episodes usually run around 20 minutes, making it perfect to listen to during a commute.
- “Serial” — This one is an investigative journalism podcast. Season 1 goes over the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee. Season 2 follows the narrative of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was held by the Taliban for five years before being charged with deserting his post in the Army. Season 3 follows multiple cases, all of which happened within the Justice Center Complex in Cleveland. According to “Variety,” the first two seasons have been downloaded over 340 million times.
- “In the Dark” — Right now, “In the Dark” has only two seasons. However, it has gained significant popularity. It is, like “Serial,” an investigative journalism show and is produced by American Public Media. The first season of 10 episodes followed the kidnapping and subsequent murder of Jacob Wetterling. The second season delves into the cases surrounding Curtis Flowers — cases that ultimately led to his conviction.
“How I Built This, with Guy Raz” — Guy Raz interviews a variety of entrepreneurs and men and women in business to learn how they built their companies and what spurred them to start their operations. My favorite episodes were with Yvon Chouinard, who started Patagonia; Maureen and John Wheeler, who run Lonely Planet; and Jerry Murrell, who opened Five Guys. Although I have no intention of going into business, this show is still insightful.
- “Food 360” — This program is led by Chef Marc Murphy, who is an “Iron Chef” judge and a famous restaurateur. In each episode, Murphy brings on guests to talk about a specific food or discuss how they first became interested in the culinary arts. My own favorite episode is about menus and how they influence the restaurant experience.
- “Portrait of a Freelancer” — This show is hosted by Ariel Bisset and chronicles her experience starting out as a freelance artist. Additionally, she brings on fellow freelancers to discuss how they became interested in freelancing and the trials of being self-employed.
- “Constitutional” and “Presidential” — Both of these podcasts are by The Washington Post’s Lillian Cunningham. “Constitutional” explores the Constitution, along with those who framed it, altered it, and the ongoing struggle of its place in an ever-changing America. “Presidential” explores the lives of the U.S. presidents, as well as the lasting impact they have each had on this country.
- “Pod Save America” — This show is a liberal political podcast. Although the hosts can become a tad overbearing with their own personal opinions, it is interesting and insightful nonetheless. “Pod Save America” is hosted by former Barack Obama staffers John Favreau, Tommy Vietor, Jon Lovett and Dan Pfeiffer.
- “The Ben Shapiro Show” — Shapiro provides listeners with a conservative political podcast. His episodes and the way he expresses his views are articulate and well-researched. Shapiro’s show is hosted by “The Daily Wire” and airs daily Monday through Friday.