15 Best Podcasts for New Listeners

Apparently Dani and I don’t keep it a secret that we love podcasts, because people are always asking us what to listen to. This is, of course, almost an impossible question since there are SO many amazing podcasts and because people have such different tastes. On the other hand, I think it’s fair to say that a canon has developed, and that these 15 best podcasts will be suitable to almost all new listeners. Gateway podcasts, perhaps? Start here, and you’ll soon find yourself exploring dozens of genres and subgenres of podcasts!

In no particular order, here is the list:

  1. This American Life


  3. Invisiblia

  4. Radiolab

  5. The Moth

  6. Reply All

  7. Snap Judgment

  8. All Songs Considered

  9. Story Corps

  10. New York Fiction Podcast

  11. WITS (no longer recording, so only archive)

  12. Pod F. Tompkast

  13. WTF with Marc Maron Podcast

  14. 99% Invisible

  15. Planet Money

Annnnddd because we're librarians and obviously next level nerds, here's a second list of personal favorites:

  1. Call Your Girlfriend“A podcast for long distance besties everywhere.” Dani’s LDBFF in Japan recommended this, so now we’re using the podcast like a long-distance, two-person book club that meets on Google Hangouts. Unapologetically feminist, unapologetically awesome. ALSO: The Notorious RBG.

  2. Reply AllThis “show about the internet” will make you love the internet even more. Stories about people and technology and deep things and funny things.

  3. Death, Sex, and Money "About the big questions and hard choices that are often left out of polite conversation." Because we like big questions and we're not that polite.

  4. Product Hunt "Product Hunt Radio is a podcast for those that love to geek out about products. Each week, makers, investors, and others in the startup community join us to chat about products and share their story."

  5. Mystery ShowFinally, Starlee Kine, of distinctive voice and repeat appearance on This American Life, brings us a podcast all her own.

  6. America’s Test Kitchen RadioThe same people who bring those bomb-proof ATK recipes to our Saturday mornings via PBS talk about food and cooking via radio. Favorite recurring guests: Stephen Meuse, wine expert, and Adam Gopnik, food writer.

  7. 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."

  8. Money for the rest of us

  9. The Tim Ferriss Show

  10. The Dead Authors Podcast

We hope this helps you fall in love with podcasts--may you road trips be ever better! May you cease to procrastinate washing the dishes! May you run farther than ever before! May you look forward to your daily commute!

P.S. Feeling overwhelmed? Check out Pocket Casts. It's like feedly for your ears, and it's pretty. You can listen to your podcast subscriptions in a web browser on mobile app with all the syncing. Plus a kazillion other features (like speeding up the audio).