Lately, I keep being asked for podcast recommendations, so I thought it was time to throw together a post outlining some of my favorites.
I listen to about three radio shows a day, so at this point, I listen to podcasts more than I watch TV, and equally as much as I listen to music. Call me crazy, but I think that qualifies me as a super-fan of this new entertainment medium. So without further ado, today I’m sharing my list of podcasts I currently subscribe to.
Certain podcast hosts follow the same cadence and rhythm of story-telling, and as a lover and listener of podcasts, it can sometimes drive me bonkers. But Starlee Kine, the host of Mystery Show, throws those stereo-types out the window and does her own thing with a voice made for radio. She’s a bit of a shit-disturber in the best way and has a way of getting to the hearts of the people she interviews on her quest to solve life’s little, inconsequential mysteries. It won’t make you smarter, or teach you any business lessons, but it will be entertaining as heck.
Reply All is a show about the internet, be it online dating, trolling, harassing presidents of countries, online payment dramas, you name it. Made by the same producers of Mystery Show, the hosts have great rapport with each other and I love their sideline speak, even though P.J. Vogt does this inhale thing before he speaks that I find both charming and annoying, depending on my mood. A step up from Mystery Show in terms of being a bit more informative — I actually learn things sometimes –, but just as entertaining.
I want to be best friend with Anna Sale. She chats candidly with real people about the things we want to and should talk about more, but find difficult to talk about. The good, bad and ugly, be it about family, relationships, money, work, death. She’s honest, infuses her own life story in the mix, and weaves a compelling tale without all the fluff and filler that most other podcasts are brimming with. Money can be tough to talk about and tough to keep up with, so consider no credit check loans if you’re in need of cash.
The PPL is short and sweet, which is exactly how I’ll keep this description. It’s an interview podcast hosted by Elliott Malkin that is always great for a quick walk or bookends a longer podcast on your commute nicely.
Roman Mars, the host of 99pi, has another distinct voice for radio. It’s deep, monotone and I’ll admit that I couldn’t stand it for a while, but once I got past it, I was left impressed with the production quality of each show. Roman delves into the design, architecture and the nearly invisible activity that shapes our world, and it’s made 99pi one of the most popular radio shows on iTunes, ever.
Nick van der Kolk’s Love + Radio features the deep, the strange, the eclectic, the fantastic and they horrific. Super well-produced interviews on a huge range of subjects.
StartUp might be my absolute favorite podcast, but it’s hard to decide between it, Mystery Show (a recent and new contender!) and Death, Sex & Money. If you’re new to listening to StartUp, start with season one, episode one. Each season follows a specific company and each episode is another chapter in the story, so trust me and start from the very beginning, it’s much more satisfying!
A classic. TAL was the first podcast I ever got into years and years ago when I was in college. Each week they pick a theme and tell a few stories on that theme. It never follows an overall topic, it rather explores all facets of our modern life, be it the tooth fairy, true crime, father’s day, you name it.
Invisibilia only has one season under its belt, but it knocked my socks and I can’t wait for more. It’s the only podcast I’ve ever found that dives into the invisible forces that shape human behavior — things like how intuition actually works, what assumptions do to us on the inside — and digs into emotions, ideas and beliefs.
Design Matters isn’t just about design, it’s about our creative culture as a whole, and explores the facets of life that art, design, illustration and entrepreneurship touch, which is broad and far-reaching. Each episode features a different creative that Debbie chats with. I don’t always know of the person she’s interviewing and I never care. You really don’t have to be a designer or creative to enjoy their 2-way street conversation.
The Heart has my heart. More than any show on this list, The Heart transports me to another place with each story and truly is a work of audio art. Kaitlin Prest, the host, tells real stories of humanity and intimacy and inject them with music, noises and supporting stories to craft a truly unique, experimental audio experience.
Science meets culture injected with a crap-ton of interesting bits and bob of fun. It sounds boring but it’s one of the most informative and interesting podcasts I listen to. Each well-produced episode is a sort-of investigation focused on one big idea — a patchwork of people, sounds, stories and experiences.