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These Podcasts Make for the Perfect Commute Companions

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

The perfect day starts with a ride on the subway and a bit of a walk to a new neighborhood in Boston — all while listening to a podcast the entire way there. When I go out alone, podcasts are a great way to make the long walks go by before getting to my destination. It feels like being a part of a conversation between people you’ve known your entire life. If you’re new to the world of podcast listening, here are a few of my favorites to get you started.

Pretty Basic with Alisha Marie and Remi Cruz

Pretty Basic is the perfect “girl talk” podcast that takes little brainpower to pay attention to in the best way. Their friendship and conversations flow so easily and it makes you feel like you’re just at a girls’ night. They also bring on a lot of other influencers and people in the influencer industry who give a bit more insight into that side of the entertainment world. The topics may not be the deepest, but you don’t always need to listen to a full thesis project at every outing. The simplicity and entertainment make it an easy podcast to listen to on a long walk where you would still need to pay attention to your surroundings.

Up First by NPR

Up First is a short, 15-minute daily rundown of the most important national and global news from the day before and the morning of its release. I know I wrote about long walks, but this one is for the start of that walk before another podcast episode or for the short walk across campus for class (which is when I frequently listen to it). This NPR podcast may sound a little dry, but it’s a good summary of what you should know in the news without going too in-depth on a topic that you may not be the most interested or well-versed in. The hosts do a good job of speaking in an upbeat or straightforward voice (depending on the topic) without losing their journalistic objectivity. After listening, it’s always a good idea to read more about the topics you did find interesting so you can be more well-rounded and knowledgeable about what’s going on around the world. (If Up First ends up not being your favorite but you want a news rundown, The Daily by The New York Times is also a great short news recap podcast that might suit your interests more).

Asian Not Asian

Back on the entertainment/comedy track, comedians Fumi Abe and Mic Nguyen host Asian Not Asian, a podcast about Asian American issues and life in a funny way. They frequently bring on guests — almost always of Asian descent — and they’ll talk about their career, nuanced experiences for Asian Americans, and crack jokes about entertainment news. I don’t remember which guest got me into this podcast, but I remember I listened to a podcast focusing on a more niche topic relating to the Asian American experience. There are a few more that I listen to now as well (shout out to Feeling Asian and Asian Boss Girl), and they all bring out a side of my life that I have only now started to see more often in the entertainment industry. 

99% Invisible

99% Invisible, hosted by Roman Mars, is a podcast about design in everyday life, ranging from architecture, infrastructure, products, or abstract concepts that shape how we live. This educational podcast brings you into the history of the topic for the week and shares how it affects our lives in a fun way with expert interviews and good, digestible writing. Each episode ranges from 30 minutes to an hour, so it makes the perfect walking podcast to pique your curiosity. The last episode I listened to was about how margarine used to be pink instead of yellow which made it a less appetizing alternative to butter. It’s topics like that, or like the episode a while back about how cars are not tested in a way that takes women into account, that makes 99% Invisible so intriguing to keep listening for more.

The Two Princes
Harry Potter World Hogwarts
Jocelyn Hsu / Spoon

The last podcast recommendation I have for you is a narrative podcast called The Two Princes. The story follows princes Rupert and Amir of rival kingdoms as they try to stop a curse to save their respective worlds, all while falling in love along the way. The Two Princes is a light-hearted fantasy story for all ages that is fitting as a bedtime story and walking podcast because you get immersed into their world so easily. I listened to the most recent season while walking around the Back Bay brownstones, and it was magical to be around beautiful architecture while also listening to the podcast.

The next time you’re heading out on the town alone, consider listening to a good podcast to pass the time. I hope one of these recommendations interests you enough to start listening to or at least points you in the right direction to find the perfect podcast for you.

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Madison is studying journalism and international relations at BU. She's from Washington state, loves drinking tea, and watching Marvel movies. Check out her portfolio and blog at https://dontmakelies.com
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