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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Columbia Barnard chapter.

I’ve found it: the best way to start the morning. As I get ready for the day, I recently discovered that I love listening to podcasts. Having something to look forward to that gets the gears in my mind turning has been so helpful in motivating me to start the day off on the right foot — but I know from experience that finding the perfect podcasts can be daunting. After all, almost every wannabe influencer and TikTok star seem to have their own podcast now. Personally, I find many of those podcasts to be different iterations of the same topics – they usually revolve around Internet drama, relationship advice, and lifestyle tips. While those can be enriching in their own ways, I believe I have curated the perfect set of podcasts to wake up with. If that sounds like something you would be interested in, keep reading. 

The first podcast I recommend, and my personal favorite, is Binchtopia, created by Julia Hava and Eliza McLamb. I first listened to Binchtopia while on a 14-hour road trip, when I desperately needed something both entertaining and intellectually stimulating to keep me occupied. Binchtopia is simply two friends sitting in their LA apartment, discussing current cultural events in a sociological, psychological, and historical context. My favorite episodes have been “Abort Mission,” “How to Pop Your Chrussy in a God Honoring Way,” and “In My Old Hag Era.” In these episodes, they explore important topics such as women’s reproductive rights throughout American history, Godly wifehood, and women’s beauty standards. Once a week, they break down these topics in a way that is more digestible, adding humorous digressions to otherwise kind of heavy topics. You can listen to Binchtopia on Spotify or Apple Music, and if you’re interested, you can even subscribe to their Patreon where they post extra episodes. 

If you’re more into prolonged storytelling and investigative journalism, my go-to is Serial, created by Sarah Koenig. Every season of Serial follows a single true crime story, with host Sarah Koenig narrating and investigating various incidents. This podcast is really engaging – it takes listeners along with Koenig as she dissects and interviews people involved in the latest incident she covers. As I drove to my high school every morning, this podcast in particular served as a very stimulating start to the day. You can listen to Serial on Spotify, Apple Music, or serialpodcast.org.

I am constantly on the lookout for new and fun podcasts to listen to, but these two will always remain near and dear to my heart. Whether you listen to them to wake up in the mornings or another time during your day, they’re both great to try if you’re on the hunt for podcasts that are less basic than most. Happy podcasting! 

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Wynna Huang

Columbia Barnard '24

Wynna Huang is currently a student at Barnard College, and she is originally from the Bay Area. She is a prospective stats and data science major but loves writing on topics ranging from mental health to current cultural events in her free time.