My Must-Listen Podcasts

If you haven’t yet jumped on the podcast bandwagon, you’re seriously missing out. Podcasts have completely changed the way I get my information, entertain myself, and multitask. As a high-key crazy Type A person, I’m obsessed with squeezing every second of productivity and utility out of my day. I write a to-do list each week, and then write separate individual to-do lists for each day (yes, I know I have a problem). If you’re anything like me, podcasts are a great way to learn, laugh and experience new things while doing the mundane acts of life, like commuting to work, preparing lunch, cleaning your room, showering, and whatever else. Even if you’re not as Type A as I am (which is probably the case), podcasts are stil an under-tapped, amazing resource when you’re as sick of listening to the US Top 50 list on Spotify as I am. Here are a few of my favorites.

  1. How I Built This

This NPR podcast brings in the founders of hugely successful businesses, from Spanx to Clif Bars to Slack to Warby Parker to tell their unique stories of entrepreneurship. As you can imagine, no journey is a smooth ride, but that’s what makes them interesting and inspiring. Even if you’re not interested in business, you definitely use many of the products and services on this show and will be amazed by how they progressed from a silly idea to a multi-million-dollar empire. These beautifully crafted episodes will not only have you on the edge of your seat hoping their business plans work out, but you’ll also be wrapped up in the unique personal lives of each entrepreneur.

  1. Committed

I’m not one for sappy romance movies, but maybe that’s why I like this podcast so much. This show isn't about stereotypical love; in fact, it's the opposite. Each episode of this series brings in a new couple with a unique, interesting, sometimes devastating, always beautiful love story. One delves into the story of two lovers who were terribly injured in the Boston Marathon Bombing, but chose to use their love to heal themselves and tackle life together. Another interviews a woman who is still married and deeply in love with her husband who is serving three life sentences for murder. Another features a couple who began dating when the husband was just a homeless man living in a bush. Another interviews a husband and wife who are 25 years apart in age. The first season of this podcast featured 31 sometimes tear-jerking, sometimes angering, sometimes beautiful, sometimes ugly episodes, and you best believe I am waiting with abated breath for the next season to air.

  1. The Health Code

I am definitely biased here because Sarah Stevenson (AKA Sarah’s Day on social media) is my absolute favorite health and fitness YouTuber (and I follow MANY), but her bubbly personality, helpful insight and motivational words are for anyone looking to live a healthier, happier lifestyle. She and her boyfriend Kurt have amazing chemistry on this podcast (and in real life) and, to be honest, their Australian accents make anything sound lovely. This podcast traverses beyond healthy eating and working out, touching on sleeping habits, finding a career that fulfills you, love and relationship advice, and more. They aren’t the most on top of things when it comes to releasing episodes frequently, and they just had the (CUTEST) baby together, so who knows when they’ll be releasing their next episode, but I’ll stick to watching her equally mesmerizing Instagram stories while I wait.

  1. The Daily

I’ve tried to read the news, but sometimes the information just goes over my head, or is presented in a totally uninteresting, forgettable fashion. The New York Times’ daily news podcast is quite the opposite and keeps me up-to-date and informed on whatever issues The Times chooses as the most gripping that day. Host Michael Barbaro has the most attractive, pleasing voice and storytelling skills. I definitely don’t recommend getting all your news from the same source, as every publication has their own biases, but The Daily is a great place to start when it comes to educating yourself on national and global issues in an approachable way. 

  1. Dr. Death

Once you start listening to Dr. Death, you will be both horrified and absolutely enthralled at the same time. The podcast follows the true story of Dr. Chris Duntsch, a former neurosurgeon who completely botched the vast majority of his surgeries during his short career, leaving his patients (or victims) horribly injured, paralyzed, or even dead. I won’t give any details away, but the show follows the scary failures of his educators, bosses and the American health care system that allowed him to do so much damage. The journalist behind the show did incredibly in-depth research, and leaves us asking ourselves, how much trust should we place in our doctors?

  1. Serial

I couldn’t make podcast recommendations without listing the most famous (and widely downloaded, with over 340 million downloads) podcast series of the entertainment platform’s short history. Serial investigates the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee, a Baltimore high school senior, and her ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed who was charged of the crime. As journalist and host Sarah Koenig dives deeper and deeper into the complicated crime, it becomes clear that the court case was hastily handled, and that the convicted killer might be innocent (might). From high school love, jealousy, racism, robbery, lying and blood, once you listen to the first episode of this series, you’ll be absolutely hooked. I spent last summer arguing with my family, also avid listeners, over whether Syed was innocent or not. With each new episode and piece of evidence, you’ll reconsider your stance.

Happy listening!