Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Penn chapter.

Podcasts are one of the most accessible ways of consuming information about a variety of topics, from unsolved murders to conspiracy theories. Do you want to learn something new or explore one of your interests in a short period of time? No problem – there’s a podcast out there that discusses your interest in less than an hour! 

Podcasts are also great for multitasking because you can listen to an episode while taking a walk or even as background noise while working. The number of people listening to podcasts is increasing as there were around 14 million more weekly podcast listeners in the U.S. in 2019 compared to 2018. 

If you’re looking for podcast recommendations to start listening, look no further! I’m an avid podcast listener, and here’s some of my favorites:


This is one of the most famous podcasts ever made, and it is often credited with causing a resurgence in the popularity of the format. Hosted by Sarah Koenig, Serial is an investigative journalism podcast that describes one true story over the course of each season. 

Season one examined the murder of 18-year-old student Hae Min Lee and the subsequent conviction of Adnan Syed for the murder. Season two analyzed the case of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who deserted the U.S, Army and was then captured and held captive by the Taliban for five years. For season three, Serial changed its usual format and instead looked closely at the American criminal justice system by exploring different small cases in Cleveland, Ohio. 

Serial has been praised for its engaging storytelling and suspense, especially in season one. However, the ethics of the show, especially the way it investigated the murder case in season one, have been called into question. Because the first season followed a live investigation format, the episodes were released while the investigation was ongoing. The popularity of the podcast encouraged listeners to do their own investigating, which exposed the personal information of many people involved in the case. 

The Two Princes

Full disclosure: I love this podcast to bits. It tells a fictional story about, you guessed it, two princes (voiced by Noah Galvin and Ari’el Stachel) from rival kingdoms who go on an adventure to save their kingdoms and become unlikely friends. 

This podcast had me at the edge of my seat, wondering what was going to happen next. The sound effects and voice acting are impressive, and these elements work together to transport you to the scene and action of the show. 

The show also does a wonderful job with emotional suspense and narrative tension as you follow the princes’ journey navigating their feelings and problems. Definitely listen to it if you want a story with a fantastical plot and fairytale-like ending.


This podcast is art. It’s everything – funny, insightful, and creative; it manages to connect seemingly unrelated topics and provides a new perspective on common ideas and beliefs. Hosted by Alix Spiegel and Hanna Rosin, Invisibilia explores the invisible forces that shape our ideas, beliefs, and assumptions. One of my favorite episodes is the first one, “The Secret History of Thoughts”, which talks about the meaning of your thoughts and what your thoughts say about who you are.

Invisibilia takes stories involving ordinary people and uses scientific research to discuss the bigger questions.


Hosted by Rund Abdelfatah and Ramtin Arablouei, this wonderful podcast takes current and historical events and explores the historical context behind them; the past is used to understand the present. The sound effects are beautifully done, and it has compelling stories that add nuance to the common understanding of well-known events. 

One of my favorite episodes is “American Shadows”, which discusses how conspiracy theories were actually fundamental to the creation of the U.S., and how they spearheaded events that made the country what it is today. This podcast emphasizes that the true understanding of why things are the way they are comes from history.

Podcasts are one of the most convenient ways of learning something new or further exploring your interests. You can find a podcast for anything you’re interested in, no matter how niche it may seem.

Reeti Shah

U Penn '21

Reeti is a senior studying Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and minoring in Economics. She loves reading (pretty much anything except horror), painting, drawing, looking at pictures of cute animals and learning useless facts. Catch her binge-watching Brooklyn Nine Nine or Parks and Rec when procrastinating.