As a commuter, there are a few things that are essential to my sanity: Google Maps (which tells me how long I can expect to idle in the hellish LA traffic on any given day), the stash of nonperishable snacks I always keep in my car and podcasts. Podcasts are pretty much the only things that make driving to UCLA bearable (and, dare I say, even a little bit enjoyable). And I’ve recently noticed that they have turned my drive from an annoying necessity into an act of self-care and a break from the rest of the world.
Here are four podcasts I’ve loved listening to during my commute:
- Celebrity Memoir Book Club
I learned about Celebrity Memoir Book Club through TikTok a few months ago, and I’ve been hooked ever since. The premise of the show is that the two hosts—Claire and Ashley—read celebrity memoirs so that you don’t have to. After reading the memoir, they hop on the microphone to talk about their main takeaways and comment on the shocking things that the celebrities revealed. Claire and Ashley are hilarious, and they really aren’t afraid to say some potentially controversial things. Plus, they bring guests onto the podcast every other week so you can get an additional outside perspective on the books.
You should check out this podcast if…you’re looking to get the inside scoop on celebrities’ lives without doing any of the work.
- The Way I Heard It
The Way I Heard It is a unique story-telling podcast hosted by Mike Rowe (yes, that Mike Rowe: the one from Dirty Jobs). Rowe basically takes real-world stories and tells them in a slightly different way: he uses lots of imagery, takes on different perspectives, and—most importantly—doesn’t tell you who the story is about until the end. The episodes are very short, so you’ll stay interested the whole time (or at least the first 200 are; the most recent episodes have been longer). Mike Rowe is an incredibly engaging storyteller, and this podcast constantly blows my mind, so I highly recommend it!
You should check out this podcast if…you want to learn about interesting people and events from the past and present (without falling asleep).
- Office Ladies
Calling all fans of The Office! In this podcast, Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey—who played Pam Beesly and Angela Martin on the show, respectively, and are best friends in real life—talk us through every episode of The Office. They start from the pilot episode and work their way through the seasons, revealing tons of behind-the-scenes stories along the way. And, they periodically bring on guests like Rainn Wilson (who played Dwight Schrute) and Creed Bratton (who played Creed Bratton) to talk about their experiences on the show as well.
You should check out this podcast if…you’re a big The Office fan and want to know what the actors were thinking while filming the infamous “Dinner Party” episode.
- Two Hot Takes
Two Hot Takes is another TikTok-famous podcast in which the hosts give their takes on crazy Reddit stories. They begin by reading out Reddit posts about people’s relationships and general life drama, and then they offer their opinions and advice. There’s lots of variety in the stories—with some being truly shocking and others actually being pretty funny—so you’ll never get bored.
You should check out this podcast if…you love drama and don’t have time to scroll through Reddit to find it.
Whether your commute involves a car ride, bus ride or just a long walk to campus, these podcasts will make the time fly by. And, if you like the idea of podcasts but don’t think that any of these are right for you, a quick search will reveal literally millions of podcasts on every topic imaginable. Happy listening!