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10 Podcasts for the Reluctant Listener

I was never a “podcast person.” Recommendations for “must listens” flew over my head. I tried to delete the Apple “Podcasts” app, thinking it was useless. I was almost beyond hope.

This past spring, however, I had to listen to a podcast for one of my classes, and I immediately became immersed in the show. And then I listened to that entire show. And then I subscribed to over fifteen shows on Apple podcasts.

The podcasting world is huge, and there is something for everyone out there. Below are ten recommendations for anyone looking to get into a podcast and find their next favorite show.

When You Want To Keep Up on Current Events

“The Daily” and “Up First”

Both New York Times’ “The Daily” and NPR’s “Up First” are great podcasts to listen to when you’re getting ready in the morning. These podcasts are produced every weekday, and offer quick summaries on the day’s hot headlines, so you don’t need to spend more than 20 minutes getting caught up on current events.

When You Want Something Relatable


“Millennial” host Megan Tan went through the typical post-grad struggle of figuring out what she wanted to do with the rest of her life. Her podcast covers things we all go through as young adults—buying a car, working a “job” while finding a career, moving in with a significant other. Her podcast is a must-listen for anyone who needs to know that it’s okay to not have it all figured out just yet.

“Death, Sex, and Money”


This show’s tagline is “the show from WNYC about the things we think about a lot…and need to talk about more.” Host Anna Sale talks covers all kinds of taboo topics, from student loan debt to sudden death of loved ones. The show is a great listen for anyone wanting something uncommonly relatable (reword).

When You Want to Learn Something

“More Perfect”

“More Perfect” is a mini-series from “Radiolab” (which is also an awesome podcast, btw). It covers the ways the Supreme Court has made powerful decisions that have impacted daily life in America…but it does so in such a way that you will find yourself asking, “Is this really about the Supreme Court?”

“Sawbones: A Marital Tour of Misguided Medicine”

Dr. Sydnee McElroy and her husband Justin record this podcast out of their home in Huntington, West Virginia. Sydnee is a family doctor, and Justin knows as much about medicine as the rest of us, and together they cover weird oddities from the world of medical history, as well as answer subscribers’ gross medical questions. This show is pretty lighthearted, and it’s perfect for anyone looking to learn a little bit more about medicine.

“Planet Money”

Planet Money is a podcast from NPR that breaks down quirky topics in economics, politics, and finance – in language you can actually understand. Most episodes are 15-30 minutes, and focus on fun topics such as how U.S. currency is made, what makes it into the federal budget, and what happens if you try to ask the U.S. government to patent an offensive band name.                                                                          

“99% Invisible”

My roommate is a design nerd, and she loves this podcast about the tiny design details that typically go unnoticed in our everyday lives. Whether you want to learn about how birth control came to be packaged, or the origin of the American dollar sign, 99% Invisible offers insight into “the things we don’t think about.”


Phoebe Judge hosts Radiotopia’s “Criminal,” the true crime podcast you will HAVE to binge once you start listening. “Criminal” features tons of juicy stories about crime, from murders solved by everyday people to stories about people who committed heinous crimes long before we hyped cold cases with Lifetime television specials (a story about a 19th century nurse who killed her patients comes to mind).

Social Justice


Hosts Tobin Low and Kathy Tu named their podcast “Nancy” after an antiquated, not-so-nice term for a gay person, and together they discuss everything LGBTQ. From stories about what it means to be gender non-binary, to stories about growing up transgender, “Nancy” shares today’s LGBTQ experience with a lighthearted dose of fun.

“Stuff Mom Never Told You”

Hosts Bridget Todd and Emilie Aries are breaking down many hot button issues from a feminist perspective in “Stuff Mom Never Told You.” From their thoughts on the “Free the Nipple” movement to benevolent sexism, “Stuff Mom Never Told You” offers great discussion on contemporary issues every woman faces in modern society.

When You Need Something to Laugh About

“My Dad Wrote a Porno”

This NSFW podcast is absolutely hilarious. The show started when Jamie Morton decided to start reading his dad’s erotic e-book out loud with his friends James Cooper and Alice Levine. As you can probably imagine, an erotic novel written by an older father is problematic on its own, but the hosts’ commentary absolutely makes this show. Listen if you need a side-splitting laugh…or a guide on how not to write a porno.

So there you have it, collegiettes…ten podcasts for the reluctant listener. From daily news to dad porn, there is something on this list for everyone. Happy listening! 





With a double major in Political Science and Economics, Allyson hopes to become either a lawyer or a professor of political science after she finishes her degree at the U. Her hobbies include shopping for clothing she cannot afford and working out without breaking a sweat. She is an avid lover of podcasts, and always appreciates recommendations. 
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