A Comprehensive List of Podcasts for Every (Very Specific) Occasion

To be quite honest, I don’t listen to a lot of music. I enjoy music, seeing that I played the violin for nearly 15 years, but I have a difficult time sitting down and actively listening to it.

Instead, I listen to podcasts. I listen to them when I work out, running errands, on the way to school and class, and just about any occasion when I’m not actively in conversation with another person. By no means am I a connoisseur of podcasts, since I've only recently discovered them, but I feel confident enough to pull together a list of podcasts that will have you covered for just about every occasion.

1. When you’re bored and don’t have anything in particular in mind: How Stuff Works


This podcasts covers topics from lethal injections, dark matter, game shows, bullfighting, and so much more. Literally so much more. It's done in a conversational style, making it fun and easy to listen to. I highly recommend this one for road trips!

2. To maintain your Spanish: Radio Ambulante

This one is particularly nice if you're trying to maintain your Spanish while you're not in class. I listened to this over the summer and found it highly interesting. It's one of NPR's many podcasts, and covers news from Spanish speaking countries.

3. To stay up to date on current US politics: Pod Save America

It's hard keeping up with the news, especially with nonstop flow of articles, updates, and political drama in D.C. This podcast will keep you up to date and well informed!

4. To stay up to date on current world politics: Pod Save the World

Just like Pod Save America—except you'll be hearing about news from across the world! Hey, it's good to know what's happening outside of your bubble.

5. If you’re in the mood for some terrific investigative journalism: S-Town

Are you looking for a good murder mystery and excellent investigative journalism? Look no further—if you loved Nancy Drew as a kid, this one's perfect for you.

6. If you’re in the mood to be amazed by the variety of surprisingly human interpretations of a single topic: This American Life

For the longest time, I avoided this podcast. Everyone told me to listen to it, but I thought Ira Glass was too pretentious. I was wrong. (Sorry, Ira.) It's opened my eyes to so many different stories and ways to live life. I love it and you'll love it. Go listen to it, please.

7. If you want to explore a topic you’ve never even thought about: Revisionist History

Fan of Malcolm Gladwell? Check this out for an exploration of the past—and "the overlooked and the misunderstood."

8. If you want to listen to your favorite celebrity talk for over an hour: WTF with Marc Maron Podcast

Not only is Marc Maron a favorite comedian of mine, but he's also a phenomenal interviewer. Listen to him ask complex and hard hitting questions to your favorite celebrities!

9. If you’re in the mood for some skillful journalism and remarkable storytelling: Heavyweight

This is a podcast I recently discovered, and I have not yet been disappointed. There are moments of subtle, unexpected humor, and I have yet to discover an episode that I have not enjoyed. Host Jonathon Goldstein is on a mission to help people deal with their regrets, one episode at a time.

10. Something for the Halloween spirit: Welcome to Night Vale

This is one of the first podcasts I ever started listening to. If you're looking for something a little eerie, little mysterious, and a little spooky—this will satisfy your needs. Night Vale is your ordinary small desert town—except for the hooded figures in the dog park, carnivorous librarians, and mayoral candidate Hiram McDaniels, who also happens to be a literal five-headed dragon.