45 Podcasts That Are Pretty Damn Great: I May Have a Podcast Problem

I started making a list of all the podcasts I listen to, and, wow, I had no idea how much of a podcast problem I have. I think I'm what people would call a "heavy listener". I listen to podcasts before I get out of bed in the morning, when I'm in the shower, while I work, during walks, etc.

I tried keeping the number in my rotation down by weeding out the ones that don't excite me anymore, but then I started listening to them at 1.5 times the normal speed so I could make it through all my faves — thanks for the speed options, Overcast! — and it's gotten a bit out of hand. (Honestly, I listen to 49 podcasts, but I didn't like the way that number made my fancy grid look below.)

For you visual types, I've assembled a visual grid with links to 45 of my favourite podcasts, and for those of you who want to read the podcast descriptions before clicking, there is a text list below the grid. Both are in alphabetical order.

Happy listening!

10 Minute Writer's Workshop:

A peek into how great writers conjure and craft their work. From creative rituals to guilty distractions, writers reveal what it really takes to get pen to paper.

Hosted by Virginia Prescott, host of NHPR's Word of Mouth.

99% Invisible:

Design is everywhere in our lives, perhaps most importantly in the places where we've just stopped noticing. 99% Invisible is a weekly exploration of the process and power of design and architecture.

The Allusionist:

Linguistic adventures with Helen Zaltzman.

The Broad Experience:

The Broad Experience tackles some of the big issues facing women in the workplace today. Host Ashley Milne-Tyte and her guests discuss the things everyone's thinking about, but not always talking about. Each show is around 20 minutes.

The Creative Superheroes Podcast:

The Creative Superheroes Podcast is a place to gather inspiration and learn from a wide range of Creative Superheroes. These are brilliant authors, artists, coaches and teachers who can help us cultivate more courage, more aliveness and more joy. Your host, Andrea Scher, is passionate about the sweet spot where creativity and personal growth intersect.

Death, Sex & Money:

A podcast hosted by Anna Sale about the big questions and hard choices that are often left out of polite conversation.

Design Matters with Debbie Millman:

Design Matters with Debbie Millman is a thought-provoking internet podcast, which profiles industry-leading graphic designers, change agents, artists, writers and educators.

Edit Your Life:

Through conversations and interviews, Christine Koh + Asha Dornfest offer inspiration and tactics to help you edit the unnecessary from your life so you’ve got room to enjoy the awesome.

Freakonomics Radio:

Have fun discovering the hidden side of everything with host Stephen J. Dubner, co-author of the best-selling "Freakonomics” books. Each week, hear surprising conversations that explore the riddles of everyday life and the weird wrinkles of human nature — from cheating and crime to parenting and sports. Dubner talks with Nobel laureates and provocateurs, social scientists and entrepreneurs — and his “Freakonomics” co-author Steve Levitt.

Guys We F****d:

Welcome to Guys We F****d: The Anti Slut-Shaming Podcast. They spread their legs, now they're spreading the word that women should be able to have sex with WHOEVER they want WHENEVER they want and not be ashamed or called sluts or whores.

Welcome to a new revolution.

The Heart:

The Heart is an audio art project about intimacy and humanity. Founded in Kaitlin Prest’s bedroom in 2014, The Heart is comprised of a community of badass writers, radio makers and artists who make personal documentary work about their bodies and their loves. In 2017, The Heart was named a Peabody Award Finalist. 

Heaven's Gate:

In 1997, thirty-nine people took their own lives in an apparent mass suicide. The events captivated the media and had people across the planet asking the same question… ‘Why?’ 20 years later, those who lost loved ones and those who still believe — tell their story. Hosted by Glynn Washington of Snap Judgment.

Heavyweight:

Maybe you’ve laid awake imagining how it could have been, how it might yet be, but the moment to act was never right. Well, the moment is here and the podcast making it happen is Heavyweight.

Hidden Brain:

The Hidden Brain helps curious people understand the world – and themselves. Using science and storytelling, Hidden Brain's host Shankar Vedantam reveals the unconscious patterns that drive human behavior, the biases that shape our choices, and the triggers that direct the course of our relationships.

Hiding In the Bathroom:

Hosted By Morra Aarons-Mele. Work is complicated, but success doesn't have to be. Welcome to Hiding in the Bathroom, where ceiling breakers, entrepreneurs and work life rebels share skills, survival strategies and a-ha moments. Listen in as host Morra Aarons-Mele helps you create your own version of success (even on days you feel like hiding in the bathroom).

The Hilarious World of Depression:

A show about clinical depression… with laughs? Well, yeah. Depression is an incredibly common and isolating disease experienced by millions, yet often stigmatized by society. The Hilarious World of Depression is a series of frank, moving, and, yes, funny conversations with top comedians who have dealt with this disease, hosted by veteran humorist and public radio host John Moe.

Hit Parade:

What makes a song a smash? Talent? Luck? Timing? All that — and more. Chris Molanphy, pop-chart analyst and author of Slate’s “Why Is This Song No. 1?” series, tells tales from a half-century of chart history. Through storytelling, trivia and song snippets, Chris dissects how that song you love — or hate — dominated the airwaves, made its way to the top of the charts and shaped your memories forever.

KEXP's Music That Matters:

Straight from the knowledgeable KEXP DJs to your ears, now you can listen to a wonderfully eclectic mix of full length songs. KEXP brings you the music that matters from some of its favorite artists from the Pacific Northwest and around the world.

The League of Awkward Unicorns:

Launched in 2015, The League of Awkward Unicorns is a bi-weekly podcast covering mental health and emotional wellness with a delightful combination of expertise, stories and irreverence.

Lexicon Valley:

Lexicon Valley is a podcast about language, from pet peeves, syntax, and etymology to neurolinguistics and the death of languages. Hosted by linguist John McWhorter.

The Limit Does Not Exist:

Multi-hyphenates Christina Wallace and Cate Scott Campbell believe that creativity and STEM are better together, and they've got a bunch of great guests who are proving that's true in groundbreaking ways.
If you feel that one path may not be your only path, and you'd rather build your own custom Venn diagram, this show is for you.

Love + Radio:

…Nick van der Kolk’s Love and Radio features in-depth, otherworldly-produced interviews with an eclectic range of subjects, from the seedy to the sublime. You’ve never heard anything like it before. New installments are added monthly.

Make Light with Karen Walrond:

Join bestselling author, speaker, and photographer Karen Walrond as she interviews light-seekers and light-makers from around the world, learning all how they live with intention and a sense of adventure. It’s proof that beauty, positivity, creativity and kindness make the world go ’round.

The Memory Palace

From award-winning public radio producer, Nate DiMeo, comes The Memory Palace. Short, surprising stories of the past, sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes hysterical, always super-great. For history buffs, fans of public radio shows like This American LifeRadio Lab, and whatnot, and for all admirers of things that are super-great.

Midlife Mixtape:

A podcast to celebrate GenXers at midlife, with humor, heart, and a really good beat. In each episode, writer Nancy Davis Kho of MidlifeMixtape.com interviews fellow GenXers about how they're thriving in the years between being hip and breaking one. From discussing the first concert each guest ever saw, to what’s easier and harder than they expected at midlife, to what piece of advice they'd give their younger selves, the conversations will inspire, entertain, and maybe even make you feel stoked to be caught in the middle.

The Mortified Podcast:

The Mortified Podcast gives listeners an all-access pass to Mortified Live readings worldwide plus special guests and interviews that pick up where the stage show ends. New episodes post on Sundays about 3 times a month. PS: It totally likes you.

Note to Self:

Join host Manoush Zomorodi for your weekly reminder to question everything. Is your phone watching you? Can wexting make you smarter? Are your kids real? These and other essential quandaries for anyone trying to preserve their humanity in the digital age.

On Being with Krista Tippett

On Being with Krista Tippett takes up the big questions of meaning with scientists and theologians, artists and teachers — some you know and others you'll love to meet. Updated every Thursday, a new discovery about the immensity of our lives.

Poetry Off the Shelf:

Producer Curtis Fox explores the diverse world of contemporary American poetry with readings by poets, interviews with critics, and short poetry documentaries. Nothing is off limits, and nobody is taken too seriously.

QUEERY with Cameron Esposito:

Sit in on an hour-long conversation between host and standup comic, Cameron Esposito, and some of the brightest luminaries in the LGBTQ+ family. QUEERY explores individual stories of identity, personality and the shifting cultural matrix around gender, sexuality and civil rights.

Radiolab:

A two-time Peabody Award-winner, Radiolab is an investigation told through sounds and stories, and centered around one big idea. In the Radiolab world, information sounds like music and science and culture collide. Hosted by Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich, the show is designed for listeners who demand skepticism, but appreciate wonder.

Recode Decode, hosted by Kara Swisher:

One of tech's most prominent journalists, Kara Swisher is known for her insightful reporting and straight-shooting style. Listen in as she hosts hard-hitting interviews about the week in tech with influential business leaders and outspoken personalities from media, politics and more.

Reply All:

A show about the internet, hosted by PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman.

A Responsive Web Design Podcast:

This is a Responsive Web Design Podcast, co-hosted by Karen McGrane and Ethan Marcotte. In each episode, Karen and Ethan interview the people who make responsive redesigns happen.

Song Exploder:

A podcast where musicians take apart their songs, and piece by piece, tell the story of how they were made.

Spark (CBC Radio): 

Nora Young helps you navigate your digital life by connecting you to fresh ideas in surprising ways.

Spilled Milk:

Every week on Spilled Milk, writers/comedians Molly Wizenberg and Matthew Amster-Burton start with a food-related topic, from apples to winter squash to Korean junk food, and run with it as far as they can go — and, regrettably, sometimes further.

StoryCorps

StoryCorps travels the country collecting the stories of everyday people, who get to take the microphone and interview each other about their lives. Each week, the StoryCorps podcast shares these unscripted conversations, revealing the wisdom, courage, and poetry in the words of people you might not notice walking down the street.

Strangers:

From Lea Thau, Peabody award-winning producer and creator of The Moth Podcast and The Moth Radio Hour, comes her new storytelling baby, Strangers, part of KCRW's Independent Producer Project and of PRX's Radiotopia network. Each episode is an empathy shot in your arm, featuring true stories about about the people we meet, the connections we make, the heartbreaks we suffer, the kindnesses we encounter, and those frightful moments when we discover that WE aren't even who we thought we were.

This American Life:

There's a theme to each episode of This American Life, and a variety of stories on that theme. Most of the stories are journalism, with an occasional comedy routine or essay.

Under the Influence (CBC Radio):

Take an unprecedented ride through the hallways of the ad industry.
Host and adman Terry O'Reilly explores why we make the shopping decisions we make, and how we are influenced by words, colours and images. He tells stories of the remarkable creativity found at the higher realms of marketing, and analyzes the ads we love to hate.
Under The Influence is not a show about advertising.
It's a show about life through the lens of advertising.

User Defenders: Inspiring Interviews with UX Superheroes:

This podcast is aimed at highlighting those leading the way in their craft by diving deeper into who they are, and what makes them tick/successful, in order to inspire and equip those aspiring to do the same.

Where Should We Begin? with Esther Perel:

Where Should We Begin takes you into the antechamber of our most intimate moments so that we might learn, explore, and experience alongside the couples who have been gracious enough to let us in. 

WTF with Marc Maron

Comedian Marc Maron is tackling the most complex philosophical question of our day — WTF? He'll get to the bottom of it with help from comedian friends, celebrity guests and the voices in his own head.

You Are Not So Smart

You Are Not So Smart is a celebration of self delusion that explores topics related to cognitive biases, heuristics, and logical fallacies. David McRaney interviews scientists about their research into how the mind works, and then he eats a cookie.
 

Believe it or not, that's the non-exhaustive list of podcasts I'm listening to right now. What are you listening to? Share your favourites!


I am publishing a post every day in November for NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month).