Taking a breather from industry talk can do wonders for sparking creativity. Guaranteed to invigorate the long commute home, enliven an otherwise mundane workout session, or simply provide entertainment while soaking in the bath, these compelling podcasts–covering current events to chilling narratives–are worth keeping on queue.
FOR STAYING AU COURANT
Admittedly, I’m not a huge podcast person, but I do love the Slate Culture Gabfest, in which critics from Slate.com discuss three hot cultural topics. (Recent subjects include Aretha Franklin’s legacy, the New York Times Magazine profile on Gwyneth Paltrow, and plastic straws.) Listening is like eavesdropping on a group of smart, hyper-articulate friends with discriminating taste. Bonus: It takes the heat off me having to be a charming conversationalist on road trips.
— MICHELLE BRUNNER, SENIOR EDITOR
FOR A THRILLING TALE
Although I’m a scaredy cat when it comes to horror films, there’s nothing I love more than a good spooky story, which is why I started listening to the creepy historical stories of Lore. I listened to the episode about the Mothman while on a walk and found myself continually glancing over my shoulder — in broad daylight. If you’re interested in learning more about the dark side of history, give it a listen.
— COLLEEN MCTIERNAN, EDITORIAL ASSISTANT
FOR A TRUE-CRIME FIX WITH A TWIST
My Favorite Murder (don’t judge me) keeps me company on my commute. It’s a weekly true-crime podcast hosted by two hilarious women. Their combination of cheerfulness, paranoia and profanity is always entertaining. Plus, who cares if they don’t always have the facts straight? They make up for it in the following week’s segment “Corrections Corner.” And I know we can all appreciate their tagline: “Stay sexy, don’t get murdered.”
— AMANDA KAHAN, SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER
FOR SOME SAGE ADVICE
My most recent birthday got me thinking a lot more about personal growth, which how I discovered the Rise Together podcast. Rachel Hollis (author of Girl, Wash Your Face) and her husband, Dave, share their real-life advice for thriving as individuals and as a couple. It’s just the kick in the pants I need to rock my next trip around the sun with my better half.
— JENNIFER PFAFF SMITH, HOMES EDITOR
FOR A GOOD DOSE OF GIRL POWER
Whether they’re discussing current events and feminist ideologies or just griping about what’s hot on the Internet, the ladies of Call Your Girlfriend have mastered the art of witty, clever banter. The podcast, hosted by digital strategist Aminatou Sow and magazine writer Ann Friedman, offers the kind of no-holds-barred convo you’d have with your own bestie while catching up over one too many glasses of wine.
— ILEANA LLORENS, SENIOR WEB EDITOR
FOR A WEALTH OF INFORMATION
I’m a closet economics nerd–something I just realized in the last few years. So, I love podcasts that explore it. A couple of favorites are Planet Money and Freakonomics. They’ve done shows on the economics of sleep, yard sales, you name it. They take what could be really overwhelming ideas and make them totally accessible, which makes me realize that maybe I should have taken economics in college after all!
— LISA BINGHAM DEWART, HOMES EDITOR
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