The podcasts I recommend the most
Full disclosure: I’m obviously a little biased to getting more people to listen to podcasts–my full-time job is at Gimlet Media (the HBO of audio, nbd!). But in my personal life, I’ve also become a very committed podcast listener: when I’m walking Gertie in the morning, when I’m stuck in traffic, when I’m cleaning the apartment. There are some times I take Gertie on a walk just to listen to a new episode! I still read books before bed, but my life in San Diego (aka more active driving than sitting on subways) is a lot more conducive to getting informed and being entertained via audio.
Although I’ve dropped a few recommendations into Of the moment posts, I wanted to share a few of the podcasts I listen to regularly. On the practical side: I listen using the Overcast app. It’s not perfect, but I find it infinitely easier and more intuitive than Apple Podcasts. Having wireless headphones has made it SO much easier to listen when I’m walking, and I’m also obsessed with syncing all of our Sonos speakers so that I can seamlessly listen while I’m doing things around the house.
This is probably the podcast I’m most dedicated to: it’s the first thing I listen to every weekday morning when I take Gert on a walk. Hosted by Michael Barbaro and powered by the New York Times newsroom, The Daily is a 20-minute news podcast. It’s usually a deep dive into the top news story of the day (think hurricanes, mass shootings, a proposed federal policy) with a variety of voices.
The New Washington
And on the weekends: I listen to The New Washington. An outgrowth of The Daily, it’s an interview series with the biggest political players in Washington.
It’s technically “a show about the internet,” but really, it’s all about the weird ways that technology affects us (and how we affect technology) in 2017.
From the Center of Investigative Reporting comes Reveal, a podcast that works to “hold the powerful accountable and reveal government fraud and waste of taxpayer funds, human rights violations, environmental degradation and threats to public safety.” It’s incredibly thought-provoking and sparks great conversations–a few of my friends also listen, and we love discussing recent episodes–sometimes we don’t agree with every conclusion, but we do appreciate what’s being brought to our attention.
How I Built This
Conversations with the people who founded some of the biggest and most successful companies in the world. My favorite part of every episode: hearing whether the founders believe if luck had anything to do with it.
A conversation with a non-fiction writer on how they tell stories. Disclaimer: it’s most interesting if you listen to someone whose work you’re familiar with!
I have to admit: I’m not much of a science person. I never have been, and I’m usually lost in conversations that pertain to it. But host Wendy Zuckerman is super upbeat, and I appreciate the quirky tone of the show: it’s all about pitting facts against fads, and seeing where the science stacks up in today’s hot topics.
I was a business minor in college, and I had an incredible economics professor that made econ interesting, exciting and relatable. (In other random business minor facts: I almost considered switching my major to accounting since I loved the intro class so much!) Planet Money makes me feel like I’m back in his class: stories and explanations of the economy that don’t feel boring at all.
Sword & Scale
I’m a sucker for true crime, and Sword and Scale is my go-to for creepy, skin-crawling stories in podcast form. The episode can get a little disturbing, so I have tried to curb listening to them when I’m traveling alone for work or if I’m having a rough week.
In the Dark
The first season of the In the Dark focused on a notorious child abduction case, and revealed a lot of the ways that our system allows events like this to slip through the cracks.
Dirty John is the six-part podcast of a seriously evil con man, produced by the Los Angeles Times. It’s a true story, and the twists and turns are enthralling.
Also, if you have no idea where I work: this is the podcast that started Gimlet! Season 1 is still my favorite, even though we’re going into season 6 of all sorts of tales about successes, failures and entrepreneurs. Listen to How Not To Pitch a Billionaire first.
Also, here are a few podcasts that are constantly recommended to me but that I can’t quite seem to get into: My Favorite Murder, Mortified, The Moth (although I love the live shows!), Call Your Girlfriend and Pod Save America.
What podcasts are you listening to now?