Podcasts are a blessing from above to those with commutes longer than 10 minutes. Or those with mundane jobs that really only require 10 percent of your brain. Or those who simply prefer to listen to—rather than to watch—their evening entertainment.
Today, there are more than 750,000 shows being recorded and shared with listeners. We can’t possibly claim to have listened to or evaluated anywhere near a significant portion of these.
However, what we can do is share the ones we continue to listen to, episode after episode. The ones that inspire us to learn more about the hosts/guests/subjects long after they’ve aired. The ones that make us laugh, gasp, cry, lose our appetites.
And, so, here are 10 top-rated podcasts we recommend you have a listen to.
If you watched PEN15 on Hulu recently and felt simultaneously embarrassed and nostalgic, Mortified is for you. And if you haven’t watched it, please go add it to your queue. The podcast consists of adults reading select diary (or journal) entries penned by their younger selves. It’s exactly what you’d imagine—and then some.
2. Skimm This
From the creators of the savvy millennial’s favorite email newsletter comes a new way to stay up to date on current events. Skimm This is a 10-minute podcast, released at 5 p.m. every Monday through Friday—just in time for your commute home. They break down the most important news stories from that day into digestible little segments so you can be in the know no matter how busy life gets.
Fair warning: This podcast is not for the squeamish. Sword and Scale has been around since 2014, which makes it one of the older podcasts on this list. Creator Mike Boudet has released 140 episodes (as of July 2019) on some of the most infamous, most horrendous, stranger than fiction true crimes in history. Probably not one to listen to in the car if you want to enjoy breakfast on your way to work (I speak from experience).
4. Almost 30
Hosted by real-life BFFs Krista Williams and Lindsey Simcik, Almost 30 is the feel-good show that goes way beyond surface level. These LA-based ladies converse with their bi-weekly guests about everything from trying ayahuasca to recognizing white privilege (and what to do about it). Each episode truly feels like you’re being invited into a living room chat with your besties. It feels so authentic because the hosts have created a powerhouse community via a secret Facebook group, a local ambassador program, and an events tour that has recently gone international.
Editor’s Note: It was at one of the Almost 30 events in Venice Beach—a panel of female business founders—that I decided to start The Vim. So you could say this podcast is pretty special.
Soak up the wisdom and knowledge TED Talks speakers have to offer even when you’re away from your TV or can’t open up YouTube with TED Talks Daily—the podcast by the same creators of the beloved original format. One of our favorite recent episodes is “The Power of Introverts” by Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.
Credit 1: Uber-talented hairstylist whose clients include Miley Cyrus, Margot Robbie, and Chelsea Handler. Credit 2: Co-founder of the raved-about hair care brand dpHUE. Credit 3: Podcast host. This charismatic hair guru convinced some of his clients to let listeners into the sacred space that is the hair salon for some hilarious and heartwarming convos. Guests include former-Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe, sportscaster and TV host Erin Andrews, and comedian Heather McMahan.
This is the podcast for the curious consumer or the budding entrepreneur. Guy Raz hosts this NPR-produced podcast about the founders behind some of the world’s best known brands. Learn how the female-first dating app Bumble came to fruition, meet the woman who developed a billion-dollar design tool for the average Jane while she was still in college, and hear from the creator of those platform sandals everyone and her mother wore in the early-2000s.
How does one get into BDSM safely? Why do we celebrate Mother’s Day? What is “drunkorexia”? Podcast hosts Anney Reese and Samantha McVey talk about all the taboo, weird, NSFW topics you probably didn’t grow up talking about at home in their show Stuff Mom Never Told You—from Stuff Media—which produces way more podcasts than we originally thought. Get even more great content from their videos and blogs.
Over a million of us follow @commentsbycelebs on Instagram to see how the most famous people in the world interact with each other—and, sometimes, even with regular ol’ people (usually trolls looking for attention). The gals behind the account, Emma Diamond and Julie Kramer, have blessed us with even more of the drama and updates that we crave through the hour-long podcast version of their Instagram account. And it’s our favorite new guilty pleasure.
10. The goop Podcast
Airing new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday, The goop Podcast is recorded chats between Gwyneth Paltrow, goop’s Chief Content Officer Elise Loehnen, and guests including some of the world’s most prominent thinkers, changers, and disruptors. And because we love all things Elizabeth Gilbert (like her new novel City of Girls), we have to recommend starting with the recent episode, “Gwyneth x Elizabeth Gilbert: Can Creating Something Small Heal Something Big?”