21 Podcasts for Every Kind of Listener!
Everyone knows how much I love my audiobooks. When I’m not listening to a heart-rate-quickening thriller, however, you’ll catch me listening to a podcast. Actually, podcasts were my first love—sorry, audiobooks. I was officially hooked for the first time by the podcast, Serial, season one, which followed the story of Adnan Syed.
Over the years, my tastes have changed repeatedly—from agony-aunt style podcasts to entrepreneurial podcasts, then to book-centric and freelance-specific podcasts. Still, a few of these have remained relevant to me despite the many changes in my life.
You can listen to podcasts on your way to work, while you fold laundry—or even like me, sometimes—while you work. Podcasts are also becoming a major way to branch out in terms of content creation, and I expect we’ll see more as time goes on.
So, whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, news lover, book lover, or just a sucker for a good conversation, I’ve compiled a list of podcasts to bring a party to your ears.
If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, try:
This is one of my all-time favourites. Guy Raz interviews the founders of some of the world's best known companies such as Sara Blakely (Spanx), Jane Wurwand (Dermatologica), and Roxane Quimby (Burt Bees) amongst dozens others. While many of these founders did have investors, the business principles are useful to any kind of entrepreneurs.
Side Hustle Pro
Nicaila Okome of Side Hustle Pro is a podcaster and marketing professional who shares her business tips with listeners. She also interviews female entrepreneurs who discuss everything from growing a brand to charging for your expertise. Her guests (and Nicaila’s story) are often more “relatable” than many of those featured on How I Built This. She also focuses mostly on Black women, if that’s what you’re interested in.
Letters From a Hopeful Creative
In this podcast, coaches Sara Tasker and Jen Carrington reply letters from business owners and creatives regarding a variety of issues. So far, they’ve tackled everything from niching, harnessing Instagram, and managing money as a business owner. I’m subscribed to Jen’s newsletter, and I find it to be constantly full of relevant resources for business owners.
If you love a good conversation, try:
Jesus and Jollof
Jesus and Jollof is hosted by Luvvie Ajayi and Yvonne Orji, two proudly Nigerian women talking about the things they love, their stories, and life in general. Why “Jesus and Jollof?” Those are the two things they cannot do without. While this podcast isn’t my particular cup of tea, it’s worth checking out.
Not Your African Cliché
I love listening to the four young ladies on this podcast and enjoy their take on a variety of subjects. Podcasts like these make me feel like I’m listening in on a fun conversation with my girlfriends. Start with this Valentine’s Day episode about love languages.
Happier with Gretchen Rubin
I’ve enjoyed Gretchen Rubin’s writing in the past, but her podcast is almost like an extension of her non-fiction book. In Happier, the podcast, Gretchen tackles happiness by sharing little tips to be happier. I especially love the “A Little Happier” episodes which are bite-sized (under five minutes long) episodes.
If you’re into science
In Sawbones, Dr. Sydnee McElroy and her husband Justin take their audience through a “Marital Tour of Misguided Medicine.” Every Friday, they dig through the annals of medical history to uncover all the odd, weird, wrong, dumb and just gross ways we've tried to fix people over the years. This show is always educational and fun (especially if you’re into science trivia).
Hidden Brain is another all-time favourite for me. Host, Shankar Vedantam uses science and storytelling to reveal the unconscious patterns that drive human behavior, shape our choices and direct our relationships. Everything from the way laughter works to the reason why some people are more persevering than others—just ask Hidden Brain.
If you just love to hear about money
If you’re a fan of Refinery29’s Money Diaries, you’ll enjoy the podcast too. I loved this episode with Girls’ Night In founder, Alisha Ramos. It shows how financially stressful starting a business can be. The podcast tackles everything from student loan debt to the cost of having with real, honest, and sometimes uncomfortable conversations.
If you’re a freelancer
I’m new to this podcast but so far, I’ve been enjoying it. Dubbed “The podcast every freelancer should listen to,” host Steve Folland interviews other freelancers. There are always freelance tips, business advice and life hacks from freelancers to a freelancer. Start off with this interview with blogger (and do-it-all) Kat Molesworth.
Most freelancers are their own copywriters (creating social media posts) and editors, and Mignon Fogarty’s podcast is a great place to start. Most episodes are ten minutes or less and she tackles a grammar issue per episode. Check out this list of the ten most popular episodes.
If books are your thing
I love Autumn and Kendra and their team of brilliant women. Reading Women is the best place to go if you want to hear fantastic discussions on a wide array of books and stay up to date with new releases too.
The Stacks Pod
Traci’s podcast is new but has been gaining a lot of traction lately. I particularly love her “Short Stacks” episodes in which she interviews writers about their writing process. Crystal Hana Kim’s episode is my favourite yet.
Not Another Book Podcast
Although currently on hiatus, the ladies of NABook podcast bring a fresh voice to the podcasting table and discuss books from all over the world. Here’s hoping they come back on air soon.
If you like thought-provoking interviews
On Being is a public radio conversation and podcast hosted by Krista Tippett. It examines what it calls the, "animating questions at the center of human life: What does it mean to be human, and how do we want to live?” Tippett has interviewed everyone from Teju Cole to Alain de Botton to Maria Popova.
Another favourite of mine, Debbie Millman, host of Design Matters has interviewed authors, artists, designers including Dani Shapiro and Sarah Kay. Her interviews focus on design and an inquiry into the broader world of creative culture through wide-ranging conversations.
In Good Company
Author of Little Black Book, Otegha Uwagba hosts In Good Company. The podcast, branded as “a podcast for working women” features interviews with authors, finance experts, freelancers— women from all fields really— sharing their career experiences and advice for others who may be in the same situation.
If you’re cool with monologues
Dami’s podcast is still pretty new but I enjoyed this episode about what it feels like to be unsuccessful at age thirty. She also reviews books on her podcast, and I enjoy her laid back approach to podcasting.
This American Life
Most OG podcasts are storytelling ones, but This American Life was one of the first ones I ever listened to. The podcast is based on an entertaining kind of journalism that’s built around compelling stories.
Another classic podcast, Radiolab, with Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich, is a radio show and podcast weaving stories and science into sound and music-rich documentaries.
If you just want to catch up on the news
I’m not a fan of the news, but if you are, you might like this one. The Daily is a daily news podcast and radio show by the American newspaper The New York Times. Hosted by Times political journalist Michael Barbaro, its 20-minute episodes are based on the Times' reporting of the day.
If you’re wondering how to listen to podcasts, it’s simple! You can listen to podcasts on acast, the iPhone podcast app, stitcher, and even Spotify, among others.
Are you a fan of podcasts? Which ones are your favourite kinds? And what your favourite podcasts? I’d love your recommendations!