Entertainment And News

9 Best Podcasts To Listen To On Your Way To Work

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9 Best Podcasts To Listen To While Driving

There is absolutely nothing worse than being stuck on the freeway or underground in a subway cart with a local radio station playing the same four songs on repeat. We get it, I Don’t Care is a smash hit. But I, for one, am ready to move on!

I want something to listen to that can shake up my day and keep me up to date on the latest news outside of the world of music.

Last year, the US Census Bureau predicted that Americans spend an average of 200 hours in commute time per year! That is a lot of time to spend on an open road or pounding the pavement. There are only so many playlists you can cycle through before you are ready to call it quits and be stuck in silence.

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Luckily, the latest trend in the online streaming world has a solution. Podcasts were born in 2004 when former MTV star Adam Curry and software developer Dave Winer wrote a program that allowed people to download radio broadcasts onto their iPods. Fittingly, it was called “iPodder.” Thus began the sweeping mania that we know and love today! Modern podcasts have branched outside of the realm of radio discussions into the genres of crime, comedy, and lifestyle help.

Streaming a podcast has direct improvements to your personal life. They make you more informed about the world around you, a better multitasker, and a better listener. It’s a fun way to shake up your workday and pass the time as your journey throughout life.

Of course, the trend has become so big that it can feel overwhelming to find a place to start. Luckily, we have curated the perfect bucket list to get you started. There is a podcast out there for every personality type. Find the best fit for you and start listening!

For the commuter looking to improve their knowledge of general news:

1. The Daily — The New York Times

The Daily is a weekday production that focuses on the most pressing stories of the day. The podcast is perfect for someone with a quick to moderately long commute because each story is perfectly wrapped into a 20- to 30-minute segment. The show is hosted by Michael Barbaro, a political journalist for the Times. Each weekday morning, the episode is posted by 6 a.m., perfect for any early trips to the office!

My episode suggestions: “The Epstein Investigation, Now That He’s Dead,” “How Democratic Debates Narrow the Field,” and “The Fight Over Planned Parenthood’s Future.”

2. Minute Briefing — The Wall Street Journal

Ever feel like you are drowning in responsibility and couldn’t possibly add another thing to your plate? You want to be engaged in the news so that you know what is going on in the world around you, but there are just not enough hours in the day to allow you to consume news like a normal person. The WSJ is here to help! Minute Briefing is a tri-daily installment that only requires 60 seconds of your attention at a time. Topics range from the economy, the latest news from Silicon Valley, and closing statistics from the New York Stock Exchange.

My episode suggestions: Tune in every day while you brush your teeth and you’ll stay as informed as some of the countries most well-known journalists!

3. Why Is This Happening? — Chris Hayes

In this weekly installment, Chris Hayes addresses the big questions that keep him up at night. The podcast is produced by MSNBC and NBCNews Think. Hayes features experts to help him get to the bottom of these questions. This podcast is perfect for people with a longer commute; each episode is about an hour long.

My episode suggestions: “Building a Movement with Rev. Dr. William Barber II,” ''From Red to Blue with Rep. Max Rose,” and “The Roots of Anti-Semitism with Deborah Lipstadt.”

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For the commuter obsessed with the political sector:

4. The Takeout CBS News Radio & Major Garrett

The Takeout is a weekly podcast that deals with all things politics. Major Garrett, the chief Washington correspondent for CBS News, dives into policy and pop culture with special guests, all while sharing a meal. The full episodes of this podcast come out to around 40 minutes. But for those with less availability, Garrett produces Takeout Outtake Especials that clock in at around 10 minutes.

My episode suggestions: “American Carnage: Tim Alberta,” “A Spy’s Spy: Eric O’Neill,” and “The Takeout: Trump Campaign Manager Brad Parscale.”

5. Pantsuit Politics — Sarah & Beth

Started in 2015, this podcast is perfect for the commuter looking for a bipartisan debate on steamy topics of the times. Sarah Stewart Holland, a Democrat, and Beth Silvers, a Republican, co-host the show. They are bringing a graceful side to politics with the motto, “listening to each other first and talking politics second.” New episodes are released every Tuesday and Thursday, and they vary between 30 minutes to an hour in length.

My episode suggestions: “Constitutional Primers: Second Amendment,” “Engaging Young Voters with Claire Harmon,” and “Five Things You Need to Know About Brexit.”

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For the true crime-buff commuter:

6. Wine & Crime — Amanda, Kenyon and Lucy

Wine & Crime is a perfect mix of true crime and comedy, with a touch of sloppy wine drunkenness by the hosts, Kenyon Laing, Amanda Jacobson, and Lucy Fitzgerald. These friends from Minnesota have been together for more than 20 years. They take a genre of crime, a bottle of wine, and share their favorite cases that fit the theme. This is the perfect podcast for a road trip because each episode is about two hours long. Although you can’t drink along with the hosts on the road, you can laugh and learn as if you were in the room with them!

My episode suggestions: “Cruise Ship Disappearances,” “Killer Kids,” and “Justifiable Homicide.”

7. My Favorite Murder — Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark

This podcast is another true crime and comedy hybrid. Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark started the show in 2016 and have since grown the company into a mogul that tours internationally. The weekly episodes highlight a collection of solved and unsolved murders all based around a central theme. They range in length from one to two hours, perfect for a round trip commute in and out of the city!

My episode suggestions: “Live at the Bellco Theatre in Denver” and “Respecting the History of Coins”

8. The Black Tapes — Pacific Northwest Stories and Minnow Beats Whale, hosted by Alex Reagan.

Although this podcast is fictional, it is still immensely entertaining in the world of unsolved crime and paranormal cases. The story follows the character of Alex Reagan (voiced by Lori Henry) as she discovers a collection of unsolved paranormal activities claims in the possession of Dr. Richard Strand (voiced by Christian Sloan). The format is similar to Serial.

My episode suggestions: Because this is an episodic podcast with a through line plot, you really have to start from the beginning to understand what is going on. So plug in your headphones and go to episode 1!

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For the commuter in need of a good laugh:

9. Call Her Daddy — Sofia Franklyn and Alexandra Cooper

Warning: this is definitely an 18+ and NSFW podcast, but boy is it entertaining! Two best friends living in NYC, Alexandra Cooper and Sofia Franklyn, talk all things romance, dating, social life, and intimacy. And they do not hold anything back! They share hookup stories, bring in “experts” on being single in New York, and give helpful tips to have an intimate life as bountiful as their own.

My episode suggestions: “Let Him Watch P---,” “You’re Just a Hole,” and “MILF Hunting Season.”

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Madison Kerth is a writer who covers astrology, pop culture, entertainment news and relationship topics. ​