9 Podcasts I’m obsessed with

I love podcasts.

They make the unbearable, bearable, pleasant even… a long work day, long car trips, etc. They allow me to learn, dream, brainstorm. They inspire me. They’ve made me laugh, they’ve made me cry.

Here are a few of my absolute favorites:

  • Stuff Mom Never Told You
    What is it?
    Stuff Mom Never Told You is part of the How Stuff Works family. Any podcast born from this family is guaranteed to be a star; siblings include Stuff To Blow Your Mind, Stuff You Missed in History Class and Stuff You Should Know. All informative, fascinating, well produced, and featuring likable (non-boring) hosts. Stuff Mom Never Told You happens to my favorite of the bunch. Featuring the loveable Kristin and Molly (who has since “retired” and was replaced by Caroline), SMNTY covers fascinating, and often taboo topics such as “What’s the Buzz on Vibrators,” “Why Did Women Start Shaving Their Legs,” and “Does Size Matter,” among others.

    Why I love it?
    Not only do the hosts do fabulous job journalisticly (un-biased and detailed, reputable sources, etc) covering each topic, but they present their findings in a way that is colorful and entertaining. I almost always learn something. Plus, who doesn’t love learning about the taboo?
  • This American Life
    What is it?
    The classic NPR podcast, popped my podcast cherry. Host Ira Glass “shows” us various aspects of American Life, typically the seemingly dull and mundane or unnoticed, and spins that topic in a way that is profound, inspiring, funny, thought-provoking, or all of the above. Usually each week features a topic divided into “acts,” each focusing on a certain view of that topic. Past topics have included: “Gossip,” Stories of rumors, innuendo, and gossipers. Or, “Amusement Park,” which followed the games director at an amusement park, shared amusement park horror stories, and followed a reporter as he revisits an amusement part he worked at as a teen.

    Why I love it
    ?
    There are many reasons for my love: well-produced, always entertaining, always enlightening, always informative. A great “gateway” podcast for newbies.
  • Radiolab
    What is it?
    Besides pure genius? I’d compare Radiolab to a really great documentary. Beautifully, almost poetically, produced. Typically features one topic (like This American Life), often scientific in nature, and digs deeper; interviews great sources, incorporates their own unique music and sound effects, includes loads of profound evidence/research. Favorite episodes include: “Animal Minds,” “Parasites,” and
    “Sleep,”

    Why I love it?
    If I haven’t already explained myself, Radiolab is just good-quality entertainment. Keeps me focused and engaged, forces knowledge on me in a sneaky way. Brain food, really. While listening at work, I’ve laughed out loud, and I’ve choked back tears. I would recommend this to anyone. Load a few episodes on your iPod and listen while on a long car ride. Don’t be surprised if you catch yourself taking another loop around the block…
  • My Brother, My Brother and Me
    What is it?
    Three very funny brothers answer questions pulled from the internet (Yahoo and formspring, etc.), most of which are completely ridiculous. However the brothers answer them anyways, often in a smart and sarcastic manner.

    Why I love it
    ?
    This podcast makes me laugh like no other. Give it a few episodes. Give yourself a chance to get to know the brothers and their sense of humor. I started from the very beginning and after 70 episodes, I still eagerly wait for the new episode every Monday.
  • The Moth Podcast
    What is it?
    This podcast is a recording of some of the best Moth live performances. Actors, comedians, and regular people can get on stage and tell a story; but without the help of transcripts, cue cards, etc. Sometimes the stories are funny, often they are sad, but always they are worth listening to.

    Why I love it?
    These are short episodes–between 10-15 minutes–and offer a nice little mental escape from whatever I’m up to at the moment. Plus, I love hearing other peoples stories.
  • The Splendid Table
    What is it?
    An NPR “culinary, culture, and lifestyle program that celebrates food and its ability to touch the lives and feed the souls of everyone.” Host Lynne Rosetta Kasper shares some of her favorite recipes, interviews a guest, and takes calls.

    The lovely Lynne Rosetto Kasper

    Why I love it?
    This show appeals to the inner foodie in me. Its offers amazing recipes and almost always inspires me to cook something new after work. I love the segment when people call Lynne and give her 3-5 totally random ingredients they have in their fridge and challenge her to come up with creative and delicious recipes.

  • Freakonomics Radio
    What is it?
    Economist Stephen J. Dubner (Author of Freakonomics the book) explores “the hidden side of everything.” He cleverly explains, ponders, discusses certain aspects of our economy. Episodes include “The Suicide Paradox,” “Gambling with your life,” and “The Health of Nations.”

    Why I love it?

    I loved both books, and the documentary; it was only natural that I’d love the podcast as well.
  • This week in travel
    What is it?
    A panel of travel writers and bloggers discuss travel news, provide advice, interview travelers and talk about new travel websites, blogs, apps and technology.
  • Why I love it?
    This one is just plain entertaining. I enjoy listening to the hosts banter with one another. It’s not only a great way to keep up with the world of travel, but also a great way to keep up with new technology. I’ve found numerous worthwhile travel related websites and apps through their conversations.
  • Indie Travel Podcast
    What is it?
    Hardcore travelers, and husband and wife team, Craig and Linda make us jealous as they talk us through their adventures. Sometimes they’ll have a guest they interview, sometimes they just talk about whatever amazing location they happen to be in; often they feature a special topic they discuss in detail such as “Travel Photography,” “What is Couchsurfing?” or “Preparing for long-term travel.”

    Why I love it?
    It allows me to fantasize, research and plan for travel WHILE working on my design projects. What’s not to love?
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