My Top 10 Podcasts
I freely admit it- I am a podcast junkie. I listen to a podcast pretty much any time I’m completing a menial task or I have some downtime. Folding laundry? Podcast. Driving alone in the car? Podcast. Scrubbing toilets? You guessed it. Podcast. I view podcasts as free entertainment, knowledge, and perspective, and I am HERE. FOR. IT.
I’ve picked my top 10 favorite podcasts to tell you about here. It’s a pretty diverse grouping, so some may be your cup of tea and others not. But before I give you my list, and just to get it out of the way, I want to mention the three podcasts that got me into podcasts. They are now so ubiquitous that most people, podcast fans or not, have probably heard of them. They are great and I love each of them, but they’ve also made every Top 10 list for the last several years. These old classics are Serial (Season 1) , Dirty John, and Dr. Death (hello, Plano!). If you’re just starting on your podcast journey, start there.
For those who have already listened to the aforementioned classics, give a few or all of these fresher podcasts a listen. I think it will be a worthwhile investment in your house cleaning, toilet scrubbing ventures.
The Armchair Expert - Hosted by Dax Shepherd, this is a long-form podcast where episodes regularly cross the 90 minute mark. It takes me several days to get through one episode. But they’re all so interesting! On Monday episodes, Dax welcomes various famous people for chats about their background, their challenges and triumphs, and everyday life stuff that everyone deals with, regardless of fame, prestige, or wealth. On Thursdays, Dax hosts Experts on Expert where he has real experts come in to discuss their field (think Bill Nye, Steve Madden, Elizabeth Gilbert, etc.). This is my absolute favorite podcast, at least currently. But be forewarned: This podcast comes with a language and content warning (not safe for little ears or work).
Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend - This is another podcast in which a celebrity host welcomes fellow celebrities in for a chat. The podcast began as Conan inviting guests he didn’t personally know well and wanted to get to know better, but has morphed into a podcast chock full of household names discussing interesting things together. In true late-night comedian form, this podcast also comes with a language and content warning (not safe for little ears or work).
For the Love! with Jen Hatmaker - Jen Hatmaker is my girl. She loves Jesus, keeps it real, and makes me laugh. Win, win, win. Her podcast is excellent as well. She welcomes a wide variety of guests and chats with them about everything from broad “let’s save the world!” topics to the most recent episodes of The Bachelor. Her podcasts always involve a large element of faith, which I love and appreciate. It’s always a delightful and uplifting 45-60 minutes.
The Popcast with Knox & Jamie - These two hosts- Knox and Jamie- are hilarious! They have the absolute best chemistry and make me LOL at least a few times every episode. The opening line of every episode describes it perfectly: “The Popcast is a show dedicated to delightful idiocy, and we’re committed to educating you on things in entertainment that do not matter.” The Popcast keeps me up to date on what’s going on in current pop culture without having to follow any Kardashians on Instagram. Knox and Jamie do a great job keeping it light and clean.
The Bible Binge - Brought to you by Knox and Jamie of the Popcast! Each season of The Bible Binge focuses on a different area or theme of the Bible. The hosts, both Christians, do a deep dive into Bible stories in a fun and inventive way by “casting” each of the stories as if it were a movie. Did you know that Leonardo DiCaprio is a perfect fit for King David at all stages of Leo’s/David’s lives? But seriously, I learn a lot from this podcast, and have a lot of fun while doing it.
Pantsuit Politics - If you’re interested in politics but hate, well… politics, then this is the podcast for you. Hosted by Sarah from the Left and Beth from the Right, Pantsuit Politics offers an in-depth and nuanced look at current politics. It’s so refreshing in this day and age to listen to two intelligent and knowledgable women discuss their differing political opinions as friends filled with grace and love for one another. And they each offer much more nuanced perspectives than what is shouted at us in the current news cycles.
That Sounds Fun with Annie F. Downs - Who doesn’t love Annie F. Downs? She’s just so jolly and lighthearted. In this new weekly podcast, she shares whatever is on her mind or on her heart. It’s really quite random and I dig it! I especially enjoyed her latest series, EnneaSummer, where Annie, a true Enneagram 7, and her friends highlight and dive deep into each of the Enneagram types. (Spoiler, but not really because it’s so obvious- I’m an Enneagram 1.)
Stuff You Should Know - If you are an aspiring Jeopardy! contestant or like playing trivia at the bar with friends, you’ll love this podcast. There is an episode on EVERYTHING. Want to know more about sloths? How about Ancient Egypt or why yawns are contagious? You’ll find those answers, and more, on Stuff You Should Know. This podcast is generally short (about 20 minutes) and is always entertaining.
30 for 30 BIKRAM - 30 for 30 podcasts are usually sportsy in nature, which doesn’t really appeal me (but if that’s your thing, dive in!). But there is one 30 for 30 series- BIKRAM- that fascinates me. It chronicles the rise and fall of Bikram Choudhury, the yogi responsible for bringing Bikram yoga to the West. His practice reached a cult-like following in the 1970s and it was all sorts of crazy. The BIKRAM series was a very interesting listen.
American Hysteria - As a millennial (though just barely), this podcast really speaks to me because it gives perspective and meaning to so many things from my childhood that I didn’t really understand at the time but accepted anyway. Like, why did my parents inspect every single piece of my Halloween candy with a magnifying glass? Why was everyone so obsessed with Satan and demon possession in the 80s? What was the deal with those freaky clowns running around in the woods a few years ago? This podcast will lay it all out for you. Warning: language and content (not safe for little ears or work).
What are YOUR favorite podcasts? Please let me know in the comments. I need some new toilet-scrubbing material!