Tuning In: Podcasts I’m Obsessed With

It’s THURSDAY! Man, this week has felt long, and I am exhausted, so let’s put a pin in my other planned posts and things bouncing around in my head and talk something that always captivates my interest.


I’ve been an avid podcast listener for a decade now – it all started in my sophomore year of high school (2008 – woah), when I discovered a knitting podcast – and then another – and a Disney podcast, all of which offered me an outlet for two very niche interests that weren’t being fed by people I knew “in real life.”

And from there, I was hooked. And an off again-on again romance has commenced, where I go through periods of listening religiously and then sporadically. A theme in most things in my life, funny enough. In the most recent past, I’ve definitely been more on the listening religiously side of things… and that’s a good thing, since the list of podcasts I tune into regularly has skyrocketed (and the list of ones I have queued up has grown even more).

A comprehensive list of podcasts I’m obsessed with*

*detailed, and in the categories I’ve organized them into on my Podcast app

Morning News: I start every weekday morning with the following two podcasts, which make me feel more on top of national and world events and an engaged citizen of the world. I love both because they’re bite size and easy to listen to on my commute.

  • Up First from NPR
  • The Daily from the New York Times

Economics and Politics: Since I can be a bit of a junkie, often these quick hits of the news are just not enough for me – so I round it out with commentary and/or news updates from the following podcasts. I try to keep it well-rounded, with a variety of both liberal and conservative sources, to maintain a good sense of how opposing viewpoints see the same events.

  • NPR Politics Podcast
  • Left, Right and Center from KCRW
  • FiveThirtyEight Politics
  • Powerhouse Politics
  • Media and Politics Podcast from Harvard Kennedy School Shorenstein Center
  • Women Rule from Politico
  • Freakonomics Radio
  • The Weeds from Vox
  • The Federalist Radio Hour
  • What in the World from Unpops
  • Pod Save America
  • Nerdcast from Politico
  • Political Gabfest from Slate
  • DecodeDC
  • Stay Tuned with Preet

Pop Culture/Culture: Ok, let’s change gears a little bit – it can’t be all news, all the time. (I think that would drive me insane!) I like to stay up with the latest in pop culture, but without cable and a sporadic interest in social media, that’s not always the easiest task. (It’s so easy to just get into my groove of tried-and-true TV favorites, neglecting what’s new and next.) These podcasts keep me informed – and often laughing.

  • It’s Been a Minute with Sam Sanders – from NPR
  • Pop Culture Happy Hour – from NPR
  • Reply All
  • Without Your Permission
  • Note to Self

Health, Nutrition, Running, and Fitness: Oh man, a large section that could rival my interest (cough-obsession-cough) with economics and politics. Listening to podcasts on these topics connects me with people around the country who share the same curiosity and passion that I do – it makes me feel less alone, as people I know “in real life” aren’t as into it as I am. Plus, it gives me an outlet to think and talk about it, which offers a welcome break for those “real life” friends and family!

  • Another Mother Runner
  • Ali on the Run Show
  • Run, Selfie, Repeat
  • Personal Best
  • The mindbodygreen Podcast
  • Dr. Ruscio Radio: Health, Nutrition, Functional Medicine
  • Foodist with Darya Rose, PhD
  • Balanced Bites
  • Namaslay
  • Pursuing Health with Julie Foucher
  • PaleOMG Uncensored
  • Run Eat Repeat
  • I’ll Have Another with Lindsey Hein
  • The Ultimate Health Podcast
  • The Healthy Moms Podcast
  • The Fit Bottomed Girls Podcast
  • The Energy Healing Podcast
  • Almost 30
  • Healers
  • Well-Fed Women
  • Food Psych Podcast

Fashion/Beauty: I’ve been obsessed with fashion and beauty for as long as I can remember. Clothes and style are an integral part of my psyche (even if sometimes it doesn’t look that way… as I write this in leggings and a long t-shirt). These offer me an outlet to think and talk about it, since similarly to health and fitness – I haven’t really met people who share the same love of style as I do.

  • Pop Fashion
  • The Business of Fashion Podcast
  • Fashion No Filter
  • Forever 35

Books, Books, Books: Sometimes I just want to talk about books and writing. Or hear about other people who are obsessed with books and writing. Storytelling inspires, excites, and challenges me to grow and learn in the world – and of course, I’m always on the hunt for new sources of good recommendations.

  • Just the Right Book Podcast
  • What Should I Read Next?
  • #AmWriting
  • The Moth

History: Unabashed nerd here, if you haven’t caught onto that already! History podcasts are a favorite – they help me look at world issues with a more informed point of view and, on a less serious note, are just stinking interesting. Cannot lie, there’s nothing like the feeling of sharing a little known fact or anecdote with a friend, colleague, or acquaintance to brighten my day.

  • Spirits
  • Artcurious
  • Stuff You Missed in History Class
  • My History Can Beat Up Your Politics
  • Hardcore History
  • What Really Happened?
  • Witness from the BBC World Service
  • Civics 101
  • A History of the World in 100 Objects from the BBC World Service
  • Curious City

Happiness and Individual Betterment: These are big topics for me – and are a constant focus and source of fascination. It all started for me with Gretchen Rubin in podcast-land, but my interest in “self help” books can be traced all the way back to before I was even a teenager. As a tween, there were “self help” guides for teens that I read cover to cover (again and again and again). I still definitely lean into this space when choosing books to read, but when I can’t sit down with a new one – these help me get that betterment fix.

  • By the Book
  • Happier with Gretchen Rubin
  • Happier in Hollywood
  • Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations
  • 10% Happier with Dan Harris
  • Awesome Etiquette
  • Sorta Awesome with Meg Tietz
  • The School of Greatness with Lewis Howes
  • The Life Coach School
  • Magic Lessons with Elizabeth Gilbert

Science and the Brain: Talk to me for five minutes and you’ll probably learn quickly that I can be a bit of a hypochondriac. Not all-in necessarily, but conscientious of my health and well-being at all times… and frequently, this appears in part with my efforts to take care of my brain, since my top fears include Alzheimer’s and Dementia. We lost my Nani to dementia and it was one of the most heartbreaking things I have ever experienced; to say that I’m obsessed with taking care of my brain and am acutely aware of changes in my memory and comprehension would be saying it lightly. But maybe that’s a topic for another post, so for now – the brain and science podcasts I’m into are below. (Science, particularly, since it was another interest of mine growing up, and yes – yet another topic for another post. Moving on.)

  • Kwik Brain with Jim Kwik
  • Hidden Brain from NPR
  • Intelligence Squared
  • Geek Chic’s Weird Science
  • Science Vs

Travel: I love to travel, and truly travel – not vacation. (Although, don’t take that to mean I don’t love a few days on the beach! I totally do.) One of my bucket list items is to live abroad for a year, and while I contemplate how to make that happen – and how to fit more travel into my life – I tune into these for my “fix”.

  • Expat Sandwich
  • Zero to Travel Podcast
  • Nomadtopia Radio
  • Women Who Travel
  • The Expat Chat

Startups and Business: As an entrepreneur with a few side projects in the works (I’ll divulge with the time is right, pinky promise!), I’m always up for talking shop and finding community with fellow entrepreneurs. Being a startup or side hustle founder can feel isolating at times, especially when you don’t have a group of likeminded people around you – but tuning in for a few minutes a day definitely helps me feel less alone. Oh, AND, it’s tirelessly inspiring and often entertaining; how could anyone resist?

  • The Other F Word
  • The Art of Charm
  • Forbes Under 30
  • Problem Solvers from Entrepreneur
  • The Strategy Hour Podcast
  • Being Boss
  • Girlboss Radio with Sophia Amoruso
  • How I Built This with Guy Raz
  • StartUp Podcast
  • Breaking Into Startups
  • Masters of Scale

Advice and Love: Some might say these fall under individual betterment, but I think they stand best solo. It started as research for a project I’m working on, but I’d be lying if I said it’s stuck around because of it – I’ve loved advice columns for about as long as I’ve loved self help books (and some might say it started earlier – thanks to Dear Abby and my favorite, Dear Carolyn, in the paper my Dad subscribed to when I was a kid!). Since I’m between newspaper subscriptions at the moment, these give me a fix in between the Ask E. Jean pages in my monthly Elle delivery.

  • Dear Prudence
  • Dear Hank and John
  • Dear Sugars
  • Anna Faris is Unqualified
  • I Feel Better Podcast
  • Modern Love
  • Savage Lovecast

Knitting: Ah, the category that started it all. Although the podcast I first became hooked on is no longer active (Cast On – worth the listen, even archived!, and I’m eternally grateful to Brenda Dayne), the second is – Knitmore Girls. I feel affectionately to Jasmin and Gigi as two of my closest knitting friends, since I’ve grown up with them now for TEN YEARS. And my goodness, I love their mother-daughter relationship. I don’t listen to many others anymore, but I used to listen to this category in droves – now, it’s down to my top two.

  • Knitmore Girls
  • Commuter Knitter

Disney: Hang in there y’all, you’ve made it nearly to the end! I’d be remiss to not call out the other category that started it all – my obsession with Disney World, and this whole community of people who wanted to talk about it as much as I do. I’ve been listening to WDW Today on-and-off since episode around 400 or so, and listened to almost all the archives during the height of my obsession in high school. Like knitting, I used to listen to many others – but now it’s down to my top two. Because who doesn’t love a little Disney in their lives?

  • WDW Today
  • The Disney Dish with Jim Hill

Sleep: I’ve struggled with sleep issues for the past few years and frequently listen to the following podcast to help me fall asleep and stay asleep. It was actually mentioned on another podcast I listen to (thanks Pop Fashion!) and it’s definitely been a calming force in my end-of-day routine. Couldn’t recommend it highly enough.

  • Sleep With Me

Whew! If you’re still reading this – I’m massively impressed. This post was WAY, WAY longer than I thought it was going to be.

I had no idea I subscribed to so many podcasts, and to be honest, I even went through and culled before/while creating this post to unsubscribe from ones I’m no longer interested in. Still – that left me (and now you) with 104 podcasts to choose from. ONE HUNDRED AND FOUR. OH MY GOODNESS, I HAD NO IDEA.

Yes, all caps are necessary. BECAUSE OH MAN. ONE HUNDRED FOUR IS A LOT. No wonder I can never feel like I listen to them all consistently or can keep up with them all.

ANYWAY. Since I’m such a junkie – do you have any other recommendations in these categories that you’re currently loving? I’ve gone through periods of obsession with true crime, although I’m noticing that those favorites aren’t currently represented in this list – and I’m always down to further explore any of the above topics. As I always say – LMK!

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