24 Podcasts that will make you smarter and happier

by | Articles, Lifestyle

Anytime I’m gearing up to do a task that I don’t particularly want to do, my first inclination is to turn on a podcast. This entertaining experience, oftentimes feels like you’re having a conversation with a few of your close friends. And it opens you up to multitasking while learning something new.

Whether you’re new to the podcasting world, or someone looking for something new to binge, here’s a list of my personal favorite podcasts:

Pop Culture Focus

  • Call Your Girlfriend – Two long distance besties, Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman talk pop culture, politics, and periods.
  • The Read – Kid Fury and Crissle spill tea and throw shade on hip hop and pop culture. My favorite part of every episode is a ratchet “question and answer” segment.
  • Pop Culture Happy Hour – This NPR podcast regularly reviews the movies, tv, and books the media is obsessing over with round table discussions from notable writers.
  • Still Processing – New York Times culture podcast hosted by Times writers Jenna Wortham and Wesley Morris. They provide in-depth analysis with equal parts woo and hard-hitting research.
  • Harry Potter and the Sacred Text – This heartwarming show helps listeners find meaning through a secular text that they love. If I’m ever feeling even remotely sad, this is my go-to “pick me up” podcast.
  • Sibling Rivalry – Monét X Change and Bob The Drag Queen, from RuPaul’s Drag Race, are not actually siblings but they are the intensely hilarious comedy duo with infectious chemistry.

That’s Interesting

  • Science VS – Your team of friendly fact checkers that blow up your firmly held opinions and replace them with science.
  • Every Little Thing – This charming podcasts answers all of your burning questions with a delightfully optimistic slant.
  • By The Book – Comedian Jolenta Greenberg and her skeptical friend Kristen Meinzer live by the rules of a different self-help book each episode.
  • You in Danger Gurl – This podcast talks about red flags, crazy dates, and an erotic thriller of the week.
  • History of the 90s –  Travel back in time through the stories that defined a decade, from Columbine to Ruth Bader Ginsburg to Seinfeld, Air Jordan, and the Spice Girls.
  • You’re Wrong About – Mike and Sarah are journalists obsessed with the past. Every week they reconsider an event, person or phenomenon that’s been miscast in the public imagination.
  • Spirits – A boozy podcast about mythology, legends, and folklore.
  • Today Explained – Vox’s daily explainer podcast hosted by Sean Rameswaram. It guides you through the most important news stories of each day.

Business / Creative Career

  • How I built This – Guy Raz dives into the stories behind some of the world’s best known companies. Binge listen if you ever want to start a business one day.
  • Akimbo – I’ve been a fan of prolific blogger, Seth Godin, for the majority of my adult life. I love hearing him thoughtfully chat all things Marketing and Business.
  • Don’t Keep Your Dayjob – Host Cathy Heller interviews inspiring people that have created a life they love. She is one of the most motivational creatives I’ve encountered.
  • What Works – A no-nonsense podcast about what really works to run, manage, and grow small businesses today hosted by Tara McMullin.


  • The Liturgists Podcast – This podcast produces clarity and insight by looking at essential topics through the lenses of art, faith, and science. This is the way I do spirituality.
  • The RobCast – A weekly podcast by Rob Bell–author, speaker, and former pastor. I love his heartfelt approach and his heretical views on the bible.  

On Hiatus / Ended (but you should totally still binge)

  • StartUp – A documentary series about entrepreneurial life. Every season follows an interesting entrepreneur trying to build a business.
  • The Nod – Brittany Luse and Eric Eddings gleefully explore all the beautiful, complicated dimensions of Black life. (Note: There is a delightful episode dedicated to club classic “Knuck If You Buck.”)
  • The Secret Lives of Black Women – Lauren Domino and Charla Lauriston hunt for the ‘secrets’ that have helped black women flourish through the bullsh*t.
  • Nancy – Stories and conversations about the queer experience featuring co-hosts Tobin Low and Kathy Tu.

QUESTION: What podcasts are you listening to? Let me know in our Facebook group.

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