Podcasts are our new guilty pleasure. They’ve been around for a while and whilst we wished we'd come to the party earlier, what matters is we know about them and boy, are we're making up for lost time. The perfect accompaniment for people in transit, at work or just looking for some quality (and even educational) entertainment, there seriously is a podcast for every mood. Cast your peepers over our top picks for a wide variety of interests, moods and attention spans, plus did we mention they're completely FREE. Welcome to your newest addiction...
For when you're missing school
Stuff You Should Know
If you enjoy filling your brain with random facts, stuff you should know is the show for you. Each episode is centred around a specific topic, and the topics are weird, random and usually pretty interesting. Take a listen and gain some knowledge on anything from street gangs to Tupperware – they’ve got a wide variety of episodes allowing you to totally impress your friends when you’re dropping some random as hell knowledge during your next brunch.
For when you’ve watched so many crime dramas that you’re considering giving law school a try
Serial is the show that introduced most people to the podcast universe, and it’s a crowd fave for good reason. A real criminal case is being unravelled and debated over the course of the season. Draw your own conclusions, put on a pencil skirt and channel your inner Annalise Keating while you discuss the ins and outs of this addictive thriller with your friends.
For when you’re in the mood for story time
This American Life
Who didn’t like story time as a kid? Well, This American Life is the adult version. A collection of unbelievable true stories are told, each surrounding a specific theme per episode. Great for a shorter attention span as most episodes contain several different anecdotes. Listening is kind of like being at a house party with a bunch of surprisingly interesting strangers, and diving right into their best, worst and craziest life experiences.
For when you’re feeling a bit nerdy
Radiolab is kind of hard to describe, but it’s a weird combination of stories with music, philosophy and science. You will definitely learn something, whether you want to or not. It kind of reminds us of various aspects of the X Files, Bill Nye and Oprah combined. It sounds weird and it is weird, but your inner nerd might enjoy it.
For when you feel like hanging with your friends but they’re all busy/ you don’t actually wanna leave the house
Call Your Girlfriend
Just like the Robyn music video of the same name, Call Your Girlfriend just flows and feels good from beginning to end. It’s basically a typical chat between two long distant BFFs who cover hot topics and their lives. Perfect for an evening alone cooking up treats in your kitchen, or mixing cocktails for one in your undies.
For when you’re sick of the radio and top 40
KEXP Live Performances
This show is perfect for those times when you’re tired of listening to the same 10 songs on repeat on your radio (Tay Tay, we’re looking at you). KEXP has introduced us to a bunch of fab bands and singers that we’d never heard of before. Plus, they’re performing right in the studio so all of the auto-tuning and production B.S. is eliminated. It really separates the talented from the imposters, and if concerts aren’t in your budget you can close your eyes and almost feel like you’re in the studio with them.
For when you just wanna laugh
It’s a comedy show, and it’s actually funny. Wits has different components, similar to a show like ‘Who’s Line is it Anyway?’ and the guest stars keep things fresh. Sometimes you just need to be cheered up, and this show is straight up comedy and might be just what the doctor ordered.
For when you’re too embarrassed to go see or spend money on a crappy film
How Did This Get Made?
We ALL have those horrible movies that we secretly wanna see but are too embarrassed to sit in the theatre solo for. Now, thanks to how did this get made, we can listen as they are reviewed, summarized, and ultimately ripped apart. It’s funny (and harsh), but extremely useful when you wanna join in the Twitter convo about a film without actually having to sit through it.
For when your life is falling apart
Straight Talk with Ross Matthews
Sometimes we all need some advice on our crumbling relationships, crazy friends or other issues, and Ross Matthews is a great shoulder to cry on. He promises to give you the blunt advice you need to go on, and even if you aren’t a hot mess at the moment he’s extremely entertaining.
For when you’re in the mood for some witty news banter
It bills itself as an audio newspaper, and The Bugle reminds us of some of our favourite late night talk shows. Unlike your favourite late night shows though, your eyes are spared from the fidgety pencil twirling and paper shuffling, leaving you with just some seriously quality audio. It largely focuses on UK and US news items, and it takes a more ‘adult’ approach than most of our other favourite podcasts. Less reality socialites and more real news and mature content, but still smart and hilarious.
For when you just wanna vent with your virtual girlfriends, worship Beyoncé and drink some wine
If you’re a fan of laughing at the most ridiculous aspects of pop/ hip hop culture, The Read might be just your thing. Two friends who live in New York discuss the latest world events and ‘read’ or rant about their biggest annoyances. They also answer listener questions like the blunt, 100% honest and hilarious friend we all wish we had when we need some real advice. Prepare for profanity, discussions on race and a whole lot of sass.
For when you wanna feel like being productive with your day
Ted Radio Hour
Your favourite TED Talk topics are in radio format and just waiting to enlighten you on demand. TED Talks have been known to set off more lightbulb moments than even the best self-help books, and the idea that we can queue up some inspiration and thought provoking ideas whenever we want on Ted Radio Hour is somehow comforting. It’s a great podcast for when you wanna feel like you’re doing something productive, without the effort of a seminar or book purchase.