Podcast Recommendations

I, like everyone else, got totally sucked into the Serial podcast. I binge listened until I was caught up, got Evan into it and re-listened with him, and waited impatiently for a new episode each week until it came to an anti-climactic (but still satisfying, I think) finale.

Until I got roped into Serial, I wasn’t a big podcast listener. But after it was over I was left with an emptiness. I was mainly listening during my work commute and when it was over, there was a void that my music couldn’t fill. I wanted more. I wanted someone to talk at me. Unfortunately there’s only one Serial, however, Serial opened my eyes to the world of podcasts. I did not even realize how many exist. So I downloaded Apple’s podcast app on my phone (it’s free on the app store!), subscribed to a bunch, and now they just download automatically when there is a new episode.

If you search for a podcast and then go to the details of that specific podcast, you can then just subscribe by touching the handy Subscribe button. See below.


And like magic, the podcasts in my app update each time there is a new episode.


You can also subscribe using iTunes, or you can go to the website of the podcast you want and just listen from there (which is what I did with Serial). I find the app very convenient though. It doesn’t have a very good rating on the app store, but I’ve had it for a few months now and I have not had any problems. Since Christmas I have been listening constantly when I am driving, and even lately if I am running (on the treadmill, outside is way too cold). I’m usually big into music while running on the treadmill, but I gotta say the podcasts have been a nice change of pace (wasn’t even trying to make a pun there but I like it so I will take it). Last night I was listening to a particularly motivating podcast as I was running and I felt like I wanted to just crush everything and start winning at life. And so, I was more into my run than usual.

There are several that I am really enjoying and I know when I was looking for podcasts to listen to I was on the hunt for recommendations, so here are mine. If you know of any good ones please share! I also want to mention that Evan and I are planning on starting a podcast. I don’t want to tell you our idea just yet because I actually think it’s pretty good and I don’t want it to get stolen. But I will keep you posted! It will likely take a few weeks to get up and running.

This American Life


Since Serial was produced by This American Life, I feel like this was a natural progression. It was the first podcast I subscribed to. Usually there is a theme to each episode, and mostly true stories from regular people relating to that theme. I love stories, all stories, so it’s a good listen.

Another storytelling podcast I am liking is Risk!


Risk! is a live show “where people tell true stories they never thought they’d dare to share in public.” I first listened to a couple of the “best of 2014” episodes and though there were a few story duds thrown in, they were mostly highly entertaining. There was one story in particular about a guy crapping his pants that made me laugh so hard I cried and had to pull my car over. They have featured a bunch of popular comedians, but some of the stories are very touching also.

Grownups Read Things They Wrote As Kids


Canadian podcast, what! I think they are based in Windsor, but they have open mics all over Canada that you can attend and, if you like, read what you wrote when you were a kid! This podcast totally reminds me of my Grade 4 creative writing notebook I found last summer. It also reminds me of the time I was helping my Bestie Lisa clean out her closet and we found her childhood diary. In one particular entry, that she started reading aloud to me before she realized what she was reading, she was going on about how I used to wear this pair of striped overall shorts that I apparently thought were sooo cool, but I didn’t look good in them. I was all “F you, I looked GREAT in those overall shorts!” and she was like “I remember being so jealous of those overall shorts!” Anyway. Kids are funny and they write funny things and I enjoy this podcast very much. It’s good for a quick laugh, and sometimes that’s all I’m after.

Reddit Upvoted


If you’re a redditor you should check it out. It digs deeper into the stories on reddit that have gone viral or attracted a lot of attention, and typically interview the OP. There have only been 7 episodes so far, but they’ve all been interesting. They’re also usually around 30 minutes, which is perfect for my morning commute.

You can’t go wrong with either of the Stuff podcasts.

Stuff You Should Know


Which is about exactly what you should expect, stuff you should know, but might not. If it’s on a topic I am interested in I can get really into it. Otherwise I do find I won’t finish the episode. But then there is…

Stuff You Missed in History Class


Which is my favourite of the two Stuff podcasts. It is super interesting. And I have learned many things that I never learned in history class (sorry Mr. B, you only had so much time to teach my young mind!)



I subscribed to this hoping it was going to be like the Serial podcast, and it isn’t, but it is still good. I like a good criminal story.


radiolabI am not sure how to describe Radiolab. Usually it is an in-depth look at a topic. I recommend the Worth episode – very interesting.


Invisibilia looks at the invisible forces that shape our behaviour – our emotions, ideas, beliefs, and assumptions. It’s still new and there haven’t been very many episodes yet, but I have really enjoyed each one I’ve listened to and they have opened my eyes to enlightening things!

And a few career podcasts that have been lighting a fire within me lately. If you like bidnass and enjoy hearing what bidnass leaders are up to, I suggest these three:

The Smart Passive Income podcast


I have been binge listening to this lately. That Pat Flynn is a marketing genius and has really great tips and ideas (and the people he interviews have really great ideas) whether you are looking for inspiration in your career or are embarking on an entrepreneurial path.

Fearless Careers


Exactly what it says, stories and skills for success. Again I have been binge listening to this a bit and have been highly impressed with some of the guests. I think you will find this podcast motivating and inspiring whether you are doing your own thing, planning on doing your own thing, or are a career cat climbing the corporate ladder.

Unmistakable Creative


Here’s a handy infographic about the Unmistakable Creative.


Basically Srini interviews creative people about the creative things they do, and it fascinates me. This podcast has been seriously inspiring me to do more creative projects.

I think that’s about it. Are you a podcast listener? What are your favourites?


33 responses to “Podcast Recommendations

  1. Google no such thing as a fish for an interesting series of podcasts.

  2. I looooved Serial. Listened to a few episodes of Invisibilia but it didn’t do anything for me. I felt like if Serial was a 10 on the scale of interesting, Invisibilia was like a 3. I’ll have to check out a few others you mentioned! And find the Droid app for podcasts.

  3. One of my favorites is Selected Shorts from NPR. Celebrities reading usually realllllly good short stories, some classics, some new, and everything in between. It makes my commute fly by.

  4. CBC has some great podcasts too. Under The Influence and Spark are two of my favourites. I also really like Rob Has A Podcast, which is all about reality TV (Survivor, Big Brother).

    Also, I would highly recommend downloading the Downcast app. It is WAY better than the Apple podcatcher.

    • I always forget about the CBC, I will check those out.
      And thanks for the info – I am curious, what is better about Downcast?

      • I like the interface a lot better, but it is also a lot more customizable. You can change everything from how and where new episodes should be downloaded to which episodes should be deleted. It has a continuous play feature, so you dont have to manually switch to the next episode, which I find really helpful when driving. It also has a playlist feature so you can use the continuous play feature but mix up the different podcasts you are listening to. There is a fee for it, but I think its worth it. I haven’t used the Apple podcatcher in a long time, but its all personal preference 🙂

    • That actually sounds really awesome, thanks for letting me know. Definitely going to look into that.

  5. Eek…I started listening to Risk and I think I am hooked! Never really listened to Podcasts but I see that changing! I can listen at work!

  6. The EXACT same thing happened to me and my hubby. Loved Serial and felt sad and alone when it was over. We NEED interesting stuff to listen too for our long drives. Love quite a few of the ones you mentions, you MUST download 99% Invisible. You will love it!! Thanks for the recommendations!!

    • Thank you, I will look into that one.
      Also, I was excited to see you comment, it’s been a while! Your photography is beautiful and I am so happy to see you (this is so cheesy I’m sorry) follow your dreams!

  7. I am also a podcast addict! My favourite is Freakonomics! Even if you don’t have an economics background it is a cool way to think about issues in society. Also WTF with Marc Maron and the Moth are other favourites of mine!

    • I subscribed to Marc Maron and the Moth but I only listened to Allie Brosh’s interview on WTF and I haven’t really checked out the Moth at all. Thank you for the recommendations, I am going to give them all a try!

  8. Ooh! thank you for the list! I loved Serial, too! So fun to talk about after listening.

    America’s Test Kitchen has a great podcast that I think you and Evan would both love. It’s really informative and entertaining. Can’t wait to check out some of these! I listen to them while I sit in traffic. Blah.

  9. Humble and Fred Radio….Although it might be too much, considering how much you listen too. They have a daily podcast (Monday to Friday) that is a little more than 2 hours.

    Their show is broadcast on Sirus XM (Canada Laughs 168) and then they post an extended version of the show on their podcast.

    Makes me laugh but I am old enough to remember them from their Edge CFNY) and Mojo days

    • Humble and Fred! I am old enough to remember them, I used to love their show. I completely forgot they existed! Ha, I do seem to have an overwhelming amount of podcasts to get through now…but that brings back memories. I might have to look them up.

  10. I like Throwing Shade, it’s very sassy and snarky. Also Professor Blastoff, it’s a show about science but hosted by 3 comedians so there is a lot of silliness and sometimes not a lot of science, but still good. Also Sawbones, a show about old medical practices, hosted by a doctor and her comedian husband, interesting and also funny.

  11. love this list. thanks for sharing!
    currently obsessed with Here’s the Thing – hosted by Alec Baldwin (I know, right?) But it is SO good. He interviews a lot of people TV and film (and the arts) and they’re fascinating! I started with Sarah Jessica Parker, and then Julie Andrews.

    And Downton Gabby. If you’re a Downton Abbey fan 😉

  12. If you like Risk you may like The Moth and Snap Judgment. I highly recommend both! Also, How To Do Everything is super funny!

  13. I just recently got into podcasts also! The BEST This American Life episodes that are must-listens are from a while ago, but please check out: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/489/no-coincidence-no-story (No Coincidences No Story) and http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/511/the-seven-things-youre-not-supposed-to-talk-about (The Seven Things You’re Not Supposed to Talk About) – the last one involves Sarah Koenig so obviously it is awesome!! You are already listening to a lot of my faves, but also check out TED Radio Hour, The Moth, and Freakonomics!

  14. I’ve been meaning to post about podcasts on my online journal for a little while and you finally triggered me to do it (http://littlegirlbigsmoke.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/podcasts-slates-culture-gabfest.html). We seem to have had the exact same experience getting into podcasts as I did, but we listen to quite a different selection so I’m going to have to try out some of your recommendations.

  15. I second the person above that mentioned Throwing Shade! Cracks me up every time!

  16. I definitely agree on the Serial love… can’t wait for Season 2, whenever that happens!
    I’ve also been listening to This American Life, The Q, The Current, and Vinyl Cafe (because I love CBC). Last week I got into one called ‘Call Your Girlfriend’, which I am really enjoying. While I don’t agree with all of their positions on the various topics they discuss, I do enjoy their overall format (two long distance best friends that make a point each week of catching up and talking about current events – including ‘what’s happening this week in period news’).
    I’ll have to check out some of the recommendations above as well!

  17. So nice to hear that Serial is getting more people hooked on podcasts. Thanks for writing this. You might be into Audiosear.ch, the podcast search engine we’ve been working on. Could help you find some new shows for your commute! https://www.audiosear.ch/