This American Life
Ira Glass's long-running show on NPR also puts up their weekly hour every Monday. With subjects ranging from recidivism to map-making, there's always something interesting in the show to keep your mind engaged. Throw in Glass's surprisingly soothing voice, and you've got the perfect enriching radio piece.
When You Should Listen: On your commute, or your Monday lunch break.
Stuff You Missed in History Class
I'm just gonna go ahead and show my hand on this one...this is my favorite podcast. Such my favorite that I've almost run out of (3 years!) of back episodes. I guess I'm just a sucker for the kind of fun bits of trivia that show up here! Subjects range widely, with current hosts Holly and Tracy exploring world history in easily digestible episodes between 20 and 40 minutes long. Luckily, they put out two new episodes a week, so it's pretty easy to get my fix.
When You Should Listen: At the gym during cardio, keeps your mind off the pain and focused!
Stuff You Should Know
Chronic jokesters Josh and Chuck bring listeners two episodes a week chock full of things you didn't even know you wanted to learn. With titles like "How Beer Works" and "Is there such a thing as a truth serum?," how could you not be intrigued. Admittedly, some shows captivate me more than others -- I'm sorry, I just couldn't bring myself to care about Bitcoin -- but there are so many episodes that it might very well be impossible to run out of listening material.
When You Should Listen: In bed before you fall asleep, while cooking dinner, or on a long road trip.
This gem features short stories told live, without notes, at Moth events around the country. Some of the stores featured are told by well-known writers or performers, while others are told by "normal" people. The topics range wildly, from a day in the life to events with a global impact. What they all have in common is that they are deeply personal and beautifully told. Chances are, your emotions will run the full spectrum as you follow the podcast's updates, but it's fully worth what you can learn about the world.
When You Should Listen: When you need 15 minutes to reboot and get a new perspective on life.
Welcome to Night Vale
The newest addition to my must-listen gaggle. This bimonthly podcast concerns the goings on of fictional (or maybe not...) Night Vale, AZ. The voice of Night Vale has an eerily deadpan delivery of the increasingly strange events in the town, causing you to become worried for its citizens and stay oddly amused at the same time. I would give more details, but I wouldn't want the sheriff's Secret Police to come knocking...
When You Should Listen: On an exceptionally beautiful day to stave off the creeps.
So there you have it! Best part is, theyre all free! What do y'all like to listen to?