The Best Podcasts to Listen to On Your Commute

Podcast’s popularity has most certainly grown over the past years, the subjects of which range from the life cycle of invertebrates to dissecting the solar system. Podcasts are on 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and the library extends well beyond a lifetime of listening. But you’ve got life and don’t have all day, and really, do you even have an hour to let the mind wander freely? We hope so. And granted we all have some sort of a commute no matter how far or short, walking uphill in both directions with the wind howling or on a bike, bus or car, the commute is an ideal time for podcast listening.

The MeatEater podcastThe MeatEater

Stuck in the car with nothing but brake lights as far as the eye can see? Dial into the MeatEater for a quick and adventurous escape. The show is a live — well, as live can be from your car stereo — look into all things outdoors including hunting, fishing, nature, conservation, and wild foods. Host Steven Rinella relives hunting down big prey in the middle of nowhere and welcomes guests with unique outdoor experiences.


The Daily podcast by the new york timesThe Daily

Straight and to the point is what to expect from The Daily. Backed by journalism from The New York Times, The Daily is 20 minutes, five days of the week of the latest breaking news. It doesn’t beat around the bush or reach for stories. The Daily is up close and personal with the ever-changing news of the day. When you need the news in a hurry and only have the time from point A to point B to get, The Daily will provide.


The Rewatchables podcastThe Rewatchables

If movies are your thing, then The Rewatchables needs to be on your playlist. The podcast, with Bill Simmons as host, breaks down all the movies just can’t seem to fade away. Simmons and his guests look back on Fast and Furious 7, Castaway, and even Mean Girls. The Rewatchables finds the reasons why these past movies were so good, what you probably missed, and plenty of reasons to stream it as soon as you get out of the car and on to your couch.



From The Atlantic comes Floodlines and the nine-piece detailing of the events surrounding Hurricane Katrina. Floodlines is the story that wasn’t seen on the TV or told in the papers — it’s from those who lived through the horrors of the flood, recovery, and aftermath. Floodlines calls out rumors of one of the biggest political and natural disasters in American history. And perhaps this podcast is a little better for those on the bus or train because it is going to take your mind on a journey well beyond broken levees.


Song Exploder podcastSong Exploder

At some point, you have heard a song and wondered what was the meaning behind the words or how it was pieced together. That is exactly what Song Exploder dives into. Each episode details a new song with dissection from the artists that wrote them. Over 150 artists, including Metallica, The Cranberries, and MGMT, have been guests on Song Exploder. And though the show is initially recorded as a question and answer between host and musician, host Hirway removes his voice from the final podcast so it is just the artists telling the story of the song.



This may be the closet thing to an offering of science with some comedic relief and that’s why Radiolab is an informational bomb. The podcast tackles deep questions relating to “time” and “morality” and has run into serious controversy numerous times. And it seems the hosts like to get into the topics that tend to rub someone the wrong way. Radiolab may be a little much for some but like the best Netflix shows, give it 3 episodes before you make any decisions.


Fresh Air podcastFresh Air

From the wonders and publicly aired studios of NPR comes Fresh Air, an up-to-date, award-winning source of audio journalism. A host of over 40 years, Terry Gross has interviewed musicians, politicians, and artists, and while that is the meat of the podcast, the interview is generally followed by shorter segments detailing movies, books, stage plays, and TV shows. When you need a deeper knowledge of cultural phenoms or key players in today’s political world, dial into Fresh Air.


death sex and money podcastDeath, Sex & Money

Ready to get into the topics that are discussed in what seems like passing, but truly need much more consideration? Death, Sex & Money, hosted by Anna Sale dives headfirst into the topics are too much for most such as money, relationships, parenting, mental illness, and dying. And more specifically, the up and downs of living alone, the grief from losing a child, and Sale even divulges stories of her hardships and how she came to be. Death, Sex & Money will touch on sensitive subjects, but that is what makes it so great, because the topics are part of everyday life, that most sadly choose to overlook.


If you burn through all of these, you should check out our favorite podcasts for road trips, our top overall picks for 2019, the best fiction podcasts overall, the greatest history podcasts, a few hilarious comedy podcasts, the best options for work and your workout, a few hilarious comedy podcasts, or The Manual’s own podcast. Need more suggestions? And if you’re new to podcasts, you’ll need one of the top apps for listening.

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