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The 9 Best Podcasts to Listen to On Your Commute

A man listening to a podcast while waiting for public vehicle.

Undoubtedly, commuting has completely changed. It’s always been hell — and it still is — but a whole new layer was seemingly added because of the pandemic. I work entirely from home, and I dread the commute from my bed to my desk every morning. Regardless, a great podcast on a long or short commute can make it worthwhile.  

Some people want a podcast to wake them up. Some want to listen to work-at-home podcasts. Some just need the best fiction podcasts to take them away, not only from the commute but from the oncoming workday. These are some of our favorites that are sure to make your commute more bearable and, dare we say, enjoyable. 

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The Daily New York Times' The Daily podcast logo in blue, turquoise, and yellow.

You may need another podcast on deck, depending on your commute, but you owe it to yourself to stay informed every day! New York Times’ The Daily, hosted by Michael Barbaro, gives you a quick and in-depth rundown on the most important thing you need to know every single workday. 

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ESPN Daily ESPN Daily podcast logo in white font on red banner.

In fact, if you finish up The Daily and want a sports-centric podcast, ESPN Daily is the one for you. Every day, Pablo Torre brings you one sports story you should know, and one sports story he wants you to know Monday through Friday, and the results are informative, entertaining, and fascinating.

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The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz Animated logo of The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz podcast.

Maybe brought to you as a sports show, but The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz does everything it can to get away from sports every day. Recently a podcast after being a radio show for 10-plus years, the show itself is down to three days per week, but there’s an entire network of podcasts under the Le Batard & Friends network to dive into on your commute when you run out of the roughly four hours of show released most mornings. 

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This American Life This American Life podcast logo in red background.

This American Life is a staple of radio and podcasts — it’s what so many different shows aspire to. At this point, the strength of TAL is in its back catalog. Every episode is truly evergreen, and (especially In These Times) it’s often a peek into a world from the past. There are new episodes released every week and they’re certain to make your commute that much better.

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The Accidental Creative The Accidental Creative podcast logo in black background.                

On your commute to work, it’s a good idea to get into a healthy headspace where you’re ready to work. Accidental Creative interviews artists, authors, and business leaders to help you be your best at work and in life. A new episode every week in just under 30 minutes? Certain to fit in almost every commute.

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Fresh Air Fresh Air podcast logo in black background.

Terry Gross is a blessing. And with a new episode every day, your commute will be blessed as well. Fresh Air is just a classy experience. And it’s often star-studded! A daily deep dive on arts and culture is a great way to pass the time on a tough commute.

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The Rewatchables The Rewatchables' spiraling arrow logo podcast.

Remember that one movie from the 1980s that you’ve watched at least a dozen times on cable or Netflix? The Rewatchables definitely does, and they’re as obsessed as you are. Rotating hosts from The Ringer help answer why we stop on certain channels when certain movies are on, no matter how many times we’ve seen them.

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Planet Money Planet Money podcast logo that features Einstein as an astronaut.

Another NPR offering, Planet Money promises to make the economy entertaining. The world of cash and how it works can be so daunting and so complicated — it was literally designed to be that way — but Planet Money at least makes an effort to make it less confusing to the layman.

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The Big Picture  The Big Picture podcast logo that features film spiral rollers.

The Ringer’s main event movie podcast hosted by Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins is another favorite. Smart conversations about current releases, fascinating interviews with directors, and deep looks into how the Academy Awards and film industry works, The Big Picture is a great place to start if you’re looking into movie podcasts.

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