By Riley Corboy
Between road trips and walking around campus, I have had a lot of commuting time on my hands lately. I don’t know if it’s sheer terror at the prospect of being alone with my thoughts or what, but I always have a podcast or audiobook playing when I’m in the car or going to class.
That being said, here are five podcasts that are killing it right now and deserve a spot in your library (er, ears?) immediately.
#1. Rookie. Before I started listening to the Rookie Podcast, I had never actually heard of Rookie Mag or Tavi Genison (the podcast host and Rookie’s founder). I was just browsing new podcast listings when I stumbled across this one and was caught by the gorgeous cover art. Imagine my surprise to find out Rookie is a massive blog empire with over half a million readers! The podcast is wonderful; Tavi is a stellar host, posing insightful questions to her myriad of interview guests (including Lorde, Winona Ryder, George Saunders and more). She has regular weekly features from other rookie contributors, and it’s all just so good. So good.
Good for: People who enjoy eclectic interviews, media content, or Tavi’s giggle.
#2. Hidden Brain. This NPR podcast was recommended offhandedly to me a couple months ago and I’ve never looked back since. The host, Shankar Vedantam, delves into a new segment each week from a narrator’s perspective, melding research, other experts, and collected sound bites into a psychology lover’s dream. A few of my favorite episodes are “Money Talks” (how we use money to express our values), “Schadenfacebook” (a look into our social media habits), and “Who We Are At 2 A.M.” (is Big Brother always watching? Actually, yes).
Good for: People who always ask “why.”
#3. Planet Money. Twice a week, Planet Money comes out and teaches me something interesting about the world we live in. I think their “About” section says it all:
“Imagine you could call up a friend and say, “Meet me at the bar and tell me what’s going on with the economy.” Now imagine that’s actually a fun evening. That’s what we’re going for at Planet Money.”
Although advertised as being about the economy, PM goes above and beyond in terms of content. They have released nearly 800 podcast episodes so it’s hard to pick a favorite, but two episodes I really enjoyed are “The Bees Go To California” and “Shrimp Fight Club” (which recently came out).
Good for: People looking to learn something and laugh while doing it.
#4. Girlboss. Sophia Amoruso has had some questionable allegations made against her in recent months; however, this podcast isn’t about her. She interviews a wide range of different girl bosses, from the founder of Bumble to the executive creative director of VICE. You get to hear about each woman’s first job, their journey to success and the lessons they learned along the way. Although Amoruso hasn’t put out many new episodes, there is a huge backlog of great ones to listen to if you haven’t before. Whenever I play a Girlboss podcast for one of my friends, they always end up asking me to play another. These women are ambitious, creative, self-made moguls.
Good for: People who want a boost of inspiration or love hearing female success stories.
#5. The Messy Heads. It doesn’t take long for people to discover that I love The Messy Heads; I’m an avid supporter of Emma’s blog, magazines, merchandise, and now her podcast. To be upfront, there are only five episodes and the most recent one came out many moons ago (insert sad face here). That being said, I still enjoyed the thought-provoking work, especially the interview she did with activist Ali Marsh. Over the span of five episodes, Emma covers the concept of perfection, why we numb our emotions, egos, the Free the Nipple movement, and more.
Good for: People who enjoy reflecting on their life, activists, or fellow TMH supporters.