Tech, Now + Beyond

10 podcasts to make your commute (sort of) bearable

I hate it when people talk too much. But not when they're in a podcast.

If it was one thing I despised about public school, it was sitting in the car, with a group of people droning on the radio about nonsense. And they weren’t even funny. It made the commute even longer and more unbearable.

This was my biggest turn-off from podcasts. Why listen to people talk about their breakfast when I had my favorite band? Yet everyone around me kept raving about them. I decided to put one on for each car trip I took this week.

Here are 10 podcasts that made my commute bearable.

1. No, Totally


Film buff? Interested in conversations as opposed to interviews? No, Totally! is all about thoughtful questions and revealing answers. They talk of all sorts of things besides movies: compassion fatigue, being Asian in America, and being a Highly Sensitive Person.


2. Stuff You Missed in History Class


I’m really bitter about the American education system. Even so, history is one of my favorite subjects, and I find it truly fascinating… when you get the truth. Stuff You Missed in History Class has the surprising podcasts, like The Franco-Mexican Pastry War, and more disturbing facts, like mapping segregated cities.


3. The Bugle


I’m a huge fan of John Oliver, and his show just isn’t enough for me. I came across this gem as I was reading a Wikipedia on Mr. Oliver himself, and found out about this. As usual, he’s uncensored, and this time with a buddy: Andy Zaltzman. They have great chemistry to keep your sides aching.


4. Call Your Girlfriend


This doesn’t feel like your usual podcast. It’s like you’re in a restaurant overhearing two BFFs talking over lunch. You can’t help but smile at how close they are, but their content is also just hilarious. With episodes like “Sexy Bellybutton Feeling” and “Watching White People,” how can you resist?


5. The Expose


Elephants are my favorite, but not when they’re creating that awkward feeling in the air. The Expose talks about things more personal and applicable — everything from eating disorders to a South Korean drama obsession. Be it with humor or with raw emotion, the two hosts always deliver truth, in all of its forms.


6. Fresh Air


After listening to so many humorous podcasts, I felt like I was a little behind on what was going on around me. Fresh Air is no misnomer: no special effects or guests, just straight news in an easy-to-digest format. Terry Gross has a pleasant voice that can give you the news better than Fox can.


7. The Dew Over


I love the energy from the host. If you’re as angry at pop culture and society as I am, The Dew Over is a blessing in a sea of mainstream praise for problematic things. Films are also a huge subject of the show: the reviews and critique are well thought out and will make you punch the air in solidarity.


8. 99% Invisible


Roman Mars satiates all of your needs for party trivia. The show name comes from the facts that are 99% not talked about, but Mars is the 1% who emphasizes their importance. I never new so much about the Power Ball, structural integrity, or Rajneeshpuram. Block out 99% of the noise with this awesome station.


9. The Read


I knew this show would be good when the opening was Nicki Minaj singing “I’m throwing shade.” Kid Fury and Crissle are probably my favorite pair of hosts from these 10 podcasts. The two burst out singing the Duck Tales theme song in the most episode, and call out all of the celebrities so you don’t have to.


10. StarTalk Radio Show


Yes, Neil deGrasse Tyson has a podcast. As if he already wasn’t a genius in all things space, Tyson has a fantastic way with words in regards to…well, everything else! He’s spoken to Edward Snowden, talked about colonizing Mars, and more. Lots of laughs come along too, so do yourself a favor and start listening now.