The 5 Podcasts You Should Be Listening To Right Now

Serial did a beautiful thing for the podcast world: It made the digital medium cool. It made it popular. And it's about time, because some of the most beautiful stories, and some of the most brilliant voices, can be accessed in these often times less-than-one-hour-long episodes. 

Since college, I've listened to a LOT of podcasts. It's helped me get through the most mundane of jobs, and it's sometimes given me inspiration when I felt engulfed by the humdrum of life. It's also taught me an incredible amount: on bats, on parasites, on fear, on numbers, on human kindness and the brain, etc...

This month, I've canceled my Spotify premium account because I realized it wasn't worth the money since I barely used the app on my phone anymore. Instead, these are the things I've been listening to the most while on the go:

1. NPR's Invisibilia's first season recently came to a close and I'm already trying to find out when the next season will air.  Each episode provides a beautiful meditation on the unseen: on the things that control us from within but that we forget are there. The show interweaves, as many podcasts do, personal stories with factual scientific research. 

Another plus about the podcast: It's hosted by two women. In the podcast world, unfortunately, that's not always easy to find. 

2. Radiolab. If you like a mix of science and personal stories, then also give Radiolab a try. Radiolab was my first foray into the podcast world. This segment from their Lost and Found episode is what made me realize the power radio could have. I was left in tears and profoundly moved by Emily's story (which I won't give away here!), and proceeded to listen to every episode they had made until this point. To this day, it remains one of my most beloved podcasts. 

3. The Moth. Forget the science, this one's all about the stories. The Moth organizes storytelling events around the U.S in which people gather to tell their stories around one theme (which changes for each event). The stories are as diverse as the people telling them. I've both laughed out loud to myself on the bus and ended up weeping. 

4. The Partially Examined Life If you're into Philosophy, you'll get a kick out of these "dudes" taking on different themes and talking about different philosophers in each episode. They make philosophy accessible, interesting, and addictive.

5. Criminal Don't know what to do with yourself now that you've listened to all the Serial episodes for the third time? Meet Criminal. 20 minute episodes (or less) on weird case files that have happened in history. A twisted delight.