Everyone has a favorite time and place to listen to podcasts. Some tune in on long commutes home, others in lieu of bedtime stories as they fall asleep, still others when they’re prepping dinner. Mine has known to change from season to season, but my new favorite time to catch up on podcasts is at the gym.
Yes, I know, a long winding podcast about "The History of Human Emotions" as you breathlessly pound a treadmill doesn’t seem like the most natural fit. But I actually find it a great way to both distract the mind, and make an indoor workout that much more fun.
Just last week, I was tucking into yet another episode of Table Manners, and I was laughing so hard that not only was my mind engaged, I was also in a great mood! If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a (very) British food podcast involving Jessie Ware (you may know her as a pop singer) and her mother Lennie entertaining guests like Nigella Lawson and Antoni Porowski, and ribbing them about their eating habits. Lennie is particularly hilarious—be prepared for lots of oversharing—as she dishes up a meal for their guests.
And just like we all have different times of day that we listen to our favorites, we also have completely different tastes in them. Here are the 15 really diverse podcasts we are can’t stop gabbing about at the Food52 HQ. They range from post-apocalyptic dramedy to (surprise, surprise) true crime. Check 'em out.
"I'm addicted to Here & Now from NPR. If I don't have time to read the news that day, it tells me what I need to know (while I'm walking to my train, no less). I love how it includes a range of segments, from politics and breaking news to pop culture and science." —Emma Laperruque, food writer and recipe developer
“I love The Nod! It’s a podcast about Black culture hosted by longtime friends Brittany Luce and Eric Eddings that’s a really great mixture of storytelling, history, and comedy. One of my favorite episodes was a treatise on the influence of kung fu on Black popular culture, told in the style of a kung fu movie.”—Funmi Ojo, junior web developer
"People are weird and fascinating, and I love studies into why they do the things they do. Invisibilia is all about that, the 'unseeable forces that control human behavior,' and I just keep getting sucked in. Plus, all the hosts are women, which I love."—Micki Balder, software engineer
"This is a spin-off series of the super popular Happier with Gretchen Rubin, in which Gretchen’s younger sister Elizabeth and her best friend Sarah go back and forth on the ups, the downs, and all-around messiness of writing a TV show in L.A. They dish out all sorts of witty life and career hacks, like “don’t take the meeting!” or “embrace your weird.” I have a spring in my step every Thursday morning because I know a new episode is waiting for me for my commute.”—Aja Aktay, home buyer
“I think Spectacular Failures is the coolest podcast ever! I feel like we all know details of famous successes but rarely get an in-depth look at people’s downfalls. I loved the episode on Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, and more recently, the one on MoviePass (fans and haters should both tune in!).”—Danielle Curtis-Williams, marketing coordinator
“Lesser Gods!!! I didn’t so much “listen” to this sci-fi post-apocalyptic dramedy as I did greedily binge it, ignoring anyone in my life who dared interrupt. My friend Colleen wrote and produced it, and I harass her regularly about when the next season is coming out."—Ella Quittner, writer and recipe developer
"I’m obsessed with Hardcore History. (Have I turned into my dad?) Its host, Dan Carlin, is the suspiciously cool, gravelly-voiced history teacher we all wished we could’ve had. I particularly recommend the episode about Caesar’s various invasions of Gaul."—Max McDonough, social media coordinator
"I listen to The Daily every single day on my commute to work. It's a dive into some of the most complex news stories affecting our times, and the quick yet thorough reporting they're able to accomplish in anywhere from 12 hours to a couple weeks is pretty astounding."—Brinda Ayer, books & special projects editor
"I’m never true to one (and only one) podcast for very long—which is why my app often probes: "Not interested any more?" every time I open a dusty icon. Nevertheless, I do love On Being with Krista Tippett in which she interviews a poet, artist, religious leader, or other influencer, and engages them in a dialogue that always ends up being as provocative as it is soothing (but that could also be her melodious voice). I also love Everything is Alive, which is a clever, if sometimes unnerving, imagined interview with an inanimate object. So far, "Maeve, the Lamppost," is my favorite."—Maggie Slover, senior copywriter
"Liftoff is a great show for all lovers of science and outer space. The hosts give a fortnightly update on everything that is going on in space exploration. It tickles my inner astronaut and helps me feel optimistic about the world.”—Jeremy Baker, principal software engineer
"If you are interested in blog culture, Be There in Five is very interesting! The host Kate Kennedy did a four-part series on Mormon mommy blogger empires, which was fascinating."—Victoria Maynard, VP of finance
“Yes—Crime Junkies is yet another true crime podcast, but there’s something different about this one! The hosts are amazing storytellers and they stick to the story, which is usually quite terrifying—it’s truly addicting. Everyone I’ve recommended it to is hooked, so now I have a small group of fellow fans to freak out with.”—Kelly McPartland, senior growth marketing manager
Bonus: Dolly Parton's America
Pssst, everyone at the office been talking about Dolly Parton’s America that debuted on WNYC this month. We aren’t fully immersed as yet, but there’s a lot of buzz around it. Add it to the list.