Like a good book, TV show, or movie, podcasts can take you out of your everyday life and transport you elsewhere. Whether you are looking to dive deep into a passion of yours, learn something new, or you need help relaxing, there is a podcast out there that’s right for you.
With interruptions in our daily lives, having something to look forward to can add routine as you take a walk, do the dishes, or unwind before bed.
Here are 21 of our favorite podcasts of 2020 you should be listening to while social distancing.
The story of how the businesses you know came to be. From Panera to Stitch Fix to Dyson, the stories told are informative, fascinating, and you can’t help but start listening to the next.
Thoughtful discussions with experts and academics about current events, professional development, and new research on the science of work.
Another classic NPR podcast about the economy that has stuck around for a reason: it’s accessible, thorough, and multiple episodes are released each week.
Produced by UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, The Science of Happiness takes a science-based approach to understanding strategies to improve your well-being that you can act on right away.
If you are looking for fitness tips, Hurdle is your go-to, bite-sized, no nonsense podcast. Hosted by health writer Emily Abbate, this podcast shines best when Abbate interviews people who have overcome their own fitness hurdles to provide inspiration to us all.
Our mental health is just as important as our physical health, and The Mental Illness Happy Hour is here to weave humor with articulate discussion about mental health that is often both heavy and hopeful.
Relax with short poetry readings twice a week with Irish poet Pádraig Ó Tuama. In this new series, just one poem read aloud allows you a moment to breath, to contemplate, and enjoy being in the moment.
The name says it all. An excellent addition to your daily routine, The Daily Meditation Podcast shows up in your podcast app every day with a new exercise to help you de-stress, focus, and clear your mind.
While technically an academic roundtable discussion, fans rave about how In Our Time is an excellent sleep aid. Doze in and out of lengthy discussions of history, art, science, and philosophy. Don’t discount the discussions themselves, but it’s like taking a nap during a lecture, but from the comfort of your own bed.
The producers of this podcast trace the path between past events and their modern day consequences. Episodes vary on length, but that means each one is filled with just the right stuff, no filler.
In this series, Nikole Hannah-Jones from the New York Times investigates the lasting impacts of American slavery. Deeply researched, this series reframes the history of America in potentially unexpected ways.
A behemoth in the history podcast space, Hardcore History is a highly-produced show with a focus on narrative. Hosted by journalist Dan Carlin, Hardcore History is as engaging as any hot new Netflix true crime documentary.
Charlotte Burns hosts this show produced by Sotheby’s where you will get an inside look on current events and interviews with prominent figures of the art world. Jori Finkel of the New York Times describes In Other Words as giving the “feeling of being seated at a chic gallery dinner next to a hotshot dealer or curator.”
Hosted by Broad City’s Abbi Jacobson, this short series is produced in partnership with The Museum of Modern art and WNYC Studios. In it, Jacobson talks with friends, curators, and artists to demystify modern and contemporary art. A must-listen if you are a podcast completionist and have been looking for something new in your feed.
Dr. Ramirez’s podcast is full of enthusiasm for art history and, as the title suggests, an exciting investigative angle to each piece of art she discusses. Academic in its approach but not stuffy, this podcast will make even the casual history buff pay attention.
Comedy and Pop Culture Podcasts
Conan takes a break from television on his podcast where he talks with his actual celebrity friends. Genuinely heartwarming and funny, this is a sneak peek into intimate conversations between famous comedians.
Hosted by comedians Crissle and Kid Fury, The Read casts an irreverent eye on pop and hip-hop culture. They have great chemistry, an impressive range of pop culture knowledge, and offer “hot takes” unlike any other you’ll catch on your podcast feed.
A revisit of Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight novels, this podcast dives back in to the book series which defined a generation for better or worse. A mix of comedy, literary analysis, and nostalgia for a snapshot in time just a few years ago.