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Podcasts You Should Be Listening To Right Now

By Peyton Dortch

As the year comes to a close and everyone is seeing their Spotify Wrapped I see the amount of minutes everyone has listened to music this year. But when I looked at mine I only racked up a total of 17,425 minutes. This felt low after seeing my friends have totals of over 50,000 minutes. But then I thought to myself what am I listening to? If I am leaving my room, I have my headphones on. So why am I not at 50,000 minutes or more? After some thought I realized I am an avid podcast listener. So allow me to give you 5 podcast recommendations for your walk to class, errand running, or morning routine. I have put this list from my most listened and favorite podcast to my least but do not think for one minute that the podcast at my bottom spot is not truly beloved by my ears. Happy listening!

American Scandal has been my most listened to podcast for about 3 years now. I discovered it while I was downloading entertainment for a long train ride. Narrated and hosted by Lindsay Graham this podcast tells the story of as the title states, American Scandals. Some episodes cover more notorious scandals like Watergate and some cover lesser known scandals like the Plame Affair. One reason I keep coming back to this podcast is because of how long it is. One season of about 5 to 6 episodes each about an hour long it covers one scandal and all the different elements, people, and facts of the scandal. This makes it perfect for a long travel day or an all-day listen. I also tend to listen at night when I cannot sleep. I must discuss the amazing sound mixing this podcast has. There are sound effects that perfectly encapsulate the sound of a heel clacking on tile or the sound of a brief case being opened.

This podcast was launched in 2018 and since there are 56 seasons to pick from. My one note, this is a Wondery premium podcast so a new season will be locked to non-subscribers for an amount of time. But since there are 56 seasons to pick from you can wait until the new season is fully released to non-subscribers by listening to other full seasons. I recommend this podcast to anyone who has a love for history, crime, and scandal.

This podcast is an acquired taste. If you were a YouTube kid like me you have probably stumbled upon their YouTube videos. Enya Umanzor and Drew Phillips are hilarious but I will say that it is a niche sense of humor. This podcast doesn’t have a clear theme that it sticks to. Rather each episode is just a recording of two friends having a conversation. A bare bones podcast, no sound effects, no research done before recording. Just start the recording and see where the conversation is taken. If you spent hours of your youth on YouTube you probably have an interesting sense of humor making this podcast perfect for your tastes.

Listeners beware if you are listening to this podcast in public people may think you are crazy because you will be laughing out loud at seemingly nothing. Short anecdote, I was on a flight home listening to the episode “We got lead poisoning” and I could not stop laughing. Picture a silent airplane and some girl giggling to herself looking out the window. The middle-aged woman sitting next to me was side eyeing me the whole flight. She probably went on to tell the story of the time she sat next an obnoxious teenage girl who could not stop laughing for the duration of the flight. I think everyone should listen to this podcast just to see if you enjoy it. This is a great podcast if you just need a good laugh. Tune in!   

This is a newer podcast just launched by host Mina Le. You may know Mina by her YouTube channel where she uploads video essays about a variety of topics. If you are a video essay lover this podcast is perfect for you. It is like a video essay without the visual component making it perfect for an on the go listen. The topics that Le discusses are always interesting and contemporary yet also unexpected. By listening you will end up having knowledge on something like “courtcore” or “modern farmhouses”. She also brings on guests that are experts or have a perspective to share on the topic of discussion. There is a common theme of fashion and pop culture to this podcast that makes you feel very as the title states “High Brow”.

If you are like me and tend to intellectualize everything around you this podcast is a perfect fit for you. It uncovers the history of trends that we see every day like the rise of “quiet luxury” and Erewhon. Episodes span about an hour with the minutes feeling like they are flying by. Every episode I’ve listened to has me thinking about it for days after and telling my friends about this new knowledge I acquired.

This podcast is the shortest in run time out of all the other podcasts I have recommended. Episodes are 15-30 minutes long making it perfect for a podcast to start your morning or for a short walk. I discovered this podcast when I was trying to find something to listen to on my morning walk down to Spring Valley for class. Hosted by Sally Helm this podcast is a quick history lesson every week to tune into. With so many episodes to choose from you could either relearn about something you have previous knowledge about or learn about something completely new.

The sound mixing on this podcast is also fabulous, it plants you firm in the setting of the episode’s event and paints a clear picture of what is going on.

In most episodes there is also a guest host who is an expert on whatever topic is being discussed. Somehow this podcast manages to take a possibly mundane event in history and make it interesting by talking about the details we all want to hear like the juicy bits of scandal and gossip. I recommend this podcast to history buffs, lovers, or newbies to accompany them on whatever journey the day has given them.

Celebrity Memoir Book Club is like American Scandal as their titles both explain exactly what the contents of the podcast are. The hosts, Claire Parker and Ashley Hamilton read a new celebrity memoir every week and discuss. This podcast is absolutely hilarious. The hosts both have a background in comedy so it makes sense that their podcast will have you bowled over with laughter. The best part about this podcast is that you do not need to read the book to know what they are talking about. They pull quotes and give context so that listeners are able to understand the jokes.

Launched in 2020 this podcast feeds your craving for celebrity gossip. Listening to this podcast reminds me of chatting to friends about the newest headline about a celebrity. The out-of-pocket jokes made, the random connections to other celebrities, and the inside jokes made with friends. With episodes spanning about an hour and a half it is perfect for a long walk, a car ride, or even just ambient noise. If you love gossip, celebrity culture, and a good laugh I highly recommend this podcast.

That is all I have for now! I sincerly hope you listen to at least one of these podcasts as I feel these are shining stars in the podcast universe.

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