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I love a good podcast. Probably too much. I listen to them whenever possible — driving, walking, cleaning, on the subway, in the bath. I’ll listen to people talk about news, true crime, dating, celebrity gossip, horrible movies that shouldn’t have been made, unsolved mysteries, or their experiences rewatching old TV shows.
It feels like everyone and their mom has a podcast these days, but I’m honestly OK with that. The more that are out there, the less likely I am to run out of quality content.
Here at BuzzFeed News, our favorites range from classics to niche corners of your podcast app. In case you’re looking for an amusing new listen to drown out your family drama this holiday season (or just to enjoy while you’re traveling to see people whom you care about very much), they work either way.
You can find them all on one podcast app or another (Apple Podcasts, Spotify, you know the drill).
I am an avid people-watcher and, not so proudly, an eavesdropper. It’s a small guilty pleasure, but the pandemic and lockdown made me realize how important it was to me to be around other people in a third place, like a coffee shop, bar, or even walking on the streets. I found that this podcast really helped me through that “something’s missing” sensation. The Moth is a live storytelling event, like an open mic but for stories. The podcast is an hourlong cut of a selection of stories that follow a theme chosen by the editor. You hear storytellers from all around the world share both significant and insignificant stories that span from serious to comedic. Part of the magic is that the storytellers are not professional, giving it a real down-to-earth sincerity and humanity. It’s nice to have on in the background or to actively listen to. —Maddie Abuyuan, Graphic Designer
The Trials of Frank Carson
Christopher Goffard, the same investigative journalist who brought us Dirty John, takes the true crime genre that he helped popularize and then detonates it with Frank Carson. Though the podcast has the narrative propulsion that true crime fans crave, Goffard imbues this latest tale with questions that transcend the traditional whodunit. It masterfully picks apart the criminal court apparatus sowing corruption far more dangerous than any of the crimes committed by the low-level thieves in its maw.
It was easy to miss this 2021 gem as the world came back online following COVID-19 lockdowns, but this is easily Goffard's best work. —Melissa Segura, Investigative Reporter
After years of Meghan Markle being forced into silence while tabloids and social media posts said whatever they wanted about her, she is finally controlling the narrative. While Archetypes isn’t exactly about her personal life, it does give us a more intimate insight into the Duchess of Sussex as a real-life person.
In the weekly episodes, Meghan reflects on more general experiences from her life — both pre– and post–Prince Harry — with an incredible array of special guests, from Mariah Carey to Serena Williams to Issa Rae. Together, Meghan and her guest dissect the different archetypes that plague women all over the world; she also brings in experts to explain tropes such as “the bimbo,” “the angry Black woman,” and “the diva,” to name a few. While the feminist conversation is always empowering to listen to, it is also fascinating to hear tidbits from Meghan’s day-to-day, including updates on her children and even a candid phone call from her mom. —Stephanie Soteriou, Celebrity Reporter
Seek Treatment With Cat & Pat
Seek Treatment is a sexy little podcast hosted by two NYC comedians, Catherine Cohen and Pat Regan, who do a deep dive into the most important issues of the day: mental health, relationships, and why wanting to be hot is actually unique. The podcast description says they're “just two shy slutty psychos who finally answer the question, ‘what if a gay guy and a girl...were friends?’” As Cat croons and Pat croaks (he has the raspiest voice ever), their chaotic energy and quirky advice is the perfect dose of treatment you didn’t know you needed. I once dragged my extremely straight and hot boyfriend to one of their live shows, and it was the funniest night of my life. 10/10. —Lizzie Grams, Senior Publicist
I've really been enjoying Rick Rubin's conversations on a podcast called Broken Record, which he cohosts with Justin Richmond, Malcolm Gladwell, and former New York Times editor Bruce Headlam. They're really good, thorough, thoughtful conversations with musicians that have a good flow and just make you think about life in a very multidimensional way. Rubin, the influential record producer and cofounder of Def Jam Recordings, is somewhat of a bearded guru who has worked with countless artists like LL Cool J, Johnny Cash, Public Enemy, the Strokes, Tom Petty, and Red Hot Chili Peppers, to name a few. Rubin is very big into meditation and mindfulness, and I feel that energy comes across in the podcast. —Kenneth Bachor, Photo Editor
Poog is a podcast that’s basically two friends, Kate Berlant and Jacqueline Novak, lusting after products, routines, and the “that girl” TikTok archetype while scream-laughing at each other. Clever, relatable, hilarious. I often find myself loudly laughing in public while listening. —Olive Burd, Designer
You’re Wrong About
You’re Wrong About delves into some of the most sensational people and events that have been misconstrued by the media and misremembered by the public. From everything you could ever want to know about Princess Diana to what really happened in the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, this podcast will have you thinking critically about things you’ve forgotten. It’s also THE source for most of my fun facts, so I owe at least 20% of my personality to Sarah Marshall at this point. —Noa Wollstein, Video Journalist
Pod Meets World
For any child of the ’90s, Pod Meets World is an absolute must. The stars of Boy Meets World — Rider Strong, Will Friedle, and Danielle Fishel — are rewatching a new episode of the show every week and discussing their memories from filming. They also have special guests most weeks, including former castmates and crew members, and speak incredibly openly about the low points from their experiences as well as the good times. The trio have tackled everything head-on from the sexualization of their young characters to racist treatment of Trina McGee and refuse to shy away from the more difficult subjects. All in all, Pod Meets World is a fun and nostalgic walk down memory lane without the rose-tinted glasses. —S.S.
My Dad Wrote a Porno
Jamie Morton took what would be most people’s nightmare and turned it into a delightfully fun and entertaining podcast. In each episode, he reads a chapter of his dad's self-published pornographic novel with two of his best friends. At times, the scene descriptions are so awkward and unrealistic you may wonder if his dad has ever had sex before. The vibe is less hot, more cringe/laugh/gasp in horror. I'm honestly not sure which vibe would be worse when it comes naughty words written by your father, but Jamie feeds off the ridiculousness and his hilarious cohosts (delightful British accents and slang included) for 40ish-minute episodes that fly by. —Loren Cecil, Health Writer
Imagine having an instant best friend who guides you through a different world of science every week. Now, imagine that your new best friend also records charming interviews with experts in their fields. And now, imagine that your new best friend is also just the most charismatic and witty person in the world! All this and more can be yours in Ologies by Alie Ward. It’s a science podcast, but don’t get it twisted with some plain old infodump on physics — it’s the most niche areas of science, from the recent episode on vampirology to critical ecology and even thanatology, the study of death, grief, and mourning. It’s both highly entertaining with Ward’s quirky asides and interesting to learn new, weird facts to annoy your friends with. It opens the world up a little bit every episode as you find out more about the universe around you! —M.A.