If you think that TV shows and movies are the only forms of entertainment that you can binge, you may be cheating yourself out of another great option. Whether you’re planning a long road trip, or you simply need something to turn that lengthy commute into a more pleasant experience, podcasts are a great option.
If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve compiled a list of 10 of the most bingeworthy podcasts out there. These podcasts cover a wide variety of interests, so even if one of them doesn’t grab your attention, you’re sure to find something here that can help the minutes fly by while you’re in your vehicle, heading wherever you’re going.
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Our Favorite Episode: How to Fall in Love With the Work
From the podcast producers at Slate Podcasts, One Year takes you through some of the news stories that changed America one year at a time. The concept behind this podcast is one of the most interesting on our list. While a lot of podcasts operate as single, standalone episodes. One Year comes out in seasons like your favorite TV shows. Each season sees the hosts break down the biggest events that took place in a given year. Josh Levin, who serves as the host of One Year doesn’t just talk about a single big news story from a particular year.
Instead, he takes you back in time by visiting some of the biggest news stories from a year while also discussing lesser-known stories, unsung heroes, and some of the most shocking moments in history. One Year is currently in season 3, and past seasons have focused on 1995 and 1977. Levin is currently taking listeners through 1986. A single season of One Year can take several hours to listen to, making it a great binge listen.
Our Favorite Episode: Mary Shane’s Rookie Season
National Park After Dark
Hosted by a pair of friends who are nature lovers and true-crime enthusiasts, National Park After Dark is a great listen for the outdoor enthusiast who has a morbid curiosity and loves stories of tragic events, death, and the darker side of history. Even if you’re not into hiking, camping, and other outdoor activities, this podcast is a really fun listen. America’s National Parks have a long history of epic survival tales and other human-interest stories. If you want to listen to a podcast that focuses on the darker side of life in the outdoors, National Park After Dark is a great option.
Our Favorite Episode: Buried Alive in the Australian Outback
TV shows that focus on what life is like inside some of America’s toughest prisons are incredibly popular, so it stands to reason that there would be a podcast that discusses the same thing. Ear Hustle is hosted by a group of people, each of whom have a different type of connection to the American prison system. Based in San Francisco, some of the hosts work in the San Quentin State Prison’s media lab, while others work in offices on the outside. One of the hosts, Earlonne Woods is a former inmate at San Quentin. The stories discussed on this podcast include tales from the inside of one of America’s toughest prisons and what life is like for former inmates who are dealing with reentry into society.
Our Favorite Episode: Taxx is Tripping
Breaking Waves: Seattle
One of the most popular musical genres of the 1990s was grunge rock. Bands like Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Alice in Chains, and Soungarden produced the soundtrack of an entire decade, and all of those bands called Seattle, Washington home. On Breaking Waves: Seattle, you can get an inside look at what was really going on when those bands were coming up through the ranks. However, it’s not all about the stories that those bands lived through on their way to the top. The show also interviews music execs who oversaw the growth of grunge rock, and artists who are carrying on the tradition of those bands. If you grew up listening to grunge rock, or you’re a new fan to the genre, Breaking Waves: Seattle is a great listen!
Our Favorite Episode: Here We Are Now, Entertain Us
Everybody loves the story of a major fall from grace, which is why The Dropout gets onto our list. You’ve probably heard the name Elizabeth Holmes at some point, and it’s because she went from being called “the next Steve Jobs” to facing a major prison sentence for fraud. The Dropout focuses on Holmes’ story and is another podcast that is broken up into seasons.
This format makes it easier for listeners to keep up with where they are at in Holmes’ tale of success, deceit, and punishment. Season 1 of the show focuses on Holmes’ company, Theranos and how its technology could have put millions of people at risk. The second season of The Dropout takes a deeper dive into the case against Holmes and the verdict that was passed down. Even if you don’t consider yourself a “technie,” this podcast is one of the most intriguing options out there.
Our Favorite Episode: The Verdict
Every season of Slow Burn tackles some of the news stories that shaped American culture. Past seasons have covered a wide variety of topics including Rodney King’s beating, the murders of Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G., Watergate, and the rise of David Duke. Not only does the show revisit some of the facts that we already know, but producers have also dug deeper to bring some facts that the general public may not know to light.
Our Favorite Episode: Decoder Ring: The Sex Scandal that Made Mae West
Against the Odds
While many people do love stories that involve an epic fall from grace, most of us are also suckers for a good comeback story. On Against the Odds, hosts Mike Corey and Cassie De Pecol (who are also adventure junkies) tell stories about some of the greatest survival stories in history. The stories contained on this podcast don’t only leave listeners on the edge of their seats, but they also provide inspiration through tales of the human will to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds.
Our Favorite Episode: John McCain: Prisoner of War: When Your Luck Runs Out
Victoria’s Secrets Angels are some of the most iconic models in the history of American fashion. What you may not know is that things behind the curtain were often darker than they appeared. On Fallen Angel, some of the models who helped put the brand at the top of the women’s fashion heap tell stories that will leave you completely stunned. Fallen Angel also takes a look at Les Wexner, the private business leader who has been at the head of the company for more than three decades, and his connection to Jeffery Epstein.
Our Favorite Episode: Money and Meat
Finally, NPR’s No Compromise is the 2021 Pulitzer Prize winner for Audio Recording. Hosted by reporters, Lisa Hagen of WABE and Chris Haxel of WUBR take a look at a social media empire that promotes an unapologetic vision of gun rights. This pod looks at that empire, the men behind it, and how they are turning a hot button issue into a staggering stream of cash.
Our Favorite Episode: Building the Kingdom of God