Twelve Podcasts You Should Know About

Updated on August 22, 2018

Podcasts are a great way to pass some time while learning new things. They are excellent company while getting ready in the morning, keep you occupied while you're exercising, and can help you through the long hours of a road trip. Here are the best podcasts you can download and binge right now.

12. Serial

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Unless you've been sleeping for the past 5 years, you know that Serial took the podcasting world by storm, first with their Season 1 coverage of Hae Min Lee and Adnan Syed, and then with their second season detailing the strange story of Bowe Bergdahl. Every week Sarah Koenig brought a new episode to the podcast, with a deep look into the findings of each case, new investigations of old sites, and interviews with the main players. This podcast will suck you in and leave you wanting more.

11. Reveal

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Hosted by Al Letson, this is investigative journalism at its finest. This show takes a look at stories of crime, injustice, and complex coverups. The team of reporters dig through the details until they discover the truth, and they pull no punches when interviewing their targets. Al Letson has a voice like butter and is a powerfully effective host due to his diplomatic style and eternal patience. Check out Reveal to catch the dirt on the stories flooding the news today, and the ones you didn't even know were impacting your life.

10. Every Little Thing

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Join Flora Lichtman every week to explore all the fascinating things you've wondered about. Some of the best topics include flamingos, background noise in movies, and pirates. It's a very audience inclusive podcast, and the team invites you to send in your own questions or interesting facts. Each episode will take you on a fun and exciting journey with Flora and her experts to learn rare and unusual knowledge about the world around you.

9. Freakonomics

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Get your weekly dose of intellectual thinking with this podcast.Stephen Dubner (one of the co-authors of the book by the same title) brings you thought-provoking and surprisingly awesome insights into complicated questions about the economy. The often-controversial topics that are tackled in this cast will have you contemplating facts and processes you used to think were irrefutable. It's an hour of fun and learning as Stephen brings you the economic intricacies of sports politics, healthcare, and more.

8. Reply All

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Reply All is an exciting and innovative podcast about technology and the internet. The hosts travel the world and consult cyber experts in order to solve the problems of their listeners. There's even a featured segment of the show where they try to explain intricate and interwoven Tweets to their boss. Alex and PJ put a smart and funny spin on investigative reporting as they get to the bottom of the world's most puzzling technology conundrums.

7. Stuff You Should Know

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Looking for interesting topics of conversation to share with friends and coworkers? This podcast is a deep dive into both common and unique stories, systems, and phenomena. A lot of the topics are historical in nature, providing for a very educational hour interspersed with great banter and surprising tidbits of information. Josh and Chuck try to outdo each other with interesting facts as they dissect a variety of topics.

6. Science Vs

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Join Wendy on a new science adventure each week as she pits facts against every crazy conspiracy you've ever heard of. Enlisting the help of her staff and outside experts, she makes it her mission to size up widely held myths against the documented science. Some of her most recent episodes cover Lyme Disease, UFOs, and serial killers. At the end of each show, she weighs all the facts for both sides and comes to a conclusion about the validity of what we know. Tune in to hear Wendy's Aussie accent and take part in her crazy exploits as she searches for the truth.

5. Judge John Hodgman

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Give this podcast a listen if you're in need of staunch, legal advice... from a licensed comedian. John Hodgman shows off his intellectual and comedy chops in this series where he acts as the esteemed courtroom king in a variety of cases submitted by his listeners. He and his bailiff dole out only the most upright and impartial justice on cases that will determine how many days a month a birthday may be celebrated, or how many musical instruments is too many to own. He thoroughly interrogates the parties involved to come to just and final decision on each case, as well as making split second decisions on a variety of other cases. You'll enjoy listening to his quick comebacks and eloquent elaborations.

4. Twenty Thousand Hertz

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This podcast is an exciting audio adventure in every episode. Dallas Taylor investigates all the ways that sound influences our lives and its historical significance. Be prepared to learn about audio branding, famous movie screams, pitches that give you chills, and more. There's even a special Hamilton episode that's definitely worth a listen. This show is a fun and clever insight into the world of sound all around us.

3. The Daily

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Take a few minutes each morning to catch up on the news. Michael Barbarro hosts this New York Times podcast that brings updates on current events as well as in depth investigations into the most important issues affecting the world today. This is a great listen if you don't have to time to sit down with a newspaper every morning, but want to stay in the know about the headlines.

2. Mystery Show

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Mystery Show is a quirky and endearing podcast that solves personal mysteries in the span of an hour. Hosted by Starlee Kine, this podcast is sadly not making any more episodes, but Season 1 is still available to download and stream. Starlee makes it her quest to solve some very odd but meaningful mysteries that she solicits from friends and strangers. The journeys are heartfelt and intriguing while still a light and fun listen.

1. Criminal

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An amazing and captivating podcast, this series brings to light a variety of unique cases both contemporary and historical. Join Phoebe Judge as her mellow voice guides you through the background and set up and some of the most incredible criminal cases through the ages. Some stories you won't believe, even as they're being recounted by their central characters. This show will leave you pondering what it really means to break the law.

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