Podcasts to check out on your daily commute


Dom Ferreira

Dom Ferreira listens to New York Times podcast on his evening commute. Photo by Dom Ferreira / Photography Editor

Katrina Sanville, Arts Editor

In the busy world of commuting, taking time out of each day to focus on one task can be difficult. Many people don’t have time to put on television shows or movies, and if they do, they’re put on as background static. However, if you’re a fan of listening to conversations rather than music and can’t handle eavesdropping on the train anymore, give podcasts a try. These audio series are nothing new, and have a wide range of options and interests, ranging from facts to lifestyle to books and TV series. Whether you’re an avid podcast fan or looking to dive into the genre of audio entertainment, check out these podcasts to spice up your daily commute. All of these podcasts—unless otherwise stated—are available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify, so however you listen to podcasts, you can find something new.
For those on the hunt for a shorter podcast, who don’t have time to read the news each day and still want to stay up to date, listen to The New York Times’ podcast, “The Daily.” Every weekday morning at 6 a.m., Michael Barbaro hosts a 20 to 30 minute podcast that welcomes the best journalists of today’s world to have them tell the most important news of the day. Like a traditional newspaper, “The Daily” has a headlining story, as well as a few other stories that fit the theme, such as the war in Ukraine or if we will see another COVID-19 spike in the United States. While this isn’t as lighthearted or entertaining as some of the other podcasts on this list, you can be up to date on the day’s news in the time it would take to walk to Campus Center from West Garage.
If you want to learn a new fact each day, give “You’re Wrong About” a try. The show is hosted by Sarah Marshall, a journalist that retells common people in history or historical time periods that often get their facts warped over time. Episode examples include “The Chicks vs. The Iraq War,” “The O.J. Simpson Trial” or “The Stanford Prison Experiment,” as well as an episode on how older relatives are more susceptible to misinformation. While the podcast does inform listeners about the main topic at hand, they also dive off topic to talk about things only semi-related to the topic. The podcast also features a book club series that emerged during quarantine, where the hosts will read a book and discuss it on the air. While Marshall is the main host, she also has had several co-hosts throughout the podcast’s run. If you’d like to change your view on history for the better, give this series a listen.
For those in search of a podcast that discusses the experiences of women of color in the modern sphere, listen to “Our Body Politic.” In each hour-long, weekly episode of the podcast, journalist Farai Chideya discusses how issues that are currently impacting Americans—such as inflation and the war in Ukraine, as well as reflecting upon the tragedy of Sandy Hook Elementary in one episode—also impact women, specifically women of color. Chideya often invites experts in these fields onto the podcast to discuss the topics, allowing listeners to hear information from those who experienced it or know it best. Because of her history in journalism, Chideya is an excellent host, and creates an engaging and welcoming space for her guests, as well as an engaging and interesting podcast for listeners.
If you’re looking to learn about LGBTQ+ history, especially history that may not be widely known, check out “Making Gay History.” As the title suggests, “Making Gay History” collects an oral textbook of sorts of all those who were on the frontlines of LGBTQ+ history. The focus is primarily on history ranging from 1945-1990, and host Eric Marcus surveys a variety of people—both known and forgotten—who had been involved in shaping LGBTQ+ history as we know it today. Each episode is no more than an hour long, most of them no more than a half hour long, which makes them great for short commutes or down time in between classes. Marcus’ voice is incredibly relaxing and the interviews are fascinating, so it’s definitely worth a listen. If you have Apple Music, I would also recommend checking out “One From the Vaults,” a podcast with a similar theme as “Making Gay History” that focuses on the untold history of transgender people.
For those looking for a podcast on advice and life, listen to “Miss Congeniality with Eli Rallo.” While many long-time TikTok users may know Rallo from her success on the app in 2020 due to making massive trail mix style snack jars—known as The Jarr—she has since moved away from snack foods and towards lifestyle content. In her podcast, Rallo discusses everything and anything that could be impacting teenagers and twenty-somethings as they enter the world, such as confidence, dating, being kind to your body or friendships. Rallo uses personal anecdotes and real studies and articles to give listeners advice, and listening to the podcast feels like getting advice from your cool older sister. While her over-the-top, bold style may not be for everyone, it can definitely make for an interesting and insightful listen.
Lastly, if you’d rather listen to a podcast each week or so about your favorite piece of media or musician, there are plenty of those as well. “Let’s Talk About Myths, Baby” with Liv Albert discusses Greek and Roman mythology as it was originally told—including all of the details teachers would rather we forget—in bite size, half hour podcasts. Beyond that, podcasts about “Twilight,” “Percy Jackson and the Olympians,” “Harry Potter,” Dungeons and Dragons and Taylor Swift have all crossed my Spotify recommendations, and I’m sure you can find shows about any other artist or interest.
These are just a few options off of the metaphorical podcast iceberg, but there are plenty more out there! The world of podcasts is expansive and ever-growing, so if none of these spark your interest, there is probably something out there for you. Just an interest or two of yours—such as sports, Broadway or even a book series—into the search bar of your preferred music platform and something will pop up. Whatever podcast you choose to listen to, enjoy!