My Favorite Podcasts.

my favorite podcasts! // grace atwood, the stripe

Over the past couple months, I’ve been getting reaaaalllly into podcasts. So today I thought I should share a few of my favorites! I know I know, I am so late to the party! But once I started, I got HOOKED. I should note that I don’t really do the fiction podcasts. I totally get the appeal but honestly, I read so much fiction and watch so much TV that I prefer to keep podcasts to something I can learn something new from. For me, books + TV = mindless unplugging… Podcasts = learning. So I keep hearing great things about Dirty John and so many others, but I’d rather read a book. Here are the podcasts that I love most! (Would love your recommendations in the comments!)

Pod Save America is probably my #1 right now. I never miss an episode and I just love these guys. What I love is how easily they break down current events (really helpful for someone like me who wants to know what is going on but maybe needs a little more explanation). It’s run by ex-Obama staffers (who worked with Alyssa Mastromonaco who wrote Who Thought This Was a Good Idea which I LOVED and reviewed in this month’s reading list). It honestly just feels like three guys getting together to chat politics and the news… and have fun doing it. Whenever I listen, I feel like I’m connecting with 3 of my good friends… even their ads are interesting/funny! The episodes are a little longer so I will usually split them up or wait til I have a big project to do to listen… but I literally never miss an ep!

The Daily, from the New York Times, is a simple way to get the news in 20 minutes. I like to listen to this one first thing in the morning as I get ready and eat my breakfast.

How I Built This is another favorite because super interesting – they interview founders of big companies to find out how they built that, and all of the interesting story telling that comes in between. The one with the Instagram founders was fascinating. If you are into business and seeing the behind the scenes of how bigger companies got built, you will love it!

Reply All is for the tech set. I find it to be so, so interesting. Their episode about whether Apple is spying on us via our iPhones was crazy and so interesting. This is another one where I try not to miss any episodes as it’s so interesting!

Ted Talks Daily is amazing (obviously, all Ted Talks are great) and I like that they are on the shorter side so you can get your daily dose of inspiration and business acumen while you are out running errands, etc!

Fat Mascara is for my fellow beauty junkies – it’s hosted by two beauty editors (Jessica Matlin and Jennifer Goldstein). Every episode is an in depth look at product and people within the beauty industry. I find myself learning something new and cool with every episode. They interview the biggest names in beauty and tackle important issues like why your hairbrush gets so dirty and the only real way to get rid of stretch marks. 😉

U Up, from Betches, is my lightweight podcast. It’s all about dating in the modern/digital world, and it’s highly entertaining and also good for those of us who are challenged with online dating.

The Way I Heard It, with Mike Rowe, is a fun take on story telling and past events. Each episode represents a different take on people and events that we thought we knew. It’s short and fun to follow (a lot of podcasts are just SO long)! If you are a naturally curious person who likes hearing the other side to the story, you’ll enjoy this one immensely.

Being Boss is a great podcast for creative entrepreneurs, targeted specifically toward women. Overall, I do really love it (the episode on self-doubt and imposter sydrome was fantastic) They also have great mini-sodes (what they are reading, for example). That being said, it gets a bit cutesy at times. I think one of the episodes was an interview where the person said, “I’m XX and I like grilled cheese and being a Girl Boss” or something of that nature and I had to put something else on. (The cutesy/girlboss, mompreneur, etc. stuff has got to go!) So I don’t listen to all of them, but there have been some really really great episodes – I’d highly recommend the one with Tanya Geisler that I linked to above.

Pop Culture Happy Hour is a fun break from my day. I am always trying to stay up on the latest books, movies, TV shows, etc. and this is an easy way to do it. They’ll get into deep conversations about my favorite things (Bladerunner 49, This is Us, etc) so I either end up a) learning about something I need to see/do/watch, or b) hearing a different opinion of something I’ve already seen (their thoughts on This is Us were pretty good!)

What are your favorite podcasts! I’d love for you to share them in the comments.

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  1. I never knew Betches had a podcast. I love their hilariously-written blog. Must listen!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    11.30.17 Reply
  2. I am so with you, I really got into podcasts in the past year and they have truly brightened up my days/commute. I am obsessed by Fat Mascara. If you love that one – check out Mirror Mirror (a Nashville based beauty pod). I also have recently gotten into Glossy – a great behind the scenes on the business side of various fashion brands (Rachel Zoe, AYR, etc). Also, since Real Housewives (basically anything on Bravo) is my favorite way to unwind, I find Bitch Sesh to be hilarious and the best type of escape.
    I wrote all about some of my other faves here –

    11.30.17 Reply
  3. sydnee:

    What a great list of podcasts! I’m curious to check out Reply All.

    Design by Sydnee | What I’m Loving Lately – Nov Edition

    11.30.17 Reply
  4. Anne:

    Up and Vanished is great! It’s like serial meets a dateline episode of a missing teacher in small town Georgia.

    11.30.17 Reply
  5. Pop culture happy hour sounds like such a fun one! Good for keeping this oldie in the loop with what’s current Thanks, Grace!

    11.30.17 Reply
  6. I’ve gotten hooked on Embedded from NPR. They go deeper into a news story, often presenting the more human side. For instance the biker shootout in Texas? They go & follow one of the biker gangs to discover what these gangs are, who the people are, & what led to the events on that day. It’s fascinating.

    They’re currently doing a whole series on Trump that actually summarizes some of the background pretty nicely. The episode on Jared Kushner was especially good.

    11.30.17 Reply
  7. Olivai Broderick:

    I’ve been addicted to podcasts for several years. I used to get teased, but now everyone is listening, which is awesome! If you like learning things, This American Life is amazing (I’m sure you’ve heard that, but it really does live up to the hype!). I also love Stuff You Missed in History Class–a lot of is focused on little know/unknown women in history, but it is so much more than that. I really have learned a lot. My favorite podcast is How Did This Get Made with Paul Sheer, Jason Manzoukas and June Diane Raphael. I’m not sure if you like comedy podcasts, but this one is hilarious. In each episode they talk about a bad movie they’ve watched and they have really funny guest stars. Stuff You Should Know, My Favorite Murder, Radio Lab and More Perfect (breaks down leading U.S. Supreme Court Cases) are all great too!

    11.30.17 Reply
  8. Gabriela:

    Death, Sex, and Money, and Fresh Air! I also like Modern Love

    11.30.17 Reply
    • Thank you!

      I meant to include Modern Love on this list – I love that one too!!!!

      11.30.17 Reply
  9. Brigid:

    Great suggestions! All of the NPR podcasts are great and I’m really into Hidden Brain in particular. Totally understand about the fiction thing, but I have to tell you that Dirty John is actually a true story, which made it all the more interesting! It’s an LA Times reporter going back and interviewing the people involved in this crazy story. It was an entertaining few hours…

    11.30.17 Reply
  10. Emily:

    Amen on “How I Built This” — I absolutely love it. I thought the Drybar one was so funny as the male host seemed to struggle with what the concept of a blowout is 🙂 Thanks for the other new suggestions, will definitely be checking those out!

    11.30.17 Reply
  11. Niki:

    I loveeee 99% Invisible, it’s all about design and the latest episode on movie graphic designers was super interesting! I’m also into Criminal (which quinces my need for true crime) and More Perfect, which takes deep-dive looks into Supreme Court decisions and different Justices…it makes my political science nerd heart happy.

    11.30.17 Reply
    • Everyone has been saying the best things about 99% invisible! I need to check it out!!!

      11.30.17 Reply
  12. Inga:

    I always look for new podcast recommendtations and I am totally in line with your thinking: podcasts are for learning! Will have to check some of these out! 🙂

    My current favourites:
    – 99% invisible -short stories about interesting and unnoticed design and architecture solutions around us
    – Gastropod – two fantastic ladies talking about food through the lense of science and history; any foodie’s must listen
    – The Inquiry by BBC World Service – looks into one hot & difficult topic from the news and disects it into understandable chunks by invitin ‘expert witnesses’; very educational!

    Inga from HappyBling Accessories

    11.30.17 Reply
  13. Fiona:

    Note To Self and Call Your Girlfriend are two that I love when I’m not listening to Pod Save America 🙂

    11.30.17 Reply
    • I subscribe to those as well!

      The author of Note To Self wrote a book (Bored and Brilliant) and I have been really loving that!

      11.30.17 Reply
  14. Anne Fahlgren:

    I, too, am obsessed with Pod Save America. I also love Lovett or Leave It. He is my favorite of the group, and his panels are always great. Their new Crooked Conversations are really good as well. Honestly, I could spend time on all of their podcasts, but don’t have time 🙂 Sports fans should check out ESPNs 30 for 30 podcast series. It is a podcast version of their awesome sports documentary films.

    11.30.17 Reply
  15. I also love Pod Save America and How I Built This. Another one that’s pretty good is 99% Invisible ( You might like it too!

    11.30.17 Reply
  16. joanna:

    Presidential is interesting! It was done by a Washington Post reporter in 2016 leading up to the election… every week is about a president and their contribution (lack of). Dirty John is AMAZING. It’s short – 6 episodes – and absolutely fascinating, especially because it’s a true story!!

    11.30.17 Reply
  17. Miranda:

    I love the New Washington (which I am assuming you will like if you like Pod Saves America and the Daily) and Dirty John!

    11.30.17 Reply
  18. Oh man I’ve gotten so hooked on podcasts, starting with Pod Save. Other ones I like are Radio Atlantic, Radiolab presents More Perfect, In the Thick and Left Right and Center. I’ll be following the comment section closely for more recommendations 🙂

    11.30.17 Reply
  19. Tori:

    I love Podcasts! Some of my favorites not previously mentioned:

    Start up- from the same team that creates Reply All, Gimlet Media. The first couple seasons detail the start of Gimlet Media, which is a company that creates podcasts. Later episodes interview new businesses getting off the ground. Their multi episode series on Dov Charney, the ex CEO of American Apparel are especially fun. I think you would really find it interesting, especially as someone who is an entrepreneur yourself!

    The Pitch- Also from Gimlet Media, it is kind of like Shark Tank as a podcast. I like that they talk to the investors to see why or why not they invested once the people are out of the room, and they follow up with the companies several months later to see how things worked out.

    S-town- produced by the people that did Serial. A six or so mini podcast that is based on true events. Hard to say much without spoiling it, but it is SO interesting.

    Casefile: takes a look at crimes. What is interesting is sometimes the crimes are solved, but sometimes they aren’t, so you never know if the episodes will wrap up neatly or if you will be left wondering.

    Criminal: another true crime podcast, but a bit less heavily involved in individual cases. For example, one episode they go to a body farm where police study decomposing bodies to learn about how to create death timelines. Also, the ladies voice is super soothing and the podcasts are only like 30 min.

    The Allusionists: a fun short breakdown of the English language, how words originated, etc.

    11.30.17 Reply
  20. Erin:

    Currently listening to Dirty John. It’s a fun, murder, Serial-esque podcast. Also love We met at Acme (very relatable NYC dating podcast!)

    11.30.17 Reply
  21. Abby:

    I’m addicted to podcasts now too! Some of my favorites are: my favorite murder (they profile two murders in each episode but I often find myself laughing out loud, lady lovin, the bitch bible, sword and scale and dirty John (it’s really good and is non-fiction)

    11.30.17 Reply
  22. Yes, so many great picks! Have you listened to Jenna Kutcher? I find her extremely motivational!

    Xx Taylor

    12.1.17 Reply
  23. Heidi So:

    First time commenter 🙂
    Highly recommend Optimal living daily (a family of podcasts, one on health and fitness, finance, relationship etc), they read blog posts to you and keep it short 🙂

    Revisionist History by Malcolm Gladwell, an amazing journalist/writer that revisits past events to uncover details/different perspectives. Amazing!

    12.1.17 Reply
  24. A N D:

    I’m also addicted to podcasts! I find myself saying “I just listened to this podcast about…” at least once a day. Thanks for some new ones! Definitely checking out Fat Mascara and U Up.

    I listen to Up First which is NPR’s version of The Daily. I also like It’s Been A Minute with Sam Sanders (weekly breakdown of the news but more lighthearted than most). My newest I also love RadioLab especially their More Perfect podcast. Radio Atlantic has super interesting episodes every Friday that can seem random but are always really relevant.

    AND, of course, This American Life!!! It’s the one that got me into podcasts in the first place and I love it!

    12.1.17 Reply
  25. Kayla Clark:

    I absolutely LOVE More Perfect. It makes the most important Supreme Court decisions through American history really accessible and interesting and relevant—even if you’re not a law student like me!

    12.1.17 Reply
  26. Maggie (cats/books/friend of the Pod):

    I didn’t end up making the four hour drive to Santa Barbara to see the Pod Save America crew today, but they announced some 2018 dates today and I snagged tickets to their show in LA within minutes!! They also said that they’ll be announcing some additional stops soon, which makes me wonder if they’ll get even closer to home (San Diego).

    12.1.17 Reply
  27. Shelley:

    Someone knows something. Fantastic podcast!

    12.2.17 Reply
  28. Lindsay:

    I am so with you on podcasts and could lose myself listening to them all day! Some of my new finds that I really enjoy are:

    Masters of Scale – hosted by LinkedIn co-founder and Greylock partner Reid Hoffman where he describes how legendary leaders scale their companies – it’s super interesting & insightful

    On the lighter side & if you’re an Anglophile, I recently learned about this podcast called Debrief Podcast (hosted by Tessa Coates & Stevie Martin – both freelance writers & standup comics). It’s light and fun and they talk about a variety of life topics. I just listened to an episode that talked about how to cut toxic people out of your life. They’re a cute & funny duo and their accents make listening just that much more enjoyable!

    12.2.17 Reply
  29. Podcasts have been my favourite discovery of 2017 ! I’ve added Fat Mascara to my list of podcasts to check out as I’ve been looking for a beauty/fashion one!

    12.2.17 Reply
  30. Marisa:

    Hi Grace, I really enjoyed S-town this year (just 6 eps); I thought it was a heartbreaking work of staggering genius! I also love Bitch Sesh; I find the ladies’ (and their guests) banter funny and I think it could be amusing even to someone who isn’t a Bravo tv junky. I also listen to HerMoney with Jean Chatsky and find it good for financial motivation and really like that it breaks down financial concepts in a simple way (I don’t have a finance background) while offering advice salient to women, though I do have to skip some episodes if the guest is annoying (I don’t have kids and find the “mommy” theme episodes, and some geared toward millennials, mostly cloying and not relevant to to me but it’s good to have episode themes that are inclusive for all of us women so others might them interesting/useful)

    12.3.17 Reply
  31. Dea:

    I love this list, I’ve started listening to Fat Mascara and The Way I Heard it. I’m really enjoying Stuff Mom Never Told You

    12.4.17 Reply
  32. Molly:

    I also love the podcast Ear Hustle, which just finished its first season! It’s hosted and produced by prisoners from San Quentin State Prison in California and it’s all about life inside prison. Super interesting!

    12.4.17 Reply
  33. gina:

    I have been loving podcasts recently. I drive a lot for work so it is so much better to listen to in the car than the radio! I am loving The morning breath with Girl with no job, We’re No Doctors with Busy Phillips and Off the Vine with Kaitlyn Bristowe

    12.5.17 Reply
    • Thank you for the suggestions!!! Didn’t realize Girl with no job had one – she’s so funny!!!

      12.5.17 Reply