As I sat down to write this round-up of our favorite podcasts, I turned on Dolly Parton’s America, recommended to me by more than one coworker, to write a brief synopsis of the series. 30 minutes later, I hadn’t typed a single word. I got completely sucked into the first episode.
That’s what we love about this list of podcasts. They aren’t necessarily holiday-related but they’ve captured our attention for their thought-provoking questions, captivating storytelling and escapes from the real world. Which, in 2020, is much needed.
Rich Storytelling Podcasts
Dolly Parton’s America
As I said, this one grabbed my attention from the very beginning. I’m not even a Dolly Parton fan, but after listening to only two episodes of this nine-part series about the iconic singer/songwriter and her legacy, I’m ready to book a trip to Dollywood.
Comedian and writer Chris Garcia retraces his father’s roots and discovers his past in Cuba. Jen, our brand manager, calls this podcast heart-wrenching, funny, addictive and relatable.
Have kids who always ask for one more story? Turn on this relaxing meditation series that guides my very active boys to sleep every night. There’s plenty of episodes with stories of journeys to visit the dinosaurs or the moon. And it’s a great way to settle busy little brains.
Bedtime Explorer Episodes on Spotify
Headlong: Missing Richard Simmons
The first season of Headlong follows Richard Simmons’ disappearance from the public eye. Another recommendation from our brand manager Jen, “I learned he was more than a big personality in short shorts and then I got sucked into the mystery of his disappearance.”
Headlong, Season 1 on Apple
This series covers everything you need to know about science topics in 30 minutes or less. Perfect for short attention spans or those with limited listening windows. From lab-grown meat to asteroids to the placebo effect, Science Vs uncovers what’s true, what’s not, and all the gray areas in between. Some of my favorite episodes are:
- When a Hospital becomes The Butcher Shop
- How Bad Science Killed a President
New York Times tech columnist Kevin Roose discovers what the internet is doing to us and how it’s changing who we are. If you’ve watched The Social Dilemma, then you should follow it up with this podcast.
Read about the Rabbit Hole podcast and links to the episodes
Bill Gates & Rashida Jones Ask Big Questions
Sean Dean, Staff Developer, recommended this new podcast, telling us, “Bill is a brilliant, affable nerd and Rashida is really smart and personable. Pair them with a great guest and it makes for a good conversation about important topics. They manage to have intelligent conversations that are not afraid of complexity without being so nerdy as to turn off less engaged listeners.”
Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History
If Dan Carlin’s voice isn’t enough to draw you in, this podcast will definitely keep you hooked if you like really deep dives (we’re talking 3 or 4 hours) into historical subjects. Mark, our customer success manager, likes this podcast because you can tell Dan Carlin is passionate about each subject and has obviously done his research.
You’re Wrong About…
As Mike, our Vice President, puts it, You’re Wrong About is a podcast about history, without being super dry. They do a nice job of re-examining events that we’re aware of, but in a way that provides a little more context or understanding about what actually happened.
You’re Wrong About Episodes on Apple
From Samin Nosrat (chef and author of the Salt Fat Acid Heat cookbook) and Hrishikesh Hirway (host of Song Exploder podcast) this mini-series helps you figure out what to cook and keep you company during the quarantine. “I’m not someone who can look in my fridge/pantry and whip up a meal,” said Jenny, one of our project managers. “I like this series because it’s a really good blend of entertaining conversations and food ideas.”
The Office Ladies OR An Oral History of The Office
If you’re like me and mourning the loss of The Office on Netflix at the end of the year, here are two Office-related podcasts from your favorite Office characters (Pam, Angela, and Kevin) to help you get through this difficult time.
An Oral History of The Office on Spotify
Correct Opinions with Trey Kennedy
You may know Trey Kennedy from his hilarious and spot-on Instagram videos about Girls During Fall, Middle-Schoolers, and Thanksgiving Moms. Our content strategist, Natalie, loves this podcast.
You’re Dead to Me
A podcast about history for people who hate history. Greg Jenner brings together comedians and history experts to talk about everything from Harriet Tubman to Young Napoleon.
The Scaredy Cats Horror Show
A recommendation from Kirk, one of our developers. It’s a podcast about scary movies for people who are too scared to watch them.