The 30 Best Podcasts of 2022

The best podcasts about true crime, fantasy football, comedy, news, and more

Podcasts have exploded into our culture and are an excellent way to entertain yourself while commuting, traveling, or working out. This crop of podcasts covers a range of topics, including sports, pop culture, news, identity, and everyday life.

01
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Best for a Quick Take on the Story of the Day: The Daily

The Daily Podcast - New York Times


What We Like
  • New episode every weekday.

  • A few ways to listen.

  • Sort by oldest or newest episodes.

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn't highlight the most popular episodes.

  • Several website ads.

Hosted by journalist Michael Barbaro and powered by The New York Times, The Daily covers one story each weekday in about 20 minutes. Guests include journalists Maggie Haberman and Glenn Thrush, as well as story subjects. Notable episodes include a "fake news" story that transformed the small town of Twin Falls, Idaho and a deep dive into the Andrew Cuomo sexual harassment scandal.

02
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Best Exploration of Race and Ethnicity in Our Lives: Code Switch

Code Switch podcast from NPR
What We Like
  • Queue up several episodes at once.

  • Includes transcripts.

  • Download any episode as MP3.

What We Don't Like
  • No sorting or filtering options.

  • Text posts are mixed in the list of podcasts.

Code Switch from NPR explores race and ethnicity and how it all weaves into different parts of our lives, from places of worship and the business of selling marijuana legally to the terrible events that happened in Charlottesville, Virginia, in the summer of 2017. Hosted by five journalists, Code Switch dissects the complicated news and events happening all over the country and illuminates the lives and voices that we don't always hear as loudly as others.

03
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Best Big Apple Take on Pop Culture: The Read

The Read podcast
PC Screenshot
What We Like
  • Engage with others in the comments.

  • Weekly episodes.

  • Easy listening with the queue.

What We Don't Like
  • Few places to listen.

  • User account required to download episodes.

  • Ads at the beginning of each episode.

New York City transplants Kid Fury and Crissle chat about hip-hop and pop culture while bonding over adapting to life in the city that never sleeps. Their biting commentary on The Read is highly entertaining with targets including reality show stars and Oprah, but never Beyoncé. Tune into the "Wakanda Forever" episode to get their insights about Marvel's Black Panther and recent theater releases.

04
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Best for Dealing With Pain and Loss: Terrible, Thanks for Asking

Terrible, Thanks for Asking podcast
What We Like
  • All episodes are under an hour.

  • New episode alerts over email.

  • Download or listen online.

What We Don't Like
  • No sorting or filtering abilities.

  • Can't search for an old episode.

Have you ever wanted to tell the truth when someone asks, "How are you?" Unless you're truly doing "fine," this question usually leads to an empty exchange. This podcast features guests who open up about their pain and loss. Host and author Nora McInerny describes herself as a "notable widow." In one episode of Terrible, Thanks for Asking, Nora, suffering from insomnia, goes to Twitter to poll listeners about what keeps them up at night. Newer episodes include one about being on the edge of an emotional breakdown and another about the desire for a "good death."

05
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Best Collection of Personal Stories From the Internet: Reply All

Reply All podcast
What We Like
  • Listen from a wide variety of podcasting platforms.

  • Access episodes from 2014.

  • Follow along with the included transcript.

What We Don't Like
  • Inconsistent releases.

  • Can't search through or filter the episodes.

If you're obsessed with internet culture and find yourself getting lost in Reddit forums and social media threads, Reply All will feed your need. The creators mine the web for personal stories, such as a man who wants to turn his family's struggle with cancer into a video game, and dig deep into mundane-sounding topics, such as domain names, that are anything but dull. Robert Downey Jr. announced he planned to star in a movie based on episode #86 Man of the People.

06
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Best for the Intersection of Sports and Pop Culture: The Bill Simmons Podcast

Bill Simmons Podcast
What We Like
  • Listen on a few different websites and apps.

  • Can download episodes.

  • More than one new episode a week.

What We Don't Like
  • Most episodes are well over an hour.

  • Can't sort by popularity or date.

  • Several ads on the site.

Bill Simmons is a sports columnist, founder, and CEO of The Ringer, a blog and podcast network, and the former host of HBO's Any Given Wednesday. His self-named podcast covers sports and pop culture and where it converges, such as the Rocky movies. The podcast features interviews with celebrities, athletes, and journalists. Recent episodes focus on the NBA draft and Team USA basketball.

07
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Best for People Who Love Terrible Movies: How Did This Get Made?

How Did This Get Made? podcast
What We Like
  • Updates once a week.

  • Download any of the 200+ episodes.

What We Don't Like
  • Available on few podcasting platforms.

  • No search or sort function.

  • Episodes older than six months require Stitcher Premium.

There's something magical about movies that are so, so terrible but so much fun to watch. We've all asked the question posed by this podcast's title, "How Did This Get Made?" The podcasters screen and tear apart the movies that are so bad they're good (think would-be horror flick Lake Placid) both in-studio and occasionally live. For example, learn more about The Garbage Pail Kids movie (we previously didn't know of its existence) in a live episode featuring Jon Lovett from Pod Save America. In one episode, the hosts talk about Freejack, a 1992 science fiction movie; in another, they review Tammy and the T-Rex from 1994.

08
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Best for Old Radio Stories With Modern Actors: Homecoming

Homecoming podcast
What We Like
  • Very simple, attractive design.

  • Easy to listen to the whole podcast.

  • An Amazon Prime Original TV series.

What We Don't Like
  • Available through few apps.

  • Limited number of episodes.

We typically associate podcasts with stories, like Serial, or conversations, like Marc Maron's WTF podcast. But Homecoming harkens back to old radio stories, with its fictional thriller starring actors Catherine Keener, Oscar Isaac, David Schwimmer, Amy Sedaris, and David Cross. The experience of listening to the podcast is less about the plot than it is about enjoying the performances, chemistry, and character development. You can binge all 12 episodes, and once you've finished, check out the Amazon Original Series, starring Julia Roberts, based on the podcast.

09
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Best Tips for Dealing With Depression: The Hilarious World of Depression

The Hilarious World of Depression podcast
What We Like
  • Listen with several apps or websites.

  • Most episodes are under an hour.

  • Download any episode.

What We Don't Like
  • Unable to filter or sort the podcast episodes.

Supported in part by the Make It OK campaign, The Hilarious World of Depression talks to comedians who suffer from the disease with the goal of removing the stigma of mental illness. It also serves to help people who have depression know that they are not alone. In addition to interviews, the podcast offers support, including how to get help when you need it and coping skills to get you through each day. Dip your toe in with the ​episode "How to Get Help" or with the episode where Rachel Bloom of the TV show "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" talks about that character, her history with depression, and being inspired by Rebecca Black, singer of the infamous song "Friday." 

10
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Best for Modern Career Advice: Ctrl Alt Delete

Ctrl Alt Delete podcast
What We Like
  • A few new episodes each week.

  • Search for podcast episodes.

  • Not your typical career podcast.

What We Don't Like
  • Can't easily locate older podcasts.

London-based Emma Gannon talks to a vast array of actors, writers, and other creatives about how social media and the web infiltrate their lives and careers. Named after her first book, which has the tagline "How I Grew Up Online," the Ctrl Alt Delete podcast benefits from Emma's high energy and enthusiasm as she gets guests to share their best stories and advice. Check out the "Your Personal Brand vs. Reality" episode or the "Masculinity & Mental Health" episode.

11
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Best for True Crime: Crimetown

Crimetown podcast
What We Like
  • Show notes for all episodes.

  • Written transcript is available.

  • New episode every seven days.

What We Don't Like
  • Works only from the website or Spotify.

  • Can't download episodes for offline use.

If you loved the first season of Serial and were disappointed that the second season didn't have the same level of suspense, Crimetown could be just the podcast for you. One of the hosts produced and co-wrote the series "The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst." Crimetown takes place in Providence and is one of the best crime and corruption podcasts—it goes all the way up to the mayor.

12
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Best Look at One Man's Racism in a Small Town: S-Town

S-Town podcast
What We Like
  • Unique book-like presentation, including transcripts.

  • Several ways to listen.

  • Episodes are around an hour long.

What We Don't Like
  • Includes few episodes.

  • Playback controls are hard to use.

What starts as exploring the dark side of a small town in Alabama at the request of a listener turns into a look into one man's life and how it affected so many others. (The podcast also continues to reveal more disturbing details about the town, including the blatant racism that the podcast's subject John D. had warned the host about from the start.) This podcast was a one-off, but the team behind it also produces Serial and This American Life, so you can expect to see more engaging podcasts down the road.

13
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Best Take on all Types of Love: Modern Love

Modern Love podcast
What We Like
  • 30-minute, weekly episodes.

  • Download the audio clips to your computer.

  • Stream from a variety of apps.

What We Don't Like
  • No way to sort the episodes or filter by criteria.

The Modern Love column from the New York Times explores all sorts of love—romantic, family, heartbreak, friendship, and more. The podcast brings personal essays to life with readings by famous people from Peter Gallagher to Cynthia Nixon to John Cho. Hosts Miya Lee and Daniel Jones sometimes even get updates from the essay writers.

14
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Best for Fantasy Football Fans: NFL Talking Heads

NFL Talking Heads podcast
What We Like
  • A must listen for any fantasy football addict.

  • Light-hearted but knowledgeable fantasy football info.

  • The hosts know their stuff.

What We Don't Like
  • Sounds a little amateurish.

If your love of football extends off the field into fantasy leagues, the NFL Talking Heads fantasy football podcast will help you up your game. Hosts Jeff Carrier and Seth Lull offer the tips and information you need to win, including statistics, draft strategies, and their unfiltered opinions.

15
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Best for Budding Entrepreneurs: How I Built This

How I Built This podcast
What We Like
  • New episodes twice per week.

  • Subscription option for early and ad-free listening.

What We Don't Like
  • Unable to search or filter episodes.

Host Guy Raz spends each episode interviewing innovators and entrepreneurs about how they started their companies. He has a knack for finding both obscure and well-known business leaders. Recent guests include television host Jimmy Fallon and the co-founders of Goodreads, Otis and Elizabeth Chandler. Even people who aren’t part of the business world will enjoy this inspiring podcast.

16
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Best for First-Time Podcast Listeners: Serial

Serial podcast
What We Like
  • Option to make a playlist.

  • Ability to download each episode.

What We Don't Like
  • Seasons and episodes are periodically posted.

  • Unable to search or filter episodes.

Serial transformed the podcast world with its concept of telling a single story over the course of a dozen or so episodes. In its first season, released in 2014, host Sarah Koenig dove into the arrest and subsequent trials of Adnan Syed, who was charged with the 1999 murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee. The podcast remains one of the most popular of all time and has since released two other seasons.

17
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Best for People Obsessed With Mysteries: Crime Junkie

Crime Junkie podcast
What We Like
  • Weekly episodes.

  • Robust website with extra features and merch.

  • Searchable episode guide.

What We Don't Like
  • Some episodes are locked under a “Fan Club” subscription option.

Ashley Flowers and her co-host Brit dissect everything from kidnappings and disappearances to gruesome murders in this popular true-crime podcast. Their fun dynamic makes each episode seem like you’re hanging out with a friend, listening as they recount a mystery in pain-staking detail. For fans of all things crime-related, this is the podcast for you. Flowers keeps listeners guessing as she winds her way through the story, pulling together mounds of research to give you all the information available about each crime.

18
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Best for People Who Miss The Office: Office Ladies

Office Ladies podcast 2
What We Like
  • Show website features even more behind-the-scenes content.

  • Weekly episodes.

What We Don't Like
  • Unable to search or filter websites.

Actresses Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey co-starred in the beloved television series The Office and later decided to create an entire podcast devoted to breaking down each episode. They give listeners and super fans an inside look at how the show was written and filmed, with behind-the-scenes stories and interviews with former co-stars. This funny, upbeat podcast is perfect for anyone who misses the show.

19
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Best for Blending Reportage and Storytelling: Heavyweight

Heavyweight podcast
What We Like
  • Award-winning show.

  • Episodes are under an hour.

What We Don't Like
  • Inconsistent episode uploads.

Host Jonathan Goldstein interviews random people about distinct moments in their lives, often helping them work through and even resolve the leftover emotions. Heavyweight blends reportage and storytelling into sweet, sentimental episodes that often tell universal truths about the human experience.

20
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Best for Listening to Other People's Drama: Normal Gossip

Normal Gossip
What We Like
  • New episodes each week.

  • Written component available online.

What We Don't Like
  • Unable to search or filter episodes.

This relatively new show, hosted by Kelsey McKinney, breaks down an inevitable fact of human nature: our urge to gossip and swap stories, even about people we’ve never met. McKinney invites a guest on each episode to tell them a piece of second-hand gossip. They also chat before diving into each story about gossip habits, breaking down the “why” behind the urge.

21
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Best for Learning About an Obscure News Story: The Trojan Horse Affair

The Trojan Horse Affair podcast
What We Like
  • Engaging hosts.

  • Multiple ways to listen.

What We Don't Like
  • Singular, limited series with an ending.

Reporters Brian Reed and Hamza Syed make an unlikely pair for this podcast project with The New York Times. The Trojan Horse Affair begins with Reed and Syed exploring the origins of a mysterious British letter in 2014 that quickly led to national implications. In addition to telling a mesmerizing story, the duo—who have fun, engaging chemistry—also discusses different aspects of the reporting process.  

22
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Best for Young Adults: Anything Goes

Anything Goes podcast
What We Like
  • Available anywhere you listen to podcasts.

  • New episodes every week.

What We Don't Like
  • No show website.

Even listeners who don’t consider themselves fans of internet superstar Emma Chamberlain will find something to love about her podcast, Anything Goes. The YouTuber records the podcast each week from her bed, giving the show a comfy and casual feel. Chamberlain effortlessly speaks about whatever is on her mind. Recent topics include plastic surgery, parties, and female friendships.

23
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Best for Getting Great Advice: Dear Sugars

dear sugars
What We Like
  • Hundreds of episodes.

  • Searchable archive by episode date.

What We Don't Like
  • New episodes every other week.

The “Sugars”—Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond—spend each episode answering listeners’ questions about everything from grief and loneliness to privilege and complicated family dynamics. The hosts’ soothing voices make this advice podcast all the more enticing. 

24
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Best for Listening to Celebrities Interview Each Other: Conan O'Brien Needs a Friend

Conan O'Brien Needs a Friend podcast
What We Like
  • New episodes twice a week.

  • Celebrity guests.

What We Don't Like
  • Unable to search and filter episodes.

Late-night television host Conan O’Brien has never made a lasting friendship with one of the thousands of celebrities he’s interviewed over his two-decade career, or so he claims. O’Brien created his podcast in 2018 to do just that. He’s invited actors, musicians, comedians, and more onto the interview-style podcast to chat about anything from s’mores to their careers.

25
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Best Podcast About Writing: Well-Read Black Girl

Well Read Black Girl podcast
What We Like
  • Downloadable episodes.

  • Several ways to listen.

What We Don't Like
  • Inconsistent uploads.

  • Website isn't updated.

Writer Glory Edim founded the Well-Read Black Girl book club to celebrate “the uniqueness of Black literature and sisterhood,” according to its website. She recently created the podcast in continuation of that mission. Each episode features a different writer who talks about their career path and writing process. Recent guests include actress and author Viola Davis and journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones.

26
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Best for People Who Love Talking About Food: Desert Island Dishes

Desert Island Dishes podcast
What We Like
  • Website features recipes.

What We Don't Like
  • Inconsistent upload schedule.

  • Unable to search or filter episodes.

Host and chef Margie Nomura interviews a guest each episode about the dishes, foods, and meals most important to them. Guests vary from restaurateurs and authors to television hosts, but all share a passion for cooking. Nomura’s calming voice and knowledge about all things food will get you excited for your next meal!

27
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Best for People Who Love to Deep Dive an Album: Dissect

Dissect podcast
What We Like
  • Website includes visual guides for two albums.

What We Don't Like
  • Available only on Spotify.

  • No search or sort function.

Music fans will love this podcast. The hosts take an entire album and painstakingly break down each track, analyzing all the elements. The show most recently featured episodes devoted to Kendrick Lamar’s latest album, "Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers."

28
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Best for People Who Love Fitness and Wellness: Fitness Flipped

Fitness Flipped podcast
What We Like
  • Episode transcripts are available.

  • New episodes released twice per week during the season.

What We Don't Like
  • Short season.

You don’t have to be a Peloton user to appreciate this fitness-inspired podcast. One of the company’s favorite instructors, Tunde Oyeneyin, hosts the show, which released episodes twice per week during its first season. She speaks with featured guests about all things concerning health, strength, and mental wellness. Listeners will also hear from Peloton members about their own experiences.

29
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Best Interview-Format: Longform

Longform podcast
What We Like
  • In-depth show notes.

  • Access first episodes from 2012.

What We Don't Like
  • Unable to sort or filter episodes.

If you love reading books, magazine articles, or any other long-form journalism, this is the podcast for you. The hosts invite a new guest each week to discuss their recent long-form work. Conversations often involve the guest’s reflections on how they got started in their career.

30
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Best for People Who Want to Go Deep With One Story: Embedded

Embedded
What We Like
  • Option to make a playlist.

  • Ability to download each episode.

What We Don't Like
  • Seasons and episodes are periodically posted.

  • Unable to search or filter episodes.

Embedded takes a news story and goes deep with it, spending the entire season examining a different facet of the issue. Past seasons include explorations into the opioid epidemic, the Trump administration’s past, and the stories behind police shootings caught on camera. Host Kelly McEvers and NPR’s affiliate network highlight important stories from around the world, giving listeners a better understanding of each complex topic.

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