9 Podcasts for Your Commute

Sarahdwell, market

When I was in college, my communication professor told us businesses use podcasts as a tool within their marketing strategy. Since then, perhaps, I’ve viewed podcasts as educational and not as much for enjoyment. Sarah Koenig changed all that for me when she drew us in to the mysteries of Adnan Syed and the murder of Hae Min Lee in the Serial Podcast.

I typically work from home, but I’m working to get on a better morning routine. Instead of just rolling out of bed and immediately sitting down at my desk, I was thinking it would be great to have some “commuting time” between waking up and getting to work. With this goal in mind, I’ve created a list of podcasts that will get me engaged right away. No matter what your interests are, I hope one of these podcasts grabs you and pulls you in. If you do have a commute, you may find yourself wishing your time in the car could be a bit longer!

SerialSerial Podcast / serialpodcast.org

Produced by This American Life and sponsored by MailChimp, Serial gained so much attention, I’d be surprised if you have never heard of it. If you love murder mysteries, give this one a shot. It is made up of 12 free episodes and they will be releasing a second edition sometime later this year (I can’t wait!!). It grabbed my attention that I ended up binge-listening to almost all of it in one day!! The fact that it is a true story about a young man who may or may not have murdered his ex-girlfriend in high school captured my attention from the get-go. Sarah Koenig delivers amazing details that were never explored during the actual court case.

Missed in HistoryStuff You Missed In History Class / missedinhistory.com

I took AP History my junior year of high school, but I never was excited to learn about the details of the lessons. It wasn’t that I didn’t care or didn’t want to learn, but the teaching style just wasn’t the right format for me (or maybe I just didn’t want to read and prepare for those weekly quizzes!). Then came along the Stuff You Missed In History Class podcast and I realized I wasn’t alone in my lack of history class enjoyment. The podcast is sponsored by How Stuff Works and provides great insight. I like how they don’t assume you remember the details, so you don’t have to feel silly not understanding a term or a court case.

FreakonomicsRadioLogoTileFreakonomics Radio / podcastone.com/Freakonomics-Radio

Exploring the “hidden side of everything”, Freakonomics Radio dives into questions like “How Efficient is Energy Efficiency?” and “What’s More Dangerous? Marijuana or Alcohol?” This podcast reminds me of TED Talks, which is another one of my favorite things, and the conversions and questions they ask on the show really get my mind moving. It stirs up ideas that I immediately want to talk to someone about and is a great way to start (or end) the day.

jesslivelyThe Lively Show / jesslively.com/livelyshow/

I discovered this podcast when researching for this post and am hooked. Jess Lively’s sets up her episodes using a question and answer interview format. I listened to Lara Casey’s episode first and was inspired by her story and her willingness to share so much of her life with others. She leads Southern Weddings and Making Things Happen, which are beautiful and inspiring companies right in line with Jess Lively’s goals, or as she prefers to call them, intentions. She covers topics including wellness, motherhood, career, life changes, relationships and business. If you are into goal-setting and intention-based living, this podcast is for you.

Slate_logoSlate: Working / slate.com/articles/podcasts/working.html

Ever since I entered the “real world”, I have loved learning about other peoples jobs and what they do all day. There are so many careers I never knew about when I was younger and this mindset makes the Slate: Working podcast all the more intriguing. If you’ve watched the TV show Dirty Jobs, this is very similar, but in podcast form and without the actual muddy/filthy/dangerous jobs. As I enter the world of coding (okay, small html edits of this WordPress blog), I loved listening to the episode where they interview a Google software engineer and she discusses the poetic qualities of coding. They also interview a School Principal, Screenwriter, and an Inner-City Doctor, to name a few. I’m a huge fan of The Everygirl’s Career Profiles, so if you enjoy that, this is right up your alley.

After-the-JumpAfter The Jump / stitcher.com/podcast/after-the-jump

This podcast is hosted by Design*Sponge founder Grace Bonney. I absolutely LOVE Design*Sponge and Grace has so much experience in the design community that her podcast is extremely current and relevant. The format of the show is set up through interviews of designers and creatives who have powerful lessons to share about design, yet apply to everyone in their life. They discuss challenges to running a business, to starting a career and beyond. Her last podcast aired in December 2014 since she wants to take time off to work on her home and life, but if you haven’t listened yet, there are tons of episodes to enjoy.

“Live in the moment. Every. Single. Moment. Enjoy where you are right now, and appreciate it because every stage of growth and achievement has its own new set of challenges and stress.” – Grace Bonney, After The Jump

Stuff Mom Never Told YouStuff Mom Never Told You / stitcher.com/podcast/stuff-mom-never-told-you

This podcast, also presented by How Stuff Works, highlights gender roles and notable pioneering women in different industries. With Feminism becoming a term that isn’t seen (as much) with a negative connotation, this podcast empowers women to stand up for their rights and themselves when pursuing their career goals. There are also some NSFW topics, so choose your listening times wisely. :)

This American LifeThis American Life / thisamericanlife.org

I started this list with Serial produced by This American Life and we’re back… This American Life is a wonderful podcast. My mom got me sucked into NPR, and I love the stories Ira Glass shares. Covering a range of different topics, this podcast produced by WBEZ Chicago is a great one if you are fascinated by how people live and interact.


finding ashevilleFinding Asheville / findingasheville.com

Just after I posted this, I was reading Asheville’s Stu Helm‘s Ashvegas post and heard about the Finding Asheville podcast. Apparently this podcast was started soon after I arrived in the area and highlights the entrepreneurial spirit of Asheville. I love learning about peoples chosen career path, the lessons they have learned along the way, and the inspirational messages they have to share about chasing that dream.

Do you listen to any of these podcasts? Which ones did I miss? I’m always looking for new ways to stay engaged, so share your thoughts below in the comments!