By: Jennifer McMillen Smith, MSSA, LISW-S, Division of Infectious Disease and medically reviewed by Ann Avery, Infectious Disease Physician at Metrohealth Medical Center
Podcasts are everywhere these days, and they cover just about everything. Sex, movies, TV, politics, pop culture — it’s all out there: a half-million podcasts exist in more than a hundred languages, according to one expert’s estimate.
What’s so great about podcasts? Well, you can listen to people just having conversations in your earbuds — it’s something to do while cooking dinner, working out, driving to work, or kicking back at home when you’ve got some time on your hands. You get to know those people talking into your ears, and they start to feel like friends. Some of them are educational. It’s personal, intimate, and super engaging when you find a podcast you like.
Best places to get podcasts for free:
- Apple Podcasts — Free app included in every iPhone. Link
- Soundcloud — Alternative to Apple; hosts many excellent podcasts. Link
- Spotify — The streaming music player also has a podcast app. Link
- Stitcher — This free app with premium upgrades works on Apple and Android phones. Link.
Now let’s move along to four of our favorite podcasts.
1. The Read
The Read — starring Kid Fury and Crissle — is old-school by podcasting standards: They just celebrated their fifth anniversary at Harlem’s famous Apollo Theater.
This is one of the most hilarious and entertaining podcasts. Kid Fury and Crissle break down the latest in black pop culture news, hand out relationship advice (our favorite guidance: “Dump him!”), and when a celebrity, politician, or someone who landed in the news steps outta line, they have no problem getting them together.
We love their sex-positive outlook and honesty about dealing with racism, homophobia, and mental health issues. Find out more.
2. Savage Lovecast
Dan Savage specializes in advising listeners on their love lives and sexual experiences. We think it’s just about the most sex-positive podcast around. Dan is old-old-old-school; his show has been around since 2006. He’s been a forceful voice for the rights of LGBTQ people for all those years, and decades before that. Find out more.
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3. Pod Save the People
DeRay Mckesson, co-founder of Black Lives Matter, covers race, culture, social justice, politics, and much more in this podcast. DeRay’s helping to lead a campaign to raise awareness about police misconduct, but his podcast goes in many more directions (a recent live show came from the headquarters of National Geographic magazine). He’s also out and proud, which makes him one of our automatic faves here at Positive Peers. Find out more.
4. So Money with Farnoosh Torabi
If you need straight talk about your wallet, finances, and career, So Money is the place to get it. Farnoosh Torabi posts a new podcast three times a week, interviewing business people, financial experts, and guests with amazing stories about money. She also answers listeners’ questions every Friday. It’s easy to understand and doesn’t make you feel silly for not knowing everything about your finances. Find out more.
Three excellent binge-listening podcasts
You’ll want to download all these episodes and listen to them in order:
- Serial: The podcast that launched a true-crime phenomenon. Link
- Dirty John: The details of someone’s messy love life ... that ends in murder. Link
- Invisibilia: A podcast about nothing and everything. When you think an episode is about one topic, it takes a radical turn into something totally different. It’s impossible to explain, but so fascinating. Link
Podcasts get more diverse every day
A few years ago, podcasting seemed like a world filled with just heterosexual white guys from sea to shining sea. Lately, though, podcasts are far more diverse, with something for people of every ethnicity, cultural group, sexual orientation, gender identity, and more. And, of course, there’s a show for just about every hobby and personal interest.
If you haven’t started listing to podcasts, the time to start is today (or tomorrow, at the latest. We’re flexible around here).
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