The definitive guide to podcast playlists in RadioPublic

With so many podcasts to listen to, it can be hard to know where to start.

Do you feel paralyzed by the overwhelming amount of choice when it comes to podcasts? Then we have a #PodcastPlaylist (or several) for you. Our hand-selected collection starts you listening immediately. These playlists are curated by podcasters, authors, reviewers, and other interesting people — as well as by our Podcast Librarian.

To hear when new playlists are available, sign up for our weekly email newsletter — we send out a new batch every Tuesday.

If you have the RadioPublic app installed (iOS | Android), open these playlists on mobile to launch RadioPublic and listen now–or follow to listen later.

Brand new to podcasts? Here are some playlists that serve as good introductions

  • Starter Pack — new to podcasts? Here’s a batch to start with.

Once you’ve listened to those, here’s a few others to try out:

And you may also enjoy these curated selections from meta-podcasts that talk about podcasts:

  • CBC’s Podcast Playlist — Podcast Playlist curates the best stories in podcasting. Each week, your audio DJs Matt Galloway and Lindsay Michael sample some of the most intriguing audio the internet has to offer.
  • The Big Listen — a playlist from Lauren Ober, host of WAMU & NPR’s The Big Listen, public radio’s broadcast about podcasts. TBL chats with indie producers, award-winning journalists, and your favorite celebrities about what they’re making and what they’re listening to.

If you’re finding yourself itching to talk about podcasts with others, these podcast clubs’ podcast playlists are a great place to start listening:

Listen while you work (clean, craft, drive, or wait)

  • Adventure and admiration — episodes that Eleanor Amplified’s creator John Sheehan admires.
  • A fresh coat of episodes — a new sheen to spruce up your listening as you paint, craft, or create around the house.
  • A special podcast delivery — need something to get you through a long day? Here are some stories to help you carry on.
  • Completely Unscientific — a random and engaging selection of episodes from Chris Tarry, a producer of The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel.
  • Crafty— for people who love to DIY.
  • Death, Sex & Money’s Listener Picks— Death, Sex & Money host Anna Sale asks for listener podcast recommendations weekly in her email newsletter.
  • Do the Hustle — a selection of podcasts that serve as rocket fuel as you launch yourself or your new idea.
  • Episodes that deliver— for stop-and-go driving, deliveries, or errands.
  • Flush full of episodes— waiting for the repairman to arrive? This playlist is filled to the brim with entertaining episodes to pass the time away.
  • Grab Bag — Colour Code’s Denise Balkisoon shares episodes she listened to while developing her show.
  • Hubspot Presents Productivity— fascinating podcast episodes about productivity: getting better at it, learning to live a more balanced life, and setting goals.
  • Influences & Inspirations — Hrishikesh Hirway, host of Song Exploder, shares three podcasts that inspired him to create the show.
  • Interesting Boring Stuff— you’ll be surprised by how gripping a tale can be spun from these seemingly innocuous, everyday things.
  • Lazy Sunday — what Phoebe Robinson (host of Sooo Many White Guys and co-host of 2 Dope Queens) listens to during her downtime.
  • Need a boost? — episodes that’ll give you a spring in your step or a brighter outlook on the day ahead.
  • Out There — what to listen to in the middle of nowhere from Fil Corbitt, producer of Van Sounds.
  • Row by row— data entry on your daily to-do list? No need to update your podcasts, too, these stories, interviews, and discussions will keep your fingers dancing.
  • Smarter Dumber — episodes that influence how Baby-sitters Club Club hosts Jack Shepherd and Tanner Ringerud think.
  • So Fresh, So Clean— your listening motivation to tidy up around the house.
  • Taking your listening to new heights — prepare your ladder: these episodes are perfect for home improvements or a day of hard labor.

Playlists that’ll make you feel things

  • Ah, Youth— nostalgia-drenched episodes about youthful rites of passage.
  • Audio Feels — episodes that laugh, sing, squirm and move, selected by Wondery.
  • Awkward Moments — a collection of memorable episodes with epically uncomfortable moments, collected by Andrea Silenzi from Why Oh Why.
  • Creative Paths— stories about making creative work and living a creative life — and where the artists let their guard down and go deep. Curated by Sophie Harper, creator of Not By Accident.
  • Do you remember when?— stories to flood you with childhood memories.
  • Do the thing — episodes that inspire The Ladycast’s Alex Laughlin to #dothething.
  • Happy Media — what if you could take a media break and listen to something not as depressing, something that could even bring a smile to your face? It’s possible! From Mark Glaser, the publisher at MediaShift.
  • If You Love Comedy Bang Bang— episodes that feature members of the extended CBB family.
  • It’s Complicated — The Longest Shortest Time’s favorite episodes about parenthood and families.
  • I Want to Feel All the Emotions — Anne Kim, writer of Hop on My Pod, says that if this selection of episodes doesn’t make you cry, you’re made of steel.
  • Laughing for America — Earwolf shows that’ll help you navigate and understand the US in 2017.
  • LGBTQ+ Stories— stories and voices that resonate with Sophie Harper, host of Not By Accident, through their explorations of identity, community, courage, vulnerability, and parenting.
  • Love Me’s Top Ten — mira burt-wintonick and Cristal Duhaime, co-creators and producers of CBC’s Love Me, highlight a range of emotions, from playfulness to deeper feelings.
  • Loving Love — Heart-warming and heart-wrenching stories and interviews about love and romance.
  • On Repeat — episodes author Joshua Wolf Shenk wants to hear over and over again.
  • Podcast Joys— David Nadelberg, founder and producer of the Mortified podcast, shares his favorite shows.
  • Radiotopia in Love — love, dating, and relationship episodes from Radiotopia.
  • Radiotopia’s Lady-powered — the women hosts of Radiotopia share some of their favorite episodes for Women’s History Month.
  • Recharge & Resist — Andrew Ti from Yo, Is This Racist? shares a playlist of how he unwinds and winds up.
  • Uncanny Conviction — documentaries about how our beliefs can bend reality, selected by KCRW.
  • Unforgettable— episodes that have stuck with Joseph Fink (creator of Welcome To Night Vale and Alice Isn’t Dead) for years.
  • Verbal Virtuosos — explanations of things that are as beautiful (or strange, or rewarding) as the very things they’re explaining. From the creators of KCRW’s The Organist.

Family-friendly playlists

  • Family Matters — adventurous episodes in science, fiction, and kid-friendly news that are fun for the whole family.
  • Kids Talk — hear what happens when young people take over the mic and tell it like it is.
  • The Latest for Kids and Families — a monthly updated playlist from Stefan Shepherd from Zooglobble, a kids audio website.
  • Road Trip with Kids — family-friendly listening for long drives, curated by Pastime’s Podcasts for Parents creator Andrew Roper.

Health, science, & technology

Just the right length

  • 30 at 30 — thirty 30 minute episodes, perfect for your morning commute.
  • Long Haul— 60+ minute episodes for that long trip.
  • Quick Hits — Short on time? Try these quick hits.

All around us: the world, how it works, and how we live in it

  • The American Revolution — episodes that highlight Boston and Cambridge’s role in the American Revolution, as selected by Freepoint Hotel.
  • American Stories — episodes that explore different aspects of what it means to be American, selected by Paige Pfleger from WHYY’s The Pulse.
  • Bay Area Represent — must listen picks from around the Bay Area, curated by KQED.
  • Boston Like A Local — local listening from around Beantown, selected by Freepoint Hotel Cambridge.
  • Body Talk — how women’s bodies intersect with their health, families, sexuality, pasts and aspirations, from The Intern’s Allison Behringer.
  • China Rising — podcasts that explore the Middle Kingdom and its people.
  • Deeper Melodies — Danielle LaPorte digs for the meaning in art.
  • (Dis)Unity — stories about unity in today’s world: people striving for it, people trying to break it up, and people just trying to hang on, selected by Josh Swartz, curator of PRX Remix and in-house producer at PRX.
  • Doing Time — interpretations on the theme of “doing time” from the Radiotopia network to celebrate the launch of their newest show, Ear Hustle.
  • Episodes That Will a Maize You — listen as your garden grows.
  • Future Possible — understanding our options, opportunities and obstacles moving into a new year, selected by Debbie Millman, host of Design Matters.
  • Gangland— March 2017’s Podcast Brunch Club selections educate us on the reasons people join gangs, their motivation for staying in them, and how they can impact a community.
  • Get Outside— episodes that transport you into the great outdoors, selected by the production team behind Outside/In.
  • Get To Know Yourself, America — Mash-Up American looks inward for a glimpse into a few all-American obsessions: sex, money, race, and politics.
  • Girl Power— equity and empowerment fill these feminist episodes, from work to literature to movies.
  • Government 101— Episodes to help you understand America’s government and what’s happening in politics right now, recommended by the team behind The Washington Post’s Can He Do That? podcast.
  • Having the Talk(s) — talking to your kids about the hard stuff.
  • Head-scratchers — Is the sky really blue? What if we couldn’t lie? Should pugs exist? This is a playlist for people who love asking big questions, from the team behind Brains On! — a podcast featuring science and kids.
  • Hidden Conflicts — questioning and unraveling hidden assumptions, from Hi-Phi Nation’s Barry Lam.
  • History: It Happened — learn more about the large and small moments when men, women, dogs, buildings, and musical recordings made history.
  • History Podcasts Made by Women— expand away from the male-dominated narrative of history with this selection from Calen Cross, writer for The Bello Collective.
  • Human Footnotes— finding some of the most interesting humans of history in the footnotes, from Footnoting History.
  • Inside REAL Appalachia— Scott Finn from West Virginia Public Broadcasting and The Front Porch podcast shares episodes that bridge the rural/urban and rich/poor divides of Appalachia.
  • Learn & Laugh — Learning and laughing are maeve higgins’s two favorite activities — and these shows make her do both, sometimes at the same time. Isn’t that the dream?
  • Lost and found — stories about lost people, places and things, selected by The Auditors.
  • Making Noise Down South— stories of race and social justice in the American South, selected by Tina Antolini, host and producer of Southern Foodways’s Gravy.
  • Myths & Legends — whether it’s radio drama, nonfiction, education, or drunken banter, these episodes on mythology, folklore, and storytelling will inspire you to tell some of your own, from Spirits: A Drunken Dive into Myths and Legends.
  • NDN Audio — an introduction to a diverse, exciting & undeniable group of Indigenous storytellers & podcasters, collected by Ryan McMahon Comedy, founder of the Indian and Cowboy podcast network.
  • Podcast Block Party — it’s like everyone on D.S. Moss’s block in Brooklyn has a podcast (and so does he — The Adventures of Memento Mori).
  • Pride — LGBTQ-themed episodes from the Radiotopia network.
  • Prison — get a taste of life on the inside, selected by the Podcast Brunch Club.
  • Real Talk — complicated conversations that make us better people, collected by radio producer Veronica Simmonds.
  • Relatable American History — selected moments in US history from the team behind the Confluence of Events podcast.
  • Sean’s Top 5— go behind the scenes on politics, media, and the economy with these picks from Sean Blanda, co-founder of Technically Media.
  • Screening Politics — smart, substantive conversations about Hollywood’s dealings with and interpretations of tricky political conversations from Slate’s Represent Aisha Harris.
  • Sound As… — the stories we tell can act as a window or a veil: They can expand our tiny worlds, or they can further our myopia. Curated by Robert Andersson from Awful Grace.
  • Stories of Gender Transition — episodes about people who transition from one gender to another — socially, physically, and legally. Chosen by the The Bello Collective’s Galen Beebe.
  • Surreal Mundane — episodes that exist in a state of unusual normalcy, selected by Jeff Emtman and Bethany Denton from Here Be Monsters.
  • Ten Things We Listened to in 2016 — Claire Mazur and Erica Cerulo, founders of Of A Kind and hosts of the podcast A Few Things, share what made them laugh, cry, and feel more informed this year.
  • The Feast — meals that made history, sporadic recipes, and patchy puns, from The Feast’s Laura Carlson.
  • Unscrewing Love—unpacking the myths of love with Jaclyn Friedman from the Unscrewed podcast.
  • We made this— the people who make things and the things they made, from food and typography to sports and robots.
  • We’re really not that different — Sara from the Audible Feast selects episodes to open your mind.
  • What’s going on?— if you’ve been asking yourself this question a lot, Reid Frazier from Allegheny Front and Trump on Earth compiled this playlist to begin answering it.
  • What’s happening there? — episodes that influence the way the creators of What’s Happening Here think about people and places.
  • Whhhaaa?— Harsh reminders of what was and what is, from Laine Kaplan-Levenson of TriPod: New Orleans at 300.
  • Who am I? — Where does your identity come from and how is it expressed? Stories and conversations about how we become ourselves.
  • Women Making Waves — fierce female voices on race, gender, and culture from Lissen Podcasts.
  • Women Who Kick It — ladies from past and present to inspire your outlook on what women can do, from ArtCurious Podcast’s Jennifer Dasal.

Indulge your inner nerd: the things that make the world more interesting and fun


  • Australian Audio — a dip in the (much warmer) oceans of Australian audio, curated by Kate Montague, the founder of Audiocraft.
  • Between Friends — Creative audio that blurs the lines between music and talk, from radio maker Jon Tjhia.
  • Beyond Sportcasting — sports stories that go beyond the stat sheets from The Players’ Tribune.
  • Beyond True Crime — stories about crime and so much more from First Day Back’s Tally Abecassis.
  • Boo!— episodes that will keep you awake at night.
  • Crafted Audio — selected works from presenters at the 2017 Audiocraft conference.
  • Day by Day— the things we do daily that we don’t talk about.
  • Detective You— uncovering a collection of episodes for amateur sleuths.
  • Fact and Fiction — factual podcasts, the fictive ones and those where the line is happily unclear, selected by Terence Mickey from Memory Motel.
  • Gamechangers— Helen Zaltzman, host of Answer Me This! and The Allusionist, shares episodes that break the mold of a show’s already established conventions.
  • Get Schooled— go back to school.
  • Goodnight — a bedtime playlist (that won’t send you to sleep), from Bec Fary of Sleeptalker.
  • Grab the Popcorn — these episodes are as good as going to a movie. Lean back and let the surround sound envelop you in these cinematic podcast episodes.
  • Grit & gumption— stories of guts, courage and moxie, curated by Catherine Burns, Artist Director at The Moth.
  • A Healthy Internet — real stories of life online and real talk about the future of the Web, curated by Veronica Belmont, host of IRL: Online Life is Real Life from Mozilla.
  • How We Met— unexpected stories of connection, discovery and adventure that highlight the “chance” of meeting, from Bart Warshaw of Kismet.
  • Imaginary Worlds — Christy Gressman, producer of Orbiting Human Circus (of the Air) and director of new show development and production at Night Vale Presents, guides us through a series of imaginary worlds for the audio drama explorer.
  • Introducing Topic — a playlist of podcasts from First Look Media’s new studio.
  • Listen Closely— episodes to make you think and perk your ears, from Radiotopia’s executive producer JULIE SHAPIRO.
  • Live from… — a selection of stories told live on stage.
  • Love, Uncharted— the producers ofJules & James want you to fall in love with the unknown.
  • New takes on old stories — fresh takes on topics you might think you already know, from the team at hyperallergic.
  • No Sh*t!?— wonder if this could happen to you? It can, and it does. A collection of true stories, told live on stage or in the studio.
  • Podster Magazine Recommends— a sample of what the team at Podster is listening to right now.
  • Radio Diaries Top 6— picks from Joe Richman, producer and host of Radio Diaries.
  • Stories That Could Be True — radio drama and fiction favorites from the producers of The Heart.
  • Stories They Could Tell — It’s one of the primal human urges: “Tell me a story.” Bill Barol, host and producer of HOME: Stories from L.A., shares great moments from master storytellers.
  • Surprise! — episodes that twist and turn, subtly and loudly, selected by Megan Tan, host and producer of Millennial Podcast.
  • Thrills and Chills— murders, disappearances, ghosts, and other shiver-inducing episodes that’ll keep you in suspense.
  • Top Picks from Criminal — Lauren Spohrer, co-creator of the award-winning podcast Criminal, shares episodes filled with playfulness and nerve.
  • Unnarrated — FiveThirtyEight’s Jody Avirgan shares stories that tell themselves.
  • Weird Fiction — some of the most unsettling, most disturbing, most flat-out-weird fiction podcasts selected by the team behind Archive 81 and The Deep Vault. If you like cosmic horror, strange audio, or just being deeply freaked out, take a listen. With the lights on.
  • Writers Gone Rogue — stories of writers and readers in unexpected situations, from unexpected sources. Curated by Electric Literature, dedicated to expanding the influence of literature in popular culture and fostering innovative literary conversations.

The best of…

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Many thanks to Ma’ayan Plaut for all the work she put into compiling and organizing this article.

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