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HomeHot NewsThe 16 Best Podcasts We Listened To This Year

The 16 Best Podcasts We Listened To This Year

I’ve been considering rather a lot about a piece from Nicholas Quah in Vulture this fall about how podcasting had failed to supply a zeitgeisty, water-cooler present for the reason that heights of “Serial,” when it appeared everybody — your co-workers, your mates, strangers on the subway — had a idea on the homicide of Hae Min Lee. Podcasting has soared since then in quantity, if not recognition. There’s at all times a brand new present to recap the most recent TV sequence or a actuality TV star with a modest Instagram following who simply purchased a mic. The highest podcasts on Apple’s charts are virtually at all times the identical few with huge followings. There are additionally the stable on a regular basis listens — “The Day by day,” “Immediately Defined” and “Up First,” amongst others — that persistently repopulate one’s feed, perhaps pushing down the extra area of interest sequence and experimental listens which may have taken maintain a decade in the past.

That’s to not say nobody’s making an attempt something new or unearthing a narrative that hasn’t but been informed. It simply may be more durable to seek out it.

Anecdotally, it looks as if one of the best ways to find a brand new present is by phrase of mouth — I’ve had a number of folks advocate the pleasant “Regular Gossip,” which seems on the checklist under, IRL. Others I downloaded simply because the premise appeared fascinating.

Not each present on this checklist was began this 12 months — there are some established podcasts nonetheless doing nice work that deserved nods — whereas others are a few of our favourite new choices. A few of the reveals under recurrently replace, whereas others are self-contained seasons. All in all, they’re one of the best issues the HuffPost employees has listened to in 2022. We hope you’ll discover a new favourite amongst them. — Jillian Capewell

I’ve laughed, cried and furiously taken notes all through my time listening to Monica Padman and Liz Plank’s new podcast, “Race to 35.” The 2 chronicle their egg-freezing and retrieval journey on the pod, which is dedicated to insightful conversations about womanhood, fertility, parenthood and Monica’s reluctance to do TikToks.

I’ve beloved how each severe and foolish this podcast is, as the 2 give themselves permission to ask friends “dumb” questions (that all of us need to know the reply to), admit after they’re scared about sure components of the method, discuss by means of their unease and discomfort and pleasure round presumably turning into a mother or father, and actually pioneer a brand new dialog round egg freezing. The 2 have had such wonderful friends — Emily Oster, Chelsea Handler and Christina Perri amongst them — and have lined matters like what it’s wish to undergo miscarriage after miscarriage, why some folks need to be childless and how one can finest educate your self on the misinformation that comes together with ladies and medication (can we get extra funding, PLEASE?!).

Full disclosure, I’m not really fascinated by freezing my eggs, however I’m a loyal ArmCherry and simply needed to see what this podcast “was all about.” I’m so glad I listened — and you may be too. — Carly Ledbetter

Hear on Spotify | Apple Podcasts

The ethics of gossip and the customarily sexist judgments towards gossiping are regularly a subject of dialog amongst my buddies, so it is smart that we have now latched onto Defector Media’s “Regular Gossip.” Hosted by Kelsey McKinney, a self-proclaimed unbearable gossip, every episode incorporates a totally different visitor who shares their relationship to gossip after which listens to McKinney learn them a juicy, anonymized story submitted by a listener. Whereas the podcast was solely launched this 12 months, there are already three seasons’ value of messy tales, starting from pal journeys gone mistaken to neighborhood scandals; my private favourite is Season 2, Episode 6: Podcast Well-known, which tells the story of a pal group’s intense obsession with a podcast that crosses boundaries in fully surprising methods.

“Regular Gossip” elicits the sensation of doing recon in a bar rest room with buddies, or receiving a textual content that claims, “Can I say one thing imply?” — it’s thrilling, it’s hilarious and it’s reclaiming the enjoyment of being nosy. — Alexandra Niforos

Hear on Spotify | Apple Podcasts

"Citations Needed"; "Finding Raffi"; "Normal Gossip."
“Citations Wanted”; “Discovering Raffi”; “Regular Gossip.”

Courtesy “Citations Wanted”/iHeartRadio and Fatherly/Tara Jacoby

Regardless of studies that I used to be a “Child Beluga” diehard in toddlerhood, I hadn’t thought a lot about legendary youngsters’s singer-songwriter Raffi since then — till I stumbled upon this podcast. Host Chris Garcia, a comic and new father who turns into curious concerning the man behind “Bananaphone,” tracks the musician’s beginnings, his enduring legacy and his advocacy for youngsters, interspersing interviews with Raffi himself alongside his collaborators and youngsters’s specialists.

Raffi, who began out in Toronto’s folks scene, stood agency towards large manufacturers and studios that needed to capitalize on his recognition, sustaining that he didn’t need to topic his younger followers to an more and more commercialized world. It’s an enchanting, nostalgic and comfortable have a look at the originator of so many childhood favorites. — Jillian Capewell

Hear on Spotify | Apple Podcasts

Being a nationwide information reporter can typically really feel like being a hazmat diver: It’s a paycheck, however you find yourself lined in muck. Politicians, PR masters, company communications departments, mainstream media networks — everybody has their “spin” on present occasions, and highly effective pursuits are sometimes profitable in shaping headlines and influencing the favored understanding of “the information.”

That’s the place “Citations Wanted,” a podcast about “the media, energy, PR and the historical past of bullshit,” is available in. Hosts Nima Shirazi and Adam Johnson are specialists at unpacking the information behind the headlines, choosing aside phony research, and exhibiting how the historic inertia behind nebulous ideas like “nationwide safety” or being “robust on crime” is commonly used to prop up, properly, bullshit. Shirazi and Johnson have an important rapport and infrequently embody well-informed friends. Value a hear in case you’re making an attempt to decontaminate your information food regimen. — Matt Shuham

Hear on Spotify | Apple Podcasts

“Cocktails and Takeaways” is without doubt one of the freshest and most conversational podcasts I listened to this 12 months. Hosted by the ever lovable and charismatic Madame Joyce, the podcast is like pulling up on certainly one of your homegirls with a bottle of wine and capturing the shit about any- and all the pieces. Amid a podcast universe the place poisonous masculinity and trifling relationship recommendation can really feel as all-consuming as ever, Madame Joyce brings straightforward dialog with quite a few friends who speak about all the pieces from their unpopular opinions to risqué however relatable sexual exploits to celeb gossip.

Nothing is left uncovered on the sequence, and the podcast group can effortlessly hop from episode to episode speaking concerning the housing disaster within the U.Ok. and psychological well being consciousness or BBLs and the most recent drama on “Love Island.” Better of all, Madame Joyce has an infectious snigger that may go away you smiling all the best way to the final second of the episode. — Erin E. Evans

Hear on Spotify | Apple Podcasts

When folks consider the phrase “cheerleader,” I’d wager an honest quantity of them envision the star-spangled, high-kicking Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. I’m fairly certain I knew what a DCC was as a child, even earlier than I realized the Cowboys had been a soccer group. However there’s much more behind the pompoms and hip swivels — Cowboys cheerleaders are anticipated to be attractive however healthful, athletic however lithe, they usually’re informed they’re residing the dream whereas barely making rent.

On “America’s Women,” host Sarah Hepola explores the DCC’s historical past and legacy, inspecting the contradictions inherent within the group whereas nonetheless celebrating it and honoring the ladies who contributed to the squad. Hepola speaks to former cheerleaders, together with the primary girl to ever don the enduring uniform, the dressmaker who put it collectively and the onetime English trainer who began the squad itself. This illuminating present, peppered with charming interviews, is one value cheering for. — Capewell

Hear on Spotify | Apple Podcasts

“Rockonteurs,” hosted by rock musicians Gary Kemp (Spandau Ballet) and Man Pratt (Pink Floyd, Madonna), seems to be at musicians, producers and different figures behind a number of the largest bands, songs and concert events of the Sixties, ’70s and ’80s. Highlights of the present’s 2022 season embody the episodes with Noddy Holder of Slade; rock-journalist-turned-publicist Barbara Charone; and music producer Ken Scott, who labored with the Beatles, Elton John, David Bowie and extra. Kemp and Pratt are additionally a part of Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets and techniques, which recreates the early Pink Floyd sound, they usually’ve had Mason on the present twice. — Ed Mazza

Like many Individuals, I found the present “Derry Women” on Netflix and instantly fell in love with the characters, in addition to the backdrop for his or her hilarious antics ― the town of Derry, Northern Eire. Sadly, the third and last season of the present wasn’t accessible to U.S. viewers till October of this 12 months, however as I awaited its launch, I used to be lucky to have the women of the “Speaking Derry Women” podcast to maintain me firm.

The podcast is each a superb companion to the present and a pleasant standalone hear. Hosted by three girls who group up within the titular city, “Speaking Derry Women” gives hilarious and heartwarming commentary concerning the sequence, interviews with solid members and precise Derry locals, a stable dose of tradition and historical past, and loads of “craic.” Over the course of my listening, I’ve laughed, cried and realized a variety of Irish slang that I hope I can use throughout a future go to sometime. — Caroline Bologna

“Fruit Love Letters” is true to its title, in that the episodes are fairly actually odes to fruits that lots of our provide chain-normalized palates would possibly see as frequent or underappreciated. Host Jessamine Starr, a chef primarily based in Atlanta, dives deep into the typically inconceivable histories of sure fruits with farmers, scientists, cooks and fans to reciprocate in variety the love fruits give to us recurrently. By her expansive analysis into totally different cultural makes use of and place-based origin tales, you’ll by no means take with no consideration an avocado, apple or fig once more. — Jared Greenhouse

"Welcome to Provincetown"; "We Were Three"; "Fruit Love Letters."
“Welcome to Provincetown”; “We Had been Three”; “Fruit Love Letters.”

Rococo Punch, Stitcher and Room Tone/Pablo Delcan/Alexandra Bowman

Listening to this podcast felt like tagging alongside on a life-changing summer season trip — one spent in Provincetown, Massachusetts, a once-sleepy seashore city on the Cape that’s now often known as a haven for artists and LGBTQ people. Host Mitra Kaboli spends a season documenting P-town and its residents, from queer youth on their very own for the primary time to old-timers to performers hustling nonstop whereas enterprise is nice.

By checking in recurrently with a rotating solid of characters, Kaboli showcases the city’s bass-thumping, party-centric facet — she calls it at one level “the horniest place I’ve ever been” — in addition to the less-fun actuality of a city the place housing, particularly inexpensive housing, is scant, limiting who can really come and reside out their finest P-town summer season. It’s a loving travelogue and a testomony to the significance of accessible queer areas. — Capewell

Very like grief, the pandemic just isn’t a tidy factor with concrete edges and ends. From a chicken’s-eye view, a lot is again to regular: The airports are full once more, the trains filled with commuters, weddings and birthdays occurring as deliberate. However up shut, so many are nonetheless coping with COVID-19 and its aftershocks, the lack of greater than 1 million American lives and a populace that’s fast to neglect.

That’s the finest case I could make for why “We Had been Three” appears like a vital a part of our collective processing. The three-part podcast facilities on Rachel McKibbens and her relationship together with her father and brother, who each died from COVID. Their story strikes between latest historical past — 2020, when paranoia and misinformation had been peaking — and earlier of their lives. “We Had been Three” is a looking, heart-wrenching have a look at loss, household, abuse and the chances that the pandemic lower quick. — Capewell

We’ve gotten to know radio persona Angie Martinez over time as “the voice of New York” on Scorching 97 and Energy 105.1, interviewing a number of the world’s largest celebrities and artists. This 12 months, she lastly launched her personal podcast, “Angie Martinez IRL,” the place she talks to celebrities about their lives, their fears, their wishes and their superpowers.

The sequence kicked off with a deeply introspective dialog with actor Lauren London, who misplaced her accomplice Nipsey Hussle in 2019. London talks matter-of-factly about her grieving course of in a manner that’s relatable to anybody who’s been “on the entrance row of a funeral,” she says. That episode particularly has caught with me for the reason that podcast’s premiere in July.

In different episodes, Martinez effortlessly will get celebs — together with Mary J. Blige, Derek Jeter and Usher — to be their most weak selves. And in some episodes, just like the one with Kelly Rowland, Martinez herself opens as much as audiences like by no means earlier than, sharing the story of when she discovered that her estranged father was the truth is nonetheless alive. It’s a heartfelt and infrequently enjoyable hear that may have you ever fascinated by your personal life in brand-new methods. — Evans

Typically all I desire a podcast to do is to take over my inside monologue so I can provide my very own ideas a relaxation. Emma Chamberlain’s “Something Goes” is ideal for that — the YouTuber with a superb eye for interior design and a knack for making small talk on the Met Gala covers every kind of matters, from failure to intercourse to residing in Los Angeles, in a chill, stream-of-consciousness format. One in every of my favourite latest matters was “Is anybody really cool?”

I want it to the everyday format of celebrity-led podcasts with a rotation of well-known friends. There’s no preamble or mutual gushing, simply Chamberlain’s reflections and beyond-her-years insights put middle stage. I actually may have used this podcast in my 20s, however I nonetheless have lots to study, and the clear-eyed, mild journeys by means of Chamberlain’s thoughts are perfect for a quiet second of self-care. — Capewell

Chicago comedians Dan Friesen and Jordan Holmes have spent 5 years and greater than 700 episodes peeling again the curtain of the conspiracy platform Infowars. The 2 hosts have sacrificed their very own sanity to convey listeners an in-depth have a look at the circus run by Alex Jones, the host of “Infowars” who was lately ordered to pay more than $1 billion to the households of Sandy Hook Elementary Faculty capturing victims for lies he unfold about them on his present. Informative, enraging and at all times humorous, “Information Battle” has been cited by quite a few publications over time, and it’s required listening for anybody inquisitive about how purveyors of disinformation make their cash off lies. — Sebastian Murdock

A podcast targeted on sound would possibly sound like an apparent idea — after all, a medium you primarily take heed to could be well-suited for that. However “Twenty Thousand Hertz,” which has been doing wonderful, area of interest deep dives on the sounds of day by day life since 2016, is something however apparent. This 12 months, host Dallas Thomas explored the enduring gibberish language of “The Sims,” Home windows log-on jingles, the TikTok voice-to-text woman and 900 numbers of the ’80s and ’90s, to call only a few. Studying extra about every sound provides a richness to the quotidian, the conclusion that there’s a lot extra behind the issues we hear on a regular basis. In case you haven’t given this present a strive but, you must. — Capewell

Even probably the most diehard actuality relationship present devotee (me) can admit the style is missing in some severe methods. There’s the evident lack of variety (race, sexuality, physique dimension — you title it). The overly produced drama. The well-worn tropes. Typically you simply need the enjoyable of listening about another person’s relationship life with out all the bags — which is the place “This Is Relationship” is available in.

4 singles have their first dates recorded on video chat — with producers listening in and throwing them dialog starters and questions aimed to get previous typical small discuss alongside the best way. Behavioral scientist and relationship coach Logan Ury can also be readily available to work by means of relationship hangups and supply insights for anybody who’s swiping endlessly into the void. It’s a pinch of voyeurism, a touch of self-help and, if nothing else, welcome commiseration for anybody nonetheless on the lookout for the one. — Capewell

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