Summertime is here and we’re all emerging out of our pandemic funk. While you’re returning to your favorite activities, maybe you’ve noticed you’re a little different this summer. Last year changed us. With change comes the need for new ideas and fresh perspectives. Whether it’s a conversation that needs to be had or cooking a new cuisine, make room for newness this summer. Immersing yourself in a world of auditorial novelty provides a fresh start, new experiences, and a wonderful way to expand your horizons.
In this article, we give you 10 podcasts across all genres to fill your summer moments with stories that entertain, comfort, and challenge deeply held beliefs. So from all of us at Voxtopica, here’s to a much more hopeful summer, full of incredible moments. Enjoy!
Podcasts to stay informed AND entertained:
Financial news just got fun. Put the Wall Street Journal down for a minute and flip on Snacks Daily. Episodes consist of quick stories that explain the latest news in business and finance. Listeners particularly love the banter and chemistry between the two hosts Jack Kramer and Nick Martell. Their snappy, colorful commentary turns complicated concepts into understandable and entertaining news. You don’t need to work in the finance world to enjoy Snacks Daily; these stories are delivered in a way that any listener can digest, no matter their experience.
We think we know the facts about things like The Challenger Disaster, political correctness, and the phrase “drinking the kool-aid”. But are our assumptions correct? Journalists Michael Hobbes and Sarah Marshall tell us if we’re wrong or not. In each episode, Mike and Sarah challenge listeners to reconsider how they’ve imagined these historic topics. The hosts spend hours researching these topics to bring the whole picture to each episode, allowing listeners to decide for themselves what deeply held perspectives they may be wrong about.
To hear the stories of those who have often gone unnoticed:
Take a trip to Hawaii and discover what you’d never find on vacation through Offshore. Offshore is an immersive storytelling podcast that shares the stories of Hawaiians and their lived experiences. Through investigative and thoughtful journalism, listeners learn both current and historical events that have not only shaped the islands, but the world around them. You don’t need ties to Hawaii to appreciate the stories; Offshore’s motto is this: “Because sometimes being in the middle of nowhere gives you a good perspective on everywhere else.”
We’re all familiar with Appalachia, where we’ve enjoyed hiking and camping trips. But have we really experienced the full narrative of this region? Black families have long contributed and shaped the Appalachian region, yet their stories have historically gone unnoticed. Join hosts Enkeshi El-Amin and Angela Dennis as they travel to various states in Appalachia and discover the stories of people, places, and experiences that show what it means to be Black in Appalachia. The two hosts celebrate Black identity in Appalachia and have explored topics like Appalachian Drag, the secret lives of church ladies, and the rise of Black women in Appalachian politics.
When you’re on a road trip and falling asleep at the wheel:
Stay wide awake with Radio Rental. Radio Rental features bizarre, true scary stories told by those who lived them. These stories are unpredictable, and often take twists that will leave you frightened enough to keep your eyes wide open on long drives. Rainn Wilson stars in Radio Rental as Terry Carnation, America’s strange yet most beloved late-night radio talk show personality.
When you need to get out of your head for a bit:
If you have a curious mind that wonders why people never feel rich…or why we have such a difficult time letting go of old possessions, try Hidden Brain. Through the combination of science and narrative storytelling, host Shankar Vedantam explores human behavior and the unconscious patterns that shape us and our relationships.
Empathy is often the best way to learn about ourselves and the world around us. That’s exactly what Strangers offers. Strangers shares the personal stories of people who have experienced incredible turmoil. Host Lea Thau, a Peabody award-winning producer, takes listeners through the highs and lows of life through these stories. Each story allows us to peer into the lives of others and examine ourselves and the heartbreaks we suffer. You’ll laugh, cry, and learn to appreciate the people around you and all the moments life brings.
When you start feeling the summer blues and just need a laugh:
The podcast world is full of “celebrity interview” shows, but WTF is one that’s worth having in your arsenal. Comedian Marc Maron began WTF in 2009, and has since interviewed tons of comedians, actors, authors, musicians, and well-known public figures. Listeners have especially loved Maron’s probing interview style that encourages guests to open up about topics other interview shows might shy away from. Interviews have included Robin Williams, Stacey Abrams, and Boosty Collins.
Crack open a lager after a day of summer chores and sit down with brothers Drew and Adam Snavely, the self-proclaimed “two idiots discussing weird soccer stories.” Each episode, Drew and Adam share a story from a weird moment in soccer’s history, a story you’ve probably never heard. Episodes are anything but dry as Adam and Drew bring their witty, colorful commentary and, as they put it, a little bit of stupid to these historical and current stories of the world’s game.
For stormy summer nights:
Open a preserved bottle of wine and tune into these vintage audio dramas. The Relic Radio Show brings old time radio shows to modern day audiences. Currently, Relic Radio produces several shows across comedy, horror, suspense, science fiction, and classic radio talk shows. The stories in each show are fully produced with original music, and well-performed by professional actors of decades past.