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Stuck inside? Looking for inspiration, information or amusement? Tired of reading and watching TV? Podcasts are the new it. Your favorite celebrities, influencers, and no-names are starting podcasts – and we are loving them. They are the perfect soundtrack for a long car ride, routine commute, a run, or being stuck at home and wanting to connect with the outside world from your couch. Here are the top podcasts to follow this year.
- 190 million listeners
- 1,446 episodes
Comedian Joe Rogan currently hosts the most listened to podcast, according to Apple, called The Joe Rogan Experience. Last year the podcast alone took home $30 million in revenue. Since its beginning in 2009, over 190 million people have downloaded the podcast to listen to what Rogan calls “long-form conversations” between him and his frequent famous guests. Episodes feature interviews with MMA fighters, comedians, actors, musicians, authors, artists, and more. Past guests have included:
- Michael Yo
- Adam Curry
- Robert Downey Jr.
In addition to the podcast, Rogan has been a comedian for the past 20 years, has made 6 filmed comedy specials, has appeared in several films, and offers commentary for the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
- 34 million listeners
- 214 episodes
Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark created the My Favorite Murder podcast in 2016 and it quickly soared to the top of the charts. Each week, one host of the true-crime comedy podcast picks a single murder, true crime story, survivor story, or historical event and recants it on the podcast while the other host reacts. Both hosts try to make light of the stories through humor while empathizing with both the victims and the perpetrators of the crimes. For the hosts, the podcast acts as their therapy and helps ease their anxiety regarding true crime. The girls have created a fun community of true crime enthusiasts, who refer to themselves as Murderinos, or “people with a borderline obsessive interest in true crime, and the specific nature and details of disturbing murders.” Aside from running the podcast, Karen is a comedian and tv writer while Georgia is a writer and host for the Cooking Channel. As the host says, “Stay sexy and don’t get murdered!”
- 13 million listeners
- 15 episodes a week
The Dave Ramsey Show is a 3-hour long radio program as well as a podcast. Known for his financial literacy courses, Dave Ramsey offers financial advice and literacy courses to his devoted listeners. Ramsey started the program in 1992 and has been one of the top-rated radio shows and podcasts since. The program not only offers advice on how to pay off student loans, credit card debt, and how to set up savings but also gives advice on an emotional and spiritual level. As a known Christian, Ramsey sometimes touches on his faith, discussing Christian-related money philosophy such as tithing. Ramsey also has a seven-step formula to getting out of debt which he details in his several books. The show airs on iHeartRadio every weekday from 2-5pm.
- 1 million listeners
- 192 episodes
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2019 was a beautiful year for us. Will Ferrell made us belly laugh, Esther Perel blew our minds, we toured the Midwest, Monica Lewinsky taught us about emotional vulnerability, Dax farted on a guest and Monica peed in her bed. What a joy. We, at the armchair expert, are endlessly grateful for your support. You make this tiny world of ours go ‘round—we love you Armcherries. Please enjoy our Best of 2019 episode! If you’re feeling like traveling down memory lane, this one is a very fun drive. ❤️🍒❤️
Hosted by American actor, Dax Shepard, Armchair Expert is a weekly episode designed to investigate the messiness of being human. After being a guest on a round of podcasts himself, Shepard fell in love with the format as opposed to the quick tv interviews he was used to. He launched the podcast in 2018 with his wife Kristin Bell as his first guest. Since then, Shepard and his co-host Monica Padman, have interviewed a slew of guests including Ashton Kutcher, Josh Gad, and Claire Danes. Episodes typically run two-hours long allowing for deep, insightful conversations, Shepard claims his 10 years of sobriety, a degree in Anthropology, and improv training qualify him for the job.
- 14 million listeners
- 204 episodes
How I Built This is an NPR podcast hosted by Guy Raz who interviews entrepreneurs about how they built their successful companies. Guy speaks with founders of incredible companies such as Instagram, AirBnB, and LuLuLemon, as well as self-starters such as Mark Cuban. The podcast started in 2016 and became so successful, Raz created the How I Built This Summit in 2018. The event is held at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, California and features several keynote speakers, most of whom being past features on the podcast. Typically an hour long, Raz guides his guests through their story by asking thoughtful questions about their experiences. This podcast is perfect for any hopeful entrepreneurs or anyone just needing a little motivation!
6. The Daily
- 3.8 million listeners
- 5 episodes each week
This one is for all of my news buffs out there. While there are plenty of news channels and daily newsletters out there, The Daily, run by the New York Times, focuses on one topic in the news to highlight each day. Typically between 20-30 minutes long, The Daily gives a much deeper insight into each topic than a headline or a 5-minute clip could. Hosted by Michael Barbaro, each episode typically features interviews from several credible sources as well as outside clips of relevant information to give the reader all the needed context. Although a news podcast, The Daily does a fairly good job of remaining neutral and it attempts to get multiple points of view by interviewing representatives on all sides of the spectrum. If you are interested in becoming more engaged with the world around you, The Daily is a great place to start. As the name suggests, episodes come out every day and the short episodes make the content easy to digest while on your way to work or while sitting on your lunch break. Some recent topics have included:
- The Coronavirus Pandemic
- Recent Supreme Court cases regarding abortion rights
- 2020 presidential campaign
- 265 episodes
Finally, I am ending this list of top podcasts with my personal favorite (and many will agree!) podcast of 2020. The Morning Toast is a millennial morning talk show-style podcast hosted by two sisters, Claudia and Jackie Oshry. Claudia, known online as GirlWithNoJob, and Jackie, known as JackieOProblems, bring their listeners the fast five stories you need to know before taking a bite out of your morning toast. Typically focusing on pop culture, the girls occasionally discuss important political and business stories (or as they call them, Bizz News stories). Just recently, The Morning Toast got the chance to interview Dr. Deborah Birx, head of the U.S. Coronavirus Task Force. The sisters live stream the show every weekday at 10:30 am EST on their YouTube channel and upload the audio as a podcast that same day. Their energizing dynamic and hilarious commentary have led the girls to foster an entire community of fans known as Toasters who created their own private Facebook group and several subcommunities for fans who share common interests. Overall, if you are looking to start your mornings off with the right proverbial breakfast food, The Morning Toast is definitely the way to go.