The One True Podcast Queen: Summer Podcast Recommendations


Future Instagram Bio:

Hannah Brashers, affectionately known by friends as “The Podcast Queen”

This is actually false. Unfortunately, nobody calls me “The Podcast Queen”, and this is not actually my Instagram bio. However, as someone who listens to a lot of podcasts, I truly think of myself as the One True Podcast Queen. Because I listen to so many and because I am perpetually discussing what I’ve recently heard with my friends, I am the go-to person for podcast recommendations.

For me, summer is the best time to get into podcasts because what better thing to do on road trips? What better alternative to talking to your family at family reunions? What better thing to listen to on your morning run? Podcasts are also a wonderful way to utilize your time as you lay poolside or at the beach and feel too sticky and tired and hot to read a book.

If I have left out any of your favorite podcasts or if you enjoy any of these recommendations let me know in the comments section. Happy listening!

(I have marked my favorites with asterisks.)

N E W S:

The Daily from The New York Times*** and Up First from NPR***

Both of these podcasts have new episodes every morning Monday-Friday and are both always under 20 minutes long. These podcasts are my primary news sources every day. Michael Barbaro, from The Daily always covers the most current events but this podcast is unique in that he always manages to snag interviews with the most politically powerful insiders who have firsthand knowledge about these events. When friends ask me where they can find news outside of Facebook and without  having to read the newspaper, I always recommend these two podcasts. 

On Point with Tom Ashbrook***

This podcast is released every Monday through Friday. Ashbrook usually covers a particularly controversial current issue but is remarkably unbiased in his presentation of these issues. When addressing a specific issue, he usually hosts guests that represent both sides of the issue. This show is unique in format in that after talking with the “experts,” Ashbrook takes callers from around the country. 

F U N: 

Serial (Season 1)***

This was the first podcast that I ever listened to and I was instantly hooked. This tells the true story of the 1999 murder of high-schooler Hae Min Lee. It is emotionally compelling. It is gripping. It is entertaining. 10/10


From the makers of Serial, S-Town tells the true story of a small town in Alabama and all of the dramatic and absurd happenings. This particular podcast was hugely popular when it was released a few months ago. Although I enjoyed it, I did not find it as compelling as many of my friends who are absolutely obsessed with it. I recommend giving it a try though.

Fresh Air***

I categorized this podcast under “F U N” even though many might find this an alarmingly nerdy move. The host of Fresh Air from NPR is Terry Gross, one of the greatest journalists of our time. Over the past few decades, Gross has interviewed some of the world’s most brilliant and remarkable minds. 

This American Life***

Hosted by Ira Glass, voted #1 American News Hottie by me, this podcast is difficult to describe in that it covers a variety of stories from Fermi’s Paradox (a scientific and philosophical exploration of the possibility of extraterrestrial life) to the issue of school integration. Almost every episode is guaranteed to make me cry, and I always gain a new perspective about an issue that I had either never thought about at all or had never thought about in that particular way.


Brought to us by the 21 year old Tavi Gevinson of Rookie Mag, this podcast covers everything from feminism to creativity to body positivity and is a super fun and interesting listen. It is my go-to podcast when I am not in the mood for the heaviness of a politics podcast or when I want to ignore my own problems for 30 minutes. 

P O L I T I C S:

NPR Politics***

This one is pretty self-explanatory. During the Comey hearings or during the weeks when the AHCA was moving through Congress, I used this podcast to gain a deeper insight into the inner workings of American politics. Because sometimes the brief ness of The Daily does not provide me with enough details or context, this podcast has been invaluable in helping me grasp the complexities of many current issues.  

Pod Save the World and Pod Save America

I love this two podcasts so much. I think this is because the hosts are hilarious and always incredibly angry. These podcasts are political commentary and appear to be the progressive equivalent to the conservative talk radio I was raised on as a child. The only difference is that the hosts (Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett, Dan Pfeiffer and Tommy Vietor) use both facts and experts to back up their opinions and claims in a way that is extraordinarily entertaining and informative. 

Code Switch***

This podcast does the very thing that I am so passionate about. Fostering conversations about race, ethnicity, and culture, this podcast is on the frontline in fighting for racial equality in America. I have learned so much from listening to this and I recommend  this for those who are interested in the topic of race relations. 

N E R D  O U T:

LSE: Publilc lectures and events (London School of Economics and Political Science)

This podcast is super nerdy. Maybe the nerdiest podcast on my list. Featuring lectures from the world’s most intelligent thinkers, I have learned about the effectiveness of capitalism and the Palestinian and Israeli conflict. While other podcasts present topics like these in a more watered down and digestible fashion, these lectures are dense and complex in a way that is intensely satisfying and informative. 

Freakonomics Radio

Like “This American Life,” Freakonomics Radio is difficult to describe because it covers so many topics but each episode is presented from an interesting and informative perspective.

Science Vs and Hidden Brain

I have only listened to a few episodes of each of these podcasts when I was going through a very science obsessed phase a few months ago. Both of these podcast were recommended to me and I enjoyed the few episodes I listened to. I don’t have time to listen to these on the regular but I would still recommend them if you are interested in science. 



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