20 best podcasts of 2021

Podcasts have become a way of life for many of us, becoming as much a part of our routines as a favorite TV show. From entertainment to occupy your mind on the go, to factual podcasts to feed your mind to easy ways to keep up with the world’s news, these audio productions cover an almost unfathomable range of topics and styles to suit any taste. Whether you’re looking for something new to add to your listening library or dipping your toes into the world of podcasting for the first time, we’ve got some must-see new entries and running favorites like this. City Country publishers are obsessed with it now.

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Royally obsessed

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This eternal CGV Editor’s Favorite Podcast gives us the inside scoop on what’s going on in the British Royal Family in an insightful and hilarious way. From details about every Meghan or Kate appearance to a devoted appreciation of the Royal Children, this is the perfect podcast for those looking for a weekly update on their favorite Royals.

silver planet

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“Listening to NPR’s Planet Money every week makes me feel a little smarter. It’s a perfect blend of education and entertainment, and really delivers on its “economy explained” promise, with stories and surprises. ” —Caroline Hallemann

Pop lit

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“Have you ever wondered why you just can’t get that new Taylor Swift song out of your head?” Switched on Pop has your answer. Each week, the podcast’s two expert music hosts dive deep into pop music. of summer “to break down Beyoncé’s latest album, Switched on Pop brings you the stories, musical influences, and the story behind every earworm.” —Annie Goldsmith

Stuff the British stole

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It’s no secret that many of the artifacts we see in museums were acquired by less than ethical means; the spoils of international conflicts, dubious contracts and outright theft. Once a world power that spanned the globe, the British were particularly prolific in acquiring such items. This podcast from Australian broadcaster Marc Fennell takes a look at the troubling and complicated history of some of these artifacts (from stolen African bronzes to Pekingese dogs) and how they came to permeate not only museums but also our daily lives.

99% invisible

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Design lovers, take note: this podcast, which investigates how design and architecture fit into our daily lives, will make you aware of the world around you in a way you have never experienced previously. Topics range from how the invention of the multiplex changed the film industry, the development of contraceptive pill packaging, the ways urban planning influenced urban squirrel populations, and how a good night moon– the hating librarian created sections for kids as we know them, all told in the mellow tones of host Roman Mars.

You are wrong

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Small bits of information are great, but if what you’re craving is a deep dive, turn to the hosts of this conversational podcast for a closer look at moments in history you didn’t even realize. got it wrong, like the BCBG murder, the rise and fall of Tonya Harding, the trial of OJ Simpson and, of course, Princess Diana.

The Heir Pod

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For royal fans looking for an expert perspective on what’s going on in Queen Elizabeth’s family, look no further than The HeirPod (formerly On Heir.) Journalist Omid Scobie is always informative. and offers a behind-the-scenes look at what it really is. loves being a royal correspondent. “—Caroline Hallemann

Decoder Ring

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Pop culture is full of mysteries: where do gender reveal parties come from? How did Judy Garland become a queer icon? Why are we still obsessed with Jennifer Aniston’s relationship status? This podcast aims to answer all of these questions and more with a sarcastic and approachable demeanor that feels like chatting with a shocking friend and culture connoisseur.

How i built this

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This NPR podcast hosted by Guy Raz features interviews with entrepreneurs and founders, sharing the compelling stories of some of the most notable startups and companies of our time. Highlights include Raz episodes starring Bumble’s Whitney Wolfe, Airbnb’s Joe Gebbia, and Burt’s Bees founder Roxanne Quimby. This podcast is a must-have for all aspiring entrepreneurs.

The Daily

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In the 24 hour news cycle, staying up to date can feel overwhelming. This podcast from New York Times aims to make things a little easier by giving you a little scoop every day on the biggest story of the day. Lasting approximately 20 minutes, host Michael Barbaro chats with experts from all walks of life to help you stay informed without getting overwhelmed.

Cautionary tales

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As they say “those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it”, and journalist Tim Harford’s podcast examining major mistakes, unintended consequences and events that shaped history not only tells the stories of those moments but brings them to life in a way that is sure to stay with you.

Keep it

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Hosted by cultural critics and television writers Ira Madison III, Louis Virtel and Aida Osman, Keep It manages to be both a breath of fresh air after a long day and a sharp, thoughtful approach to serious topics like politics and international news. Whether it’s the current state of the GOP or the final season of The bachelorette, you will find yourself immediately drawn into their world. And in quarantine, it seems their guests only have more genius: think Jane Fonda, Jeremy O’Harris, Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy, and more. It’s an intoxicating listening you expect every Wednesday. ” —Lucia Tonelli

Radio Freakonomics

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Freakonomics Radio’s slogan is “the hidden side of everything” and it lives up to its name with episodes exploring everything from the value of workday naps to how economics play out in the animal kingdom to reasons why it’s so hard for people to change their minds. The episodes are smart and technical enough to entertain those familiar with economics, but also accessible enough to hook environmentalists.

Science versus

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Look at all angles with this fun and informative podcast that pits science studies and statistics against some of the bigger puzzles. Does Sport Really Help You Lose Weight? Do Emotional Support Animals Really Make You Feel Better? How does gentrification really affect a community? All episodes, including a plethora of COVID-19 focused episodes, including appearances by Dr.Anthony Fauci, are thoroughly researched (they typically cite up to 100 studies per topic) to find the answers. more complete to all your burning questions.

Pivot

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“Twice a week, Recode’s Kara Swisher and NYU Professor Scott Galloway share their take on the latest tech news. Come for the business analysis, stay for the jokes.”—Caroline Hallemann

Divorces trash

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Put simply, Trashy Divorces is the juicy gossip podcast of dreams – or a good bad relationship podcast. Hosts Stacie and Alicia take a look at the not-so-orderly relationships, makeup and breakups of every famous person like you. might imagine – with an eye opening face the social dynamics that unfolded and continues to exist today.Think of Elizabeth Taylor’s many divorces, a deep dive into Ernest Hemingway’s many loves, as well than more modern explorations of characters like Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley. “Roxanne adamiyat

A thing or two

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Each week, the founders of Of a Kind tout their latest and greatest discoveries, from modern motherhood tips to the perfect plane snack to Instagram-worthy earrings. Their precise recommendations are supplemented by interviews with the entrepreneurs you will hear about everywhere. But, take note: for those who prefer to listen to podcasts at 1.5x speed, resist that temptation here. These women speak fast. “—Caroline Hallemann

Welcome to your fantasy

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If you thought Magic mike was full of drama, the actual story of Chippendales is even more mind-boggling. In this podcast, historian Natalia Petrzela examines how this exotic male dance journal came to be an empire and how her seedy stomach became her own downfall.

Criminal

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This isn’t your average real crime podcast. Rather than focusing on a single case, Criminal examines a wide range of criminal behavior, often delving into the psychology and sociology behind cases as disparate as the Swedish bank robbery of 1973 that gave us the term “Syndrome of. Stockholm ”for people who steal wood fossils from the Petrified Forest National Park.

Following: The best true crime podcasts to listen to right now

Reply to all

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While Reply All is, in theory, a tech podcast, in reality it specializes in telling compelling and intensely human stories of how technology interfaces and affects our lives. Both touching and hilarious, each episode offers something unexpected, from how search engine manipulation helps bad rehab clinics take advantage of people with addictions, to why we all get so many calls. automated, to deep dives into some of the weirdest on the internet. memes.

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