Whether you’re travelling this summer or lounging around at home, podcasts are a great way to learn and be entertained while you soak up the sun! Getting into the world of podcasts can be daunting: there are thousands of podcasts out there on thousands of topics! If you don’t know where to start, we can help. We offer an Introduction to Podcasts to workshop where staff walk you through how to find and listen to podcasts you’ll enjoy. We also compiled a diverse list of staff favourites, categorized by topic, to help you explore podcasts on your own! Read on for the list and get ready to dive into some great listening.
Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend – The funny talk show host has hilarious conversations with good friends.
The Dork Forest – Comedian interviews people about what they are most ‘dorky’ about.
Finding Mastery with Michael Gervais – Deep chats with people from all walks of life about leadership.
On Being – Interviews with guests from all different backgrounds that always begin with the same question: was there a spiritual component to your upbringing?
WTF with Marc Maron – In one of the most celebrated interview podcasts out there, comedian Marc Maron interviews a diverse range of people about their lives.
Current Events and Culture
The Cracked Podcast – Discussion on a wide range of topics from current issues to pop culture, sometimes one-on-one or with a panel submitting their take on a topic (often funny).
More Perfect – This podcast examines the decisions of the US Supreme Court from a variety of angles.
Under the Influence – Fun CBC show that looks at the culture and practice of ads and marketing.
Friendly Fire – A critical and historical look at war movies, with bad jokes!
Unspooled – Excellent reviews of the American Film Institute’s “Top 100” films.
You Must Remember This – In-depth, well-researched serials on individuals and incidents from old Hollywood.
BBC History Extra – A wide range of topics, often interviews with writers and researchers.
The Dollop – Two comedians explore the bizarre people and moments of (mostly) American history.
Hardcore History – Very deep dives into a topic (each series is many hours in length).
Historically Black – A limited 8 episode podcast that was released to coincide with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Histories of the Unexpected – Two energetic professors look at topics from different angles.
History Hit – Short interviews with authors and producers on a wide range of topics.
In Our Time – BBC panel show with professors, various topics.
All In The Mind – Explores the connections between our behaviours and our brains.
Freakonomics Radio – Explores the fascinating hidden side of everything.
Infinite Monkey Cage – From the BBC, serious science topics with a light-hearted slant.
Radiolab – Hosts Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich interview many people and are not afraid to tackle themes from the mundane to the bizarre to the hilarious.
Science Vs – Fact-checking current topics in science.
Stuff You Should Know – One of the most popular podcasts in the world, hosts Josh Clark and Charles W. “Chuck” Bryant dissect a topic each episode and explain ‘how it works’.
Comedy & Trivia
Because News – Gavin Crawford quizzes funny Canadians about current events.
Comedy Bang Bang – Improv interviews and games.
No Such Thing As a Fish – The researchers from the British quiz show QI share their favourite facts.
Taggert and Torrens – Jeremy Taggart and Johnathan Torrens have long conversations, often funny, that touch on Canadian nostalgia.
The Debaters – Comedians debate different issues and the winner is chosen by the live audience and the hilarious host, Steve Patterson.
Generation Why – Two men take an objective look at mostly murders (older episodes feature many mysteries as well).
In the Dark – In-depth exploration of cases that have tied up the justice system for many years.
My Favorite Murder – Two women talk about all things murder.
Small Town Dicks – Yeardley Smith (voice of Lisa Simpson!) hosts detectives who talk about small town crimes.
Girl In Space – An audio diary of a girl in space.
Lore – Explores the folklore behind superstitions and the truth behind urban legends.
Welcome to Night Vale – News, weather, and town events are relayed in a radio broadcast format from the spooky town of Night Vale, where supernatural events occur regularly.
Disclaimer: Although some podcasts will let you know with an E symbol that the broadcast contains explicit content, some may not let you know that the conversation or themes are not appropriate for all audiences. Keep in mind that podcasts are not regulated in the same way as cable television. Please note: we are not responsible for the content of the podcasts mentioned or recommended here. Please use your own discretion to determine which podcasts are right for you.