The 50 best podcasts to listen to right now

50 Best Podcasts to Listen to in 2022

Go to the contentGo to the footer

Illustration of two people sitting down listening to podcastsImage: Shutterstock

The best podcasts out there have one thing in common: you can listen to them no matter what’s going on around you

The golden age of radio didn’t end – it evolved. Now we live in the time of peak podcast, an era where we can get a direct infusion of knowledge, comedy, music, opinion, intrigue and discourse while showering, working, running or just lazing about. There are seemingly infinite podcasts out there, from influential squawk-boxes like Joe Rogan and Howard Stern to amateur shows produced in basements. That’s the beauty: Anyone with a mic and a hard drive can make a podcast. 

The best podcasts maximize the medium’s potential, incorporating interesting voices, immaculately curated topics and an ear for storytelling. They include true-crime opuses and whip-smart comedy. Among them, you’ll find enriching lessons in history and deep-dive nerdery, stories that hit close to home or transport you to faraway lands. Together, they have the power to make you gasp, giggle, scratch your head and walk away feeling smarter. From old-school trailblazers to brand new names, these are the 50 best podcasts to listen to right now.

Contributors: Anna Rahmanan Eddy Frankel, Andy Kryza, Phil de Semlyen, Alex Plim, Dave Calhoun, Andrzej Lukowski, Cass Knowlton, Dalia Barth, Isabelle Aron and Alexandra Sims

RECOMMENDED: the best things to do when you’re stuck at home

An email you’ll actually love

Get into a relationship with our newsletter. Discover the best of the city, first.

By entering your email address you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and consent to receive emails from Time Out about news, events, offers and partner promotions.

Awesome, you’re subscribed!

Thanks for subscribing! Look out for your first newsletter in your inbox soon!

Best podcasts to listen to in 2022, ranked

At the end of 2019, seeking to shed light on the 400th anniversary of the first slave ship landing on American shores, the New York Times launched the 1619 Project. The effort was a multimedia one, tackling the topic in print, online, television and audio. The latter initiative took the form of a podcast, ‘1619’.

The five episodes (the last one is split into two parts) are hosted by Nikole Hannah-Jones, who interviews the paper’s writers and critics to try and dissect the legacy of slavery in the country.

Crime ShowImage: Gimlet Media

In the DarkImage: American Public Media

‘This American Life’ originated as a public radio show (which it still is) in the 1990s and eventually took on the podcast format as well. Hosted by the instantly recognisable Ira Glass, each episode of this weekly show has a theme that is explored, usually through first-person narratives, by folks from all walks of life in the US and beyond. Think ‘stories about being little’, the pros and cons of therapy and the tale of a flute player who steals a million dollars’ worth of dead birds.

Given its long history, the podcast boasts a huge library. You can browse through 26 years of episodes right now.

Driving the Green BookImage: MacMillan

16. Driving the Green Book

No Such Thing as a FishImage: No Such Thing as a Fish

20. No Such Thing as a Fish

Dan Carlin’s Hardcore HistoryImage: Dan Carlin

22. Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History

Conan O’Brien Needs a FriendImage: Team Coco

25. Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend

Emmy-winning journalist Jemele Hill has always come off as a person who knows a lot about everything, and her witty, insightful, often hilarious Spotify pod furthers that notion by covering a wide swath of topics relating to film, journalism, music, literature and beyond. The show has included interviews with Lisa Ling, Dan Rather, Tiffany Haddish, Kamala Harris, Stephen Colbert Michael B Jordan, Jill Scott, Chuck D and many other luminaries exploring the weight of their work and the larger cultural diaspora in depth with one of the best interviewers in the game. 

The SporkfulImage: Sporkful

Although plenty of folks listened to other shows before Sarah Koenig and Julie Snyder co-created this investigative journalism podcast, ‘Serial’ captured the attention of the world like none before it – just as Making a Murderer stoked an obsession with true-crime documentaries, ‘Serial’ laid the groundwork for the genre in audio form.

The anthology features three different seasons, each one focused on a different true story. If you haven’t listened to it yet, this is a great (and binge-worthy) introduction to the medium.

The DailyImage: New York Times

Off MenuImage: Off Menu Podcast

Safe for WorkImage: WonderyWooden OvercoatsImage: Wooden Overcoats

An email you’ll actually love

Get into a relationship with our newsletter. Discover the best of the city, first.

By entering your email address you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and consent to receive emails from Time Out about news, events, offers and partner promotions.

Awesome, you’re subscribed!

Thanks for subscribing! Look out for your first newsletter in your inbox soon!

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)