The world gets busier and more fast-paced by the day, and it is hard to catch a moment just to slow down and read. This is where podcasts come in. In the last decade, podcasting has grown in popularity, increasingly featuring interesting content to binge as you go about your day. More and more business people, gurus, religious leaders, comedians, and public figures are creating content that listeners can follow, learn from, and enjoy. Are you interested in listening to podcasts but don’t know where to start? Or are you looking to revamp your current playlist? Here are the top 20 Most Popular Podcasts of 2022.
20. Hidden Brain
Hidden Brain is presented by Shankar Vedantam, an American science correspondent, writer, and journalist. In it, Vedantam talks about how unconscious thought patterns influence our relationships, direct human behavior, and determine our choices. He mixes storytelling and science to create an interesting and warm learning environment.
19. Noble Blood
Noble Blood is the brainchild of iHeart podcasts and executive producer Aaron Mahnke. It is narrated by Danna Schwartz, the author. If royals and their history intrigue you, you will love this podcast. It reviews the stories and lives of some of the most interesting royals in history, diving into tyrants and the mayhem they left behind. An absolute listen for history buffs.
18. Morbid: A True Crime Podcast
Morbid: A True Crime Podcast is a hub of horror and true crime stories. Hosted by autopsy technician Alaina Urquhart and hairdresser Ashleigh “Ash” Kelley, it features haunted places, creepy history stories, terrifying myths, and murder. It also offers a dash of humor to cut through the gore and horror.
17. The Dave Ramsey Show
The Dave Ramsey Show is geared towards people who love finance and everything money. You can expect straight, no-nonsense commentary from Ramsey as he answers live calls from the audience and responds to their questions about saving, investing, spending, and more. If you prefer a visual touch, Ramsey also records his podcasts and uploads them to his YouTube channel.
16. Hell and Gone
Host Catherine Townsend takes you along on a journey as she investigates the 2004 murder of 14-year-old Rebekah Gould. In Hell and Gone, you can put your detective cap on and help Townsend, a licensed private investigator, and writer, as she sorts through clues. Catherine moved to Arkansas to try and find Rebekah’s killer and get justice for the young girl. Every week, she and her team track down suspects and piece clues together to get closer to the answer.
15. To Live And Die In LA
To Live and Die in LA is hosted by Neil Strauss, the American journalist. Like Hell and Gone, it is investigative and looks into the disappearance and death of an Albanian actress in LA. The last time she was seen, the actress was leaving her apartment with her boyfriend and was never seen again. Her family requested that Strauss write an article about the actress to draw more attention to her case. However, his research and findings soon mounted up, and he figured out that a simple article would not suffice. To Live and Die in LA was born.
14. The Trojan Horse Affair
Everyone loves a classic mystery, and The Trojan Horse Affair is that and more. Arguably the best show released by Serial Productions in a long time, it follows Hamza Syed and Brian Reed as they look into the eponymous British political scandal of the early 2010s and the mysteries around it. The scandal led to Islamaphobic tensions in England, and the two hosts take you through the many secret documents and twists and turns. This show will keep you on the edge of your seat.
13. Pod Save America
Pod Save America is a left-leaning political show that analyses the political happenings of the day. Three Obama staffers started it when Trump became president, so expect to hear about Trump’s presidency in the first episodes. Throughout the years, the podcast has interviewed notable names like Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and of course, Barack Obama.
12. The Shrink Next Door
Joe Nocera writes and hosts The Shrink Next Door. The show revolves around his neighbor Isaac Herschkop, a professional physiotherapist who took advantage of his patients for personal gain. Before he vanished one day, Herschkop, or Ike as he was known, was popular for throwing lavish parties at his home to entertain celebrities. Nocera looks into his former neighbor and brings you along.
11. Why Won’t You Date Me?
As the name suggests, Why Won’t You Date Me? looks into why the host, Nicole Byer, is single. In her highly hilarious delivery, Byer interviews her childhood friends and former partners on topics like relationships, sex, dating, and love. Essentially, Nicole focuses on trying to figure out why she is single, but the guests also discuss their own dating and sex lives. The mood is fun and lighthearted.
10. Planet Money
Adam Davidson and Alex Blumberg created and launched Planet Money on September 6th, 2008, to cover the 2007-08 financial crisis. The delivery is flawless and simplified so that listeners unfamiliar with the topic can learn about how the economy works. Additionally, they only last 6 to 30 minutes. The hosts interview members of the general public, business professionals, and academic experts on topics like insider trading, taxes, current events, international trade, and monetary theories.
9. This American Life
Popularly called TAL, This American Life is a popular podcast hosted by Ira Glass, the radio personality. It won the Pulitzer Prize for best audio journalism in 2020 for its impeccable storytelling. In the podcast, Ira uses radio monologues, essays, unusual music, and field recordings to tell real stories about everyday Americans. The themes often range from shocking to funny, inspiring, and bittersweet. In episodes 487 and 488, for example, Ira talks about gun-related incidents in Harper High School, Chicago. The episodes won a Peabody Award for the podcast.
Hosted by Sarah Koeing, Serial narrates factual stories over several episodes. Every season focuses on something different: Season one was an investigation into the murder of 18-year-old Hae Min Lee, and season two reviewed the Taliban’s capture of US Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl. Since its launch, Serial has been downloaded over 340 million times. It also received a Peabody award in 2015.
7. Crime Junkie
Crime Junkie is a true-crime podcast hosted by Brit Prawat and Ashley Flowers. Episodes air every Monday and cover different crimes across themes like missing persons, serial killers, and murder. Since its launch, the feedback for Crime Junkie has been overwhelmingly positive, with many people commending the easy chemistry of Prawat and Flowers. Rolling Stone’s Laura Barcella called the show, which discusses both solved and unsolved crimes, one of her favorite true crime podcasts of 2018.
6. The Daily
The Daily is produced by the New York Times and is based on the paper’s daily reports and interviews. Hosted by political journalist Michael Barbaro and Sabrina Tavernise, the show draws its material from interviews with the journalists and other interviews related to their stories. The topics vary widely from major news events to international politics, and every episode runs for 20 to 30 minutes. Six months after its 2017 launch, The Daily has garnered over 3.8 million listeners. It had 2 million downloads per episode by 2020.
5. Office Ladies
You may remember Angela Kinsley and Jenna Fischer from The Office, and that is what their podcast is about. In Office Ladies, they recap episodes of the beloved sitcom; give commentary on the scripts, props, and filming; and answer fan questions. They also host several guests, including The Office writers, producers, and former co-stars. Like the show it talks about, Office Ladies is hilarious and lighthearted. It also helps that the hosts have amazing chemistry. A typical episode begins with a quick summary of one The Office episode followed by fun facts about the show and scene-by-scene analysis.
4. My Favorite Murder
The true-crime comedy podcast My Favorite Murder is hosted by Georgia Hardstark and Karen Kilgariff. The duo discusses a new survivor story, murder, or true crime story at length in every episode. Since it was launched in 2016, the podcast has garnered millions of listeners and has been ranked several times on iTunes’ top 10 comedy podcast charts. It had been downloaded 35 million times a month by 2020. Fans of My Favorite Murder call themselves Murderinos, and Kilgariff and Hardstark give them enough reasons to come back every episode. In addition to true crime, they also discuss serious issues like sex work, women’s rights, mental health, and sexual abuse. They also talk about their personal lives and experiences with religion, addiction, and mental health struggles. Episodes run for 60 to 120 minutes, and new ones are uploaded bi-weekly.
3. Stuff You Should Know
If you are curious about how things work in the world, Stuff You Should Know has all the answers you need. Popularly known as SYSK, the show has released over 1400 episodes with intriguing titles like How Schizophrenia Works, How Money Laundering Works, and How Police Interrogation Works. The episodes are backed by science and cover all manner of topics over a span of one hour. In addition to the great content, the hosts have such great chemistry that their rapport and banter will keep you coming back for more. iTunes has ranked Stuff You Should Know in the top 10 most popular podcasts list multiple times. Every month, it receives millions of downloads, with new episodes being uploaded every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
2. Call Her Daddy
If you are looking for a sex-positive relationship and dating podcast, look no further than Call Her Daddy. This podcast is very popular among women and follows best friends Sofia Franklyn and Alexandra Cooper as they talk about every aspect of their lives in New York City. The hosts are both in their 20s, and they openly discuss embarrassing moments, sex, relationships, and the New York social scene.
The content on Call Her Daddy is explicit, hilariously funny, and raunchy and includes themes like millennial culture, embarrassing moments, girl talk, sex advice, personal stories, and relationships. In a statement, New York Post said of the show, “Virtually nothing is off-limits for the two roommates on their weekly show.” The episode “Gluck Gluck 9000” was so popular that it garnered 2 million listeners in just two months. Call Her Daddy was launched in 2018, and Spotify acquired it for $60 million in 2021.
1. The Joe Rogan Experience
The Joe Rogan Experience is a video and audio podcast hosted by American comedian, sports commentator, and actor Joe Rogan. Launched in 2009, the sometimes controversial podcast has a very wide fan base, attracting about 11 million listeners per episode. Although most of the listeners are men, the show covers a wide range of topics, including psychedelics, psychology, history, stand-up comedy, UFOs, politics – literally anything Rogan wants to talk about.
Since its launch, iTunes users have voted The Joe Rogan Experience the Best Comedy Podcast of 2012. The show also won a Stitcher Award in 2013 for Best Overall Show and was number 2 on Apple’s most-downloaded podcasts in 2018. The episodes last up to 3 hours, during which Rogan interviews TV personalities, business people, sports stars, celebrities, and more. He asks all those questions everybody wants to, but only he has the guts to. Usually, Rogan cuts up each episode into short clips for his YouTube channel.
Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson