As of this year, podcasts are officially considered mainstream, with over half of Americans 12 and older reporting having listened to a podcast, according to a recent study.
And let me tell you: we’re here for it.
Podcasts come in just about every shape and size. Covering things like true crime, politics, dating, murder mysteries, technology, cars, daily news, economics, and finances (to name a few) in a variety of formats, you’d be hard-pressed to find a topic untouched by podcasts. Including parenting!
If you’ve never listened to podcasts – or even if you have – use this guide to jump start what I think might be your newest obsession. For the sake of brevity, this guide contains just five categories: Parenting, For Kids, True Crime, Speakers/Motivational, and Miscellaneous. Trust me when I say this won’t even come close to covering what’s out there, but it’s a start!
Please note that many of these podcasts may be peppered with colorful language and controversial conversation topics and may not be suitable for all audiences.
When friends Cat & Nat set out on a mission to bring women and moms together in community, they had no idea they’d become viral sensations and move their families to Hollywood. Their raw, honest, hilarious podcast covers all things motherhood, as well as how they built their business and where they plan to take it.
As usual, digital magazine Slate doesn’t hold back, even when it comes to parenting. With episodes like, “My 4-Year Old is Obsessed with Her Looks,” “My Son Doesn’t Respect His Step-Father. What Should I Do?” and “Must We Suffer the Tantrum?” Slate digs deep into common (and uncommon) parenting challenges and certainly doesn’t mince words.
Sometimes when things go wrong and the woes of parenthood are immense, you just have to laugh. Hosts Biz Ellis and Theresa Thorn do just that with their comedy podcast, leaving out the advice and judgement and creating a space for sharing the comical gaffes and thrills of motherhood.
Mom and speech pathologist Megan McCue takes her podcast in a practical parenting direction. Providing listeners with evidence-based information, while including her own parenting stories, Megan enjoys creating an “intersection between our biology, cultural practices, and parenting choices.”
Host Molly Bloom invites a new kid co-host every week to chat about the world’s most fascinating things. With episodes like, “Fart Smarts: Understanding the gas we pass” and “Cats: Glowing eyes, puffy tails and secret purrs,” curious kids and adults alike will learn a few things and laugh along the way.
Running with a new kid-submitted “What If?” question every week, host Mr. Eric tells goofy and exciting stories to inspire imagination and creativity.
Since its founding in 2004 in a Harlem school auditorium, Story Pirates has launched a radio show, book series, live tour, and of course, a podcast. Inspired by stories written and ideas dreamed up by kids, this podcast weaves wonderful stories, often with the aid of guest celebrity performers.
Finn Caspian takes aliens seriously. He, his friends, and their pet robots climb aboard their space craft to explore new planets, meet and help aliens, and try to solve the universe’s biggest mysteries, one exciting adventure at a time.
This true crime podcast gets a few bonus points for being Indianapolis-based! Bias aside, if you’re looking for a consistent crime fix, this is one to listen to. New episodes are released weekly as co-hosts Ashley Flowers and Brit Prawat go over (in detail) whatever crime they’re currently obsessing over.
This overnight sensation gained notoriety in 2014 with the gripping story of Baltimore teenager Hae Min Lee’s disappearance and death in 1999. Her ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, was arrested and charged with her murder soon after, but he claims innocence. Sarah Koenig investigates, taking listeners on an intense journey through that story and a few others through subsequent seasons.
Another investigative podcast, Culpable digs into cases where those who should’ve taken the blame somehow got away with it. Episode one starts with the tragic sudden death of a 21-year-old. The death was quickly ruled a suicide, but things don’t seem to add up. Host Dennis Cooper wants to get to the bottom of it.
With 5 seasons each covering a different unsolved case, award-winning filmmaker, writer, and now podcast host David Ridgen takes his passion for narrative and investigative work to a new level. Tune in his for gripping tales and mind-boggling mysteries.
A co-production of NPR and TED, this podcast comes to listeners from the world-famous TED stage, featuring brilliant speakers and fascinating ideas. Every episode features a different theme, such as love, happiness, creativity, climate, technology, and much more. Listen up and get inspired.
According to its creators, this podcast “helps curious people understand the world – and themselves. Using science and storytelling, Hidden Brain reveals the unconscious patterns that drive human behavior and the biases that shape our choices.” This commitment to understanding and explaining why we do what we do creates a larger sense of empathy and pursuit of our best selves.
Dave Ramsey has long been heralded as a money management guru, and his podcast lives to continue that legacy. Empowering listeners to get out of debt and take control of their finances, Dave’s podcast will have you looking at your bank account and financial future in a whole new way.
If you’re like me, watching this duo’s Netflix documentary a few years ago had you motivated to clean out your closet and fill up the donation bags. But then a few weeks passed, Loft had a sale, and boom, your closet was bursting at the seams again. This podcast will keep you on the minimalist path, inspiring you to live a more meaningful life with less.
Award-winning hosts Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich are devoted to “investigating a strange world.” From nature to biology to culture and everything in between, Jad and Robert’s creative style grabs listeners’ attention and keeps things interesting.
Host Guy Raz (also the host of aforementioned TED Radio Hour) takes listeners on a narrative journey about some of the world’s most famous companies and how they were built.
A weekly public radio and podcast show, each episode of This American Life focuses on and tells stories about one theme. With over 600 episodes since host Ira Glass first brought it on air in 1995, this is a good place to start if you’ve never listened before.
New York Times bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell brings us this podcast, where each week for 10 weeks, he takes listeners on a trip back in time to reinterpret something from the past. “Because sometimes the past deserves a second chance.”
We asked. You answered! Here’s a list of other podcasts recommended by Indy’s Child readers.
- Swish and Flick (Harry Potter)
- The Perez Hilton Podcast with Chris Booker (pop culture/celebrity gossip)
- Wow in the World (for kids)
- Invisibilia (science)
- The Murder Squad (true crime)
- Everyday Driver (cars/car industry)
- Swindled (true crime)
- The Holderness Family Podcast (parenting)
- Smash Boom Best (for kids)
- Molly of Denali (for kids)
- Tara Tremendous: The Secret Diaries (for kids)
- Bill Burr’s Monday Morning Podcast (comedy)
- The Joe Rogan Experience (talk)
- Good Food (food/cooking)
- Fresh Air (interview)
- WTF with Marc Maron (comedy/interview)
- Reply All (technology)
- Terrible, Thanks for Asking (talk/human interest)
- Modern Love (society/culture)