From True Crime to Comedy: The Top Podcasts to Listen to in 2021

Grace Jeselson

In the last five years podcasts have become a very popular phenomena that people from all walks of life listen to.

To put it simply, a podcast is a series of recorded audio files usually surrounding a certain topic. Those files are uploaded to platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify etc… and made available for users to download and listen to. Podcasts are similar to on demand radio, are free and made available to listen to from anywhere. The topics discussed on podcasts can range across numerous categories, so today we have listed a sampling of podcasts surrounding all different subject matters to listen to in 2021 and beyond. 

cartoon image of two people Independently listening to podcasts.

Serial is an investigative journalism podcast that is hosted by Sarah Koenig. Each season focuses on one nonfiction story and Sarah then narrates it over multiple (podcast) episodes. The first season was about the 1999 murder of 18-year old Hae Min Lee, a high school student in Baltimore. This season broke records as being the fastest podcast to reach 5 million downloads on the iTunes Store. 

Sibling Revelry is hosted by brother and sister duo Oliver and Kate Hudson, and explores different topics surrounding the bond between siblings, family dynamics, and growing up. Each episode centers around other siblings in a deep but relaxing conversation that’ll make you laugh and possibly cry. 

 Encyclopedia Womannica tells mini biographies of incredible women throughout history all in about five minutes. 

SmartLess is hosted by Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes, and Will Arnett. Each week one of the hosts picks a guest and surprise reveals them on the podcast. From there, they all talk, laugh, and connect through sharing experiences that have happened to them in their lives, all while joking around.  

Back to Work is hosted by Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin and is all about jobs and work life. In this podcast, the two discuss work barriers, productivity, communication, and a whole lot more.

How I Built This is a podcast produced by NPR where Guy Raz, the host, interviews different entrepreneurs all about how they got to where they are today and the stories behind their businesses.

Stuff You Should Know has over 1,400 episodes to choose from and covers a huge range of topics like why we overuse exclamation points and whether  computers are going to replace doctors one day. Hopefully not, but this podcast breaks it down and lets you know! 

My Favorite Murder is hosted by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark and is for all the true crime lovers out there. The two share true crime stories in a way that makes you feel like you’re sitting down with them and part of the conversation. 

What I Wore When is hosted by Perrie Samotin and is for the fashionista. Perrie interviews celebrities about the outfits they wore on a life-changing day. 

Talking Sopranos, Office Ladies, ...These Are Their Stories, The West Wing Weekly, and more are all about past television shows that are off the air but still have a huge fanbase. Each episode centers around one episode from the series and the hosts discuss the episodes while also sharing behind the scenes facts about what was happening while filming.