Jan 28th, 2020, 01:14 PM

5 Podcasts for People Who Don't Do Podcasts

By Jill Campbell
Image Credit: Jurriaan Persyn
Image Credit: Flickr/Jurriaan Persyn
There is something for everyone.

Maybe you don't listen to podcasts because you've never given it a shot. Maybe none of the ones you've tried have been worth continuing, or maybe you take podcasts for elitist ramblings. I have certainly done all of those things. And then I started listening to some, and they've legitimately improved the quality of my daily life. 

Many thanks to all of my friends along the way whose recommendations have been indispensable. It's with those, and also through a little exploration of my own, that I have compiled a list of 5 podcasts for people who don't do podcasts (all available on the Apple Podcasts app).

You're going for: Witty and Deep

Listen to: Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard

Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard Logo. Image Credit: Armchair Expert with Dax Shephard

Listen here

Length: 90 minutes to 2+ hours

It's an easy feat to fall in love with Armchair Expert. Dax Shepard, who you may know as Crosby Braverman from NBC's "Parenthood," converses with noteworthy individuals, many of whom are actors themselves. The conversations that Dax curates are strikingly vulnerable, yet charmingly lighthearted. Guests range from Chelsea Handler to Monica Lewinsky. 

Start with: Episode 30, David Harbour 

• • •

You're going for: Emotional and Brief

Listen to: Modern Love 

Modern Love Logo. Image Credit: Modern Love

Listen here

Length: 15 to 30 minutes

Get ready to feel all the feelings. As heartwarming as it is heartbreaking, each episode of Modern Love features a top actor performing nonfiction stories and essays that get right at the heart of the complex smorgasbord that is human relationships. Think Uma Thurman and Jake Gyllenhaal doing dramatic readings. Plus, it's the brainchild of big-time entertainment enterprises: The New York Times and WBUR-FM, Boston's premier radio station. 

Start with: The Accident No One Talked About with Uma Thurman

• • •

You're going for: Goosebumps

Listen to: Serial

Serial Logo. Image Credit: Serial

Listen here

Length: About an hour

Emblem of the true-crime genre. "Law and Order: SVU," but make it portable and based on true stories. This is a bigger commitment than other podcasts, as it follows the story of a true crime through each 9-12 episode season, leaving you with cliffhangers that are bound to incite a binge. Move over, Dick Wolf. 

Start with: The very first episode – you want to listen to these in order.

• • •

You're going for: American politics from people who know what they're talking about

Listen to: Pod Save America

Pod Save America Logo. Image Credit: Pod Save America

Listen here

Length: 30 minutes to 2 hours

Pod Save America is a conversation between 4 former aides to the Obama administration and guests – think journalists, politicians, and activists – who also know their stuff. Of all the podcasts in this list, this one most closely resembles the "elitist rambling" I mentioned in the preamble. But I'm here to tell you that there is not a lot of clutter in this podcast. It goes extremely, unapologetically deep into the American political sphere in a style that is both articulate and palatable. They stay current, but you can really jump in at any episode and bolster your understanding of a given topic. 

Start with: Obama's Last Interview 

• • •

You're going for: A Hoot and Holler

Listen to: My Dad Wrote a Porno 

My Dad Wrote a Porno Logo. Image Credit: My Dad Wrote a Porno

Listen here

Length: About 30 minutes

There really is something for everyone. What would you do if your dad published an erotic novella? According to Jamie Morton, the answer is to dedicate a podcast to it. In each episode, Morton and friends Alice Levine and James Cooper read and react to the porno written by Morton's father entitled "Belinda Blinked." Somehow, the fact that they're all Brits makes it even better. Listen and appreciate the absurdity. 

Start with: The beginning. Trust me.