5 Podcasts For Any Mood You're In

Whether you've never listened to a podcast before or are subscribed to dozens of them, finding a new show to add to your commute, run, or evening wind-down can be a great experience. If you're interested in silly stories, eye-opening interviews, or well-crafted original fiction, one of the podcasts on this list is sure to pique your interest. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

Great Podcasts For Your Commute

Name Description
Revision Path Showcases Black developers, designers, and digital creatives from around the world
Ear Hustle Illuminates the daily realities of life in jail and life post-incarceration, from the perspectives of those who have gone through it
What If World Shares stories based on "What if" questions asked by kids
The Truth Features original short fiction stories that are alternately dark and humorous
Wooden Overcoats British ensemble comedy about a pair of hapless undertakers

What Is A Podcast?

A podcast is an audio program that can be subscribed to on a smartphone or computer. Episodes can either be streamed with an Internet connection, or downloaded for later (this is especially helpful for those who have limited data or don't get good coverage on their commute). There are many different formats and genres that creators can use. Non-fiction podcasts, for example, may be scripted essays, conversations about a particular topic, or interviews with guests, while fiction podcasts could consist of short stories read aloud, radio drama-style serials, or improvised comedy. Some shows are part of a network, or even a radio station like NPR or the BBC, while others are put out by smaller groups or individuals. There are hundreds of thousands of podcasts out there covering a broad range of topics, so whatever your interests are, it's a medium worth checking out.

5 Reasons To Listen To Podcasts

  1. They make monotonous chores more fun
  2. You can take them on-the-go
  3. They're usually free
  4. You can learn new facts and perspectives
  5. They provide an escape from day-to-day issues

Behind The Scenes Of Ear Hustle

In Depth

The world of podcasts is ever-growing, filled with diverse creators providing hours of entertaining and enriching listening material. Whether you want something whimsical, dramatic, thought-provoking, or just plain fun, there are a plethora of options that work perfectly for a morning commute or a late-night winding down. Featured in no particular order, the podcasts listed here offer compelling stories to suit all styles and moods.

For #1 we have Revision Path, an acclaimed weekly showcase of Black developers, designers, and digital creatives from around the globe. Launched in 2013, it offers in-depth interviews that reveal the work, goals, and inspirations driving these diverse creators. While it primarily focuses on designers, the podcast also features software developers, entrepreneurs, art directors, illustrators, and animators, among other professionals from creative and tech fields.

Revision Path and its founder Maurice Cherry have racked up many laurels, including an inaugural Creative Market Award and an accolade from A.I.G.A., the professional association for design. Most historically, in 2019 the podcast became the first ever to be added to the permanent archives of the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture. Interested listeners can find episodes on the Revision Path site, as well as on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and other directories.

Most historically, in 2019 the podcast became the first ever to be added to the permanent archives of the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Coming in at #2 is Ear Hustle, which illuminates the daily realities of life in jail and life post-incarceration, from the perspectives of those who have gone through it. The podcast is a collaboration between visual artist Nigel Poor and former San Quentin State Prison inmate Earlonne Woods. Along with their Bay Area team, they produce stories that provide candid, nuanced views of those who've experienced the American prison system firsthand, highlighting issues such as racism and societal reentry.

Ear Hustle explores a host of other topics related to the strenuous conditions of incarceration, including isolation, difficulties with cellmates, unjust sentences, and relationship challenges. There are also episodes that offer insight into what prison life is like for those with marginalized identities, such as immigrants and LGBTQ people, as well as episodes that address the hurdles of finding a job and reintegrating into society after release. In 2016, Ear Hustle beat out over 1,500 international entries to win Radiotopia's Podquest contest.

For #3 we get What If World, a storytelling podcast for kids. Its co-creator and host, the Los Angeles-based Eric O'Keeffe, has more than ten years of experience with early childhood development, and has taught kids gymnastics, singing, and acting, among other disciplines. His inspiration for the podcast came from the weekly stories he would share over Skype with his nephew in Boston.

His inspiration for the podcast came from the weekly stories he would share over Skype with his nephew in Boston.

O'Keeffe, who goes by the title Mr. Eric on the podcast, is joined by other colorful characters to tell wacky stories inspired by real children's questions. Episodes revolve around quirky and fantastical "What If?" scenarios, and yield valuable lessons that teach kids about everything from environmental responsibility to dealing with disappointment. Young listeners can call in and leave a voicemail to be featured on the show, and can use an online question generator to formulate story ideas.

Next, at #4 is The Truth. Written, directed, produced, and sound designed by award-winning radio artist Jonathan Mitchell, this podcast features original short fiction stories that are alternately dark and humorous, and always intriguing. Stories usually last from ten to twenty minutes, and take listeners to unexpected places using the power of innovative audio production. Many of the actors who contribute to the podcast perform and teach at Magnet Theater in New York City.

Stories created by The Truth cover an array of genres, from horror to mystery, to fable-like parables and science fiction. Listeners are as likely to experience tales of predatory machines as narratives about people's relationships with parrots and puffer fish. Throughout, many thought-provoking philosophical questions are raised around subjects including identity, technology, and society. The Truth's stories have been broadcast across the globe, and featured on public radio programs such as This American Life and All Things Considered.

Throughout, many thought-provoking philosophical questions are raised around subjects including identity, technology, and society.

Finally, for #5 we arrive at Wooden Overcoats, a British ensemble comedy about a pair of hapless undertakers. It centers on Rudyard Funn and his sister Antigone, who run their family's floundering funeral home on the little island of Piffling. They're used to being the only parlor on the island, until the day the gregarious Eric Chapman shows up and becomes their competition. With their assistant Georgie, and a mouse named Madeleine, the Funns take extreme measures to stay in business.

Wooden Overcoats was created in 2015 by head writer David K. Barnes, who also makes comedies for the stage. Directors include Andy Goddard, a radio and podcast producer and writer, and John Wakefield, an internationally recognized audio producer. Since its debut, Wooden Overcoats has received high praise and a number of honors, including an accolade for Best Fiction from the British Podcast Awards, and multiple Audio Verse Awards.