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My favorite podcasts

·664 words·4 mins

The podcast bug bit me during the pandemic in 2020. As I started the keto diet in late 2019, I converted my lunch time into lunch walk time. That became a great time for listening to podcasts.

This post talks about how I consume podcasts and my favorite creators. I plan to keep this post updated over time as I add and remove favorites from my list.

Podcast workflow #

I went through plenty of podcast applications on my phone and via web browser, but my all-time favorite is Pocket Casts. It delivers an excellent experience on a phone that doesn’t get in my way. I can set certain podcasts to download automatically over wifi and filter my podcasts in different ways. It also lets me choose which podcasts to automatically add to my “Up Next” queue and which ones must be manually queued.

If you pay a little extra for Pocket Casts Plus (about $10 USD/year), you can manage your podcasts on your mobile devices and via a web browser. I love this feature because sometimes I have a few minutes left of a certain podcast when I finish my walk. I can switch to my computer and Pocket Casts picks up in Firefox right where it left off on my phone.

Pocket Casts has a great discovery feature to help find new podcasts in different genres or trending podcasts among Pocket Casts users.

My favorite podcasts #

There are some podcasts that deliver episodes on a regular cadence (daily, weekly, etc) and here are my favorites:

  • Beg to Differ: A weekly round table from The Bulwark with a great regular group. Topics are often around American politics, but they also include thoughtful analysis on social issues, relationships, and geopolitics. There’s usually a guest each week that gives lots of interesting insight in their area of expertise. If you wish you could find an elevated debate about politics that isn’t polarized and includes lots of centrist ideas, this is your podcast. (I support this podcast via a Substack subscription.)

  • The Daily: Reporters pull one story from the paper and dig into it during this awesome podcast. These are often feature stories that cover real people going through challenging situations. Each report usually contains real audio from interviews and events that weaves its way through the discussion. (I’m a New York Times subscriber, but this podcast is free.)

  • Let’s Appreciate: Kyla Scanlon’s amazing podcast features commentary on economics, the stock market, and cryptocurrency. My favorite part about her podcast is how she includes the human element in everything. She has lots of writing about vibes and how human interactions change our economy and how we feel about money. (Her episodes are brief but dense. I can’t listen to them at a higher speed than 1x. 😉)

  • Serious Trouble: I’ve always been curious about law and how attorneys think through challenging situations (and deal with challenging clients). Josh Barro and Ken White pull topics from the news and analyze them. They talk through the law involved and how they might advise clients to handle certain cases. There’s plenty of humor interspersed into the dialogue and Ken has a way with words. 😉 (I support this podcast via a Substack subscription.)

  • The Red Line Podcast: Imagine a podcast with a quality level approaching PBS’ Frontline series, but more scrappy. Episodes normally appear once every two weeks. They pick apart all kinds of issues within geopolitics, especially in areas that you rarely hear on the news. Michael Hilliard has traveled the world and has a special interest in the politics of central Asia. (I support this podcast via their Patreon and it’s worth every penny.)

  • Theta Gang: This may be a niche podcast, but it’s a great way to get involved in options trading – especially the short volatility side. The host, Joonie, takes you through his thoughts on the market, answers questions from listeners, and shares personal updates. New episodes usually come out on the weekends.