Best podcasts 2021: what’s worth listening to right now

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The best podcasts bring to you everything about traditional radio – in-depth chat, stories, education, suspense and more – packed in a way that makes it easy to listen whenever you want and wherever you are . While there are so many options these days, it can be difficult to find the right podcast to suit you and your mood – that’s where we come in.

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There was a huge podcast boom about ten years ago. Since then, numerous podcasts have launched that spark all kinds of creative ways to tell stories, educate listeners, provide a fresh perspective on news, take people on adventure, and share personal insights in all kinds of new and unexpected ways. inspires to do.

What’s more, the best podcasts are accessible. They’re fast and easy to download or stream, which means you can listen to them whenever you want (usually, data allowance permitting). You can also choose to listen to multiple episodes at once or spread out over weeks at once.


Whether you are working, working on the bus, walking, relaxing, working out or almost anything else, the best podcasts are the perfect audio companion. They’re all different, but many don’t demand your unwavering attention, they cover almost every topic you can think of, and they’re (mostly) completely free.

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But with so many podcasts, how do you figure out which ones are worth your time? If you want to start listening to podcasts more often or refresh your current podcast library with new shows, this guide is for you.

We’ve listened to hours and hours of podcasts, and this is our pick of the best podcasts for more exclusive and quirky discussions about everything from some of the world’s most popular shows to sports and the future to comedy and the public. Speaking.

  • Want to do podcasting yourself? Here’s How to Record and Edit Your Own Shows

technology podcast


Not just a tech podcast, Flash Forward covers all aspects of technology, science, society, philosophy and ethics as it takes listeners on a journey to the future.

Each episode contemplates a possible future, covering topics you’ve always been fascinated with but rarely seen in the traditional tech and science press. Like, is there really any alien life? Will the universe end? And what if you could lay a head on a new body?

What we love is always the sticky, deep question that rocks our thinking in big and important ways, like should companies pay for our data? Should we give land back to indigenous peoples and what if every country had to deal with its waste instead of sending it around the world to deal with others?

The podcast’s host and producer is journalist Rose Eveleth, who brings so much energy and passion to each episode. She interviews all kinds of experts to find out all kinds of questions and insights about a potential future that you may have never considered before.

  • listen flash forward

reply All

The Internet is surprisingly weird at times and Reply All has a knack for diving down interesting rabbit holes and highlighting the comical absurdities at the heart of modern technology. Although it’s a tech show, it’s very accessible, and the hosts always take the time to explain what they’re talking about. They are also likable and are quick to make fun of themselves. In the best episodes they investigate weird online scams and they do a great job of balancing technical know-how with a compelling storyline featuring an intriguing cast of real-life characters.

If you only listen to one episode, make it The Case of the Missing hit. This is the most satisfying tale of internet weirdness you’ll hear in 2021.

  • listen to all

drop out

Depending on your point of view, this story of what went wrong at medical technology start-up Theranos might fit the crime section. The company generated a great deal of buzz based on its potentially game-changing blood test technology that allowed people to take a blood test with just the prick of a finger, instead of requiring a large sample with a needle. Theranos was widely hailed as an all-conquering unicorn and had a $9 billion valuation before the truth came out and CEO Elizabeth Holmes suffered a dramatic fall from grace.

  • listen to dropout

noise Cancelling

If you want to hear an honest discussion about the latest smartphones and general happenings in the tech world, this should be up your street. Join the editors in chief of Nerdshala, Laptop Mag, and Tom’s Guide, plus special guests for insightful explanations on everything from Apple to VR. Hey, we’re not an objective source on this, but it’s a good thing, right?

  • listen noise cancellation

Society, Culture & History Podcast

Society, Culture & History Podcast

last day of august

When adult film star, August Ames, was found dead in a park in 2017, it was quickly determined that the 23-year-old had committed suicide. A possible motive emerged in the days following her death as it was revealed that she was a victim of online bullying. So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed author John Ronson investigates the rumors about her death and tries to piece together what really happened. It is handled sensitively, and the podcast has something important to say about social media and how we use it.

  • listen to the last days of august

99% invisible

This long-running podcast debuted on public radio and is apparently about design—how everything from cars to keyboard keys to video games is designed. But host Roman Mars likes to tease out the vague details and processes that are always associated with unlikely-sounding and engaging stories. As you might expect, given the topic, this podcast is meticulously and tightly edited into small, bite-sized pieces in just a few minutes.

  • Listen 99% Invisible


A podcast that explores the realities of death and grief may not sound delightful, but with comedians interviews, it’s more uplifting than anything you can do.

Each week, Carrie Lloyd interviews a different comedian about her experience of grief and loss and the “weirdness that happens when someone dies.” Past guests have included Adam Buxton, Robert Webb, Aisling Bee, Susan Vukoma and David Baddiel.

  • listen to the greefcast

you must remember that

You Must Remember This is a beautiful, and in many ways sad, storytelling podcast that delves back into secret history, long-forgotten mysteries, and lesser-known figures of early Hollywood.

Former film critic Karina Longworth puts an amazing amount of research into each episode, covering largely untold stories about the likes of Charles Manson, Theda Barra, Francis Farmer, and Ronald Reagan in the past. Recently, he covered the story of the controversial Disney film Song of the South.

For those interested in movie nostalgia and unearthing hidden gems you might not usually read about in a Hollywood history book.

  • hear this you must remember this

you’re dead to me

History can be dry and boring, but host Greg Jenner introduces a healthy dose of humor here and invites interesting panels of guests to talk about famous figures and periods in history. He invites commentary from a mix of expert historians and comedians, all encouraged by Jenner’s spirited style. Covering topics like the witch craze, Blackbeard the Pirate, and warrior queen Boudica, this podcast is informative and fun, and it’s also suitable for the whole family.

  • listen you are dead to me

The Guardian’s audio reads long

If you’ve ever read The Guardian’s lengthy articles, you know that you have to take a lot of time to sit down with them to really be able to digest them. Luckily, The Guardian records some of them too, so you can listen to them on the go and explore even more in-depth stories.

The stories covered by The Guardian Long Reads on topics ranging from the history of Indian restaurants in the UK to political topics around the world. You can get access to some very diverse topics by subscribing and we recommend you check it out to see if anything piques your interest.

  • listen to the audio of The Guardian read longer


Do you ever find yourself contemplating complex ideas such as whether it is possible to revive languages ​​that are completely dead? This is only one of the topics The Elusianist covers, but the show also delves into the complex subtleties of the English language you might never have imagined.

Designed for short bursts of knowledge about the way we write and talk to each other, the Allusionist is essentially listening for anyone, even languages ​​along the way. have evolved and are changing rapidly.

  • listen to allusionist

kermode and mayo movie review

If you’re a cine-lover, you need to check out Marc Kermode’s and Simon Mayo’s podcasts. You may have heard that it’s called Vitertainment, and it’s essentially just two people who love cinema reviewing the week’s releases and chatting in-between. During the lockdown, the duo has focused on the latest streaming releases.

The podcast brings together a large number of celebrities, complete film knowledge and one of the best UK film critics to create one of the best podcasts about the latest releases.

  • Hear the movie reviews of Kermode and Mayo

hip hop saved my life

Even if you’re not a huge hip-hop major, it’s still great to listen to. Brit-based comedian Romesh Ranganathan has a rap chat with several special guests, who remember the first time they heard their favorite hip-hop track and how they reconnect with their lives.

Ranganathan may be best known for his stand up, but he’s also a great talk show host who manages to uncover fantastic stories from his guests—which range from Frankie Boyle to DJ Yoda. His own rap insights are great too, though the less said about his lack of love for De La Soul, the better.

  • Listen to Hip Hop Saved My…

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