Skip Spotify and listen to these podcasts instead

Zubair Hirji

Finding a new podcast is time consuming and difficult, especially if you're just getting into the genre. You'll likely listen to the top-rated ones like S-Town or Serial, but once you get through the popular ones, you'll be left wondering which story you should listen to next.

Here are six podcasts that will entertain you until to no end on every bus ride, gym session, or walk across campus:

Planet Money

Produced by National Public Radio (NPR) and hosted by a plethora of great story tellers, Planet Money is a staple in any podcast listeners collection. Unlike the name implies Planet Money explores more than just money. They talk about hard work, IKEA, North Korean politics and so much more.

Recommended listen — Episode 791: “Tips from Spies”

Hidden Brain

Hosted by Shankar Vedantam and also produced by NPR, Hidden Brain tells the stories that lead to fascinating phenomena, biases and human behaviour. Each episode dives deep into a specific idea and often includes expertly recommended tips for achieving particular and peculiar goals.

They also discuss ideas you’ve always wanted to know about but don’t really know how to Google. Stories such as, hookup culture on college campuses, the links between food stamps and academic performance, or even how we classify terrorist acts based on religion are talked about regularly.

Recommended listen — “Hookup culture: The Unspoken Rules of Sex on College Campus”

99% Invisible

Hosted by the brilliant Roman Mars, 99% Invisible talks about the unnoticed architecture and design that influences the world we live in and how we interact with our surroundings. Mars’ phenomenal descriptions pull you in and explain the minute details that one may leave unnoticed but satisfy an inner curiosity for design characteristics.

Recommended listen — “Kowloon Walled City”

Up First

Produced by NPR and hosted by Rachel Martin, David Greene and Steve Inskeep, Up First is a ten-minute daily podcast that promises to keep you up to date with world’s latest news and ideas. Topics are short and sweet but give enough detail for you to be able to talk about them with some knowledge. It is probably one of the best ways to stay informed on an early morning bus ride or a long walk across campus, if you're sick of The New York Times, “The Daily.”

Recommended listen — It's a news podcast. Listen to the podcast that was released on whatever day you're reading this.

Hardcore History

This self-produced podcast hosted by Dan Carlin will educate you enough to edit a Wikipedia article. The long form style packs oodles of detail while still being interesting enough for you to keep awake. Each episode works as a general introduction to the topic at hand and is a must listen for any history buff.

Recommended listen — “The Celtic Holocaust”

Radio Lab

Radio Lab sets and raises the bar for great podcasts week after week. Each episode breaks down a philosophical, human or scientific experience while still discussing the nuance of each topic.

Their episodes on “CRISPR”, “colors” and “words” are extremely insightful and thought provoking as they delve into the human experience and our understanding of the world around us.

Recommended listen — “Parasites”

Finally, I’d like to stroke The Ubyssey’s ego and recommend CULT, a bi-weekly podcast that talks about culture at UBC. Hosted by Olamide Olaniyan, CULT explores topics from fashion and feminism to fish and fried rice.