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5 Podcasts to Listen to on Your Commute


Published April 23, 2019

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average driverís commute to work lasts about 25 minutes. For those who are tired of hearing endless cycles of radio advertisements and songs on repeat, podcasts offer an excellent opportunity to expand oneís horizons. And, good news: there is no shortage of free, quality podcast content in the world.

Podcasts are audio only broadcasts, prerecorded and edited for audiences rather than presented live. They are easily accessible through simple phone apps that automatically download the newest episodes and organize programs.

The vast variety of topics and episodes could make even the dreariest of commutes an enlightening, new experience. Not to mention, the ability to fast forward through the ads is a great benefit for those who prefer to maximize their listening time.
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Podcasts deliver a more intimate, engaging feel than traditional radio, with listeners often catching a deeper glimpse into the presenterís lives. Popular topics include news and current events, sports, comedy, and entertainment. Hereís a brief look at several podcasts that cover a range of different (yet entirely interesting) subjects and that might be just the ticket for your drive.

News: Tune into The Daily for Your Daily News Fix

Podcast listeners who want to keep up to date with current events should tune into The New York Times series The Daily, presented by host Michael Barbaro. Each weekdayís twenty-minute episode covers the most important topics trending in the news and provides detailed background information that lends insight into the events.

The presenterís solid journalism and quality reporting make this series one of the best news podcasts available in its genre. The Daily offers more in-depth, substantial takes on the news, rather than reciting a list of stories. Interviews are consistently excellent, with the host often taking time to clarify positions and statements, and highlight the interviewees instead of having the host dominate conversations.

Factual and unbiased, this podcast is one not to miss for listeners inclined towards news programs.

Sports: Let a Couple of Men in Blazers Regale You with Soccer Stories

With so many sports podcasts available, one might be tempted to listen to the latest chatter about football scores, stats, and player lineup. Men in Blazers, presented by Brits Roger Bennett and Michael Davies, features discussion of that other type of football played across the pond. The duo shares a noticeable passion for soccer and aims to introduce a love of the game to an American audience. Listeners will find themselves learning about and appreciating the sport to a degree that they might not have thought possible.

The podcast highlights friendly and humorous analysis of the latest international matches, interviews various guests, and offers an insightful look at how the game affects the world. Even if you think you are not interested in soccer (or sports for that matter), you might want to give this podcast the opportunity to change your mind.

Comedy: Delve into an Epic Fantasy Adventure in the Land of Foon

Hello From the Magic Tavern is a quirky and offbeat contribution to comedy. The premise of this fantasy podcast deals with Arnie Niekamp who, while grabbing a bite to eat at Burger King, falls into a magical portal to the strange land of Foon. Luckily for him, he has his podcasting equipment and a weak Wi-Fi connection emanating from the Burger King, so he is able to broadcast weekly episodes about his experiences in Foon.

Each episode, Arnie interviews a denizen of the realm, usually accompanied by a shape-shifting badger called Chunt and a wizard named Usidore. The episodes are largely improvised, with an interview structure guiding development. Despite the lack of a set script, and a seemingly outlandish description, there is a loose plot arc that delves into the deeper lore of Foon as the series progresses. Itís also the perfect length for that half hour commute. Itís quirky and entertaining and something a little different to maybe incorporate into your day.

Insightful Reflection: Get Your Zen On

You donít need to be a practicing Buddhist or even religious to enjoy the peaceful and insightful wisdom discussed by Noah Rasheta on the Secular Buddhism podcast. Each episode delves into an important topic in Buddhism applicable to daily life, such as mindfulness and meditation. The host is relatable and frames Buddhist parables into pragmatic suggestions and interesting discussion. The podcast successfully untangles complex Buddhist concepts, while remaining highly informative to the layperson.

While news and sports are relevant, and we all love to laugh, there is something to consider about the framework and insight behind mindfulness. If you are having an extra crazy week at work, or feeling stressed in general, consider tuning in to this podcast.

Automotive: Learn from Perplexed Callers What (Not) to Do About Mechanical Problems

Mechanic brothers Click and Clack discuss automotive issues on NPRís Car Talk in an amusing, yet professional way that keeps podcast enthusiasts coming back for the latest episode. This is not the usual slightly dull show about auto repair. The podcast is informative, and discusses car maintenance and repair in an entertaining call-in format.

Most people have experiences related to vehicles and will be able to appreciate the usefulness of the content, especially presented in this manner. It is clear from the show that many callers lack basic mechanical knowledge, and tuning into the show should help listeners pass their commute enjoyably while gaining important auto skills.

Take Your Pick!

Whether dealing with a half hour commute or undertaking a longer drive, podcasts can make the journey to work feel faster and be more engaging. There are so many topics and diverse podcasts available to choose from that every type of listener should be able to find their niche. From discussions on the most current news topics to musings on deep spiritual insights, the possibilities are limitless and available at the press of a screen. Audiences can even undertake an epic journey to the land of Foon, all from the comfort of a car.

Whatever oneís mood, there will always be an appropriate podcast to fill the listening void during the daily traffic crunch. So plug in a phone, pick a podcast, and get to listening.
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