Most of us spend a good chunk of our mornings and our evenings sitting in traffic commuting to and from work. Anyone who has ridden in my car knows that I’m the queen of road rage (yes, I know it’s a flaw and yes, I’m working on it), so needless to say sitting in traffic literally drives me out of my mind. I used to try and listen to my favorite music and zone out, but there are only so many times you can listen to the Hamilton soundtrack on repeat before that technique just doesn’t cut it. Luckily for me, I discovered podcasts and my life was never the same.
If you’ve been spending your commute fighting the rush hour rage, here are a few podcasts that I highly recommend.
- Serial (season one). An oldie, but nonetheless a goodie. I’m a true crime fanatic, and this podcast is true crime at its finest. Serial explores the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee, and investigates whether or not the man behind bars, Adnan Masud Syed, actually committed the crime. From racial discrimination to false confessions, this mysterious crime story has it all, and is explored in incredible detail. I was once 15 minutes late to work because I couldn’t get out of my car until I finished the episode.
- This American Life. Exploring the seemingly endless layers of American society, this podcast is a mix of interesting stories about American citizens from across the country to high-quality, insightful news reporting. One of the missions of this podcast is to make crucial topics, like the country’s financial system or the immigration ban, accessible and understandable to the average American. In our current political climate, podcasts like this are more important than ever, as our biggest responsibility as Americans is to stay informed.
- WTF. Hosted by comedian Marc Maron, this podcast has countless excellent episodes exploring the life stories of some of the most interesting people in society today. Highlights include the two-part episode with Louis C.K. and, most notably, Maron’s interview with President Barack Obama, during which they discussed racism in America in vivid detail.
- Planet Money. NPR’s “Planet Money” team describes its show like this: “Imagine you could call up a friend and say, ‘Meet me at the bar and tell me what’s going on with the economy.’ Now imagine that’s actually a fun evening. That’s what we’re going for at Planet Money.” In just 15 minutes, you walk away from an episode with a fundamental understanding of incredibly complicated economic policies.
- The Axe Files. Hosted by David Axelrod, President Obama’s former senior advisor, this show explores anything and everything related to modern-day politics. While Axelrod is a well-known Democrat, it’s notable that the show is extremely bipartisan and explores the issues from both sides of the aisle without any bias. He welcomes guests from both political parties, and each episode features engaging conversations about the seemingly endless hot topics dominating the news today.