You know a podcast is making you cleverer when it involves homework. Each episode of ‘Start with This’ (the second brainchild of the creators of ‘Welcome to Night Vale’, a creepy podcast set in an imaginary US town) gives listeners something to consume and something to create: usually a book or TV show in the first instance, and a writing assignment in the second. The object is to help boost your creativity, and the subjects of the episodes are satisfyingly varied, from ‘Present Tense’ to ‘Non-Lovecraftian Horror’.
We are living in the golden age of podcasts. If you can dream up a subject, somewhere in the world, there’s a person sitting in front of a microphone chatting at length about it. Whole media empires have been built from podcasts. Some shows have reached a point of cultural saturation previously reserved for movies and television shows – in fact, there are whole TV shows using podcasts as a plot point…and a punchline. (We see you, Only Murders in the Building.) It’s pretty incredible development, given that a little over a decade ago, only the nerdiest of internet nerds knew what a podcast even was. Now, it’s possible that your own mom is recording one in your childhood bedroom as you read this.
There are so many podcasts at your disposal that finding the ones most worth listening to can be challenging. Don’t worry: we’re here to turn down the static. We’ve put together this list of the best podcasts currently streaming in 2022. Whatever your interests, you’ll find the top examples here, whether it’s true crime, pop culture, current events or narrative fiction – there are even a few your kids will enjoy. So go ahead and put these in your ears. You won’t regret it.
Contributors: Anna Rahmanan Eddy Frankel, Andy Kryza, Phil de Semlyen, Alex Plim, Dave Calhoun, Andrzej Lukowski, Cass Knowlton, Dalia Barth, Isabelle Aron, Alexandra Sims and Matthew Singer
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