5 Best Podcasts for Your Commute to Work

commute to work

If you’re like most people, 78 percent of commuters to be exact, you drive to work alone. If you’re in need of some friendly conversation, or just something to make dealing with traffic more bearable, podcasts may be your answer.

Podcasts are a great way to pass the time, learn something new and be entertained —all at once! Podcasts have made a strong comeback in recent years, but there are so many options, which ones should you listen to? And why?

We’ve assembled a list of the top five podcasts to check out during your next commute:

99% Invisible

With a name true to its content, “99% Invisible” focuses on the design and architecture of everyday objects and buildings that people don’t normally think about. For example, the topics on the show hit everything from architecture to subjects such as combat hearing loss. With a variety of categories to choose from, this podcast is one of the most popular on iTunes, currently sporting more than 80 million downloads.

It’s a great choice if you want to expand your knowledge of the objects and world around you. You’ll learn some interesting things and may even view the world with a different perspective after listening.

TED Radio Hour

TED talks have become immensely popular within the past five to six years. Short for “Technology, Entertainment and Design,” TED talks serve to educate. With TED expos popping up all around the world, it’s no wonder this is the second most popular podcast on the internet.

What makes TED talks — and the “TED Radio Hour” — so engaging are the unique perspectives of the speakers. TED speakers may give a speech on why the sky is blue. And it will probably blow your mind. The speakers are immensely talented and passionate about what they talk about. If you want to learn about a variety of topics you may have never heard about, this podcast is perfect for your morning commute.

Another Round

“Another Round” is a podcast hosted by Heben Nigatu and Tracy Clayton. This Buzzfeed podcast discusses issues of race, gender equity, and a fair amount of animal trivia.  Equal parts intellectual and entertaining, Another Round never disappoints. Special guests for the podcast have included everyone from Hannibal Buress to Hilary Clinton.

Clocking in at about one hour per episode, “Another Round” is an excellent choice for anyone who has a bit of a longer commute to work.

Pop Culture Happy Hour

Do you like movies? Books? TV shows? Music? If you said yes to any of the preceding, then you’ll love “Pop Culture Happy Hour.” With the minds behind the “Monkey See” blog at work, this podcast is an excellent daily dose of entertainment news and analysis. Brought to you by NPR, the podcast prides itself on its cavalcade of entertainment topics and special guests.

A full-length episode runs around 40 minutes. However, the podcast also releases smaller, bite-sized chunks that vary from five to ten minutes. If entertainment is your thing, then “Pop Culture Happy Hour” is a must when on the road.

Reply All

The value of podcasts continues to shine with “Reply All.” If you’ve got a 30- to 45-minute commute and want to learn more about the internet, then “Reply All” is the way to go. The podcast touches on various topics dealing with the domain of the internet. The show has had numerous special guest stars, including the man who created the pop-up ad!

It’s always nice to learn new things, and “Reply All” both educates and entertains with its slew of special guests and intriguing analysis of the beast known as the internet.

Now, your commute to work shouldn’t be so bad. You don’t have to suffer the long, agonizing wait in frustration. You can simply turn on your radio and tune in to a podcast that will both enlighten and entertain you. Get to it!

Image by Viktor Hanacek

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Kayla Matthews

Kayla Matthews is a Pittsburgh-based tech writer contributing to MakeUseOf, The Gadget Flow and Smart Hustle. Follow her on Twitter to read her latest posts!