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11 Podcast Recommendations for Fun, Informative Free-Time Listening

With stay-at-home advisories and the switch to remote work cutting out our commutespeople have a unique surplus of free time on their hands. And after trying to learn a new language, taking up knitting and tie-dying half our closet, most of us have resorted to an old reliable past timewhittling away at our content queues. But despite all those unwatched Netflix shows and long-overdue reading recommendationspeople are still finding themselves running out of content to consume.   

Even our clients are looking for new content avenues in today’s climate. To accommodateV2 announced several new offeringsincluding our Virtual Content Studio. These podcast, video series and livestream solutions fill the gap left by canceled conferences and roadshows – bringing thought leadership expertise to life in the virtual formats that audiences want to engage today.  

Yet we know our clients’ podcast needs don’t end there. For those just dipping their toes in the podcast pool (or waiting for next week’s episode of their go-to series) here are V2ers favorite podcasts for free-time listening.  

  1. The Daily features brief, twenty-minute episodes on America’s most imperative headlines, according to The New York Times’ Michael Barbaro. In the world of PR, keeping a pulse on all variations of news is par for the course, but The Daily helps us take a step back and look at the one or two big stories that the country is (or should be) interested in at the moment. 
  2. PIVOT features tech media celeb Kara Swisher and NYU business professor Scott Galloway, who team up twice a week to cover the big stories in tech and business (and often where those inevitably intersect with politics). Episodes usually include both a deep dive on a big news story and some hot takes on timely topics, with disagreements and banter along the way. If you like this podcast, you’ll also love Scott Galloway’s newsletter. 
  3. Robinhood’s Snacks Daily Podcast offers digestible financial news. Get smarter fast with an entertaining breakdown of the top three business stories in 15 minutes. It pairs perfectly with your commute, workout or morning oatmeal ritual. Hosted by Jack Kramer and Nick Martell. 
  4. Still Processing is a New York Times podcast in which two of the paper’s culture writers, Wesley Morris and Jenna Wortham, break down pieces of and moments in pop culture with a level of nuance and depth that can be hard to find right now. Whether the topic is HBO’s Westworld show, Dave Chappelle or how to deal with social life via Zoom Meetings, we love this podcast because it makes us feel like we’re eavesdropping on a poignant, intelligent conversation between close friends. 
  5. Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris, who is a TV journalist who once suffered a panic attack on live TV. He took this potentially humiliating moment as a sign to slow down, dedicate himself to meditation and write a book about his journey. His podcast centers around mental health, stress management and spirituality featuring interviews with leading experts and a lot of real-life takeaways. 
  6. How To! with Charles Duhigg is a go-to for an after-dinner walk. Some of the how-to advice is very useful, like “How to Put Down Your Phone” and “How to Stop Procrastinating.” Others are very thought-provoking – “How to Stand Up for you Kid When Society Won’t” and “How to Fight Racism in Your Town.”  
  7. Armchair Expert is hosted by Dax Shepherd, who conducts candid, deep-dive interviews with celebrities, hitting on their childhoods, past traumas and how they’ve overcome various obstacles in life. As pop culture fanatics, several V2ers find it super interesting – almost like listening in to someone else’s therapy session. Highly recommend! 
  8. Forever35 – Maybe it’s because the hosts have backgrounds as writers, maybe it’s because they’re generally in many V2ers’ age range and life phase, or maybe it’s just because we truly wish we could stay forever 35, but since the first episode, it feels like we’re hanging out with two old friends whenever we listen. From handling sticky social situations to recommending serums, to talking about the big and small ways we can work self-care into crazy schedules, each episode strikes a chord. 
  9. How I Built This, an NPR podcast, weaves a narrative journey about innovators, entrepreneurs and idealists  and the movements they built. Guy Raz dives into the stories behind some of the world’s bestknown companies from Shake Shack to Bumble. 
  10. Criminal, a podcast hosted by Phoebe Judge, tells the unique stories of people who have encountered the law in one way or another. Phoebe’s soothing voice is enough reason to listen to Criminal alone, but the creative research that must be done to uncover such interesting stories – such as how a buddha statue eliminated neighborhood crime in Oakland – is what truly sets it apart from the typical true crime podcasts. 
  11. This is Love, another podcast hosted by Phoebe Judge, shares truly untraditional stories about love – such as how a teenager’s love for swimming saved a baby whale, or how a painter discovered and became infatuated with the color blue. In a world (and profession) filled with news, listening to this podcast helps us escape daily trends and admire the intricacies of love. 

July 2, 2020


By Jordan Stanley