01/08/2013 12:21 EST | Updated 06/17/2013 09:15 EDT

The Best Podcasts: What You Should Be Listening To In 2013


We here at HuffPost Canada love podcasts. We listen to them during our commutes, download them while we're at our desks and try to squeeze a few more in while we're making dinner or before we head to bed.

If you're still looking for a New Year's resolution may we suggest adding podcasts to that list. It's an easy way to add great stories to your life and maybe learn something new.

So what are we listening to? We rounded up the podcasts that we loved in 2012 (including a pick by our resident running guru) in the list below. We hope you put some of these in your rotation in 2013.

Best Podcasts 2012

Do you have a podcast you love? Let us know in the comments.

The podcasts we love

This American Life

If you're not sure where to get started, you can't go wrong with radio's quintessential show. Host Ira Glass — yes, The Ira Glass — will guide you through investigations into deeply personal stories, some of which will resonate with you for years to come. These are stories unheard anywhere else, and their high journalistic standards ensure you're never stuck listening to a half-baked idea. And, since TAL is on its 18th season this year you have hours (and hours and hours) of amazing stories to choose from. What are you waiting for? — Devon Murphy, Blog Editor, The Huffington Post Canada


WNYC's Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich host this amazingly creative and unique podcast about science and ideas.

Recent episodes have included an exploration on finding the perfect snowflake, saving the very endangered whooping crane and how beloved animation voice Mel Blanc recovered from a massive car crash.

Dig through the archives and listen to the moving episode on Carl Sagan told by his widow or the segment with artist Emilie Gossiaux, a piece of radio which left me crying while making dinner one night. — Ron Nurwisah, Community Manager, The Huffington Post Canada

The Memory Palace

You might think you don't like history. But after a couple episodes of Nate DiMeo's The Memory Palace podcast and you might change your mind.

DiMeo crafts beautiful 10-15 minute stories about people, places and moments in history. — RN

Freakonomics The Podcast

If you liked the books, you'll love the podcast. — Michael Bolen, Politics Editor, The Huffington Post Canada

99% Invisible

Host Roman Mars describes his passion project as "A tiny radio show about design, architecture & the 99% invisible activity that shapes our world." These are stories about many little things not otherwise considered — like the history of the cul-de-sac — and they are told beautifully. After an amazing Kickstarter campaign, Mars rocketed to radio stardom, but his obvious love of the subject matter keeps his show grounded. Finally, Mars is loyal to his podcast-base (whom he refers to as "the 99th percentile") and as such you always feel as though you're chatting with a friend over coffee. — DM

Planet Money

Fiscal cliff? Debt ceiling? When you need economic concepts and ideas explained there's almost no one better than the team at Planet Money. These guys can even make insurance and third-world debt interesting. — RN

The Current

Anna Maria Tremonti's show, the Current, is arguably one of the best news shows in Canada.

The podcast means I won't miss any of the hard-hitting news that team digs up. — RN


Jesse Thorn is probably the best-dressed guy on radio (check out his web series Put This On).

He's also a great interviewer and host of Bullseye, one of the best pop culture podcasts out there. — RN

The Adam Carolla Show

Probably outing myself as a neanderthal, but I got admit I like and listen to The Adam Carolla Show. Gets me through the TTC trip. Plus, nostalgia for college days of listening to Loveline on the actual RADIO. — Marni Soupcoff, Managing Editor, Blogs, The Huffington Post Canada

NPR Fresh Air

One of NPR's flagship programs, Fresh Air features smart interviews with a variety of folks. — Kenny Yum, Managing Editor, AOL Canada

The Joe Rogan Experience

If you know him only as the former host of "Fear Factor" this podcast will come as a pleasant surprise. Rogan muses about everything from physics to psychedelic drugs to mixed martial arts fighting with a diverse group of guests. — MB


While it can be dry at times, this Canadian radio institution is definitely worth a subscribe. — MB

How Stuff Works

If you're a fan of the show How It's Made or visit the website, this is a podcast you should be listening to. It covers everything from How Lion Taming Works to How Dog Shows Work. Great way to learn more about topics you didn't know you wanted to learn more about. — Michelle Butterfield, Associate Editor, HuffPost Alberta

Grantland's Hollywood Prospectus Podcast

Chris Ryan and Andy Greenwald break down the best in pop culture and entertainment each week, with a cerebral spin and phenomenal pop culture references that are both obscure and relatable. Grantland is pretty amazing, but this podcast is better than Bill Simmons at his best. — Joanna Adams, Weekend Editor, HuffPost Canada

Drunk Jays Fans

Off-the-cuff, intelligent and snarky Blue Jays talk. Was there a big off-season trade? Is AA really the man? The best way to catch up with what's going on with the best baseball team in the country (I know, I know) in the on and off-season. Slight profanity warning, too. — JA

Rob Has A Podcast

Survivor alum Rob Cesternino talks about the best and worst in reality TV (mostly Survivor, Big Brother, The Celebrity Apprentice, The Amazing Race, with occasional dabbling into The Bachelor) and entertainment (top movies, Saturday Night Live) with roughly 3-6 shows a week. It's the best Reality TV analysis out there, and yes, it's also littered with Seinfeld references. Not that there's anything wrong with that. — JA

In Contention

There are lots of Oscar podcasts available, but this one with Kris Tapley ( and Anne Thompson (Indiewire) keeps it to 40 minutes of expert analysis about what's going on in the world of Hollywood, and any important Oscar moves or blunders. A great listen for all Oscar / movie buffs. — JA

Not Ready For Primetime

Love SNL? This podcast, from Hitfix's Ryan McGee and the Huffington Post's Mike Ryan, is an essential listen for any SNL fan, or, you know, for anyone looking to rant about how the most recent episode could have used some more from Nasim Pedrad. It is typically posted early on Sunday morning, for just after you've watched the episode and read the sketch reviews online. It's definitely worth a listen or two. — JA

The Moth

True stories told live by famous people, and not-so-famous people and recorded in front of live audiences around the U.S. — Katy Pedersen, Product Manager.

The Huffington Post Canada

The Savage Love Podcast

The Lovecast – Dan Savage and the tech-savvy at-risk youth answer all your weird and sticky questions about sexytimes. — KP

Stuff You Missed In History Class

How Stuff Works in-house history geeks Sarah and Deblina deliver week after week of curious, sexy, and spooky stories that were not on your history exam. Extra credit: not having to remember dates. — KP


This is the granddaddy of running podcasts (I met him once at the Boston Marathon). He does a lot of running lessons, listener interactions, does some music mixes. — KY

Snap Judgment

This show is like listening to a bunch of strangers sitting around a fire, each telling the best story in their arsenal. This first-person approach makes for a different experience with each episode, and gives you the chance to hear a tale straight from the horse's mouth. The show's tagline, "story telling with a beat," is just right. Host Glynn Washington — winner of the Public Radio Talent Quest — infuses his show with funky music, daring subject matter and personal anecdotes to fit the theme of the episode. Download this podcast if you want to hear real people spin yarns over hip hop beats. — DM

This I Believe

Based on the 1950s radio series of the same name hosted by Edward R. Murrow, This I Believe turns inspirational essays from every day people from all walks of life into podcasts. Over the years, they've accumulated some 100,000 stories (many of which have actually been broadcast). — Sarah Kelsey, Style Editor, The Huffington Post Canada

Dinner Party Download

This podcast is essentially an hour-long celebration of culture, food and conversation. It's designed to help you dazzle anyone and everyone at your next, well, dinner party. In every episode you'll learn a joke, hear about the week's top headlines and learn an interesting historical fact (on which a custom cocktail recipe is created). The hilarity of hosts Rico Gagliano and Brendan Francis Newnam is an added bonus. — SK

Here's The Thing

Alec Baldwin brings his comedic timing to the airwaves with this incredible podcast. In it, he takes listeners behind the scenes and deep into the lives of famous artists, policy makers and performers. Discussions can get political and heated, but they can also be ridiculously hilarious (just listen to the episode he recorded with Chris Rock). A new interview is posted every two weeks. — SK