5 Free Audio Podcasts for Everyday Listening

Since I am spending 90-120 minutes every day in public transportation, and not able to read, I found myself really wanting to give my brain something to do. Podcasts were the perfect solution.

But you don’t have to be a public transportation commuter to love and listen to podcasts! Read {WHT: A Guide to Podcasts}

1. Fresh Air (NPR)

The strong point of this podcast is really the host, Terry Gross. She has such an easygoing demeanor that during her interviews she almost certainly puts the guest at ease and her evident research into the topic or guest’s life makes the interview very informative and interesting. I am always learning when I listen to her podcast, and picking up a new book, or discovering a new cause or personality to check out.

  • Frequency/duration: daily, 45-60 minutes.

2. BBC Global News (BBC)

I don’t spend a lot of time on news sites, but what I do do is consistently listen to the BBC Global News podcast which gives you a highlight of their global stories, with just enough information so that you have a good picture of the story. And, the fact that it’s available twice daily means that the information will always be fresh and relevant.

  • Frequency/duration: twice daily (at 3:00GMT and 15:00GMT) on weekdays, approximately 30 minutes.

3. This American Life

Even though the title implies only for an American audience, I think this podcast transcends many cultures. This American life is something I like to listen to when I have a little more time available to get lost in a story. Each week the hosts choose a theme, often as abstract as “Getting what you deserve”  or “Matchmakers,” and will select a series of stories and first-hand recounts that are weaved around this theme. It’s definitely great storytelling and at times can be very emotional listening to the stories, from overcoming racism to living through the Depression, to searching for the American dream.

They offer their podcast free on their website for one week and afterward, it can be bought and downloaded from their extensive archives. Episodes can also be streamed for free, and using iTunes you can easily download the latest 10 or so episodes.

  • Frequency/duration: weekly, approximately 60 minutes.

60mins4. 60 Minutes

The 60 minutes podcast is different from the others in that it is the audio portion of a full video broadcast. You get to hear the entire program’s audio which, on its own, I feel is still a complete experience even though you may miss a few images or charts that accompany the video broadcast. Guests and topics are always high-quality and in-depth.

  • Frequency/duration: weekly, 60 minutes.

documentaries5. BBC World Service: Documentaries

BBC delves into their archives to provide you with single-focus podcasts like “The World without Copper,” “AIDs and the Caribbean” or “Football’s Conmen” there is a wide range of stories and focuses to interest everyone.

  • Frequency/duration: several times weekly, approximately 21-23 minutes.

What podcasts can you not live without??

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