You’re in the middle of a long drive and are trying to kill time. You flip on the radio and start clicking between the presets. Ad after terrible ad. You plug in your phone, but can’t bear to listen to the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack again (“Come and get your loooove!”). Your brain needs something to keep it interested so you don’t fall asleep at the wheel. This is the PERFECT situation for a podcast.
The best podcasts to listen to while driving aren’t the thinkers — they’re the ones that bring about a physical reaction; they make you belly laugh, scream in fear, or slide right up to the edge of your seat. So grab the wheel, put the pedal to the metal, and have a listen to these 10 podcasts.
10 of the best podcasts to listen to while driving
A man named John hates his Alabama town. He calls a reporter to investigate rumors of a murder. That investigation turns into a mysterious, compelling, and genuinely funny deep dive into John’s life — featuring buried treasure? Prefer for an emotional ride.
Love true crime? My favorite murder tell the tale of two murders or muderers per episode. That might sound awfully depressing for a long drive, but the podcast’s two hosts have an amazing report, adding color and bringing some humor and life to these really intense stories. You’ll be sliding forward on your car seat.
It’s 1979. Young, black children in Atlanta start going missing, and turning up dead. Over several years, more than 25 children disappear with police not making any progress on the case. Then a creative investigation surfaces a suspect unlike any you’ve previously encountered. Don’t forget to pay attention to the road.
Richard Simmons was a TV icon for years. Then he opened a gym and brought his unmistakable humor and passion to a weekly Aerobics class. Then he disappeared. You might not care about Richard Simmons when you start this podcast. You’ll care deeply about him when it’s over. Before you get from point A to point B, you may both laugh and cry.
Is a long drive making the gears in your brain rust? Keep them oiled and working with PodQuiz. This weekly trivia podcast offers up 20 questions for you to test your mettle with. And considering there are over 700 episodes already in the bank, you won’t have any shortage of questions to keep the drive interesting, especially if you have a passenger to compete with.
Turn that sound knob to eleven and listen to the best audio production in podcasts. From the very first moments of Carrier, you realize you’re in for an auditory experience. Then the story really begins, and you hold your breath and share moments of empathetic stress with a down-on-her luck truck driver carrying some… interesting cargo. This is the only fiction podcast on the list, if real life doesn’t do it for ya.
A secret cult that pulled in celebrities, physically branded its members, and robbed people of their life savings… and was based in Canada? The story of NXIVM is one that made headline news but somehow still flew under the radar. Get all the dirty details, and dry to stop your jaw from hitting the pedals on its way to the floor.
Warning: for calm drivers only. This is another podcast that will raise the heart rate quick. When a man sees smoke coming from a mansion, firefighters arrive, expecting a house fire. Instead they find a bloodbath. This brutal story of true crime makes for a riveting listen. Just be aware that no matter where you’re headed, you may just find yourself driving in the opposite direction of Washington D.C. once it’s done.
There are some crappy movies out there. Like, movies so terrible they become art. This podcast will see you dive into absurd, ridiculous, and obscure films alongside a panel of noteworthy hosts that include Jason Mantzoukas and Paul Scheer. If the movies themselves aren’t enough to make you laugh, the banter will leave you in stitches.
On a long drive, do you ever start thinking back on defining moments in your life? On decisions you made wrong or questions that went unanswered. Rather than stew in the anxiety of your own past, enjoy stories of other people finally getting those long sought-after answers. You can expect a full range of emotions, so stock the car with tissues.
There you have it. Ten podcasts to listen to while driving. Don't get too distracted now. Ten and two!
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