Worth a Listen: The Top 10 Best Podcasts for a Long Commute

Whether you’re a city dweller on public transportation or someone who’s racking up the miles on their car, these are the best podcasts for a long commute (that’s assuming you’re also a millennial woman who’s into self-improvement, self-care, etc.).

As those of you who follow me on Instagram probably already know, I started a new job last month. You know, new year, new job. For the past 2.5 years, I’d been working remotely (i.e. mostly working from home) for a creative agency based in Chicago. I LOVED working from home. I know it’s not for everyone, but I definitely felt at my most productive chugging along with a candle burning and fresh coffee brewing. 

But, new job means new commute and now I spend anywhere between 1:15 (on a great day!) to 1:45 (on a day when I run up to the station as my train pulls away…and get hit with delays along the route). I’ve debated whether to metro or drive but, at this point, it seems to make more sense to metro and use that time for blogging, writing, reading, etc. 

However, I do have about 20-25 minutes of walking time total and there are those days when I just want to zone out and not look at a book or computer screen (in other words, those days when I forgot to take Dramamine). And, on those particular days, I prefer to plug in my headphones, put in a podcast, and zone out.


top 10 podcasts for a long commute - union station red line



So, here’s the thing about the podcasts that have been lucky enough to be deemed the best podcasts for a long commute: these have ZERO to do with work, career, industry knowledge, etc. And, I DO listen to a lot of those types of podcasts, but not when I’m commuting. Those are what I tune into when I’m around the house and I’ll save those for another post. It seems counterintuitive, but I do a better job of internalizing career-related info when I’m not in a to and from work headspace.

When I’m headed into the office, I need something that’s thought-provoking (or not!) in a different way. Whether that’s because they’re talking about a favorite lip gloss, retirement-savings tips, or women’s place in the world, here are the (absolutely-nothing-to-do-with-writing-marketing-or-creativity) podcasts that consistently fill my earbuds on the way to and from work

Bad on Paper: Listening to Grace and Becca is like listening to two friends gab about everything from dating to home decor. Yes, sometimes they throw in book reviews, which I could do without, but, for the most part, I enjoy these two and the guests they bring on. Their recent episode on how they organize their lives is a great one to start with.

Forever 35: Like a just ever so slightly older, West Coast, married with children version of Grace and Becca, Kate and Doree also love covering the topics of self-care, personal development, beauty, home, style, and more. And, it feels like they have a slightly deep take on all of the fluffier topics.

The Financial Confessions: This relatively new podcast from The Financial Diet and Chelsea Fagan is already one of my favorites. It dives into women’s financial lives, thoughts, opinions, and internalized attitudes. I’d start with Gretchen Rubin’s episode…and not just because I happen to 100% agree with her on a few political-financial issues or because it’s a wonderful lead-in to the next podcast on my list…

Happier with Gretchen Rubin: Y’all, I love Gretchen Rubin. I’m totally a fan girl. I’ve bought into all her books and life philosophies. Seriously, if I could be her when I grow up, I would. That’s why her podcast makes my list even though it’s short and sweet and sometimes too short. It’s a little snippet of happiness in the midst of a stressful commute.

Why Should I? Podcast for Women: I’m not going to tell you have to start with my episode on Why We Should Stop Talking About Imposter Syndrome, but, I also won’t stop you from starting there. Host Holly Ybarrola invites women on to talk about all the shoulds in life — and why we should maybe listen to them a little less.

By the Book: I just started this podcast a couple of weeks ago when a thread on a Forever 35 Facebook group post turned into a “‘OMG, Rachel Hollis is INSANE’ and, if you agree, you should go listen to the By the Book episode on it!” Well, of course, I did. The whole premise of this podcast is the two hosts by a book, try to live by it, and then discuss. It’s fascinating.

Be There in 5: This isn’t a regular listen of mine, but Katherine Kennedy’s deep dives into topics including Mormon Mommy Bloggers and Influencer culture are so extensive that you could cover several commutes listening to her 2+ hour episodes.

Thought Sauce Podcast: Meg Biram is a local DC artist who does a podcast with her best friend from college, Brea. Whether they have a guest on the pod or are covering a topic like relationships on their own, I love listening to these two old friends gab.

She Makes Money Moves: Hosted by Glamour’s Editor-in-Chief, Samantha Barry, this podcast covers the financial topics that matter to millennial women, but in a storylike way. From combining finances to freelancing to children, they talk to people who’ve been through it and follow up with an expert’s take on the situation.

NPR Politics: For those times when I just want a quick snack of a podcast that will fill me in on all of the day’s relevant political info, I turn to the NPR Politics podcast. Typically efficient little 15-30 minute recordings, these are perfect for my walk from the metro into work. 


1 Comment

  1. February 11, 2020 / 3:31 pm

    And you just filled up my podcast queue. I’m never going to be able to catch up!

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