Why are podcasts becoming so popular these days?
As a society, we have learned that we can be entertained 24/7, just by listening through our cellphones.
Podcasts are easy to digest and can offer free knowledge and entertainment.
But they're also a secret weapon that will help you be successful in college and in life.
You’re probably wondering why.
Well, think about it, we live in a world where we have our headphones on nearly 50% of the time, plugged in (unless you have Airpods, we see you), and consuming the same music over and over again, just to drown out the silence.
But imagine if you were pumping your brain with things that actually mattered instead?
Like quick news updates that don’t require you to stop everything to understand.
Or financial tips on how to stay on track in college and beyond.
Related: How to make your money last all semester
Or even motivation straight-up streaming through your brain helping you excel beyond your wildest dreams.
When you’re not feeling serious you can even listen to a podcast hosted by a comedian and belly-laugh as you walk home from your three-hour hour lecture on a Monday night that just sucked you dry of wanting to digest any sort of knowledge.
There are literally podcasts for everything!
You see, podcasts are a secret weapon because they require minimal effort, they’re available whenever you need them, and they can level you up in multiple subjects.
Are you listening to the best podcasts as a college student?
The right shows can make you smarter, more aware, and more informed about what’s happening in the world beyond your college campus.
If you're looking for the best of the best, here's a list broken down by category of the top podcasts you should be listening to as a college student.
Best podcasts for being on your own as a college student
Adulthood Made Easy
Who said adulting was easy? Those big life changes are happening and you might be unsure how to handle them. Sam Zabell works through listeners’ problems and questions that can be brought up when entering the real world. You’ll feel seen and totally relate to people just like yourself who are also struggling with adulting... even beyond college.
Note to Self
In the digital age we live in, it’s hard to know what we can trust and what we can't. From Alexa and Siri to questions about technology that seem absolutely insane, this podcast can help you navigate the digital world that exists and grows right before our eyes. It's definitely one of the best podcasts for college students.
The Art of Charm
Are you wondering how to attract the right people into your life? Are you wondering how to actually live your best life? If you’re a self motivated person (which you probably are since you’re reading this) you can learn how to master your relationships and how to just be better at them.
Not only will you learn all that, but you’ll learn the science behind it to try and demystify what we do and why we do it.
Good Life Project
Each week the Good Life Project shares inspiration, and intimate and raw conversations about how to live a life that’s fully engaged and connected and meaning-drenched. You'll learn that every story matters and that we can be the people we set out to be. Having compassion for others and knowing everyone has a unique story can give you insight like you've never experienced before. There's a reason this is on our list of best podcasts for college students.
The Grown-Up Millennial
Whether you're navigating life or work in our technological age, this podcast can help shed some light. We typically define our lives in health, wealth, and relationships, and the content from this podcast is themed to reflect all that. Whatever your challenge may be, The Grown-Up Millennial can help you through it.
Best podcasts for being financially savvy as a college student
Bad with Money
Gaby Dunn unapologetically dissects the intersection of finances and social justice each week.
Her viewpoint brings a different and radical side to conversations with journalists, politicians, and activists. It’s about feelings, finance and the f*cking system and she wants you in on it.
The Dave Ramsey Show
Your money is important. It's something that you have to be pretty damn proficient in for the rest of your life, no matter what your finances look like. So if you’re ready to take control of your money, this podcast is it.
Dave Ramsey is the money guy offering his thoughts on how to get out of debt and start building for your future in a way that makes sense to you and your goals.
The Indicator from Planet Money
Every weekday afternoon, tune in to The Indicator to get a quick hit of insight into work, business, the economy and just about everything else.
This podcast can help you make sense of what’s happening in the world today and how it affects your finances.
The College Investor
This podcast might be the most relevant to you. The almost daily short-format show highlights everything from personal finance to getting out of student loan debt, side hustling to bring in extra money, investing and building wealth.
The show is brought to you by millennial money expert himself, Robert Farrington.
You have nothing to lose and everything to gain from this one.
Money For the Rest of Us
Want to know how to invest your money and live without worrying about it? For close to two decades J. David Stein has been teaching individuals how to invest and handle their finances in ways that are really simple to understand while also being profitable.
If your future finances are important to you, start making this a part of your routine.
Best podcasts for being politically active as a college student
Crooked Media’s Pod Save America
You want political news, but you want it without the BS? Crooked’s got you. It cuts through the noise to focus on the news without the drama and left or right-sided swings. It actually helps you form your own opinion on what matters and how you can make a difference. Tune in every Monday and Thursday for new episodes.
This was voted “Favorite Political Podcast” for a reason. Stephen Colbert says, “Everyone should listen to the Slate Political Gabfest.”
This is the kind of informal and irreverent discussion Washington journalists have over hours of drinks - and now you get to go along for the ride (drinks not included).
As you’re wrapping up your day, you might want to give this one a listen. Monday through Friday, you will get a summary of what just happened in the world and why it matters.
This podcast is to the point and digestible and exactly what you need. Don't waste your time trying to dissect the news; get it done for you.
Consider this a lesson in history. Slow Burn unpacks three of the biggest stories of the late 20th century - the Watergate scandal, the impeachment of Bill Clinton, and the murders of Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G. They go through each story detail by detail to shed some light on facts that have been skewed by the media in nearly unidentifiable ways. Bonus: Knowing the facts of these stories is kind of a big deal if you ever want to impress someone.
Left, Right & Center
You like all angles of what's happening in the world and politics?
Left, Right & Center encourages civilized yet provocative confrontation over politics, policy and pop culture.
If you’re looking for a lot of information and personality alike, then this is the podcast where you can find it.
Best podcasts for knowing what’s happening in the world as a college student
Want to stay up to date on business news, without wasting your time trying to understand what it all means? Snacks Daily is a Robinhood Financial podcast that dives into three top business stories Monday - Friday, in 15 minutes.
It’s geared towards millennials and it’s stuff you actually want to know - whether you care about business or not.
So you want the biggest stories of our time, and you want to hear them from the best journalists? The Daily packs all that into 20 minutes every weekday before 6 a.m.
It’s a New York Times podcast hosted by Michael Barbaro and it’s one you can add to your daily ritual.
TED Talks Daily
This is essentially TED talks on the go. The latest talks come in audio format, covering just about everything from every subject you could ever think of.
These thought-provoking talks are given by the world’s leading thinkers and doers. If you like TED and TEDx conferences and videos, consider this your audio plug. You’re welcome.
Want to make sure you can contribute to the next discussion at your family dinner, or lunch with your super-smart friends who are always informed about what’s going on in the news? Listen to The Gist with Mike Pesca.
It’s a daily afternoon show about news and culture and just about everything else in between that is most likely to come up at your next family discussion.
NPR News Now
NPR News Now is perfect for when you need to meet with your professor and you want to sound intelligent. Episodes are five minutes or less and updated hourly, giving you the absolute most relevant news topic to talk about. You automatically see the most recent episode, so you don't have to pick which one to listen to.
How's that for simple?
Best podcasts for personal development as a college student
Tiny Leaps, Big Changes
If you’re looking for simple strategies you can implement into your life to start chipping away at your biggest goals, then look no further.
This best podcast for college students focuses on exploring day-to-day behaviors we all engage in that determine the results we gain in our daily lives.
It’s relevant, easy to listen to and provides practical tools you can actually use.
College is supposed to be the best time of your life, so why not live like it is? Katy wants you to do just that, which is why she created this podcast in the first place. Building a life you love is in your power.
From understanding who you are, finding skills that are unique, finding the right people to lean on for support, this podcast can help you #beyounow and bring your gifts to the world.
The Marie Forleo Podcast
Named one of Inc.’s 500 fastest growing companies, this podcast helps you become the person you want to be.
Marie and her guests share actionable strategies for success, happiness, creativity, productivity, love, health, and laughter. She covers just about everything and can inspire you to grow stronger and more confident to accomplish your goals and build a life you love.
The School of Greatness
This top-ranked business and self-development podcast covers everything from interviews with world-class entrepreneurs to health, mindset, and relationships, to solo talks with the host, Lewis Howes, and includes a weekly wrap up every Friday.
If you want to be great in every area of your life, this is the podcast for you.
Ten Percent Happier
Dan Harris had a panic attack live on Good Morning America, which led him to something he never thought he’d do: Meditation.
If you’re skeptical of meditation, start listening ASAP.
Every Wednesday you can tune in to learn if you can be an ambitious person and still strive for enlightenment; whatever that means to you.
Best podcasts for starting your career path as a college student
Side Hustle School
If you are looking for a way to make a little extra money without completely overworking yourself while you balance school and your social life, check out Side Hustle School.
Listen daily for inspiration and ideas, and tips on how to start a side hustle without making a huge commitment.
How I Built This
Guy Raz unravels the stories of innovators and entrepreneurs who built successful companies and movements. Learn all about their lives and what catapulted them into building these businesses, the struggles they faced and what they overcame.
It’s totally inspiring and might leave you feeling a little euphoric about your future.
WorkLife with Adam Grant
This TED original podcast features organization psychologist Adam Grant who takes you into the minds of some pretty obscure professionals to give you guidance on how to make work not suck. He teaches you how to take criticism and enjoy it, how to harness the power of being frustrated, and how to look at your job differently than you ever have before. If you’re just starting out in your career, in your first internship, or even if you're an expert, you will benefit from Adam Grant’s knowledge.
Lead to Win
Co-hosts Michael Hyatt and Megan Hyatt Miller bring you weekly leadership lessons to find success that lasts.
This show has everything you need from personal to professional development, how to be a self-leader and a team leader and how to live intentionally and influence others to do the same. This will bring you career and life wins alike.
Being Boss with Emily Thompson and Kathleen Shannon
As business besties, Emily Thompson and Kathleen Shannon teach you how to launch your own business, do the work and win at life.
They interview experts like Brene Brown, Marie Forleo, and Melissa Hartwig of The Whole 30 to help you see the light and build yourself up from the trenches.
Best podcasts for working on your mental health as a college student
The Science of Happiness
Happiness is a science.
If you want to learn research-tested strategies for a more meaningful life, and how to approach life with gratitude and mindfulness, then start putting this one on repeat and live a happier life.
When you just want to step away from the noise and find your purpose, you can switch into Airplane Mode. See what they did there?
It’s all about how to keep your head on straight when life gets a little haywire. You can learn how to kick bad habits, read more books and live smarter and healthier. Host Clay Skipper doesn’t disappoint with this one, and you’re sure to upgrade yourself a little along the way.
Not Another Anxiety Show
This isn’t about finding your breath or finding positive thoughts, it’s about learning what anxiety actually is, how it can get the best of ALL of us, and how you can move on from it (sans yoga).
Get insight into practical tips and resources and gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be human.
Also, you can get a good laugh in at the same time.
What It Takes
This is a podcast that reveals intimate conversations with leaders in every sector of the world. The personal stories offer insights you will want to apply to your own life.
Stories cover topics like overcoming hardship and roadblocks, and how real people have found success within themselves. It’s inspiring and motivating to hear their stories and relate.
The Habit Coach
How many times have you started something new and failed to see it through? How many times do you wish your habit would stick but couldn’t find that push to do it? This is the podcast to help with that. The Habit Coach helps you form simple habits that can be incorporated into your daily life and actually improve your productivity, health, stress-management, and relationships. The episodes are short, sweet and to the point, teaching you how to better your life by building your habits.
Best podcasts for procrastinating the right way as a college student
If you ever want to learn about things you thought you knew about (but actually didn't), and things you never knew you wanted to know, then this is the podcast you should be tuning into.
Host Stephen J. Dubner speaks with Nobel laureates, intellectuals and entrepreneurs to deliver you the knowledge you won’t find elsewhere.
My Favorite Murder
Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark are entertaining to listen to as they share their favorite true crime stories. The show comes with an entire community of ‘Murderinos’ alike so you can find people who are also into true crime and murder!
Their motto is ‘Stay Sexy and Don’t Get Murdered.' How universal.
The Read is a weekly pop culture podcast out of New York City.
Vloggers Kid Fury and Crissle West analyze pop-culture and current events.
The unique part of this show is the relationship the two hosts have and their openness with their audience. You get a little bit of everything with this one and it’s worth tuning in weekly to listen.
If education is your thing and you can’t get enough, this is the podcast for you.
The world’s best educators and community leaders inspire with their stories and ideas from TED and TEDx conferences and events all over the world.
If you are particularly studying education or just want to be more informed, get listening.
And Especially You: Hello Sunshine Podcast
These Reese Witherspoon founded podcasts (swoon) are about female storytelling, focusing on the stories of real women. They are open and honest accounts that are extremely raw and nonetheless inspiring coming from these fearless females. In particular, the “And Especially You” series, hosted by producer Sophia Bush (One Tree Hill’s Brook Davis), is one to put on your list. For good reason this makes it on the best podcasts for college students list.