Looking for some great podcast content to enjoy? In this article, we list the most popular podcasts by genre and the most popular shows of all time. Any of these shows will make an excellent addition to your podcast routine.
The Most Popular Podcasts by Genre
If you’re like most listeners, you have your own favorite topics that you like to explore. Here are the most popular podcasts by genre.
Arts podcasts offer listeners an opportunity to explore and learn about different forms of art, including literature, music, visual arts, theater, and more. They can provide insights into the creative process, historical context, and cultural significance of various art forms, and can be both entertaining and educational.
Top arts podcasts:
- The Modern Art Notes Podcast
- The Great Women Artists
- ArtCurious Podcast
Business podcasts provide listeners with insights and advice on various aspects of business, such as entrepreneurship, leadership, marketing, and finance. They can help listeners learn new skills, stay up-to-date on industry trends, and gain valuable knowledge to advance their careers or start a business.
Top business podcasts:
- The Tim Ferriss Show
- The Best Business Podcast
- How I Built This
Check out our list of the best business podcasts.
Comedy podcasts are audio shows that feature humorous content, such as stand-up comedy, sketch comedy, comedic interviews, or discussions about comedy. They offer listeners a way to laugh and be entertained, and can cover a wide range of topics, from current events to personal anecdotes.
Top comedy podcasts:
- WTF with Marc Maron
- Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend
Education podcasts help you stay informed and engaged with the latest trends and best practices in the field of education. They offer valuable insights and ideas for educators, students, and anyone interested in the world of learning.
Top education podcasts:
- MindShift by KQED
- Too Dope Teachers and a Mic
- The Creative Classroom
Check out our list of the best education podcasts.
Fiction podcasts can transport you to other worlds and immerse you in engaging stories and characters, providing a unique and enjoyable form of entertainment that can stimulate your imagination and emotions. They are also a convenient and portable way to enjoy storytelling.
Top fiction podcasts:
- Welcome to Night Vale
- Wooden Overcoats
Check out our list of the best storytelling podcasts and our reviews of the best fiction podcasts.
Government podcasts can provide information and updates on the workings of local, state, and federal government, as well as the policies and programs that affect citizens. They can offer insights into the decision-making processes of government officials and promote civic engagement and participation.
Top government podcasts:
- The Lawfare Podcast
- The Langley Files: A CIA Podcast
- What Roman Mars Can Learn About Con Law
Health & Fitness
Health & fitness podcasts provide information and advice on various aspects of physical and mental health, such as nutrition, exercise, mental wellness, and disease prevention. They can offer practical tips and inspiration to help listeners maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Top health & fitness podcasts:
- Mind Pump
- Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris
Check out our list of the best health and wellness podcasts.
History podcasts explore events and people from the past, providing in-depth analysis, interviews with experts, and engaging narratives. They can offer insights into the social, political, and cultural forces that have shaped the world we live in today.
Top history podcasts:
- Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History
- Revisionist History
- The British History Podcast
Check out our list of the best history podcasts.
Kids & Family
Kids & family podcasts offer content that is suitable for children and families, such as educational shows, storytelling, and interactive games. They can provide a fun and safe form of entertainment that is designed to engage and educate young listeners.
Top kids & family podcasts:
- But Why: A Podcast for Curious Kids
- Brains On! Science Podcast for Kids
- Stories Podcast: A Bedtime Show for Kids of All Ages
Leisure podcasts cover a variety of topics related to hobbies, entertainment, and other leisure activities, providing insights, news, and reviews of various interests, from gaming to cooking to travel. They can offer a fun and informative way to explore and learn about new hobbies or interests.
Top leisure podcasts:
- Trash Taste
- Past Gas by Donut Media
- The Official The Last of Us Podcast
Music podcasts are audio shows that cover music-related content, such as news, reviews, interviews, history, culture, education, and entertainment. They are a great way for music lovers to stay up-to-date and informed, and to discover new artists and genres.
Top music podcasts:
- Song Exploder
- Questlove Supreme
- All Songs Considered
News podcasts are audio shows that focus on delivering news and current events in an audio format. They can cover a wide range of topics, including national and international news, politics, business, culture, technology, and more. They offer listeners a convenient and accessible way to stay informed on the latest news.
Top news podcasts:
- The Daily
- Up First
- Today, Explained
Religion & Spirituality
Religion and spirituality podcasts can provide insights, guidance, and inspiration for people seeking to explore and deepen their faith or spiritual practice. They can also offer opportunities to learn about diverse religious and spiritual traditions and perspectives.
Top religion & spirituality podcasts:
- Mind Body Zone: Living Outside the Box
- On Being
Check out our list of the best podcasts on spirituality.
Science podcasts can provide a fascinating and accessible way to learn about the latest discoveries and breakthroughs in various scientific fields, as well as the people behind them. They can also promote critical thinking and scientific literacy.
Top science podcasts:
- Science Vs
- 60-Second Science
Self-help podcasts can offer practical advice and tips for personal growth and development, as well as strategies for overcoming challenges and achieving goals. They can also promote self-awareness and provide motivation and inspiration to take action towards positive change.
Top self help podcasts:
- Self Growth Podcast
- Unlocking Us
- Happier with Gretchen Rubin
Society & Culture
Society and culture podcasts can provide thought-provoking and insightful discussions on a range of social issues, cultural trends, and current events. They can also offer diverse perspectives and voices that can broaden your understanding of different communities and ideas.
Top society & culture podcasts:
- Society & Culture
- We Can Do Hard Things with Glennon Doyle
- This American Life
Sports podcasts can keep you informed and up-to-date on the latest news, scores, and analysis of your favorite teams and sports. They can also provide insights and perspectives from experts and fans, and offer a way to stay connected to the sports world.
Top sports podcasts:
- The Bill Simmons Podcast
- New Heights with Jason and Travis Kelce
- The Lowe Post
Technology podcasts cover a range of topics related to digital technology, including news and analysis of the latest gadgets, software, and trends, as well as discussions of the social and ethical implications of technology. They can offer insights and perspectives from experts in the field.
Top technology podcasts:
- Reply All
- Accidental Tech Podcast
True crime podcasts explore real-life criminal cases, investigations, and trials, often delving into the details of the crimes and the people involved. They can provide a compelling and often unsettling look into the darker aspects of human behavior and the justice system.
Top true crime podcasts:
- Best True Crime
- Crime Junkie
Check out our list of the best true crime podcasts.
TV & Film
TV & film podcasts can provide insightful reviews, analysis, and behind-the-scenes perspectives on your favorite shows and movies. They can also introduce you to new content and genres, and offer an entertaining and informative way to stay connected to the world of entertainment.
Top TV & film podcasts:
- Pop Culture Happy Hour
- You Must Remember This
The 12 Most Popular Podcasts
Want to check out the top podcasts? These are the most popular podcasts in the world, many with millions of downloads per episode.
1. The Joe Rogan Experience
The Joe Rogan Experience is a popular podcast hosted by comedian and UFC commentator Joe Rogan. It features long-form conversations with a wide range of guests, including actors, scientists, authors, politicians, and more, covering topics such as science, culture, politics, and current events.
The show has a casual and conversational tone, often exploring controversial or unconventional ideas, and has gained a large and dedicated following since its inception in 2009. Each episode gets about 11 million listeners, easily making it one of the most popular podcasts.
Notable guests include Edward Snowden, Mike Tyson, Elon Musk, Bernie Sanders, Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson, and Bill Burr.
2. The Daily
The Daily is a daily news podcast by The New York Times hosted by journalist Michael Barbaro. Each episode covers a single news story in-depth, often featuring interviews with experts and journalists who have reported on the topic.
The podcast covers a wide range of topics, from politics and international news to culture and business, and aims to provide a thorough and objective analysis of the day’s top news stories. The podcast has won numerous awards for its high-quality reporting and has become a go-to source for many listeners looking to stay informed on current events.
3. This American Life
This American Life is a weekly radio program and podcast hosted by Ira Glass that features a mix of documentaries, personal stories, and fiction pieces centered around a particular theme. Each episode explores a range of perspectives on the chosen theme, often delving into unique and underrepresented perspectives.
The show has been on the air since 1995 and has won numerous awards, including Peabody, Emmy, and Edward R. Murrow awards, for its innovative storytelling and ability to capture the human experience.
Some of their best episodes include No Coincidence, No Story (#589), Notes on Camp (#109), and Harper High School (#487 and #488).
4. Crime Junkie
Crime Junkie is a weekly true crime podcast hosted by Ashley Flowers and co-hosted by Brit Prawat. Each episode explores a single crime case, often focusing on lesser-known cases or stories that have not received extensive media coverage.
The show has a conversational and engaging style, with a mix of storytelling and discussion, as well as interviews with experts and family members of the victims. The podcast has gained a large and devoted following since its debut in 2017 and has been consistently ranked as one of the most popular true crime podcasts.
Some of the best episodes are MISSING: Niqui McCown, SURVIVED: Elizabeth Smart, and SERIAL KILLER: Herb Baumeister.
5. Call Her Daddy
Call Her Daddy is a sex-positive podcast hosted by Alexandra Cooper that covers topics related to sex, dating, and relationships, often featuring explicit personal anecdotes and advice from Cooper and her guests. The show has a frank and often explicit tone, with a focus on empowerment and encouraging women to be confident and assertive in their sexual lives.
The podcast gained a significant following since its debut in 2018, and in 2020, became embroiled in a publicized contract dispute that resulted in Cooper and her co-host Sofia Franklyn parting ways, with Cooper continuing as the sole host.
6. Office Ladies
The Office Ladies is a podcast hosted by Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey, who played Pam and Angela on the hit television show “The Office.” Each episode of the podcast focuses on a single episode of the show, with Fischer and Kinsey providing behind-the-scenes insights, personal stories, interviews with other cast and crew members, and responses to fan questions.
The podcast has a lighthearted and nostalgic tone, with the hosts reminiscing about their experiences on the show and offering fun facts and trivia about each episode. The show has gained a devoted following among fans of “The Office” since its debut in 2019.
7. Stuff You Should Know
Stuff You Should Know is a podcast hosted by Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant that explores a wide range of topics, from science and history to pop culture and everyday life. Each episode takes a deep dive into a specific subject, with the hosts providing a conversational and accessible overview of the topic, often drawing on research and interviews with experts.
The podcast has been on the air since 2008 and has amassed a large and dedicated following, as well as numerous awards and accolades, for its engaging and informative style.
There are an incredible 1,400 available episodes. Notable episodes include How Money Laundering Works, How Police Interrogation Works, How Electoral Colleges Work, and How Schizophrenia Works. Everything is grounded in truth and science, though there’s great banter between the hosts
8. Pod Save America
Pod Save America is a political podcast hosted by former Obama administration staffers Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett, Dan Pfeiffer, and Tommy Vietor. The show features a mix of political analysis, interviews with political leaders and activists, and commentary on current events and issues related to American politics.
The hosts offer a progressive perspective and frequently advocate for Democratic candidates and policies, as well as providing a critical view of the Republican party. The podcast has become one of the most popular political podcasts since its debut in 2017, with a large and engaged audience.
9. Planet Money
Planet Money is a podcast by NPR that explores the world of economics and finance through storytelling and journalism. The show covers a wide range of topics, from the global economy and financial markets to personal finance and everyday economic issues.
Planet Money was launched in 2008 to cover the financial crisis of 2007-08. This podcast is a great way to learn about how the economy works for people who don’t have an economic background.
The podcast aims to make economics accessible and engaging for a general audience, with a mix of entertaining and informative segments and interviews with experts in the field. The show has been on the air since 2008 and has become one of the most popular and respected podcasts in the business and finance genre.
10. My Favorite Murder
My Favorite Murder is a true crime comedy podcast hosted by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark. Each episode covers a different murder case, often involving lesser-known cases or stories that have not received extensive media coverage.
The hosts offer a lighthearted and irreverent take on true crime, weaving personal anecdotes and humor into their discussion of each case. They also address deeper issues in the genre like mental health, women’s rights, sex work, and sexual abuse.
The podcast has a devoted and engaged following, and has been credited with popularizing the true crime genre and inspiring a new generation of true crime podcasters.
Notable episodes include 400 Peeled Potatoes, Here We Back Are, and Robot Grandma.
11. Morbid: A True Crime Podcast
Morbid: A True Crime Podcast is a weekly podcast hosted by best friends Alaina Urquhart and Ashleigh Kelley that explores a wide range of true crime cases, from famous murders to lesser-known mysteries. Awesome episodes to check out include The Unbelievable Life & Crime of Carl Panzram and The Chicago Ripper Crew.
The hosts have a conversational and irreverent style, often weaving personal anecdotes and humor into their discussions of each case. The podcast also occasionally covers supernatural and paranormal topics, making it a unique addition to the true crime genre. The show has gained a large and devoted following since its debut in 2018, and has consistently ranked among the most popular true crime podcasts.
Serial is a true crime podcast that focuses on a single case over the course of a season. The first season, which premiered in 2014, followed the story of Adnan Syed, who was convicted of murdering his high school girlfriend, Hae Min Lee. The podcast featured interviews with key players in the case, as well as in-depth investigation and analysis by host Sarah Koenig. The show was a cultural phenomenon and helped popularize the true crime genre, inspiring numerous other podcasts and documentaries. The podcast has since released two more seasons, covering different cases.
Podcasts for Podcasters
If you’re a podcaster, you probably love listening to podcasts yourself. You may want to learn more about podcasting… through podcasts. Well, you’re in luck.
Check out our big list of the best podcasts for podcasters. We lay out 31 incredible shows that will make you a better content creator, audio engineer, marketer, and business leader.
Need help interviewing your guests? Dive into some of our favorite interview podcasts. You will learn how to be a better conversationalist and how to ask deep, probing questions that your audience loves.
Your Favorite Shows
These are the most popular podcasts, but you probably know about some small shows that you love. Tell us your favorite shows in the comments!