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Advice / Career Paths / Training & Development

51 Smart Podcasts That Will Make Your Commute Way Better

Looking for a way to make your long commute more productive—and even fun? The search stops now, because we’ve done it for you. We’ve scoured the web to bring you 51 of the very best podcasts to subscribe to now.

Forget about lugging around extra books or buying a brand new device to keep you entertained during that monotonous ride—these online radio episodes can be downloaded right to your smartphone (for free!). And with topics ranging from career-boosting advice and news to comedy and pop culture, they are guaranteed to make that ride fly by.

Gear Up for the Workday

1. The Engaging Brand

Wondering how to navigate your business idea into the market? You’re just a click away. Branding expert Anna Farmery provides her advice on how to make your company survive for the long haul in this podcast.

2. Manager Tools

Managers from all industries offer helpful insights that you won’t find anywhere else on how to make your employees shine, deal with office issues, navigate office politics, and more.

3. Grammar Girl: Quick and Dirty Tips

It’s always a good idea to work on your writing skills. These quick and simple tips help you get the basics of grammar down, helping you avoid embarrassing mistakes (misspelled word on your resume, anyone?) and making you stand out as a star employee.

4. Accidental Creative

Figure out how you can turn your everyday ideas into business solutions and tools. You’ll find incredible inspiration for innovation with this podcast.

5. Back to Work

This award-winning talk show is about everything work-related. From communication skill development to work barriers, this show knows just what you need to get a step up in your career.

6. Beyond the To-Do List

This show is all about learning to make the best decisions when it comes to projects, tasks, and goals. The actionable productivity lessons will help you lead a more meaningful life, one episode at a time.

7. RED: Real Entrepreneur Development

This is the ultimate podcast for entrepreneurs trying to build their businesses and make more money. Find out where your company’s “hidden money” is, and start earning and learning more with each episode.

Entertain Your Brain

8. Good Job, Brain!

This show will offer an even better morning jolt than your usual cup of java. Started from a Kickstarter initiative, it offers quizzes, offbeat trivia, and “random awesomeness” that serve as “Nutrition for the Brain.”

9. Grantland

From sports to movies to music, this podcast covers everything entertainment. Never be left in the dark about a current pop culture event ever again.

10. NYTimes Book Review

Not sure which book to read next? Tune into The New York Times’ book review podcast to help narrow down your search.

11. Stuff You Should Know

A plethora of must-know facts that you didn’t know you wanted to know, this channel will make you the most interesting person in the break room.

12. WITS Radio

This live public radio show features incredible comedians, musicians, and actors. With this much entertainment, that train ride that used to feel like a lifetime will pass by in mere minutes.

13. Splendid Table

Feed your inner foodie (and plan your next lunch) with these audio recipes, cooking tips, and bits of food news.

14. Stuff to Blow Your Mind

The title is pretty self-explanatory. Ranging from topics like human anatomy to the reason we can’t get enough junk food, you never know what surprising information you’ll get.

Hear Inspiring Stories and Advice

15. The Dinner Party Download

One hour of culture, food, and conversation. The coolest part? Celebrity guests are the norm at this dinner table.

16. Fresh Air: NPR

You’ve likely already heard of this highly popular, Peabody Award-winning podcast filled with interviews and unique insights, but if you haven’t, tune in to start thinking more critically about the world around you.

17. Risk Show

People share stories they never thought they would actually tell in this hilarious and shocking storytelling series. Because there’s no better way to start your day than with a good laugh!

18. Take Action Q&A

In 10 minutes or less, Rye Taylor helps you leverage your passion by interviewing experts across a myriad of fields to get their perspectives on how you can succeed. For the business-oriented listener, this is the channel for you.

19. The Moth

This not-for-profit program is fully dedicated to the art of storytelling. From professional storytellers to excited new beginners, this show celebrates all forms of narrated tales and experiences.

20. WTF With Marc Maron

This slightly cynical and totally non-withholding standup comedian interviews a variety of guests, from street artist Shepard Fairey to musician Josh Groban to movie maker Mike Myers. Warning: Not for the easily offended listener.

Make Time for Mindfulness

21. You Look Nice Today

This audio-based “Journal of Emotional Hygiene” has a comedic approach to talking about awkward, painful topics of the modern day, such as what to do when you’re forced to attend long dinner parties or how to deal with airport security pat-downs. Warning: It can contain explicit language from time to time, so don’t blast it on your work speakers.

22. We Have Concerns

Two highly intelligent and hilarious hosts ponder over issues and concerns like why Britney Spears is always getting picked on and whether it’s possible to still be productive with only three hours of sleep. Yes, you’ll be that weird person snort-laughing on the subway, but you’ll also walk away a little smarter.

23. The Partially Examined Life

Philosophy is the name of the game in this roundtable podcast discussion. Inspired by the days of college when friends could meet up after class to have a drink and talk theory, this show keeps that spirit alive (for at least one hour every week).

24. Simple Life Together

These husband-and-wife hosts share their experience with living a simpler life and maintaining strong relationships in our complex modern world. If you’re feeling a little out of balance, this is the show for you.

25. Headspace Meditation

The thought of meditation might be daunting—until now. With short, inspirational, and calming exercises, you’ll be ready to start your day off on the right foot every time.

26. Meditate This

The hosts of this show attempt to answer the question “What is the meaning of life?” by discussing mindfulness, art, science, spirituality, music, and philosophy. The best part is their modern take, making these big topics totally accessible.

Take a Deeper Look Inside Your Wallet

27. Smart Passive Income

Pat Flynn makes his living on the internet and shares how you can live off of passive income, too. He even shares his personal income with his listeners for full transparency.

28. Money Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for a Richer Life

The world of finance broken down, simplified, and explained. It’s as simple as that.

29. Freakonomics

The authors of the worldwide bestseller Freakonomics continue the conversation with their popular podcast that answers important life and money questions like “Do more expensive wines taste better?” and “Is college really worth it?”

30. Bigger Pockets

Focusing primarily on real estate investment and wealth management, this podcast is great for anyone in the industry or thinking of breaking into it.

31. Planet Money: NPR

The economy is an extremely broad and complicated topic. Begin chipping away at the complexity with these straightforward and simplified lessons from NPR.

32. Money for the Rest of Us

In this podcast, author and finance expert J. David Stein talks about the smartest ways to invest in the current marketplace—and grow your income incredibly.

Find Out What’s Going On

33. Slate Magazine Daily Podcast

From cultural gab to political lessons, this podcast provides any listener with something to enjoy. It’s an easy way to stay informed on everything you want to know about.

34. The Economist

This all-audio version of the magazine gives you access to the most interesting, hand-selected articles from the newsstand. Each episode is only about six minutes long, so there’s plenty of time to fit a few pieces in during your busy day.

35. CBC Radio

This podcast highlights cultural and human rights issues around the world, with national and international news brought to you every hour.

36. BBC Global News

Always 30 minutes or less, BBC offers a twice-daily podcast of news from around the world. Get your 24-hour news coverage in one reliable place.

37. Intelligence Squared

Love a good debate? In this show, many of the sharpest minds from around the world gather to smartly scuff it out over hot topics that are being discussed everywhere.

38. 60 Minutes

Don’t have time to watch a full episode of the show when you get home from work? This podcast brings you the full audio from each episode, ensuring that you stay on top of the best stories and biggest scoops of the week.

39. Curious City

Explore new cities through your headphones. This podcast reveals nuances of different cities around the world.

Embrace Your Inner Geek

40. SCIFRI: Science Friday

Want to understand more about hard science topics in a super-easy way? This show provides you with a wide range of scientific articles in layman’s terms.

41. Caustic Soda

If you’re looking for a more sarcastic, comedic take on all things science related, check out this podcast of “hard science by soft people.” Warning: You might laugh out loud in public.

42. 60-Second Science

Scientific American provides listeners with one minute of scientific news that is relevant to anybody—not just people in lab coats. From the science of nearsightedness to the benefits of white bread, take a listen for your quick science update.

43. Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Project

Love the show MythBusters? Co-host Adam Savage covers topics all over the board in this podcast, ranging from science-related news to Comic-Con preparation.

44. This Week in Tech: TWIT

You don’t need to have the newest device to find out about the latest trends in tech. A huge variety of tech-savvy hosts discuss all things electronic.

45. Tech Stuff: How Stuff Works

From fireworks to e-cigarettes, this podcast covers how physical technology works and the role it plays in the modern world.

Learn a New Language (Super Easily)

46. Coffee Break French

Learn conversational French through short spurts of language lessons. Perfect for the ride or walk to work.

47. Learn Spanish Survival Guide

All of the essentials of Spanish are provided in this channel. Episodes range from three to 20 minutes, depending on what works best for your schedule.

48. JapanesePod101

Japanese for everyday life—from taking a taxi to ordering at a restaurant, this channel arms you with everything you really need to know.

49. One Minute Italian

Learning Italian has never been easier. With episodes that last for only one minute, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be a pro in no time.

50. Important Chinese Things with Jenny Zhu

Interactive, conversational, and spoken in both Chinese and English, this podcast is perfectly geared toward English speaking listeners. Plus, with a wide range of guests and current topics, you’ll never get bored of listening or overwhelmed by new vocabulary.

51. German Survival Phrases

This innovative and fun way of learning German focuses on what you need to know for traveling. Enhance your trip with these must-know words and phrases.

Photo of train courtesy of Shutterstock.