T his year, the time I spent listening to podcasts increased exponentially—from an already perhaps excessive baseline. I was desperate for information and desperate for comfort. I zigged and zagged from shows that stoked my anxiety to those that soothed it. Though relying on analysis of polls may have been foolhardy. But when I began to put together this list, I focused on podcasts that worked to respond to this moment. Some series that had already begun recording before the virus hit—investigating issues like systemic racism in our public school system or the homelessness crisis —resonated because they provided a basis to understand issues of inequality that the pandemic has only exacerbated. Others offered support to listeners just trying to survive, whether that meant coping mechanisms for staying mentally healthy or ideas for staying physically nourished with home-cooked meals. And a few series simply kept us updated with daily news analysis, proving how vital good journalism is in moments of crisis.
"Your First Step Towards Podcast Discovery"
This is a list of the top podcasts in the United States on Apple Podcasts iTunes and should be automatically updated every few days. Keep in mind, the Apple Podcast charts have been reported to be based on new subscribers, weighted for recency. Want to start your own podcast? Here are the best podcast hosting sites — I use and recommend Buzzsprout. Podcast Name: The Jordan B. Jordan B. Ross Winn is the founder of Podcast Insights, the industry-leading podcast education site. He has helped thousands of people start and grow a podcast and loves to test out new gear and software. I just checked the code and Apple Podcast feed and everything seems to be working.
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Several miniseries from try to contextualize complicated news stories that have dominated headlines — the rise and fall of Silicon Valley phenom Elizabeth Holmes , the arrest and suicide football star Aaron Hernandez, the trial of sexually abusive gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. But for the most part, I tried to find podcasts that put me in a good mood when I want to escape the news cycle. There are probably a disproportionate number of pop culture podcasts on here. But what can I say? I really like watching an old movie and then listening to people talk about it for hours on end. That brings me joy. Hopefully you can find something on this list that brings you joy too. I also encourage podcast newbies to check out our lists from and The wide-ranging series, which aims to give new context and grapple with the complicated legacy of slavery in the United States, included a podcast hosted by Nikole Hannah-Jones that tells that story through narrative, archival audio and essay-like observations. Listen on Apple Podcasts.