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The Best Podcasts of 2020 – Great New Podcasts to Listen to This Year – TownandCountrymag.com

Mar 21st, 2020

It's hard to believe that just a few years ago most us didn't even know the meaning of the word "podcast." These audio productions have become a part of everyday life, covering an almost unfathomable range of topics and styles to suit every taste. Whether you're looking for something fresh to add to your listening library or dipping your toes into the podcast world for the first time, we've got recommendations that are sure to excite you. From must-listen new entries to ongoing favorites, these are the podcasts Town & Country editors are obsessed with now.

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Royally Obsessed

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An all-time T&C editor favorite podcast for all things royals. Kaitlin Menza, an occasional T&C contributor, and Lisa Ryan give us the scoop on whats happening in the British royal family in an insightful and hilarious way (with a new cocktail each week, for added celebration). From details on every single Meghan or Kate appearance to a dedicated appreciation of Prince Louis (aka the elusive royal baby), this is the perfect podcast for those looking for a weekly update on their favorite royals.

Freakonomics Radio

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Freakonomics Radio's tagline is "the hidden side of everything" and it more than lives up to its name with episodes exploring everything from the development of 23andMe, to how economic principals play out in the animal kingdom, to why it's so difficult for people to change their minds. The episodes are intelligent and technical enough to entertain those familiar with economics but also approachable enough to hook the econ-averse.

99% Invisible

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Design-minded fans, take note: this podcast, which investigates the ways design and architecture plays into our everyday lives, will make you aware of the world around you in ways you've never been before. Topics range from how Las Vegas influenced modern architecture, the development of birth control pill packaging, and the ways that city planning influenced the growth of urban squirrel populations, all told in the dulcet tones of host Roman Mars.

Longform

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"Ever wonder how journalists break their big stories, or how culture critics craft the perfect celebrity profile? Longform offers interviews with todays leading writers, offering a rare insight into both their day-to-day process and their larger goals."Chloe Foussianes

Awesome Etiquette

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As the great-great grandchildren of manners maven Emily Post, hosts Lizzie Post and Daniel Post Senning know a thing or two about proper etiquette. From classic quandaries like the proper way to word wedding invitations to modern conundrums like group texting faux pas, every week they answer listeners burning manners questions and offer advice in a fun, un-fussy style that makes maintaining good etiquette feel anything but stuffy.

How I Built This

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This NPR podcast hosted by Guy Raz features interviews with entrepreneurs and founders, sharing the fascinating backstories of some of the most noteworthy startups and companies of our day. Highlights include Razs episodes featuring Whitney Wolfe of Bumble, Airbnbs Joe Gebbia, and Roxanne Quimby, the founder of Burts Bees. This podcast is a must-listen for any aspiring entrepreneurs.

Reply All

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While Reply All is, in theory, a technology podcast, in reality it specializes in telling fascinating and intensely human stories about the way that technology interfaces with and effects our lives. Equal parts moving and hilarious, every episode offers something unexpected, from the way manipulating search engines helps bad rehab clinics take advantage of people with addictions, to the reason we're all getting so many robocalls now, to deep dives into some of the internet's strangest memes.

The HeirPod

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"For those royal fans looking for an experts perspective on whats going on in Queen Elizabeths family, look no further than The HeirPod (formerly On Heir.) Reporter Omid Scobie is always enlightening, and offers a behind-the-scenes look at what its really like to be a royal correspondent."Caroline Hallemann

No Such Thing As A Fish

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This esoteric podcast from the writers behind the British hit TV show QI has gained a huge following thanks to its mix of humor and trivia. In each weekly episode, the four hosts present the best facts they learned that week, each jumping off from there with more facts, anecdotes, and plenty of jokes for a show that equal parts laugh-inducing and thought-provoking.

Embedded

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"This investigative podcast from NPR has been around for a while, but its showing no signs of slowing. Its always a surprise where host Kelly McEvers will take her audience nextrecent miniseries have examined the fate of US citizens who joined ISIS, Mitch McConnells career trajectory, and the coal industryand its always worth taking the trip."Chloe Foussianes

Every Little Thing

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If you've ever wondered who invented self-checkout or what they use in place of drugs in movies, Every Little Thing is the podcast you've been waiting for. The go behind the scenes on all of the small stuff you've wondered about over the years (like, where does the stuff that TSA confiscates go?) and all of the questions you'd never even thought to ask (like, why do auctioneers talk so fast?) and fill you in on all the tidbits you need to make your dinner party smalltalk way more interesting.

Trashy Divorces

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"Simply put, Trashy Divorces is the juicy gossip podcast of dreamsor a good podcast about bad relationships. Hosts Stacie and Alicia delve into the not so tidy relationships, makeups and breakups of every famous person you could imaginewith an eye opening take on the social dynamics that played out and continue to exist today. Think Elizabeth Taylor's many divorces, a deep dive into Ernest Hemingway's many loves, as well as more modern explorations of characters like Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley."Roxanne Adamiyatt

Criminal

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Not your average true crime podcast. Rather than focusing on a single case, Criminal looks at a broad range of criminal behavior, often delving into the psychology and sociology behind cases as disparate as the 1973 Swedish bank robbery that gave us the term "Stockholm Syndrome" to the people who steal fossilized wood from the Petrified Forest National Park.

More: The Best True Crime Podcasts to Listen to Now

The Daily

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In the 24 hour news cycle, staying up to date can feel exhausting. This podcast from the New York Times aims to make things a little easier by giving you a bite-sized scoop on the biggest story of the day everyday. Usually around 20 minutes long, host Michael Barbaro talks to experts from all walks of life to help keep you informed without getting overwhelmed.

A Few Things with Claire and Erica

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"Every week, the founders of Of a Kind extol their latest and greatest discoveries from tips on modern motherhood to the perfect airplane snack to Instagram-worthy earrings. Their on-point recommendations are complemented by interviews with the entrepreneurs youre about to hear about everywhere. But, take note: For those who prefer to listen to podcasts at 1.5x speed, resist that temptation here. These women are fast talkers."Caroline Hallemann

Throughline

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"Its easy to learn about headline-grabbing current events. Whats harder is finding an informative, thoughtful summary of how the pastwhether just the past few years or several centuries worthshaped the presents biggest stories. Thats what Throughline reliably delivers, distilling immense amounts of information into one comprehensible narrative."Chloe Foussianes

Invisibilia

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Fusing psychology and sociology with poignant real life stories, Invisibilia offers endlessly intriguing examinations of all of the complicated, unseen factors that effect how we interact with the world around us; like how cultural expectations can impact individual achievement, and the biases built into our perception of empathy.

Proof

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Take a deep dive into the stories of your favorite foods with this podcast from America's Test Kitchen. Topics range from how Rwanda became an oyster mushroom farming hub, how one canning enthusiast helped give rise to doomsday preppers, and why labor unions tried to destroy Chinese restaurants in the early 1900s, to take your love of food way beyond recipes.

Decoder Ring

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Pop culture is full of mysteries: where did gender reveal parties come from? How did Judy Garland become a queer icon? Who came up with "Baby Shark"? This podcast is aimed at answering all of those questions and more with an approachably snarky attitude that feels like chatting with a shockingly culture-savvy friend.

Planet Money

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"Listening to NPRs Planet Money every week makes me feel just a little bit smarter. Its perfect blend of education and entertainment, and truly makes good on its promise of the economy, explained, with stories and surprises." Caroline Hallemann

You're Wrong About

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Bite-sized information is all well-and-good, but if what you're craving is a deep dive, turn to the hosts of this conversational podcast for a much closer look at moments in history you didn't even realize you'd been getting wrong, like the preppy murder, the rise and fall of Tonya Harding, and the O.J. Simpson trial.

Stuff You Should Know

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One of the most famous podcasts around (it's been going strong for more than a decadelonger than most of us have known what podcasts are) this show explores the story behind, well, essentially everything. Genghis Khan? Yep. Barcodes? Yes. Tardigrades? You bet. Think of each episode as falling down a charming, well-researched Wikipedia rabbit hole: you're never quite sure what you'll get, but you're sure to learn something.

Science Vs

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Examine all the angles with this funny, informative podcast that pits scientific studies and statistics against some of the biggest head-scratchers around. Does exercise really help you loose weight? Do emotional support animals actually make you feel better? How does gentrification really effect a community? All of the episodes are highly researched (they commonly cite up to 100 studies per topic) and offer a range of perspectives to come up with the most comprehensive answers to all your burning questions.

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The Best Podcasts of 2020 - Great New Podcasts to Listen to This Year - TownandCountrymag.com

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