When you’re in isolation from everyone but your family, it can be nice to hear people talk who don’t want things from you. Here are a few recommendations from The Sway for podcasts on everything from sports to general knowledge and true crime.
This American Life: An educational podcast from NPR that isn’t nearly as boring as that sounds. Even people who think public radio is made up of whale sounds will enjoy this cast, about stories that surround that week’s topic. Listen.
The Joe Rogan Experience: Yeah, you’ve probably heard about that Elon Musk interview. But what makes Rogan an interviewer who’s popular with millions is that he doesn’t pretend to know anything about anything. Listen.
99% Invisible: How often do you think about the everyday design and architecture that make modern life, well, modern? This pod takes you on a deep dive into stories behind of all of them — and the host, Roman Mars, has the best voice in all of podcastland. Listen.
Reply All: A podcast about modern life, aka the Internet. Because even though you’re on it, you’re missing out on some of the best stories that happen within it. Listen.
Revisionist History: How much of our past was written with information gleaned from what amounts to a telephone game? This podcast takes a second look at events or people that have been historically misunderstood, or left out of history books altogether. Listen.
Hardcore History: Have 12 hours to dive into The Asia-Pacific War of 1937-1945? Cool. You’ll love host Dan Carlin, who is just as obsessed with history as you are. Listen.
Our Fake History: What you learned in school may or may not be real. These hosts take a look at stories that fall under the latter scenario. It sounds like Revisionist History, but it’s easier to get into. Listen.
30 for 30: If you like This American Life, which, clearly, we do, you’ll love this podcast — which is basically like This American Life, but for sports. That’s enough for you, right? Listen.
The Bill Simmons podcast: This former writer for Jimmy Kimmel brings on everyone from current and former stars of the sports world to celebrities who love sports just as much as he does. Listen.
Hall of Shame: Fox Sports host and comedian Rachel Bonnetta outlines some of the biggest sports scandals in history, along with comic writer Racha Fruchbom. Listen.
Fore Play by Barstool Sports: A podcast on golf “by the common golfer, for the common golfer.” Listen.
Serial: The undisputed No. 1 crime podcast (fight us). Start with season one, about Adnan Syed. Listen.
Small-Town Murder: If you love a few good jokes mixed in with horror and bloodshed, you’ll love this podcast that winds all three into true stories of terrible crimes that rocked small towns. Listen.
Bonus: The makers of this series also have a “Crime in Sports” cast, if you’re into that. Get it at the link, too.
In the Dark: An investigative podcast, season two of which focuses on Curtis Flowers — a man tried six times for the same crime. Listen.
Last Podcast on the Left: More than a retelling of true crime cases, this podcast fills your thirst for all things terrible “both imagined and real,” from murder to demons and cults. Listen.
Comedy Bang! Bang!: Now in its 11 season, comedy aficionados will recognize someone from every episode — whether that someone is an actual guest, or someone pretending to be them. Part interview, more improv, the cast of characters will make you feel like you’re at a reunion of all your most favorite dysfunctional people. Listen.
Anna Faris is Unqualified: In this laid-back podcast, the actress asks people who don’t know what they’re doing in love and in life (hint: everyone) for relationship advice. Hilarity ensues. Listen.
Conan O’ Brien Needs a Friend: You tune into late-night for the guests, and this podcast is no different — though Conan is almost as entertaining as Nick Kroll, Ali Wong, Judd Apatow and the other comedians he brings to the set. Listen.