60 minutes to spare? 10 podcasts with episodes less than an hour long
We’ve selected 10 excellent podcasters for listeners with just 60 minutes of allotted listening time. For true crime junkies, check out “Generation Why” or the con artist-based series “Swindled.” If you’re into multiple genres, you might like the true crime and music podcast, “DISGRACELAND.” A song-based series has artists dissect their work for episodes under 30 minutes on average.
Take the podcast equivalent of a vacation with episodes traveling to strange and beautiful spots with the folks from Atlas Obscura. For fans of fiction, hear LeVar Burton’s soothing voice read a hand-picked selection of short stories. There’s a podcast sharing wisdom, advice, and insightful conversations with guests. For episodes covering an assortment of topics, “Stuff You Should Know” is a classic.
Jake Brennan and Double Elvis’ “DISGRACELAND” just celebrated its 100th episode this April. Tune in for jaw-dropping stories mixing true crime and music, all about artists behaving badly. This season, hear about Taylor Swift‘s stalkers, Billie Holiday’s music and heroin addiction, and Juice WRLD’s misadventures.
LeVar Burton Reads
LeVar Burton selects his favorite short fiction stories and lends his iconic voice to reading them in episodes. The Roots, Reading Rainbow, and Star Trek alum’s story narrations beautifully blend with soundscapes. Take a break from your day when listening to work by Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Haruki Murakami, Octavia Butler, and Ray Bradbury – just to name a few.
The Atlas Obscura Podcast
“The Atlas Obscura Podcast” is an audio guide to strange, mysterious, and beautiful places. Hosted by Atlas Obscura co-founder Dylan Thuras and the platform’s reporters, episodes transport listeners to mini audio getaways in less than 15 minutes.
Radiotopia’s “Song Exploder” breaks down songs and dissects how they’re made with artists, producers, songwriters, and more. The show was created by musician and host Hrishikesh Hirway. After introducing each artist with a brief bio, the guest shares how the song was made and analyzes their work, TED Talk-style. Previous guests have included Yo Yo Ma, Metallica, Billie Eilish, U2, Bon Iver, and The Roots, just to name a few.
On Purpose with Jay Shetty
Author, podcaster, life coach, and former monk Jay Shetty shares wisdom and mindfulness on his podcast. He’s joined by guests for insightful conversations on healing, relationships, career growth, identity, and living life “On Purpose.” He shares practical advice for topics like self-care, focusing, improving productivity, red flags in dating, stepping out of your comfort zone, and more.
The Generation Why Podcast
Wondery’s “The Generation Why Podcast” is a no-frills true crime series covering murders and other cases. Since 2012, hosts Aaron Habel and Justin Evans explore theories, share opinions, controversies, and conspiracies. Each case is thoroughly-researched and presented in episodes running an hour on average.
“Swindled” unpacks financially-motivated crimes from white collar criminals to fraudsters and corporate evils. Recent episodes discussed Bad Vegan’s Sarma Melngailis, a water slide tragedy, and the microbiome testing company uBiome. The podcast’s narrative storytelling incorporates archival audio and soundscapes to bring these true stories to life. Hear about greed taking over, corruption, environmental disasters, Ponzi schemes, and how such crimes have changed the world.
Stuff You Should Know
iHeartPodcasts’ “Stuff You Should Know” runs the gamut of topics: animals, UFOs, true crime, science, politics, history, and more. In less than an hour on average, hosts Josh Clark and Charles Bryant wittily make episodes fly by. The “Short Stuff” episodes on topics like grilled cheese are less than 20 minutes a pop.
Sounds like a Cult
If it “Sounds like a Cult,” it might actually be one. This All Things Comedy production tackles modern day “cults” we all partake in. Did somebody say SoulCycle? Was Elizabeth Holmes creating her own cult during and after Theranos, complete with her personality, deep voice, “sociopath-chic Steve Jobs cosplay,” and con artistry? How about Veganism, theater kids, academia, or minimalism? This podcast will present a wide array of topics in episodes less than an hour on average.
The Table is Ours
By Lifetime “The Table is Ours” chats with guests like Janelle Monae and Black guests from every industry. Hosts Kirby Dixon, Amira Lewally, and guests share honest conversations and discuss how the Black identity has informed and bolstered their lives and careers. Episodes are less than an hour on average.