When you’re bored on a long road trip, tackling housework, or simply going for a walk, podcasts can be a great companion, and young adults are no stranger to this fact. Would you like to recommend a new pod for your kid? Whether they’re focused on entertainment, education, or some other topic entirely, the best podcasts for teens feature engaging, personable hosts who make every episode worth a listen. (Plus, you might find a new favorite, too.)
The cool thing about podcasts is their versatility. Some hearken back to old-school radio programs, whereas others are totally focused on taking this new media to a totally new space. At any rate, there’s plenty of podcasts focused on just about every topic imaginable, so your kid is sure to find the topic and hosts that suit them.
In addition, some of these podcasts have a more “adult” voice than others, so you may want to give them a preview listen before recommending to your teen. On the other hand, listening to episodes about difficult or controversial topics together can be one way to start having conversations with your kid about these more adult matters. It’s all up to you and your family. At any rate, the top podcasts for teens (that will interest adults, too) are definitely worth checking out.
Top Educational Podcasts
With engaging narrators and great production, the best educational podcasts can make learning about any topic interesting. Here are some edutainment podcasts that may intrigue your teen.
- Stuff You Should Know offers listeners a summary of everything from chaos theory to the history of lawn care (which is honestly way more interesting than it sounds). Join Josh and Chuck on this well-researched and presented podcast, which is often at the tip top of the popularity charts.
- Radiolab, famed for its great storytelling and production values, examines everything from the history of the periodic table to Cold-War mysteries.
- Science Friday, AKA SciFri, looks into the furthest reaches of space and the tiniest microbes here on Earth. There’s also a cool call-in segment.
- Stuff You Missed In History Class, narrated by Holly and Tracy, tells all those juicy stories from the past that you won’t learn about in the classroom.
There’s no shortage of comedy podcasts, and many of these hosts are beyond funny. Here’s a small selection that might cause your kid to crack a smile.
- Red School Bus proves clean, family-style comedy can still be laugh-out-loud funny.
- Part-Time Genius offers up silly (but still informative) episodes about the Royal Family, bizarre inventions, and basically everything else.
- Socially Awkward features hilarious but still totally relatable stories from The Weber Boys.
- Good One: A Podcast About Jokes features a different comedian each week, offering their insight into the world of comedy.
Often paired with atmospheric music and incredible narrators, fiction podcasts are in a class all their own. Here are a few pods for your kid who loves a good tale.
- Live From Mount Olympus, an audio adventure featuring young Perseus, is perfect for fans of the Percy Jackson series.
- The Unexplainable Disappearance Of Mars Patel is an award-winning, serialized mystery podcast that will have you on the edge of your seat.
- Welcome To Night Vale is a community radio station broadcasting from a small desert town where all conspiracy theories are true, and time doesn’t work at all.
Learn more about life in the real world from people with all sorts of cool backgrounds.
- How I Built This offers an inside look at how some of the world’s biggest companies were created.
- Adult ISH hosts Nyge Turner and Merk Nguyen discuss anything and everything important to almost-adults.
- Dear Hank and John features authors and YouTubers John and Hank Green answering some serious (and not-so-serious) questions about life.
- Mentors 4 Teens provides real-life career, college, and scholarship advice for young adults.
- Teen Girl Talk is a thoughtful and often hilarious look at films, books, and more made for teenagers over the years.
Pop Culture & Entertainment
Lastly, podcasts are the perfect platform for talking about celebrity news, video games, movies, and so much more.
- The Breakfast Club discusses everything from celeb gossip to political topics.
- What’s Good Games focuses on video game news, commentary, and more.
- The Rewatchables is all about those movies you can’t stop watching again and again.
- Song Exploder invites musicians to talk about how their songs were made, bit by bit, offering a fascinating look into the creative process.
Chances are, there’s a podcast available for whatever your teen is interested in at the moment. And who knows: maybe they’ll be inspired to start a podcast of their own.