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The 14 Best Popular Podcasts to Listen to in 2022 (Spotify & Apple)

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The 14 Best Popular Podcasts to Listen to in 2022 (Spotify & Apple)

Interested in getting into the world of podcasts but don’t know where to start? Or have you taken a hiatus from podcasts and want to know the most popular ones currently?

In either case, let’s look at the most popular podcasts of 2022 (all of them are either available on Spotify, Apple, or both).

14 Most Popular Podcasts for 2022

While there are millions of podcasts, these are the most popular ones you should be listening to right now. No matter if you enjoy a crime series or just some good comedy, try one of these podcasts out.

#1 The Joe Rogan Experience

The most popular podcast: The Joe Rogan Experience
Joe Rogan Experience

In 2009, Joe Rogan launched The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, which became one of the most popular podcasts in the world. 

While the podcast is mostly followed by men, anyone interested in 3-hour long conversations on politics, UFOs, stand-up comedy, history, psychology, psychedelics, and any topic under the sun, should check this out. 

Joe Rogan can be a bit of a controversial figure: He’s been on the news for all the wrong reasons, notably for hosting guests that spread Covid misinformation. Joe tends to be a little too open-minded which leads him to host conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones from time to time. 

However, Joe Rogan has also hosted reliable science figures like Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Professor Brian Cox, Steven Pinker, and Sir Roger Penrose. It goes to show that Joe will to listen to anyone, as long as they have something interesting to share. 

The podcast gets around 11 million listeners each episode. 

If you want to get a taste of The Joe Rogan Experience, here are the episodes to watch.

  • JRE #1368, Edward Snowden— The episode has got 32 million views on YouTube for good reason. In it, the famous whistleblower reveals how the NSA has been spying on people, and how his revelation had the US intelligence community come after him.
  • JRE #1315, Bob Lazar & Jeremy Corbell— This one goes into UFO territory, with a fascinating narration by Bob Lazar on Area 51 and the alien tech he came across in the facility.
  • JRE #1169, Elon Musk— Want to see Elon Musk high on pot? In this episode, Joe and Elon talk about Tesla, space, and the future of AI.

#2 The Daily

The Daily podcast
The Daily

Interested in listening to a podcast that dives deep into the latest, most relevant news stories? Then check out The Daily, the second most popular podcast in the world after the Joe Rogan Experience.   

Think of The Daily as the New York Times — but in podcast form. Each episode is 25-45 minutes long. 

Hosted by Michael Barbaro, it features interviews with New York Times journalists who covered the day's hottest stories. What enhances the production value and storytelling is the great music and relevant audio clips played during the podcast. 

The podcast started in 2017 and covers domestic and international politics as well as major news events. By 2020, it got 2 million downloads per episode. 

Did you know that The New York Times uses Riverside for recording in high quality? Find out more about Riverside or sign up today.

#3 This American Life

This American Life popular podcast
This American Life

This American Life, popularly called TAL, is hosted by radio personality Ira Glass. In 2020, it won the Pulitzer Prize for best audio journalism. 

TAL has fantastic storytelling. It uses field recordings, unusual music, essays, and radio monologues to talk about true stories of everyday people in America. The stories are intimate, funny, bittersweet, and surprising. 

Even though it’s one of the oldest podcasts on this list, TAL continues to be extremely popular among podcast listeners

To get a taste of TAL, here are the best episodes:

  • Ep 589, No Coincidence, No Story — In this episode, listeners were asked to share memorable coincidences that happened in their life. 
  • Ep 109, Notes on CampNotes on Camp is all about summer camps. Some people hate them; others love them. The episode tries to bridge the gap between the two groups.
  • Ep 487 and 488, Harper High School — This was a two-part episode on the series of gun-related incidents in Harper High School, Chicago. The investigative journalism in this episode won it a Peabody Award. 

#4 Stuff You Should Know

Stuff You Should Know podcast
Stuff You Should Know 

Are you curious about the world and how things work in general? Then check out Stuff You Should Know, popularly known by fans as SYSK.

The podcast has 1400+ episodes. The episode titles alone make you want to grab your headphones and listen to them right away. Here are a few examples — How Police Interrogation Works, How Money Laundering Works, How Schizophrenia Works

The show is grounded in science and truth. The producers wanted to make a show that would explain everything. Episodes are an hour-long, and the two hosts have great banter and rapport, making listening to the podcast interesting. 

Some of their best episodes are:

  • Ep 454, How Electoral Colleges Work — Want to understand how the Electoral Colleges works? Then check out ep 454, which goes into the history of the electoral college in the United States and why it was set up.
  • Ep 412, How Diamonds Work — Check out this episode if you want to learn about the origin of the diamond industry. It also goes into the history of diamond advertising and how they became the wedding standard in the modern era. 
  • Ep 197, What is facism? —What exactly is fascism? Stuff You Should Know discusses the core tenants of fascism and the common misconceptions around it. 

#5 Pod Save America

Pod Save America
PodSaveAmerica

Those interested in a more left-leaning political podcast that discusses the week's political news should listen to this podcast.

The show was started by three Obama staffers after Donald Trump became president and early episodes focused on the Trump presidency. 

Among the big names interviewed on the show include Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and Joe Biden.

Pod Save America mainly focuses on American politics, but you can check out Pod Save The World if you're looking for international coverage.

#6 The Ben Shapiro Show

The Ben Shapiro podcast
The Ben Shapiro Show

The Ben Shapiro Show is the best podcast on the opposite side of the political spectrum.

Shapiro became famous after his debate on gun control with Piers Morgan. He is known for his fast-talking way of speaking and is popular among conservative intellectuals. 

The show covers American political events, news, and culture from a conservative perspective.

#7 Call Her Daddy

Call Her Daddy Podcast cover
Call Her Daddy

Call Her Daddy is a sex-positive dating and relationship podcast that’s popular among women. The content is explicit, raunchy, and features stories, sex advice, girl talk, and millennial culture. 

Nothing encapsulates the show better than this New York Post statement:

“Virtually nothing is off-limits for the two roommates (except Cooper’s former relationship with Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard) on their weekly show — which spans the conversational gamut from sex acts like the “gluck gluck 9000” to them listening to each other get it on from the next room. The content went wildfire within two months from 12000 to 2 million listeners.”

The podcast started in 2018 and was acquired by Spotify in 2021 for $60 million. 

Episodes to look out for are: 

  • Ep 1, Sext Me So I Know It’s Real — This is a great introduction to the podcast and an ideal gateway episode for new listeners.
  • Ep 3, The Gluck Gluck 9000 — This episode has one of the most iconic moments in Call Her Daddy history. It has over-the-top raunchy storytelling and sex advice. References to this episode can be found in dating apps even today. 
  • Ep 92, Miley Cyrus — The episode is an interview with Miley Cyrus where the musician talks about her sex life and past relationships. 

#8 Office Ladies

Office Ladies Podcast
Office Ladies

Missing the good ole days of The Office and want to rekindle the nostalgia? Then check out Office Ladies hosted by Jenna Fischer (Pam Beesly) and Angela Kinsey (Angela Martin). 

The two offer their commentary on episodes from The Office and respond to fan questions. Guests include The Office co-stars, producers, and writers, the most notable one being Rainn Wilson. 

The podcast carries the same lighthearted vibe as the TV show and the hosts have great chemistry — they tease each other and share amusing stories about their lives as well as the making of the TV episodes. 

Every podcast starts with a quick The Office episode summary, followed by a scene-by-scene analysis and fun facts about filming, props, and scripts. 

#9 Morbid: A True Crime Podcast

Morbid: A True Crime Podcast
Morbid: A True Crime Podcast

Love true crime and horror stories? Then listen to Morbid: A True Crime Podcast hosted by Alaina Urquhart, an autopsy technician, and Ashleigh “Ash” Kelley, a hairdresser. 

Murder. Scary myths. Creepy history. Haunted places. This is what you can expect from the podcast. Don’t worry; there’s also a healthy dose of humor present in the show, so it’s not all doom and gloom. 

Here are a few episodes you should not miss:

  • Ep 184, The Unbelievable Life & Crime of Carl Panzram — The episode is the first in a series of podcasts on Carl Panzram, a serial killer who confessed to 21 murders and 1000 acts of sexual abuse against boys and men. The first episode focuses on his early life, which was filled with abuse and imprisonment. 
  • Ep, 214, The Tragic Case of Molly Bish — Molly Bish was a 16-year-old lifeguard that disappeared on the job in Warren, Massachusetts. The case became sensational and was featured on most major news channels in the US.
  • Ep,178, The Chicago Ripper Crew — This podcast follows a satanic cult of serial killers, cannibals, necrophiles, and rapists who were suspected of abducting and mutilating women in the 1980s. 

#10 My Favorite Murder

My favorite Murder popular podcast
My Favorite Murder

Do you want to be a Murderino? Well, that’s what fans of the popular true crime podcast My Favorite Murder call themselves. 

Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark not only talk about true crime, but also address deeper issues in the genre like sexual abuse, mental health, women's rights, and sex work. The two hosts also discuss their personal lives and struggles with mental health, addiction, and religion.  

The podcast got around 35 million downloads a month in 2020. Episodes are held bi-weekly and each show runs around 60-120 minutes.

The best episodes to check out are:

  • Ep 183, Here We Back Are — The episode goes into the urban legend of the Mothman, a black 10-foot creature with wings and red eyes that was sighted in Virginia around the ‘60s . According to legend, the creature was responsible for the collapse of the Silver Bridge in 1967.
  • Ep 116, Robot Grandma — Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark talk about Issei Sagawa, a Japanese man who mutilated, cannibalized, and murdered Renee Hartvelt in Paris in 1981. Issei was later released due to a legal technicality.
  • Ep 185, 400 Peeled Potatoes — Moving away from gruesome violence, this episode doesn’t feature murder. Instead, it features the story of Malachi Love-Robinson, a Florida teenager who posed as a doctor without a medical license and scammed a lot of people. 

#11 Crime Junkie

Crime Junkie popular podcast
Crime Junkie

Crime Junkie is another true-crime podcast hosted by Ashley Flowers and Brit Prawat. 

Every Monday, a new episode is released covering a different crime. The hosts have a great vibe together, and listening to the show feels like you’re listening in on two friends discussing their favorite topic. 

In Crime Junkie, both solved and unsolved cases are discussed. Expect the usual true crime themes like murder, serial killers, and missing persons. Episodes can last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.

Some of the best episodes are:

  • MISSING: Niqui McCown — This is the first episode of Crime Junkie and is a great starting point for newcomers as it sets up a consistent tone for the rest of Crime Junkie episodes. The podcast goes into the case of a missing single mother whose wedding was three weeks away. It’s clear from the narration of the case how much effort the hosts put into research. 
  • SERIAL KILLER: Herb Baumeister — Businessman Herb Baumeister murdered more than a dozen men, most of whom were seen at gay bars. He buried his victims on his estate. Baumeister wasn’t caught or questioned as he committed suicide before then.
  • SURVIVED: Elizabeth Smart — 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart was abducted from her bedroom at knifepoint. What follows is a 9-month hunt for Elizabeth as the Salt Lake City community try to find her.

#12 On Purpose

Jay Shetty is famous for his wisdom, which he delves into deeply with each episode of his podcast, On Purpose. This podcast, which is actually created on Riverside, has gained massive traction as one of the most popular self-development podcasts out there. You can expect to learn about all areas of life from a wide array of renowned guests. 

He’s interviewed personalities such as Oprah Winfrey, Gary Vaynerchuk, and John Legend. While topics he’s covered range from strategies on work efficiency and productivity, all the way through to relationships and personality types. 

If you’re looking to improve your life, this is a great podcast to begin with.

Just like Jay Shetty, you can record your own podcast in top-quality on Riverside.

#13 Why Won’t You Date Me?

Why Won't You Date Me Podcast
Why Won't You Date Me?

Ever wondered why you’re single? That’s the same question that Nicole Byer asked herself. And that’s why she started the podcast Why Won’t You Date Me? 

Nicole (who is hilarious) and her guests discuss topics like love, sex, dating, and relationships. Some of her guests include her former partners and childhood friends. 

The main theme of the podcast is Nicole's attempt to figure out why she's single. To solve this puzzle, she invites guests and asks them the same question. The guests and her also talk about their own sex and dating lives. 

Listening to this podcast may have you contemplate your own dating experience. But don’t worry — it’s fun and lighthearted, so you won't feel miserable.

To get a feel for the podcast, check out the below episodes.

  • Having Tandem Sex — Nicole and her best friend Sasheer Zamata shares the time when she and Nicole had sex at the same time but in different places (and how the experience was horrible for them). Sasheer also shares her first kiss story.

  • A Nightmare Wedding Experience — Diona Reasonover from NCIS discusses her horrible wedding experience fraught with a broken wrist, a typhoon, and multiple wedding crashers. 

#14 Planet Money

Planet Money podcast
Planet Money

Planet Money was created by Alex Blumberg and Adam Davidson. The show was launched on September 6th, 2008, to cover the financial crisis of 2007-08. For those without an economic background, this podcast is a great way to learn about the economy and how it works. 

Planet Money is also a great podcast to listen to if you have limited time or if you want to listen to one while doing chores. The episodes are short and last between 6-30 minutes. 

The interviewees are academic experts, business professionals, and the general public. Topics include classic monetary theories, international trade, current events, taxes, insider trading, and more. 

Check out the most popular episodes:

  • Ep 650, The Business Genius Behind Get Out —The podcast discusses how Blumhouse productions, run by Jason Blum, makes highly successful movies on a tiny budget. One of the movies made by Blumhouse was Get Out, which cost only $4.5 million. 
  • Eps 496-502 —The Planet Money team follows the journey of a T-shirt, from its birth in cotton fields, through its production in the factory, and lastly to its destination in container ships. In these episodes, you’ll also learn about the garment industry in Bangladesh and Columbia, the workings of the container ships industry, and what happens to used T-shirts in the US.

Most Popular Podcasts on Spotify

Here are the most popular podcasts available on Spotify. Some podcasts like The Joe Rogan Experience and Call Me Daddy are Spotify exclusives and cannot be found on any other platform. 

  1. The Joe Rogan Experience
    Host:
    Joe Rogan
    Genre: Interview
  1. Crime Junkie
    Host(s):
    Ashley Flowers and Brit Prawat
    Genre:
    True crime
  1. Call Her Daddy
    Host:
    Alex Cooper
    Genre:
    Sex, dating, and relationships
  1. The Daily
    Host:
    Michael Barbaro
    Genre:
    Long-form journalism
  1. Armchair Expert Umbrella with Dax Shepard
    Host(s):
    Dax Shepard and Monica Padman
    Genre:
    Comedy, interview
  1. Up First
    Host(s):
    Rachel Martin, Steve Inskeep, A Martinez, Leila Fadel, Scott Simon, Ayesha Rascoe
    Genre:
    Long-form journalism 
  1. Morbid: A True Crime Podcast
    Host(s):
    Alaina Urquhart and Ashleigh Kelley
    Genre:
    True crime
  1. NPR News Now
    Host(s):
    Jeanine Herbst, Nora Raum, Korva Coleman, Shay Stevens, Dave Mattingly, Lakshmi Singh
    Genre:
    News
  1. Last Podcast on the Left
    Host(s):
    Ben Kissel, Marcus Parks, Henry Zebrowski
    Genre:
    Comedy, true crime, paranormal, horror
  1. Anything Goes with Emma Chamberlain
    Host:
    Emma Chamberlain
    Genre:
    Society and culture
  1. Smartless
    Host(s):
    Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes
    Genre:
    Comedy, interview
  1. The Journal.
    Host(s):
    Kate Linebaugh and Ryan Knutson
    Genre:
    News
  1. The Always Sunny Podcast
    Host(s):
    Charlie Day, Glenn Howerton, & Rob McElhenney
    Genre:
    Comedy
  1. The Ben Shapiro Show
    Host:
    Ben Shapiro
    Genre:
    Politics, news
  1. Serial Killers
    Host:
    Thomas Dillon
    Genre:
    True crime

Most Popular Podcasts on Apple

Here are the most popular podcasts available on Apple. 

  1. Truthers: Tiffany Dover Is Dead
    Host:
    NBC News
    Genre:
    Conspiracy
  1. Dateline NBC
    Host:
    Keith Morrison
    Genre:
    True crime
  1. Morbid: A True Crime Podcast
    Host(s):
    Alaina Urquhart and Ashleigh Kelley
    Genre:
    True crime
  1. Crime Junkie
    Host(s):
    Ashley Flowers and Brit Prawat
    Genre:
    True crime
  1. The Daily
    Host:
    Michael Barbaro
    Genre:
    Long-form journalism
  1. Very Scary People
    Host:
    Donnie Wahlberg and Joel Martin
    Genre:
    True crime
  1. Run, Bambi, Run
    Host:
    Vanessa Grigoriadis
    Genre:
    True Crime
  1. Scamfluencers
    Host(s):
    Scaachi Koul and Sarah Hagi 
    Genre:
    Society and culture
  1. Smartless
    Host(s):
    Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes
    Genre:
    Comedy, interview
  1. The Thing About Pam
    Host:
    Keith Morrison
    Genre:
    True crime
  1. The Ben Shapiro Show
    Host:
    Ben Shapiro
    Genre:
    Politics, news
  1. Something Was Wrong
    Host:
    Tiffany Reese
    Genre:
    True crime
  1. Up First
    Host(s):
    Rachel Martin, Steve Inskeep, A Martinez, Leila Fadel, Scott Simon, Ayesha Rascoe
    Genre:
    Long-form journalism 
  1. We Can Do Hard Things with Glennon Doyle
    Host:
    Glennon Doyle
    Genre:
    Society and culture
  1. The Bible in a Year (with Fr. Mike Schmitz)
    Host:
    Fr. Mike Schmitz
    Genre
    : Religion and Spirituality

What is the number 1 podcast in the world?

The Joe Rogan Experience is the number 1 podcast in the world today. The podcast is exclusive to Spotify and has about 11 million listeners per episode. 

What is the most listened-to podcast?

The Joe Rogan Experience (JRE) is the most listened-to podcast in the world with about 11 million listeners per episode. 

What podcast gets the most downloads?

The Daily is the most downloaded podcast in the world. It gets 2 million downloads per episode (JRE cannot be downloaded, that’s why it isn’t the most downloaded podcast). It consistently shows up in the top 10 of most podcast charts out there, including Spotify and Apple Podcasts charts.

Start listening to the most popular podcasts

Now, you’re all covered and set to start listening to some binge-worthy podcast shows. 

Not sure where to start listening? 

Our guide on how to listen to podcasts should give you all the details you need. 

Want to switch from a listener to becoming a podcast host?

We suggest you try Riverside which makes recording as simple as listening to a podcast show. You can sign up on Riverside for free to start podcasting like a professional the easy way.

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