I’ll be the first to admit that I got super into podcasts when the pandemic first started. When I began working remotely, I found it helped to have something to break up the day. So during my lunch break, I’d find a podcast episode to tune into and loved the schedule it brought to my work day.
Some of the podcasts I mentioned are quite popular. If you’re into the format, you’ve definitely heard of them. If this is new to you, I’ve listed some episodes to start you off.
Either way, these podcasts are perfect for your lunch break. Let’s get listening!
5 Podcasts to Listen to on Your Lunch Break
1. Mystery Show
This one is a bit of a bummer. It’s an older show that ended at just six episodes. But each episode is so perfectly crafted, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention it.
Starlee Kine spends each episode solving a mystery sent her way. Some are serious—a license plate that seems to celebrate a tragedy—while others are goofy fun, like when she tries to figure out how tall Jake Gyllenhaal really is.
It’s a show that draws you in to every little detail of the case. By the time it’s finally solved, you’ve grown quite attached to the cast of characters you’ve met along the way.
I recommend: Case #3: Belt Buckle
2. Behind the Bastards
Host/journalist Robert Evans (with an occasional remark from producer Sophie) balances a show about history’s very worst people with just the right amount of facts and dark humor.
This isn’t a show about horrible people you’ve heard about. Robert digs into the depths of history to find the absolute worst. Not all episodes are remarkably dark. Some, like the man who sold the Eiffel Tower twice, are just baffling. So if historical monsters are too much for you right now, stick to the grifters. It’s a hilarious ride.
Popular guests like Jamie Loftus and Billy Wayne Davis bring an extra spark to each episode. Usually guests come in cold, knowing nothing about the bastard in question. The commentary and banter with Robert adds levity to the often insane topics.
I recommend: Part One and Two: The Idiot Who Made, And Destroyed, We Work
3. You're Wrong About
Journalists Sarah Marshall and Michael Hobbes spend an hour or two twice a month rummaging through past events or people that have been mischaracterized in the public eye. Either Sarah or Michael picks a topic and explains where we went wrong to the other.
It’s a fascinating deep dive into the time and place that affected our perceptions of what was happening. Well known topics like the Stanford Prison Experiment get debunked alongside lessor known areas like Disco Demolition Night. Mike and Sarah are a fun duo and each episode is a joy to listen through.
I recommend: The 5-part arc on Princess Diana
4. Scam Goddess
Laci Mosley is a laugh and a half as she and a guest examine scammers, grifters and liars throughout history. This podcast is a bit lighter than Behind the Bastards, and that’s mostly due to just how funny Laci is. She can find the absurd humor in just about everything.
This is another podcast that covers both the well-known scammers and the ones we lost to time. Laci combines her research with a conversational tone that makes you feel like you’re a friend hearing hot gossip. It’s a lot of fun.
I recommend: The Sha*n K*ng episode
5. This American Life
This one is a classic, so of course I had to throw it in. I grew up listening to Ira Glass tell stories of Americans from all walks of life. I enjoy it even more now.
It’s tough to say what this podcast is about. Stories? Maybe. Most episodes have specific topics, like Tell Me I’m Fat, or Break-Up. All have a very human element that connects you to the person even if their lived experience is not your own.
And Ira is a fantastic host. So there’s that.
I recommend: Break-Up