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Podcast Pulse: The Best New Podcasts

The greatest way to find new podcasts is to talk to the people that love them. Based on personal research, here are the best new podcasts to look out for this year.

best new podcast

For years, the top menu of the Apple Podcasts app has been called “New and Noteworthy.” The New and Noteworthy section is supposed to detail the newest and most interesting podcasts, but that’s seldom the case. The best way to find new podcasts is to ask other people who are listening to podcasts, since everyone is always looking for their next fix.

Forget about the algorithm-assembled new podcast section on your podcatcher. Here are the new podcasts that I’m the most excited about this year.

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This is Love

The masters at the true crime podcast “Criminal” bring their podcasting expertise to “This is Love,” a new podcast about all the different forms of love, romance and everything in between. Phoebe Judge hosts the podcast, reporting on love stories in almost the same style she uses for true crime. The slim, six-episode first season has stories about a love that stayed secret for 40 years, 120 romance books based on the same relationship, a couple separated on either side of the globe, a literal interpretation of “love is blind” and even more.

Recommended Episodes: What Are We Going to Do, A Private Life, Always Tomorrow

Endless Thread

On “Endless Thread,” you can hear all about how the most bizarre internet stories play out in real life. Host Ben Brock Johnson and producer Amory Sivertson do a deep dive into the most compelling Reddit thread they can find. At the intersection of online communities and IRL mayhem, things can get weird fast. For example, one of their recurring guests is a cheery expert on poisons, who comes in whenever someone has ingested something that they probably shouldn’t have.

Recommended Episodes: That Old Chestnut, Something Wicked, The Vault

The Habitat

“The Habitat” is “Big Brother” on Mars. Well, not literal Mars. Host Lynn Levy reports on a crew of NASA scientists and engineers who, to help NASA understand what a mission to Mars might be like, lock themselves in a tiny habitat on a mountain in Hawaii. Billed as “the true story of a fake planet,” “The Habitat” is completely addictive. The would-be astronauts transmit audio diaries about life in the habitat, their ever-changing relationships and their inevitable, inescapable cabin fever.

Recommended Episodes: Listen from beginning to end.

best new podcasts

Decoder Ring

Slate’s new podcast series “Decoder Ring” is all about the mysteries surrounding pop culture. Every episode, host and TV critic Willa Paskin investigates cultural oddities, where they originated and how they still affect the culture we make today. Their inaugural episode, a history of the TV laugh track, is one of the most fascinating podcast episodes I’ve listened to in recent memory.

Recommended Episodes: The Laff Box, The Johnlock Conspiracy

Bundyville

“Bundyville,” reported and hosted by Leah Sottile, is a story about uprisings, fierce family bonds, cattle ranching, nuclear bombs, sacred lands, apocryphal prophecies and the Bureau of Land Management. Patriarch Cliven Bundy believes that the West belongs to him – and he’ll fight anyone who tries to take it from him, including the federal government.

Recommended Episodes: Listen from beginning to end.

Ask a Manager

Are office politics stressing you out? Or do you just like to hear a crazy workplace story every so often? If you said “yes” to either of these questions, “Ask a Manager” is for you. Host Alison Green, an expert in professionalism, fields questions from listeners who are dealing with everything from filthy office kitchens to bully bosses, office gossips, bizarre clients and more. Green’s advice is kind and supportive, while also being direct. And the wild office stories are not to be missed.

Recommended Episodes: Am I Showing Off at Work?, Am I a Mansplainer?, Do I Like Bad Bosses?

Wonderful

“Wonderful” is the feel-good podcast of the year. Hosted by husband and wife Griffin and Rachel McElroy, “Wonderful” is about appreciating the little things in life. Fresh off a podcast about the drama and reality-TV conflict of “The Bachelor,” Griffin and Rachel decided to talk about things that made them happy instead. This leads to the most earnest conversations you’ve ever heard, on topics like french fries, toys for babies, midday naps, video games about farming, dairy-free food products, drones and Michael Caine impersonations.

Recommended Episodes: Ep. 36: Two-Story Toilet, Ep. 34: Master Bwuce, Ep. 28: Wuh-Woh WaghettiOs, Ep. 19 The French Fry Kid

Which of these new podcasts most interests you? Do you have any new podcasts to recommend? Let us know in the comments below!

Looking for more podcast recommendations? Check out our articles on the best comedy podcasts and the best true crime podcasts

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