The 10 best podcasts of 2024 (so far) 


Headphones surround the thumbnail logos of the best podcasts of 2024.

We’re halfway through 2024, so it’s time for a roundup of the most recent and best listening opportunities available in the form of the podcast. This time, we’ve got everything from nostalgic rewatching to journeys into the darkness of the human mind to interrogations of history. You’ll find well-known favorites with new seasons, like Slow Burn and Long Shadow, plus some debuts onto the scene in the form of neat packages, like Three

So peruse our list, and get ready to spend the second half of the year inside your latest obsession. 

1. Again With This

A great rewatch podcast enables a listener to engage with their nostalgia, while also making sure they don’t take it too seriously. Again With This is hosted by Tara Ariano and Sarah D. Bunting, co-creators of Television Without Pity and Previously.TV; this podcast returns us to the days when our TVs brought us the weekly magic that was Beverly Hills, 90210, Melrose Place, and most recently, Dawson’s CreekAriano and Bunting revisit every episode with an unflinchingly shrewd eye toward the details we either never noticed or pretended we didn’t see (i.e., the felonious relationship between young Pacey Witter and his teacher). Prepare to see the blush fall off the rose of your youth, and get ready to laugh boisterously in public. 

How to listen: Again With This is available on Spotify.

2. The Secrets We Keep

Is there something you’ve never told anyone? What would it take for you to reveal that secret? In this five-part series from New England Public Media, host Karen Brown talks to folks about the secrets they have around topics considered taboo, including abortion, money, and sexuality, and how keeping their secrets has impacted their lives, especially for those who come to occupy the political stage. Here’s a podcast that can help us feel less alone as we ask ourselves the question: Do we ever have a responsibility to tell our secrets?

How to listen: The Secrets We Keep is available on Spotify.

3. Three

On July 6, 2012, 16-year-old Skylar Neese disappeared into the woods in Wayne Township, Pennsylvania, across the state line from her home in Star City, West Virginia. In December 2012, Neese’s best friend, Rachel Shoaf, confessed that she, along with Neese’s other best friend, Sheila Eddy, had stabbed Neese to death that night in July. Created and hosted by journalists Justine Harman and Holly Millea, Three is a 10-episode series about the events that led up to Neese’s murder. Harman and Millea interview Skylar’s family and close friends, as well as investigators on the case, about the chilling dynamic at the heart of this teen triangle — and how it reached its sinister pinnacle. 

How to listen: Three is available on Spotify.

4. Radio Rental

Remember, if you can, the sound of a videotape sliding into a VCR (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, here you go). If that sound makes you feel nostalgic and ready to watch some movies that will make your blood curdle, do yourself a favor and listen to this horror-comedy podcast. In it, Terry Carnation (Rainn Wilson) is the owner of Radio Rental, an ’80s video store that houses a collection of strange, scary, and true stories told from the point of view of the people who experienced them. In each episode, Carnation narrates the goings-on inside the store — sometimes there’s a void; sometimes a creepy little girl; almost always his very vocal cat, Malachi — setting the scene for tales of the macabre. So grab your fanny pack, get comfortable in your beanbag chair, and don’t forget to rewind. 

How to listen: Radio Rental is available on Spotify.

5. How to Know What’s Real

What are the things we’ve come to believe? Why do we believe them, even if and when we know we’re constantly confronted with false information every second of the day? Join The Atlantic‘s Andrea Valdez and Megan Garber as they investigate how our brains process avalanches of disinformation and how we can become more critical. They tackle the idea of “prebunking,” how not to perpetuate the spread of bad information, the role of emotion in getting us to click that link, and how your Vanderpump Rules addiction could be impacting your real-life relationships. In a world where we don’t always know what to believe, Valdez, Garber, and their expert guests are here to give us the tools to read between the lines. 

How to listen: How to Know What’s Real is available on Spotify.

6. Hidden Brain

Hidden Brain is a podcast about human behavior — namely, why we do the things we do, even when we can’t explain them. Host Shankar Vedantam dives deep into loneliness, trying too hard, feeling empty, balking when it comes to political conversations, and more. Every episode is a clever and comforting opportunity to glimpse the reasoning behind our most common, and complicated, experiences of being humans. 

How to listen: Hidden Brain is available on Spotify.

7. Long Shadow: In Guns We Trust

According to the Gun Violence Archive, there were 134 mass shootings in the first four months of 2024. In the most recent season of Long Shadow, host Garrett Graff contemplates how we got here. Starting with the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School, Graff traces the origins of the Second Amendment, the rise of the NRA and its response to widespread gun violence, as well as the impact on a generation of kids who were raised with lockdown drills. This season will surprise you, as it answers questions you didn’t know you had about guns in the U.S. and why, when it comes to keeping each other safe, we can’t seem to get out of our own way. 

How to listen: Long Shadow: In Guns We Trust is available on Spotify.

8. Slow Burn: Gays Against Briggs  

“Hope is getting your ass kicked and getting back up,” says California State Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, setting the tone for the latest season of Slate’s Slow Burn. Host Christina Cauterucci and her guests take a close look at the Briggs Initiative, the first-ever referendum on gay rights. The 1978 ballot proposition sought to ban gays and lesbians from working in California public schools, igniting the burgeoning violence against the LGBTQ community and inspiring generations of activists in a fight for their jobs, their chosen families, and their futures. 

How to listen: Slow Burn: Gays Against Briggs is available on Spotify.

9. Second Sunday

Second Sunday is a podcast that illuminates the universal inside the particular. Hosts Darren and Esther delve into the experiences of being queer inside the Black church. Every episode features a guest with perspective on how to hold complicated ideas and feelings. How do you not only stay, but flourish, in places where you aren’t accepted for who you are? When do you hit the eject button, if ever? How do we take care of ourselves? In season two, Darren, Esther, and their guests examine what it looks like to explore faith outside of a traditional church setting, with creative voices imagining identity and religion beyond rigidity. 

How to listen: Second Sunday is available on Spotify.

10. Embedded: Supermajority  

The latest season of Embedded, NPR’s documentary podcast, takes us to Tennessee, where host and reporter Meribah Knight follows three conservative moms as they confront the state legislature after the 2023 shooting at The Covenant School, only to learn that the very same political structures that have seemingly been on their side for years actually have no interest in helping them. As we know, politics and identity go hand in hand, and this season will go on to reveal what happens when events make us question who we are, what we believe, who we can trust, and how we can make change. 

How to listen: Embedded: Supermajority is available on Apple Podcasts.

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