Podcasts are a significantly under-used resource for teenagers. They can teach you so much about a massive variety of different topics and are easily accessible. Finding a good podcast that resonates with teenagers can be tricky, but this list of podcasts for teenagers might help with some inspiration to cover most teenagers interests.
Featured post by Maddie Wills
Current affairs podcasts for teens who are into politics
Americast is a BBC Sounds podcast, beginning in 2020 with Donald Trump’s election. The episodes are about 40 minutes long and are released every week; it is great for a quick update on American news, especially as this gets less coverage in the UK. A must-listen podcast for any teenagers interested in politics or history, or aiming to get a good understanding of global events.
The Rest is Politics
Still on the theme of politics (today’s young adults are usually very interested in the political lanscape, thanks not least to TikTok) The Rest is Politics is also a great podcast for any teenagers studying politics, or aiming to gain some insight into the modern political landscape. The hosts Rory Stewart (Conservative) and Alastair Campbell (Labour) discuss contemporary political issues; it provides a really interesting insight from both sides of the political spectrum, and a great frequent update on new events.
A History of Ideas
For teenagers looking to branch out on their historical and political knowledge, A History of Ideas is a great shout. They have episodes on important political thinkers, from Marx to Burke, and they conduct a deep dive into their background, key ideas, and general ideology. If your teenager has an interest in a particular figure, or would like to develop their understanding of political history, this podcast would be a great suggestion.
The Office Ladies
Angela Kinsey and Jenna Fischer, who play Angela and Pam on The Office respectively, use this podcast to break down episodes of The Office, and give behind-the-scenes gossip. For any teens who are super-fans of The Office, The Office Ladies podcast is perfect for them.
My Favourite Murder
Any teenage true crime fans will love this podcast; Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark host a true crime-comedy podcast where they tell each other their favourite murder tales. They also host guests who detail their favourite stories, and discuss hometown crime tales. It is one of the top crime podcasts, and sure to be a hit with any teenager fond of a drama. My Favourite Murder podcast.
Desert Island Discs
This podcast is presented by Lauren Laverne, who interviews celebrities weekly and asks them to choose their ‘desert island discs’, ie. eight recordings they would take to a desert island with them. They also have to choose a book and a luxury item. Desert Island Discs began as a radio show in 1942, and is still going strong today! Popular guests include Steven Spielberg, Cate Blanchett, Kate Moss, Judi Dench and so many more.
Tape Notes is a slightly more niche podcast, but is likely to be a hit with teens who are really into their music. Host John Kennedy talks to musicians about the production and creative process of music creation; they look at demos and the minutia behind popular songs. Guests your teens might recognise include: The 1975, Lizzie McAlpine, Maisie Peters, Rina Sawayama and so many more.
My first listen to this podcast was the episode with Matty Healy and George Daniel of The 1975, and I immediately thought it was a fantastic podcast for teenagers who really engage with the production and creative development of popular music. It is so interesting to explore things like tiny background string noises that you don’t really notice when listening, but when isolated, make a massive difference to the entire song.
If your teenager enjoyed TapeNotes, they’re sure to enjoy Song Exploder. A similar concept; Hrishikesh Hirway interviews musicians about the process of creating their music, looking at old demos and production elements. This is a great podcast for teenagers who really enjoyed the concept of TapeNotes and want to listen to a wider range of guests, as Hirway features Fleetwood Mac, Billie Eilish, Deftones, Metallica, and many more.
He also creates ‘Book Exploder’ episodes, where authors such as Celeste Ng talk through the book creation process, making this a great podcast for any teenagers who are into music and/or books.
This is already a popular podcast for teenagers, hilarious and interesting as comedians Ed Gamble and James Acaster interview special guests. They ask their guests to choose their favourite starter, main course, side dish, dessert and drink, resulting in amusing combinations and an interesting insight into the life of celebrities. Notable guests include Florence Pugh, Paul Mescal, and countless others. Off-Menu podcast.
How to Fail
How to Fail is hosted by Elizabeth Day, whose interviewees explore their failures and how it taught them to succeed. This ould be a great podcast for teemagers who struggle with pressure, as it celebrates failure as a way to learn for the future, a great positive message that teenagers could certainly use. She hosts amazing guests, most recently including Bernie Sanders, and Margaret Attwood.
This is a great podcast for older teenagers, and perhaps one they are already aware of. Tiktok-famous GKBarry hosts guests every week, for hilarious chats and insightful conversations. For example, her most recent guest is Georgia Harrison, who discusses her experience of prosecuting Steven Bear for revenge porn, and the documentary that she made alongside it. Whilst it can be a bit X-rated, it results in very insightful discussions that would be great for an older teenager to listen to.
Note: Saving Grace is a bit sweary and has featured pornstars; I do largely think that it results in healthy discussion and it is very funny, but be aware that some of the language is pretty graphic.
Jumping in an Elevator
This is a wonderful comedy podcast for teenagers, as Mike from Youtube channel ‘Mike’s Mic’ answers interesting questions you’ve always wanted to know the answer to, but never bothered to search up. In his own words, he covers everything from ‘What happens when you jump in an elevator?’ to ‘Did Taylor Swift travel in a suitcase?’. This is perfect for a quick, lighthearted podcast to de-stress (very important for teenagers). Jumping in an Elevator.
Hopefully one of these podcasts for teenagers jumps out at you, covering everything from politics to comedy to music! Podcasts are a great learning tool, and, from my experience, really good to do work to; try and convince your teenager to stick on a podcast in the background whilst doing some work, or whilst they are getting ready for school.