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The 8 Best Podcasts to Download

Free Podcasts You'll Subscribe To Forever

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Wanna listen to some free podcasts, but don't know where to begin? Here are my recommendations for the 8 best podcasts you can download.

1. This American Life

Every week, this podcast (and award-winning NPR show) picks a theme - which can be anything from the ten commandments to unconditional love - and comes up with stories that fit with it. The show shifts in tone from hilarious to heartbreaking, often within the same episode.

2. Stuff You Should Know

Two pals, Josh and Chuck, solve mysteries like "Can You Control Your Dreams?" and "Where's the Best Place On Your Body to Get Shot?" an episode at a time. With their casual and conversational style, they make things so easy to grasp that even learning about the technical stuff is a treat.

3. Too Beautiful to Live

Every weekday, this hipster podcast serves up the latest pop culture news from Kanye to 30 Rock and dubs every story either "awesome" or "not awesome." The host, Luke Burbank, also explores trends like people's obsession with zombies and shares some cool new songs you've probably never heard of.

4. Just Vocabulary

Knocking out vocabulary words two minutes at a time, this podcast is perfect for SAT prep or just upgrading your daily vocab. The new words are sure to stick in your head with the repetition, example sentences and synonyms that each lesson offers. The website also provides vocabulary "power hours" and free online quizzes for a super-slamming study session.

5. The Moth

In the mood to hear a good story? These often poignant (and usually hilarious) real-life stories are read in front of a live audience by anyone who's got one, including celebs like Ethan Hawke and Candace Bushnell. Once you hear one, you'll get hooked.

6. The Sound of Young America

Get into the minds of young comedians, actors and musicians as they're interviewed by "America's Radio Sweetheart," Jesse Thorn. It's a great way to discover up-and-coming performers who are often just on the brink of getting famous.

7. Radiolab

Easily the most mind-blowing free podcast out there, RadioLab explores broad topics - like sleep, race and laughter - with shocking stories from scientists and laypeople. The episodes transport you to whole other worlds that are hard to step away from and even harder to forget.

8. Coffee Break Spanish

An ultra-patient Spanish tutor, Mark, and his student, Kara, lead you through short, easy-to-follow Spanish lessons (made all the more charming by their Scottish brogue). If you're a Spanish student, throw these on your iPod to help you bone up on your grammar and vocab. And if you can't speak a word of Spanish, download Lesson 1 and start the ride.
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