Now We're Talkin'! 24 Podcasts That Will Save Your Life

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Some say there's nothing worse than L.A. traffic, but we beg to differ. The one experience we wouldn't wish upon our least-favorite Real Housewife is the agonizing bumper-to-bumper crawl — sans the proper podcast playlist. Because, honestly, torture is the sound of beeping horns and angry drivers for company as you inch towards that exit sign.

We can't remember how we survived the commute before podcasts were invented. These days, we're just thankful that nearly every set of wheels comes equipped with an auxiliary input. Rather than settle for a static-heavy station, get a major iTunes boost with these 24 must-downloads. Good-bye, road rage!

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Freakonomics Radio by Stephen J. Dubner
Sure, tuning into KNBC is a good way to catch breaking news, but this weekly podcast really digs in on all the latest soundbites. For example: Obesity is an epidemic, but did you know that some people are trying to fight the illness with an added tax and a calorie-chomping tapeworm?!
Cost: Free, via iTunes.

Crimes Against Food by Simply Syndicated
While your Instagram feed might lead you to believe that every meal is a fine-dining fantasy, the truth is, a lot of what we whip up results in upset stomachs and unhappy eaters. Hosts Gloria and Mia analyze digest the truth in some potentially offensive food hiccups, including allergies and fasting.
Cost: Free, via iTunes.

NPR Programs: Fresh Air Podcast by NPR
C'mon guys, 4.5 million listeners can't be wrong about this talk show! And, we've gotta say — Leno, Fallon, and Letterman have got nothing on Terry Gross.
Cost: Free, via iTunes.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn by MaximumFun.org
Struggling to keep up with the latest in pop culture, or just looking to round out the ammo? Let "Bullseye with Jesse Thorn" be your secret weapon — past guests include writer-slash-director Judd Apatow, comedian Zach Galifianakis, and head writer of The Colbert Report, Allison Silverman. McSweeney's review of this podcast was spot-on, calling it "the kind of show people listen to in a more perfect world."
Cost: Free, via iTunes.

Fat 2 Fit Radio by Russ Turley, Helana Brigman, and Jeff Ainslie
If you're looking for fad diets and get-skinny quick schemes, you've tuned into the wrong podcast. This weekly series focuses on healthy weight loss — from running tips to exercise advice, the hosts read listener emails and lend corresponding, expertly tailored advice.
Cost: Free, via iTunes.

KCRW's Good Food by Evan Kleiman
It's a little-known fact that you're not a true L.A. foodie until you've arranged your weekend brunch plans around this podcast. Hear Jonathan Gold's current obsessions, Q&As with local chefs, and answers to your most pressing food concerns (like, how to operate a pressure cooker).
Cost: Free, via iTunes.

Photos: Via iTunes
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Sex Nerd Sandra by Nerdist Industries
Warning: These podcasts are definitely not for those on after-school carpool duty, because sexperts and the ilk are shamelessly grilled about getting frisky! Give the latest Q&A with porn star James Deen a listen (with the volume low and the windows up, of course!).
Cost: Free via iTunes.

It's A Thing by ToMolly
Buzz Out Loud vets Molly Wood and Tom Merritt are at it again — but this time, with a slightly sillier spin. Only five episodes in, this podcast has the pair discussing everything from YOLO to Legos. We can't wait to hear what else they've got on tap!
Cost: Free, via iTunes.

The Jillian Michaels Show by Jillian Michaels
Truth be told, we have a few SoCal friends who swear by the W.W.J.D.? motto — aka, "What Would Jillian Do?" The trainer-turned-TV personality is a fitness goddess, so be prepared to fight the urge to do mini-crunches while waiting for that red light to change.
Cost: Free, via iTunes.

Here's The Thing by WNYC Radio
With Alec Baldwin as the host, this bi-monthly series is must for any Angeleno with an interest in the entertainment industry. Even non-Hollywood types — like athletes! — make the cut, and we'll be forever thankful for Baldwin's impeccable hosting abilities (he learned a thing or two from those SNL days!).
Cost: Free, via iTunes.

WNYC's Radiolab by Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich
Whether you're a science aficionado or just a curious experimenter, this series blends the educational with the entertaining. Now, if only our biology lectures were this enthralling!
Cost: Free, via iTunes.

The Nutrition Diva's Quick And Dirty Tips for Eating Well And Feeling Fabulous by QuickAndDirtyTips.com
Don't have the time (or energy) to overhaul your entire fridge? Then listen to Monica Reinagel's smart choices that will have you reaching your goal weight in no time. It's surprising, but a simple switch in what type of salt you sprinkle on your fries could make all the difference!
Cost: Free, via iTunes.

Photos: Via iTunes
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Stuff You Should Know by HowStuffWorks.com
Did you know jet lag has only been a condition since 1958? Or, that casinos date to the prehistoric age? If your life goal is to become the ultimate trivia whiz (hey, we're not judging!), then consider this your must-listen study guide.
Cost: Free via iTunes.

This American Life by Chicago Public Media
Meet Ira Glass, the man who has made us cry more times than all of our ex-boyfriends put together. As the host to "This American Life," the show focuses on a societal theme, with accompanying firsthand stories told by the guests. (But, don't worry — not all accounts are heartbreaking — some are downright LOL-worthy, too.)
Cost: Free, via iTunes.

KCRW's Which Way L.A.? by Warren Olney, KCRW
For all of you who call SoCal home, this podcast is a must-download. Whether it's about the Dodgers or MoCA, you'll definitely stay in-the-know with this one. Heck, we wouldn't be surprised if Antonio Villaraigosa made this a mandatory listen for all Angelenos!
Cost: Free, via iTunes.

Weird Adults With Little Esther by Esther Povitsky, Feral Audio
Though you can't technically see Esther during her podcasts, you may still recognize the comedian's chops from her celebrated stand-ups at The Comedy Store and The Improv. The funny gal has also enlisted a few of her comedic buds (SNL writers and the like) to chat about everything from Chipotle to Yoko Ono.
Cost: Free, via iTunes.

Stuff To Blow Your Mind by HowStuffWorks.com
If the "Stuff You Should Know" podcast is already on your iTunes, the next step is to check out this series. Trust us, the next time you're on the 101 and this is streaming... let's just say, you'll be saying "WTF" even more than usual!
Cost: Free, via iTunes.

The Adam And Dr. Drew Show by Carolla Digital
Reunited, and it feels so good! The former co-hosts of Loveline are back at it, and we'll just put it out there — the pair gets better with age! Everything from e-cigarettes to erectile dysfunction is open for debate (and that's just the show schedule for Episode #27).
Cost: Free, via iTunes.

Photos: Via iTunes
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Stuff Mom Never Told You by HowStuffWorks.com
Feminist or not, this podcast celebrates what it means to be a woman. Topics range from school dress codes to pole dancing, with hosts Cristen and Caroline injecting some much-needed humor into even the most somber of topics.
Cost: Free, via iTunes.

Slate's Culture Gabfest by Slate Magazine
This podcast reminds us of those post-partying nights on our BFF's Los Feliz deck, discussing the latest, buzzy ArcLight screening. Recent streams include rumination on David Mamet’s Phil Spector biopic; Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers; and the History's docudrama, The Bible.
Cost: Free, via iTunes.

Spilled Milk by Matthew Amster-Burton and Molly Wizenberg
We've never found plain ol' yogurt to be so gosh-darn funny! Focusing on one food item per episode, Molly and Matthew have us rolling in the carpool lane with their thoughts on, yes, dairy — but also brussel sprouts, brownies, bánh mì, et al.
Cost: Free, via iTunes.

The Partially Examined Life Philosophy Podcast by Mark Linsenmayer
No philosophy credits from college? No worries! These three dudes are able to translate the most complex theories into layman's terms, even for those who don't immediately recognize the name Albert Camus.
Cost: Free, via iTunes.

The Sporkful by Dan Pashman
This podcast boasts a James Beard Awards nom, so you know it's gold. Staying true to its mission of carving out a place for every eater (not just foodies), expect candid exchanges ranging from fried chicken and muffins, to proper ramen etiquette.
Cost: Free, via iTunes.

The Adam Carolla Show by The Adam Carolla Show
Ready for the only daily download on our list? For fives days a week, Carolla takes to the mic and chats about everything and anything that catches his eye. A precursor: The comedian covered both carneys and scorpion-eating during his Q&A with Maria Menounos.
Cost: Free, via iTunes.

Photos: Via iTunes