The Best Podcasts 2020: What Got Us Through the Year

Last updated on: 
March 18, 2021

I think we can all agree that 2020 has been a very (very) long year. There have been ups and downs but we can confidently say that podcasts have been by our side through it all. 

Our team here at Quill decided to compile a list of the top podcasts that got us through 2020, as well as some guilty pleasure podcasts that as audio professionals we might be slightly embarrassed to say that we’re completely obsessed with. 

We’re bringing this to you just in time for the holidays so you can have some top-notch content to binge while on vacation. Enjoy! 

 

The Best Podcasts 2020: What Got Us Through the Year

1. Armchair Expert 

armchair expert podcast

Our first one is Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard because who wouldn’t want to listen to him have hilarious, authentic, and riveting discussions with some of our favorite celebrities? Even if you don’t think you’d be interested, take a listen to this podcast and give it a chance to change your mind. 

This series is great to put on in the background while you’re doing chores or just looking for some light listening. 

2. To Live and Die in LA 

to live and die in la

This series is just juicy and transports you into another world… which I feel like we all needed in 2020. To Live and Die in LA is a true crime-esque podcast series that takes a deep dive into the mysterious disappearance of a 25 year old woman, Adea Shabani. She was an aspiring model and actress who vanished without a trace from her apartment complex. 

So what really happened to Adea Shabani? Listen to find out. 

3. Meditation Minis with Chel Hamilton 

meditation minis podcast

Okay, I don’t even think I need to talk about why this podcast has been great for us throughout 2020. Everyone has endured massive amounts of stress and anxiety throughout the year so why not sit down with a calming human that guides you through short meditations?

You can listen to these podcasts anytime and anywhere (not that we’re doing much “going out” these days). If you’re looking for a series to calm that busy mind of yours, check out Meditation Minis

4. Call Your Girlfriend 

call your girlfriend podcast

This series was originally created for long distance best friends but I think now it also applies to those that live close together but obviously with the current times, still can’t see each other. The podcast is hosted by two best friends, Ann Friedman and Aminatou Sow, and I have to say, listening in to their conversations makes me want to call my girlfriends. 

 

5. Where Should We Begin? with Esther Perel 

where should we begin podcast

Where Should We Begin? Is hosted by renowned therapist, Esther Perel. The podcast lets you in on real couples therapy sessions with Esther. Not only is it incredibly interesting to hear these intimate conversations, as a listener, you also get some useful tips and advice out of the series. And for all of you that might be struggling being stuck inside with your partner with nothing to do… maybe this show will be great for you! 

 

6. The Daily 

the daily

Every day I feel like there’s breaking news whether it’s related to the pandemic, social injustice, killer wasps, a pretty crazy election, and so much more. So having a go-to series that breaks down what’s going on in the world in a quick, easy to consume, and educational format has truly been key throughout 2020. 

For our team, The Daily has been our go-to because I feel like there’s so much going on that you truly need an episode a day to stay in the know. 

 

7. How to Save a Planet 

how to save a planet podcast

On top of everything that’s been going on in 2020, there’s an important conversation that we can’t let fall into the background: climate change. It’s been interesting to see even what the pandemic has done for climate change (like the clear waters in Venice that actually had dolphins in them!!). 

We need to have these discussions and How to Save a Planet does it in an informative and engaging way. It gives listeners useful tips and advice about what we can do to help rather than just talking about what we’re doing wrong. 

 

8. The Michelle Obama Podcast 

michelle obama podcast

There were a lot of horrible things that came out of 2020 but one thing that I’m thankful for this year is the release of The Michelle Obama Podcast. I don’t think I need to tell anyone who this wonderful woman is, but just in case, she’s the former First Lady and wife of Barack Obama. 

Throughout this series Michelle sits down with her friends, family, colleagues, and loved ones to uncover how these various relationships make us who we are. This podcast is just as wholesome as it sounds and it was definitely a must-listen for our team throughout 2020. 

 

9. A New Earth 

a new earth podcast

I’m just going to say the names of the two people hosting this podcast and you’ll immediately understand why this is such a crucial listen for 2020: Oprah and Eckhart Tolle. The podcast focuses on Eckhart’s groundbreaking book, “A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose.” And just… wow. 

If you want something to motivate you, inspire you, empower you, and change your way of thinking, we urge you to listen to this podcast. Please listen to this podcast. 

 

10. Gay Future 

gay future podcast

I’m just going to start with the opening sentence of this podcast’s description, “The year is 2062 and everyone is gay.” This fiction narrative series is a story about a world where everyone’s gay, there’s a totalitarian government that spreads their gay agenda across all of North America, but the only hope for rebelllion rests on the shoulders of one young man who has a dark secret: he’s straight. 

This is such an interesting series to tune in to and just listen to the world that the creators have made. I highly recommend giving this podcast a listen if you just feel like being transported to a different time and place. 

 

Our Guilty Pleasures...

1. Other People’s Lives 

other peoples lives podcast

I don’t think I can put into words how great this podcast is. It is insanely juicy, weird, random, and just makes you sit back and say to yourself… “what did I just listen to?” This podcast has people call in to tell their crazy stories, experiences, kinks, and more. A few titles to get you all hooked are: 

  1. “I Think My Dad Killed My Sister”
  2. “I Did Gay Conversion Therapy” 
  3. “My Mother Made Me Her Prisoner” 

Yep. Go listen. 

 

2. Call Her Daddy

call her daddy

I think many of us can sheepishly admit to secretly downloading and listening to this podcast. If you don’t know what Call Her Daddy is, you’ve probably been living under a rock. This podcast covers all things sex, dating, womanhood, and more. There was quite a bit of drama that went down with this podcast which was also fun to follow during the pandemic. 

If you haven’t listened to this show, a great episode to start with is episode 100 with Alex’s mom.

 

3. Views with David Dobrik and Jason Nash

views podcast

Whenever we need a little escapism, Views is a podcast that makes us feel like we’re a 22-year-old millionaire living in a hilltop mansion in LA… could be accurate, right? This podcast is one that we might be a little more embarrassed to admit our love for, but still, we think you should at least give it a try. 

 

4. The Betches Sup Podcast

sup podcast

This is a news and politics podcast brought to you in a way that you can actually relate to. The hosts run through the wildest headlines of the day but with a humorous twist. They sit down with activists, members of congress, comedians, and so many more to discuss, as they say it, “WTF is going on.” 

If you want to stay informed but find regular news shows a little boring, this podcast is a good solution to that. 

 

5. Bachelor Happy Hour 

bachelor podcast

Okay, don’t judge. But we thoroughly enjoy how dramatic and juicy this podcast is. Some of our team are avid Bachelor/Bachelorette viewers who now get to take their guilty pleasure from the world of television to the world of podcasts. 

In this podcast, hosts Rachel Lindsay and Becca Kufrin dish out all the behind the scenes secrets that went on while filming The Bachelor. They have inside scoop on key details from the other shows as well (including Bachelor in Paradise). 

 

6. My Dad Wrote A Porno 

my dad wrote a porno

This. Podcast. Is. Hilarious. The main host, Jamie Morton, reads out a dirty book (porno) that his dad wrote. This series has blown up -- now it’s the actual book, an HBO comedy special, merch, and this podcast. But for good reason. Jamie and his friends’ styles of humour makes this podcast way more hilarious even though the book alone is hysterical. 

 

2020 Wrapped 

And that’s our 2020 wrapped! We hope you either already listen to some of these shows or plan to start listening today. 

Let us know the podcasts that got you through 2020 on Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn!  


Platform
Price
Pro’s
Con's
Anchor

Free

  • Easy to use
  • Automatically distributes your podcast to major platforms.
  • Embed media player.
  • Great if podcasting is a
    side hobby
  • Very basic editing
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  • Not the right platform for people taking podcasting seriously
Buzzsprout

Free for 2 hours of content per month

$12 for 3 hours per month

$18+ for 6 hours and up

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  • Advanced features like dynamic ad insertion need some work
Libsyn

$5/month for Monthly Storage 50mb

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  • Embed media player.
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  • 50mb storage for $5 won’t be enough if you are publishing weekly so you’ll end up with a higher price point
Podbean

Unlimited audio package: $9/month

Storage space:

Unlimited

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  • Uploads and changes to podcast titles and/or descriptions are automatic to Spotify.
  • Embed media player.
  • Simple Analytics
  • Analytics aren’t as advanced as other platforms
  • Upload and changes to podcast titles and/or descriptions take a day to change on iTunes.
  • Not an iTunes podcast partner.
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Blubrry

Classic

$5/month

Monthly Storage

50mb

  • Podcast Wordpress plugin and management.
  • If you want to record a new introduction or conclusion, add in a sponsored ad or upload a new version of a podcast, it doesn't count towards your storage usage per month.
  • Blubrry allows a 25% storage overage each month
  • Prices are based on storage.
  • Usability is okay.
SimpleCast

Starting: $15/month

Recommendation: $35/month

Monthly Storage: Unlimited

  • Hosts your audio files no matter what the size!
  • Dynamic insertion for podcast ads or edits.
  • Incredibly detailed analytics including number of episodes completed and listener location tracking.
  • Embed media player.
  • Easy to use.
  • Great distribution! Easy access to all major podcast platforms.
  • Customizable podcast
    website.
  • Prices are slightly higher than other platforms, but well worth it especially if you have a branded company podcast!