The best current affairs and news podcasts for your commute

Posted by for Life

Keep up to date with these informative picks

Keeping up with the news can be hard. It’s exhausting to keep abreast of near-daily political upheaval and social change – especially when you’re putting in long hours at work, maintaining relationships with friends, family and partners, and trying to make time to relax.

But never fear – you don’t have to spend hours poring over the news to get back up to speed. Instead, try subscribing to a commute-ready current affairs podcast. By the time you get to work at 9am, you’ll be so informed about what’s going on in the world, your colleagues won’t know what’s hit them.

Here’s our pick of the best.


Caliphate is a one of its kind podcast. Hosted by Rukmini Callimachi, the New York Times’ ISIS correspondent, Caliphate is an attempt to “understand ISIS”.

Callimachi has unprecedented access to members of ISIS – making the show gripping, essential viewing.

Listen to Caliphate here

Still Processing

Image: New York Times / Still Processing

Another New York Times podcast,  Still Processing is hosted by writers Jenna Wortham and Wesley Morris, the pair covering politics, culture and art.

Writing in The Atlantic, Laura Jane Standley and Eric McQuade describe the show as “at base, a set of discussions about the big cultural events of the day. But Still Processing is sharp and intellectual, goofy and raw: the two hosts talk to each other and to guests (including RuPaul and Margo Jefferson) about anyone from Colin Kaepernick to Kerry James Marshall; about society and art; about dating and work.”

Listen to Still Processing here

Call Your Girlfriend

Image: Call Your Girlfriend

A podcast for “long distance besties everywhere”, Call Your Girlfriend takes a detailed weekly look at pop culture and politics. 

Call Your Girlfriend is co-hosted by Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman, who describe themselves as “highbrow and lowbrow, fiercely opinionated, and not afraid to real talk each other about everything from menstrual cycles and body shaming to the Cheeto in Chief and workplace drama with devastating wit.”

The show also puts heavy emphasis on women creators – particularly “non-famous women who are just trying to get through the week”. 

“We’re here for every facet of women’s humanity,” they write.

Listen to Call Your Girlfriend here. 

The High Low

Image: The High Low

Hosted by Dolly Alderton and Pandora Sykes, The High Low is a weekly pop culture and politics podcast.

The pair told the Guardian that the podcast “is based on the founding message that life is best consumed with a mix of the trivial and the political. The errant chin hair to the Trumpian politics, if you will”, and they don’t disappoint, covering everything from Trump to Drake to #MeToo.

Listen to The High Low here

The evidence of stress in our lives is everywhere, from bad sleep to increased anxiety. So in January 2019, is dedicated to creating a life less frazzled. We’ll be focusing on uplifting news, feelgood features and recommendations for fun things to do, with the goal of making you feel calmer and more positive about the coming year. 

Main image: Getty Images

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Emily Reynolds

Emily Reynolds is a journalist and author based in London. Her first book, A Beginner’s Guide to Losing Your Mind, came out in February 2017 with Hodder & Stoughton. She is currently working on her second.