7 Podcasts You Should Be Listening to While You Work Out

Because, sometimes, a Pitbull song just doesn't do the trick.

I used to hate my morning commute on the El. Like really hate it. But not for lack of trying. I tried very hard to like it: I created special for-the-commute playlists every week and developed a financially irresponsible La Colombe addiction, all in an effort to look forward to my train ride. But no matter how many almond milk lattes I grabbed en route to the El or how many upbeat Hall & Oates songs I loaded a playlist with, I still loathed my often jam-packed, physically uncomfortable subway ride. Until I discovered podcasts. (I wasn’t living under a rock, I just somehow thought they were all just like Car Talk, so no, thanks.) And now, I kid you not, as I near City Hall, my stop to get off the subway every day, I get sad — like dropped-my-ice-cream-cone-after-one-lick sad — because getting off the subway means I will soon have to turn off whichever podcast I’m listening to.

Podcasts. Are. Magical.

And good news: I’ve found, in the same way podcasts work to make my SEPTA ride enjoyable (a miracle!), they make solo workouts less dreadful, too. There’s just something to be said for the distraction of an interesting conversation when you’re nearing mile six of your run and you feel like your legs just might fall off. It’s a distraction a Pitbull song can’t provide. And if you only allow yourself to listen to your favorite podcast when you work out (hello, temptation bundling), you’ll start to really look forward to your workouts. After all, you need to know if Adnan did it or not, right?

So below, seven podcasts that will make you look forward to getting your sweat on — really! And bonus: A few of them might even provide you with some knowledge to drop at your next dinner party.

Pssst: Have a favorite podcast to add to the list? Shout it out in the comments!

If the Food Network is your jam …
Listen to: Cherry Bombe Radio 

If Foobooz is your homepage and the Food Network is basically the soundtrack to your life, consider this podcast food for your soul. Every week, the co-founders of Cherry Bombe magazine talk to women (and, very occasionally, men, like Yotam Ottolenghi of the cult-followed veggie cookbook Plenty) in the food industry about, well, food — and how they got into it and what they love about it and what they hate about it and everything else juicy you want to know. Note: Marcie Turney and Val Safran, the ladies behind Philly spots Barbuzzo, Lolita and more, are featured on Episode 12.

If you will watch any and every documentary on Netflix …
Listen to: This American Life 

How does one describe This American Life? I think the best way to describe it is as a very long list — there are nearly 600 episodes — of stories that give you a peek into a world that, while it might be somewhat ordinary, you never would have seen before. And somehow, just about all these stories will make you feel all the feelings. Most recently, I found myself crying in La Colombe while listening to a story of a blind man going to pick up his kid from school and hugging them, then realizing he was hugging the wrong child. #Allthefeels

If you spend most of your time watching Sex and the City reruns …
Listen to: Lady Lovin’

You know when you see someone listening to something and they giggle and you’re like “WTF is so funny that this person is audibly laughing?” Well, this podcast, hosted by three smart and funny  ladies (one of them being Lo Bosworth of Laguna Beach fame — don’t let that turn you off), will turn you into that weird, laughing-alone person. Each week, they have a guest on — from wellness gurus to comedians to gossip writers — to chat about topics like weddings, online dating, family and so on. Warning: There is a LOT of sex talk. Like, somehow it always leads back to sex. You’ve been warned.

If all you do during the day is check Twitter for updates on the Gilmore Girls revival …
Listen to: Gilmore Guys 

If you are a diehard Gilmore Girls fan, just killing time living life until you can hunker down and binge-watch the show’s Netflix revival, this podcast is for you. Each episode (this one is good for long runs, as each episode is, fascinatingly, around two hours long), two guys talk about an episode of Gilmore Girls, sometimes with an actor from the show on as a guest.

If you ran through every episode of Making a Murderer in a single day…
Listen to: Sword and Scale 

This true crime podcast looks into real crimes, often murders, that feel like they’ve been pulled straight from an episode of Law & Order. It’s creepy but captivating — just maybe don’t listen on an evening run.

If Scandal’s Olivia Pope is your idol … 
Listen to: Girlboss Radio

Every time I listen to an episode of this podcast, hosted by Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amuroso — badass entrepreneur and author of #Girlboss — I walk away with some seriously valuable work and/or life advice. Each episode, Amuroso interviews a fellow girl boss (That word is annoying, I know, but it’s accurate. My favorites include fitness mogul Hannah Bronfman, former Lululemon CEO Christine Day, and co-founder of Refinery29 Christene Barberich.), and they chat about their careers, including the ups the downs and the lessons they’ve learned.

If you somehow never listened to Serial …
Listen to: Serial 

Seriously, what have you been doing with your life? The next time you lace up your running shoes, put the first episode of Serial on. You will probably run straight through all 12 episodes of the first season — it is that addictive.

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