15 of the Best Podcasts for Teens That Are Funny Fascinating, and Informative
Podcasts are a great way to relax, learn, laugh, escape and pass time. The podcast space has exploded in recent years with thousands of shows discussing everything from news to true crime to music and television. Podcasts are also an excellent platform for teens searching for advice on difficult topics like mental health, dating, fitness, and family relationships.
While many parents may bemoan teens spending all day on their phones, podcasts are actually a great way for teenagers to learn about the news, discover new hobbies, or simply relax without staring at a screen all day.
With teens home from school all summer, listening to a podcast is a great way to fill their time. Many podcasts can even spark discussions between teens and parents, giving you a fun interest to bond over.
Here are some teen-friendly podcasts covering the news, history, happiness, video games, interesting facts, events, stories, people, and businesses. At the time of writing, all of these podcasts (with one exception) are still active and creating or planning new episodes.
Related: 10 Podcasts for Kids That Parents Will Enjoy Too!
1. The Daily
“This is how the news should sound. Twenty minutes a day, five days a week, hosted by Michael Barbaro and Sabrina Tavernise and powered by The New York Times”
One of the most downloaded podcasts out there, The Daily is a short-form news show produced by The New York Times. Every episode offers highly engaging daily dives into the biggest stories from around the world. Helping to keep teenagers aware of today’s issues through compelling stories and interviews.
2. TED Talks Daily
“Thought-provoking ideas on every subject imaginable - from Artificial Intelligence to Zoology, and everything in between - given by the world's leading thinkers and creators”
Everyone loves TED Talks for their inspiring and educational format. Now TED Talks Daily takes that same motivational seminar structure and applies it to podcast form. These episodes feature experts from around the world discussing mind-provoking topics like discovering dark matter, the history of the war in Afghanistan, managing mental health and perfectionism, and tackling the evolving climate crisis.
For even more great TED content, we’d also recommend teens check out these TED Talks given by fellow teenagers.
3. Stuff You Should Know
“If you've ever wanted to know about champagne, satanism, the Stonewall Uprising, chaos theory, LSD, El Nino, true crime, and Rosa Parks, then look no further. Josh and Chuck have you covered”
Even teens who hate school will be motivated to learn by listening to Stuff You Should Know. Unlike a formal classroom, this podcast is formatted as an ongoing conversation and debate. Teens will leave each episode entertained and with lots of new knowledge!
4. Stuff You Missed in History Class
“Join Holly and Tracy as they bring you the greatest and strangest Stuff You Missed In History Class in this podcast by iHeartRadio”
Who said history was boring? In Stuff You Missed in History Class, hosts dive into the weirdest events across history from the real story behind the first Thanksgiving, the insane discovery of the platypus, the untold story of Mozart’s sister, and so much more! This podcast makes history accessible to teenagers and puts out new episodes twice a week!
5. The Moth
“The Moth has presented thousands of true stories, told live and without notes, to standing-room-only crowds worldwide. Moth storytellers stand alone, under a spotlight, with only a microphone and a roomful of strangers”
Everyone’s got a story to tell, and The Moth podcast gives them an audience to do so. These storytellers will attract teenagers like moths to porch lights. Some of the episodes can be hit and miss based on your tastes but they all serve as a great introduction to personal storytelling.
6. How I Built This
“Guy Raz dives into the stories behind some of the world's best-known companies. How I Built This weaves a narrative journey about innovators, entrepreneurs, and idealists - and the movements they built”
The stories behind the companies you know, love, or hate. Any teen who dreams of being the next Elon Musk or Steve Jobs will love learning the story behind the successes of the world’s best entrepreneurs.
7. The Missing Cryptoqueen
“Dr. Ruja Ignatova persuaded millions to join her financial revolution. Then she disappeared. Why? Jamie Bartlett presents a story of greed, deceit and herd madness”
A (no-violent) true crime podcast that makes this list for teenagers. This is an amazingly interesting investigation into a very real cryptocurrency con on a truly massive scale. Dr. Ruja, the subject of this podcast, recently made the FBI’s 10 most wanted list!
8. Teen Girl Talk
“Teen Girl Talk joins siblings Franklin and Susie Cota as they joyfully make their way through a menagerie of media made for teens”
No one understands the struggle of a teenage girl quite like a teenage girl. Rather than turn to parents, teachers, or the internet for advice, Teen Girl Talk is made by real teens for teens, covering music, movies, and social trends from a teen's POV.
9. Dear Hank and John
“Hank and John Green use their podcast platform to have listeners ask questions and receive dubious advice in exchange”
Back in 2007, brothers Hank and John Green took YouTube by storm with their hilarious daily video series: Vlogbrothers. Now 15 years later, the charismatic and multi-skilled Green brothers are still connecting with teens around the world with a hilarious advice podcast that seeks to answer questions from their listeners. (Not always with the right answer!)
10. Armshair Expert
“A podcast that celebrates the messiness of being human”
Is your teen a sucker for celebrity and influencer news? They’ll love Armchair Expert! In this podcast, Dax Shepard and Monica Padman talk shop with other famous actors, journalists, and academics in Dax’s guest house attic. Unlike red-carpets or E! News, these interviews are more real, personal, and revealing than any tabloid.
11. What's Good Games
“Your source for video game news, analysis, commentary, and funny stuff for the nerd-inclined”
If your teen is a huge gamer, this is the podcast for them.
Friends Andrea Rene, Brittney Brombacher, and Kristine Steimer cover the latest news, titles, and video game zeitgeist. Stay up on the latest releases, streamers, and gaming news every week.
12. The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos
“Based on the psychology course she teaches at Yale - the most popular class in the university’s 300-year history - Laurie will take you through the latest scientific research and share some surprising and inspiring stories that will change the way you think about happiness”
We all want to lead a happier life, but many of us have no clue what true happiness actually means. For any teen struggling with depression, mental health, and self-identity, this podcast will give them the tools to stress less and see the world with a fresh perspective.
It is also well worth taking Laurie’s amazing class that inspired this podcast, it’s available for free on Coursera: The Science of Well-Being.
“Each season, Foundering brings you inside a different high-stakes drama from the technology industry, where its companies are wielding unprecedented capital and power”
From Bloomberg Technology, Foundering’s three podcast seasons so far have covered the inner workings of tech giants like WeWork, TikTok, and Amazon. This podcast is almost like a multi-part documentary. Each season of six to seven episodes provides a mesmerizing and sensational look behind the scenes of the companies we all interact with every day.
14. Talks at Google
“The world's most influential thinkers, creators, makers, and doers all in one place”
Is your teen dreaming of one day working at Google or another FAANG company? First, they should get the inside scoop/ Hosted by Googler volunteers right from their offices around the world, this podcast brings together some of the world’s top minds and features well-known guests like Lady Gaga and Christopher Hitchens.
15. Freakonomics Radio
“Discover the hidden side of everything with host Stephen J. Dubner, co-author of the Freakonomics books. Each week, Freakonomics Radio tells you things you always thought you knew (but didn’t) and things you never thought you wanted to know (but do)”
Teaching teens about money is more important than ever now in our constantly shifting economy. Freakonomics breaks down the world of money, saving, and finance in terms real teens can understand. Bringing socio-economic issues like student loans and minimum wage to the teenage masses, this show is a must-listen.
For more podcast suggestions that parents and the whole family will love, check out: 15 Parenting Podcasts That Will Make You Laugh Out Loud!
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Alan Mosely is the Co-Founder and CTO of SleepaSloth.com, Alan is a father of three who is passionate about Sleep and Technology.