A&E’s guide to summer podcasts

It’s summer, what else is there to do?

Illustration by Harry Steffenhagen

Harry Steffenhagen

Illustration by Harry Steffenhagen

by Maraya King

Whether you’re spending your summer lounging by the pool, chasing after children or sitting behind a desk, you don’t have to fall victim to boredom. 

You’ve probably heard of a few of these podcasts, or even sampled a few episodes — but summer is the perfect time to fully develop your addiction. With due dates in the past and a surplus of free time, it’s time to discover what makes these chart-toppers so popular. 

Here’s A&E lineup of stellar podcasts to keep you entertained, informed and in-the-know this summer. 

Fresh and Local

This Minnesota-centered podcast shares recipes, as well as tips and tricks for the kitchen. Hosted by Susan Berkson, this series is “straight outta the Minneapolis Farmers Market” with episodes running 12-minutes long. Whether you need ideas for your weekend barbecue or are just looking to spice things up, this show has you covered. 

My Brother, My Brother and Me

The brotherly trio of Justin, Travis and Griffin McElroy provides life advice and an unending slew of jokes (though it’s sometimes hard to distinguish between the two). If you’re looking for a good laugh, this show might surprise you. Episodes range from an hour to two hours, so you can press play while you’re mowing the lawn or gardening — you’ll be done before you know it.

My Favorite Murder

Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark retell murder stories in this riot of a podcast. The two comedians are blatantly honest and will leave you laughing, even in the face of death. Whether bingeing a three-part story or listening to a 20 minute minisode, there’s never a dull moment.

Pedal Hub

Hosted by Minnesota Public Radio, this biking-themed podcast is a no-brainer. With a variety of hosts all chiming in on their passion for the outdoors, trails and biking, this is the epitome of summer listening. Episodes range from half an hour to a little over an hour — coincidently the perfect duration for a workout. 

Serial (Season one)”

If you haven’t already listened to season one of “Serial,” you know at least five people who have. Despite glaring gaps in the investigation, Adnan Syed was accused of killing his high school girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, in 1999. Hosted and produced by journalist Sarah Koenig, this series will hold you hostage until the very last minute.


This podcast is the perfect Monday morning pick-me-up; the name really says it all. This series features Rachel and Griffin McElroy discussing their favorite things. Recipes, albums, insects — you name it, they cover it. With most episodes lasting under an hour, you can start it during your morning commute to work and finish over your lunch break. 

Stuff Mom Never Told You

Feminism, bootlegging, tattoos and skincare — this is just the beginning. Emilie Aries and Bridget Todd share personal experience and worldly knowledge about topics that are generally seen as “inappropriate” for day-to-day discussion. While you may not bring up the intricacies of the “Handmaid’s Tale” at the water cooler, we know you’re curious and this podcast just might have answers. Episodes range from half an hour to an hour and a half and can teach you more than a 75-minute lecture ever has. 

Sawbones: A Marital Tour of Misguided Medicine

This podcast delves into the trials and errors that led to modern medicine. Hosted by husband-wife duo Dr. Sydnee McElroy and Dr. Justin McElroy, “Sawbones” reveals the horrifying — and often times comical — attempts made to better humanity. With episodes ranging from 20 to 40 minutes, this series could easily become your go-to. 


Another classic. When there’s a suspected murder in the small town of Woodstock, Alabama, Brian Reed, a radio producer, crosses paths with the clockmaker, treasure burier and widely loved John B. McLemore. The two form a friendship filled with knowledge, laughter, awe and heartbreak. An extension of “Serial” and “This American Life,” this seven-chapter podcast will teach you as much as it takes away from you.

Also — shameless plug — be on the lookout next fall for the Minnesota Daily’s first-ever podcast channel. It’s sure to be a masterwork as well.