10 Podcast Ideas for Your Next Workout

September 28, 2017

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I'm Mickie. Co-founder and CEO of One Strong Southern Girl. Our team is here for you. We want you to remember us because we helped changed your life. 


*Updated Fall 2019

Do you like to listen to music when you exercise?

Chances are you do.

But have you ever tried listening to a podcast during a workout?

Remember that ‘subscribing’ to a podcast is (almost always) completely FREE!  Every suggestion on this list will cost you nothing!

Most of the time the right music will successfully shift my brain to my Happy Workout Place without that much effort.

But sometimes (especially if I’m going on a long run) I need something else.

There’s something about running—the mundane repetition of it—that encourages my neurons to reel off into lists and budgets and other non-fun chores that can completely destroy a good workout.

BUT I’ve found that filling my head with a story sometimes (instead of music) keeps my thoughts off stressful checklists.  In fact, every now and then, the right podcast makes me run another mile just so I can see how it ends.

Over the last few years I’ve listened to hundreds of different podcasts.  This is a list of the productions I personally enjoy. 

Hopefully, you can find something in here that will align all your personal bits up in perfect harmony while you’re exercising (or just driving to work).

There’s a solid range of content in this list that will either cause you to bust out laughing, say ‘hmmm…’, scare the crap out of you, and/or restore your sense in humanity.

Give a few of them a try then come back and share your thoughts!  (Or use the comment section to share your own favorite podcasts with everyone.  Thank you!

a pair of white headphones plugged into a small white device sitting on a table


Criminal Podcast is one of my favorites to listen to during a workout

“Criminal is a podcast about crime.  Stories of people who’ve done wrong, been wronged, or gotten caught somewhere in the middle.”—Criminal Podcast

Criminal looks at crime from a different angle every week and will make you think.

This is one of my favorite podcasts.  Every episode is vastly different from the next, yet never disappointing.

*Check out my favorite episode (so far) entitled ‘The Editor’ (Episode 49).


Snap Judgment is a podcast I recommend for when you're exercising

“Snap Judgment is a themed, weekly storytelling show…focused on presenting compelling personal stories—mixing killer beats with real drama to produce cinematic, dramatic and kick-ass radio.”—Snap Judgment Podcast

I love that each week is made up of several bite-sized stories with the same theme.

The narration/performance of each story is what makes Snap Judgment so good.   Some stories will make you laugh while others will make you cry.  It’s all good.


Ear Hustle is a podcast I recommend to listen to during a workout

“Ear Hustle brings you stories of life inside prison, shared and produced by those living it.  The podcast is a partnership between Earlonne Woods and Antwan Williams, currently incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison, and Nigel Poor, a Bay Area artist. The team works in San Quentin’s media lab to produce stories that are sometimes difficult, often funny, and always honest, offering a nuanced view of people living within the American prison system.”—Ear Hustle Podcast

Ear Hustle is raw and eye-opening.  I think sometimes we need to be reminded that at the end of the day, we’re all human, and Ear Hustle does that.

Ear Hustle isn’t for everyone (there’s a generous dose of explicit language and adult subject matter) but I challenge you to listen with an open mind and see if it doesn’t affect you (especially if you know anyone who is currently incarcerated).


Stuff You Should Know if a great podcast for when you exercise

“How do landfills work? How do mosquitoes work?  Join Josh and Chuck as they explore the Stuff You Should Know about everything from genes to the Galapagos in this podcast from”—Stuff You Should Know Podcast

Stuff You Should Know is interesting.  You can easily scroll through the titles and find the episodes that might interest you.

Here are the titles of a few episodes just to give you a taste of what you might see:

How the Secret Service Works

How Psychopaths Work

Are Crickets the Future of Food?

How Shrunken Heads Work

Is Stockholm Syndrome Real?

How Personality Tests Work

Why Do Men Have Nipples

Yeah, you know you’ve been wondering about that last one.  Now you can get the answers.


I recommend that you listen to the S-Town podcast during your next workout

S-Town is a podcast…”about a man named John who despises his Alabama town and decides to do something about it.” John wrote a letter to Brian Reed, the host of the S-Town podcast “asking him to investigate the son of a wealthy family who’s allegedly been bragging that he got away with murder.  But then someone else ends up dead, and the search for the truth leads to a nasty feud, a hunt for hidden treasure, and an unearthing of the mysteries of one man’s life.” –S-Town Podcast

Make sure you start listening to S-Town at episode one.

I felt like S-Town started out slow in the first episode but I was hooked by the end of the 2nd.

You’ll never forget John B. McLemore.


Sword and Scale is one podcast I recommend you listen to when you exercise

“Sword and Scale, which debuted in 2013, covers the underworld of criminal activity and the demented minds that perform the most despicable and unthinkable actions.”—Sword and Scale Podcast

WARNING-Sword and Scale is NOT FOR EVERYONE.  This podcast takes a look at the facts and details surrounding actual crimes.  If you’re easily upset by this kind of subject matter then don’t bother with this podcast.  If you love true crime then you might like it.

You can listen to Sword and Scale episodes in any order (unless it’s a two-part episode in which case I recommend you start with the first of the two) but a good show to start with is episode 60, which covers the murder of the mother of alternative rock superstar Dave Navarro.

*TIP-Don’t go on a long run alone or at night (or in the woods) while you’re listening to this podcast.  I learned that lesson the hard way.  I’ve never run so fast. #scaredycat


Rabbits is a good podcast to listen to when you're working out

“When Carly Parker’s friend Yumiko goes missing under very mysterious circumstances, Carly’s search for her friend leads her headfirst into an ancient mysterious game known only as Rabbits.  Soon Carly begins to suspect that Rabbits is much more than just a game, and that the key to understanding Rabbits, might be the key to the survival of our species, and the Universe, as we know it.”—Rabbits Podcast

The key to the survival of our species, and the Universe is a stretch, but I enjoyed this series, which my sister recommended I listen to.

Make sure you start with episode one.

Some shows are better than others but stick around for the ending because it’s good.


My Dad Wrote a Porno is a funny podcast to listen to when you're running

“Imagine if your dad wrote a dirty book. Most people would try to ignore it – but not Jamie Morton. Instead, he decided to read it to the world in this groundbreaking comedy podcast. With the help of his best mates, James Cooper and Alice Levine, Jamie reads a chapter a week and discovers more about his father than he ever bargained for.”—My Dad Wrote a Porno Podcast

This podcast is exactly what you think it is—total filth.  However, if it doesn’t make you laugh out loud then you might be a robot.

Warning-Make certain there are no children within earshot when you hit play.


Casefile is an interesting podcast that I recommend you try out during your next workout

“Fact is scarier than fiction…”Casefile explores one criminal case in each episode including the “shocking, the terrifying, the strange, and the unsolved.”—Casefile True Crime Podcast

This podcast isn’t quite as graphic as Sword and Scale but still uncovers every aspect of a different criminal case in each episode.

Casefile reminds me of any episode of Dateline or show on ID (Investigation Discovery) network.  The only thing that keeps me from listening to this more often is that most shows are over an hour in length.

If you like true crime and you’re facing a long run (or drive) then give Casefile a listen.

TED Talks Daily

Try out Ted Talks Daily podcast during your next run

“Hear thought-provoking ideas on every subject imaginable—from Artificial Intelligence to Zoology, and everything in between—given by the world’s leading thinkers and doers.”–Ted Talks Daily Podcast

The talks (speeches) in the podcast episodes on Ted Talks Daily come from a collection of talks given at TED and TEDx conferences around the globe.  The speakers and topics are varied but always inspiring.

I like that most of the episodes are short so you can get a quick shot of inspiration when you need it.

And make sure you check out THE CRUNCHES AND COSMOS PODCAST hosted by yours truly where I help women plan, execute and manage exercising at home!

Thanks for reading!


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