The holiday season is right around the corner, and you know what that means: Warm pajamas, a mug of hot cocoa, and watching the snow fall from your windowsill. But instead of turning on your holiday regulars in movies and TV shows, spice it up this year by listening to the best podcasts for the holiday season. You'll get in the holiday mood, maybe learn a few things, and pass the hours so quickly it'll be time for your big holiday dinner before you know it.
The great thing about the holiday season is that it encompasses so many different joyous occasions for different people. There's Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Gita Jayanti, New Years, Boxing Day, and even just time off from school or work that you can use to wind down and be with your own thoughts. And along with whatever traditions you already have tied to the holidays, incorporating podcasts is a great way to start a new one. From topics on mental health (because the holidays aren't always joyous 24/7) to conversations about what holiday-themed sex move to try in the bedroom, there's something for everyone in the world of podcasts.
Here are the best podcasts to listen to this holiday season:
1. Christmas Past
If you're in the mood for warm and familiar Christmas stories this holiday season, Christmas Past is the podcast for you. The podcast goes into details about the history of the most-told Christmas stories and explains their origins. You'll get in the Christmas spirit, and have some extra details about your favorite tales.
2. The Intelligence
Holiday time means unwanted and frustrating political debates with distant family members. Well this year, you can come extra prepared. The Intelligence by Economist Radio is a 20-minute podcast that breaks down all of the most important current affairs from around the world. You'll learn about the ins and outs of the biggest news stories, so that when your aunt says something that's totally "fake news," you'll be ready with a rebuttal.
3. Life Kit
There's no shame in needing help for the daily tasks it takes to be a person. And Life Kit is there to the guide the way. The podcast features experts giving advice on different topics from parenting to budgeting to planning a trip. Plus, they even have an episode titled "Holiday Survival Guide: Family Style" where you get tips and tricks on how to deal with the stress that sometimes comes from being around your family during the holidays.
Holiday breaks and long vacations are the perfect time to expand your mind and learn about new things. You can do that this season with Radiolab, the podcast that explains "the strange world." Radiolab makes scientific topics accessible to everyday listeners, rendering it a great podcast to use when you want to be filled with fun stories for your holiday dinners and events.
5. World Book Club
The holidays are a great opportunity to get some new reads under your belt. And more fun than reading a book is having insightful conversations about it. This is why BBC's World Book Club is a great podcast choice for the holidays. The podcast brings world-famous authors on the show to discuss some of their best-selling work. You'll get to hear the real interpretations that the author intended and feel like you're part of the discussion. Plus, it'll give you a great idea of what books to gift your book-lover friends!
6. Elevated With Mara
If your plan this holiday season is to get serious about getting fit, Elevated with Mara is just the motivation you need. The podcast is hosted by award-winning journalist Mara Schiavocampo, who spends each episode exploring different ways she's made her life healthier. From tips on becoming a morning person to even an episode called "Holiday Stress," Elevated with Mara will be the push you need to get you living a healthier lifestyle.
7. The Daily Boost
If your resolution for the New Year is to have a more positive outlook on life, The Daily Boost can be of some help. The podcast focuses on little habits you can incorporate into your everyday life so that you can be happier. It also gives advice on personal development strategies and achieving your dreams.
8. The Splendid Table
A big part of the holidays, no matter what you do and don't celebrate, is the food that you eat. The Splendid Table helps you get in touch with your foodie side by giving you new recipes, exploring different cuisines, and learning everything there is to know about food. Impress your family and friends with all the new things you learned how to cook.
9. With Friends Like These
Sometimes the best thing to do around the holidays is to find ways to relate to other people (a.k.a. your family members with different views). And With Friends Like These, you can do just that. The hosts of the show sit down with people of different political views, cultural backgrounds, and daily struggles and try to find the commonalities between all of them.
10. I Do
The holiday season is a warm and cozy time for couples, but it's also a great time to learn more about yourself and how to be a better partner to someone else, whether you're in a relationship or not. I Do is a podcast that explores everything related to relationships and dating. The show discusses topics like intuition, how to stop arguing, and how to create sexual intimacy.
The holidays can be a time when you end up spending a lot more money than you thought you would. HerMoney is a podcast aimed specifically at discussing budgeting, financial planning, and investing, all tailored to women. You can learn how to conquer the holidays (and the rest of your life) without hurting your wallet too much.
12. All Things Cozy
There's nothing better than being cozy during the holidays. And if you need a little help getting cozy, the podcast All Things Cozy can be your guide. Everything you hear on the podcast — from tips on tidying up to baking recipes — goes great with a hot mug of cocoa and a fuzzy blanket.
13. Not Another Anxiety Show
The holidays can be the cause of a lot of stress and anxiety for some. Not Another Anxiety Show is a great option for those who deal with mental health issues and are looking for relatable content. The show's host, Kelli Walker, was a former agoraphobe and is now a registered nurse and certified health and wellness coach. She knows firsthand about anxiety and uses both her experience and professional knowledge to give the best possible advice about meditation, deep breathing, and dealing with anxiety every day.
14. Beyond The To-Do List
Some people take a break from working during the holidays, while some see the days off as an opportunity to be as productive as possible. If you're a part of the latter (or at least trying to be), the Beyond the To-Do List podcast could be just what you need. The podcast features several successful people who have a knack for productivity and are willing to share the wealth. The guests also give advice on how to instill daily habits that will pay off in the long-run.
15. On She Goes
If your 2020 resolution includes getting out and traveling more, On She Goes can help. The podcast is a resource for women of color who want to go out and travel the world. You get to hear stories from other awesome women who are well-traveled, and pick up some inspiration for yourself.
16. Swipe Out
Holidays can be really tough on single people sometimes. All the coziness of the holidays can make your seemingly-endless Tinder-swiping feel really sad. But Swipe Out reminds you you're not alone. The podcast features other people's horrible dating stories as well as interviews with couples. Plus, the holidays are just as good a time as any for a good laugh.
17. But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids
If you're in charge of the kids this year, be the totally cool and adult and put on a fascinating podcast that's sure to keep them entertained. But Why: A Podcast for Curious Kids is a podcast anyone can enjoy. It takes kid-submitted questions, like "Why is the sky blue?" and answers them. You'll learn something, the kids will learn something, and you'll be the favorite adult.
18. Chicken Soup For The Soul
Everyone loved the Chicken Soup for the Soul series when they were big. Well now you can enjoy the podcast. Each episode of Chicken Soup for the Soul with Amy Newmark features everything you loved about the books and more. With stories about love, friendship, and special episodes on the holidays, the podcast has everything you need to make you feel as warm and loving as the holiday season itself.
19. Call Your Girlfriend
The holidays can be difficult when you don't have your best friend around. Call Your Girlfriend is a podcast for those with long-distance besties. From topics about politics to pop culture, each episode covers things you'd talk about with your best friend. And with hosts that aren't afraid to get real and talk about anything, you're in for a treat.