The 18 Best New Podcasts of 2021 (So Far)

Like listening in to your funniest, most knowledgable friends.

Best Podcasts of 2021
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With everyone stuck inside for what has felt like an eternity, there's been little else to do than order a microphone on Amazon Prime and share your thoughts and feelings with the world. But if you're not prepared to divulge your innermost thoughts with everyone you know and plenty of people you don't, let your favorites take the reins, right? From Rickey Thompson and Laverne Cox to Meghan Markle, pretty much everyone you know and love launched their own podcast over the course of the last 12 months. Ahead, we rounded up a few of our favorite new podcasts for when you're in the mood to add some *spice* to your daily routine. These are buzzy new, up-and-coming podcasts to know about for 2021.

Spectacle: An Unscripted History of Reality TV

best new podcasts 2021

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It's hard to imagine a world without reality TV, but this popular form of media is just over 30 years old. In Spectacle, host Mariah Smith examines the history and cultural impact of reality TV through conversations with experts about several shows, from The Real World to The Great British Baking Show.

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The Michelle Obama Podcast 

the michelle obama podcas

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When Michelle Obama launched her podcast with a moving episode that featured her mom and brother, I knew it was going to be good. Each episodes includes thoughtful, deep conversations with her close family and friends.

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Your Magic

your magic podcast

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If you’re at all intrigued by spiritual beliefs, the occult arts, and meditations, then Your Magic is right up your alley. Michelle Tea hosts the podcast, which invites celebrity guests to discuss their forays into spirituality and explores spiritual beliefs from around the world. Don’t miss the episodes featuring guitar-smasher Phoebe Bridgers and rockstar Brittany Howard.

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Back Issue 

back issue podcast

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If you're an early 2000s mega-fan, meet your new favorite podcast. Each week, hosts Tracy Clayton and Josh Gwynn rehash some of the biggest scandals and moments that changed the course of (pop culture) history forever.

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Drama Queens

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It's rare for all of a hit show's biggest stars to team up on a throwback podcast, but that's what Hilarie Burton Morgan, Sophia Bush, and Bethany Joy Lenz have pulled off with Drama Queens. With the legacy of One Tree Hill tainted by the allegations of harassment and abuse from creator Mark Schwahn, the show's leading women are on a mission to reclaim their beloved series. Every week, they re-watch an episode and discuss what went on behind the scenes. Come for the nostalgia, stay for the enduring female friendships.

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Through the Cracks

best new podcasts 2021

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This new true crime podcast focuses on the victims whose stories aren't covered by the media and who fall through the cracks. In its first season, host Jonquilyn Hill covers the case of 8-year-old Relisha Rudd, whose disappearance from a D.C. homeless shelter went unnoticed for 18 days. Hill's investigation goes beyond Rudd, who is still missing seven years later, to show how society systematically treats people who live on the margins.

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We Said What We Said With Rickey and Denzel 

we said what we said

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Internet darling Rickey Thompson is joined by his best friend Denzel Dion to talk all things pop culture. Expect the same kind of positive energy—and the same hot takes—that you get from Thompson's Instagram videos and TikToks.

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Things You Can't Ask Yer Mum

things you can't ask yer mum

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This British podcast, hosted by influencers and IRL besties Lizzy Hadfield and Lindsay Holland, is like having girl chat with your nearest and dearest friends. Prepare to hear a few embarrassing college stories mixed in with humorous—and poignant—life advice.

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The Treatment 

the treatment podcast

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Film nerds, unite! Movie critic Elvis Mitchell interviews some of the most interesting and influential characters in film and TV about who they are behind the camera. Recent guests include Succession's Jeremy Strong and director Sophia Coppola.

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Brown & Black: Race and Pop Culture

black and brown podcast

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Film critics Jack Rico and Mike Sargent explore the intersection of race and entertainment on their new podcast. Each episode offers a mix of film reviews and conversations about the future of film and television post-pandemic.

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Welcome to the OC, Bitches!

podcasts

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I know, I know—you never realized your life was missing a throwback podcast series about The OC until it materialized. Hosts Rachel Bilson and Melinda Clarke, who of course played Summer Roberts and Julie Cooper, walk us through one episode per week, interviewing guest stars and reminiscing about their experiences.

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Clickbait with Bachelor Nation 

clickbait with bachelor nation

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You've already binge-watched the latest season of The Bachelorette, so why not binge-listen to this podcast that's straight out of Bachelor Nation? Former Bachelorette Tayshia Adams is joined by co-host—and fell0w fan favorites—Joe Amabile and Natasha Parker to discuss all of the show's juicy details.

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Dare to Lead with Brené Brown 

dare to lead with brene brown

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Brown's newest podcast is based on her recent book with the same name. It's a combination of solo episodes and interviews with game-changers in every industry, and it's going to make you want to chase your dreams head-on in 2021. Of course, each installment features the same genius advice that Brown has become known for.

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The Laverne Cox Show

the laverne cox show

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The eponymous host introduces us to dating experts, fat activists, and gender non-conforming writers—just to name a few of her distinguished guests—to get us thinking about perspectives that may expand our perception of ourselves.

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Under the Influence with Jo Piazza

under the influence with jo piazza podcast

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The best thing about podcasts, IMO? Their commitment to explaining worlds that I wouldn’t have otherwise encountered. Under the Influence, a new podcast hosted by Jo Piazza, takes us deep into the realm of mommy influencers, whose hustle is rife with anxiety, racist pay gaps, and the suggestion that they're using their children for profit.

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Deeply Human

deeply human podcast

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This podcast from the BBC and American Public Media seeks to explain human thoughts and behavior with the help of professors and experts. Rapper and musician Dessa hosts the half-hour series, with episodes about topics like lying, dating, and pain.

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Welcome to Your Fantasy

welcome to your fantasy podcast

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Did you know that the world of the Chippendales–ya know, the male exotic dancers of the 1980s–was full of greed, deceit, and even murder? Host Natalia Petrzela guides you through the inception of the seedy business that exploited women’s lib for piles of cash to their eventual fall from grace.

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Anything for Selena

best new podcasts 2021

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This podcast, recorded in both English and Spanish, tells the story of legendary Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla through the star's impact on her fans. Host Maria Garcia combines her personal narrative with the star's wider impact, to understand more about herself and everyone else who felt seen during Selena's rise to stardom.

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Julia Marzovilla
Julia Marzovilla

Julia Marzovilla is a New York City-based writer covering all things fashion, beauty, lifestyle, and entertainment. Offline, she’s most likely browsing the web for another pair of black boots or listening to music too loudly—often at the same time.