female podcaster at microphone

During the last holiday season, I started thinking, for no particular reason, about the podcasts I love. I especially enjoy podcasts that are ongoing, as opposed to podcasts that tell a single story and then end. I love podcasts whose hosts have irrepressible personalities. Who have that special ability to entertain and inform for hours—and years—on end. Whose voices fill my home with humor, knowledge, and story. I was looking forward to enjoying my personal list of best podcasts in 2024. . . . However, in thinking about my best podcasts 2024 list, I realized something.

All of my favorite podcasters were male.

How could this be? Not a single female podcaster on my best of 2024 list? Am I unwittingly biased against my own kind? Are great female podcasters so very rare? What was going on here?

This moment of realization was what prompted it—my quest in search of great female podcasters. I wanted to find some and add their shows to my best podcasts 2024 list.

Best Podcasts 2024: Guys Only Edition

Of course, I’m continuing to listen to my old, trusted list of best podcasts in 2024. My life would be poorer without them. My quest entailed adding podcasts to my list, not deleting any. Before describing my quest, I’d like to share my longtime (all-male) best podcasts winners:

Ten Percent Happier
A newscaster turned meditation guru interviews guests about meditation and mental health.

This Paranormal Life
Two U.K. comedians pretend to be paranormal investigators.

If Books Could Kill
Two wise guys poke holes in bad airport bestsellers.

Search Engine
A New Yorker poses, investigates, and answers quirky questions.

Best Podcasts 2024: Great Female Podcasters Edition

The calendar flipped to 2024, and my quest began. I hoped to create a best podcasts 2024 list with at least two great female-hosted podcasts by the end of February. I did some internet research, listened to lots of bad-to-middling shows, and kept searching.

And I found some amazing winners! I present top awards to these wonderful (all-female) podcasts:

Two comedians chat about beauty products and life. (Poog is the reverse of Goop, Gwyneth Paltrow’s beauty empire.)

The Weeds
A DC journalist interviews guests about politics and policy.

The Guilty Feminist
A U.K. comedian and feminist (along with her guests) begins jokes with “I’m a feminist but . . .”

The Shit No One Tells You About Writing
An author and two literary agents in Toronto offer insight into writing and publishing.

Outcome of Having a Best Podcasts 2024 List That Includes Great Female Podcasters

It’s not some kind of woo-woo myth—there really is something powerful about witnessing someone like you embody greatness and success.

Something incredible happened when I started listening to talented and unapologetically female podcasters. I started to embrace my femaleness in everyday life, in a way that felt new and powerful.

I have a tendency to second-guess myself in social situations, as many of us do. Not uncommon. And I’ve noticed that I especially judge myself during times when I act especially female. But I found myself judging myself less and feeling better about who I am when I had female role models in my ears a good portion of my week.

Again, I want to emphasize that my personal best podcasts 2024 list started out great even before I added to it. But the additions have been invaluable, and I’m so glad my quest was successful.

Do you listen to podcasters similar to you? Do you listen to podcasters different from you? What are your favorite podcasts? Do share—I’m always looking for good ones!