The 14 Best Podcasts for Seniors

The 14 Best Podcasts for Seniors

Podcasts are audio programs that you can listen to on a mobile device or computer. They’ve become increasingly popular over the past few years. Think of them almost like modern-day radio shows. According to Podcast Insights, about 50% of US households have at least one family member listening to podcasts on a regular basis. Over half of all podcast listeners are over the age of 35, while 20% of listeners are aged 55 or older.1

Have you listened to a good podcast lately? Was it informative, entertaining, enlightening, or all of the above? With over two million podcasts available right now, there is no shortage of available choices!

Those who listen to podcasts most often do so when they are on the go, such as while sitting in traffic, running errands, or exercising. And some podcasts, particularly those that focus on meditation or entertainment, are great for relaxing at home. Choose the right podcasts and you can be learning, laughing, or both – any time you feel like it!

We’ve put together our recommended list of the 14 best podcasts for seniors. These run the gamut from pure entertainment to serious health news and everything in between.

1. This American Life

This podcast has been incredibly popular for years and shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, over 2.5 million people download an episode every week! Just as with day-to-day life, you never know what you’re going to get, but every episode features a true story. One episode might make you cry while the next one makes you think, and then the one after that makes you laugh so hard your stomach hurts. It’s the perfect way for seniors to stay in touch with the world – past, present, and future.

2. Desert Island Discs

This one has been around since 1942, when it was first broadcast on the radio. While it’s not on the radio anymore, you can re-visit some of that nostalgia through podcasts. Today there are well over 2,250 episodes to listen to, which means you might never run out of something fun to learn.

The premise is simple: if you were stranded on a desert island, what eight songs would you want to play, what book would you want to read, and what luxury item would you have to have? Expect to hear musicians, politicians, celebrities, and a host of other figures answer these questions in a way that teaches you much more about them.

3. Freakonomics Radio

There are hidden stories in everything, from the cars we drive to the people we choose to keep in our lives to the ways we choose to exercise. This podcast explores things that you might have wondered about but never actually questioned, which makes for a delightful path of learning. Many of these podcast are very timely, touching on today’s issues almost as soon as they happen. It’s an entertaining approach to digging deep below the surface to search for answers to a variety of life’s questions.

4. Better Health While Aging

This podcast focuses on the health challenges seniors face every day. Expect to learn a lot about Medicare, Medicaid, estate planning, long-term care, home health, hearing and vision problems, chronic conditions, and so much more. This is the kind of podcast that will talk to you about the things that matter to aging adults, from new treatments for common ailments to the importance of a personal alarm button for safety and independence, and make you feel empowered in making choices for yourself.

5. Stuff You Missed in History Class

This podcast is quite well-named, as it takes you behind the scenes of some of the most popular historical events and puts them in an entirely new context. One podcast might take you back to the 14th century while another will take you back only a few decades. If you’re hungry for interesting facts, you’ll learn a wealth of things to keep you entertained and impress your friends at the next dinner party.

6. TED Talks

If you’re looking for something inspirational or to learn new skills, this is the podcast for you. Since the start of TED in 1984, a whopping 50,000 talks have been given in venues across the world, all recorded for posterity. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design and these podcasts cover many interests, so you are sure to discover something to ignite a passion, make you laugh, and most of all, make you think. Some of the most popular talks include “What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness” by Robert Waldinger and “How great leaders inspire action” by Simon Sinek. These are great to share with the kids and grandkids to spark conversations on living well.

Not sure where to begin? Check out this playlist designed for aging adults.2

7. SmartLess

The most popular podcast genre is comedy, and for good reason – who doesn’t want an excuse to laugh? The more than 150 episodes were created by actors Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, and Sean Hayes. They bring their comedic chops to a podcast that connects people through all walks of life, and in the end it feels like you’re eavesdropping on enjoyable conversations between friends.

8. Guided Meditations

Just as the title suggests, this podcast is filled with guidance that can help alleviate stress and get you in touch with those moments of quiet that we all need to find from time to time. Expect to feel a reduction in anxiety and learn new skills to help you stay calm when things get tough. You’ll learn about visualization, positive self-talk, breathing, mantras, and more.

9. Aging in Full Bloom

From stories about government programs for the elderly to a deeper understanding of technology for seniors, this podcast targets those who are trying their best to navigate the golden years. Expect both evergreen content and timely news pieces that guide you through the years as the hosts answer the questions you might be afraid to ask. This is comprehensive enough that you might hear them talk about the importance of a medical alert bracelet or wristband for senior safety and independence.

10. Criminal

Many of us are fascinated by stories about crime. It’s why shows like “The First 48” or even “CSI” are so popular. What if you could get the same thrills in a podcast? This one does just that, walking you through a variety of crimes committed throughout the country, usually with interviews. Those interviews are with the victims, perpetrators, family members, of all of the above. If you watch “Law and Order” as your guilty pleasure, you’re going to love this podcast.

11. Two Cups of Tea

Want to hear stories from fellow seniors and elderly adults? This podcast interviews those who are in their golden years who are living an interesting and sometimes even miraculous life. Each interview shares poignant stories and important revelations that can move you, make you think, or even change your life. Expect a new episode every two weeks with a compassionate host.

12. Living to 100 Club

Are you looking for the Fountain of Youth? This podcast looks at life through a lens of gratitude and suggests that the answers lie in finding the positives. Experts from almost every field talk about the merits of living well and the impact that has on the aging process. Expect to hear a wealth of information as well as a great deal of inspiration.

13. Lux Radio Theater

This is another classic radio program that has now become a podcast for all generations to enjoy. The original radio show ran from 1934 to 1955 and originally featured Broadway shows and the unusual step of recording live in front of a studio audience. Throw an orchestra into the mix and you have a delight for the ears. There are over 926 episodes, each an hour long, all guaranteed to take you back in time and give you a little shot of culture, too.

Sit back, relax, and be transported with this nostalgic radio program.3

14. Camp Codger

Created by seniors as a podcast for seniors, this “rocking chair wisdom” from three elderly men is great for those who want to embrace new adventures in the twilight of life. Expect advice on all things elderly, including health issues, maintaining or building relationships, dealing with grief, relating to the grandkids, choosing the best doctors, and more. They’ll even discuss ways to stay safe and extend your life (such as spotting those subtle signs of physical issues) or the merits of aging in place, using a medical alert system with fall detection for safety.

No matter the podcast you choose, make sure you are comfortable and able to pay attention. With some trial and error, you will find the right podcasts to listen to at the right time for you, and just might experience better health, personal growth, and a new form of entertainment.