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The Top Podcast Episodes 2020

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We can confidently say that 2020 is a year that we will all remember, for more reasons than one. Luckily, one of those reasons is the array of noteworthy podcasts the year brought us. Although there are many great lists showcasing the top podcasts of 2020, it can still be a challenge to figure out where to start your listening. That’s why we created this handy list that rounds up the top 25 episodes, based on recommendations from Podyssey’s community of podcast lovers.

Unsurprisingly, some of the most popular picks come from long-standing shows such as Reply All, whereas others are from new favorites, such as Forgotten: Women of Juárez. Either way, these are great podcast episodes you won’t want to miss!

If you want to save these episodes for later or skip straight to listening, we’ve also created a playlist with all of our recommendations:

The Top 25 Podcast Episodes of 2020

25 episodes

Curated by:podysseyapp

1) #158 The Case of the Missing Hit

# of Podyssey Recommendations: 59

hsfargis recommended:Apr 8th, 2020

This was just awesome. From the "man in California" being able to remember a complete song from 20 years ago to the band who was able to *almost* recreate it, and then finding out the guy who wrote it was from my hometown! 11/10 will listen again.

#158 The Case of the Missing Hit

by Reply All

2) #102 Long Distance

# of Podyssey Recommendations: 24

harwood recommended:Jun 15th, 2020

A completely gripping rabbit hole - stopped everything to listen. Just listen now!

#102 Long Distance

by Reply All

3) 1. My Friend Michael

# of Podyssey Recommendations: 19

elepheel recommended:May 15th, 2020

An intriguing first episode of this series that investigates the claim that the CIA wrote a hit song that was instrumental in the fall of the Berlin Wall.

1. My Friend Michael

by Wind of Change

4) 17: Trauma (with Dr. Gabor Maté)

# of Podyssey Recommendations: 19

kimwaudio recommended:Jul 17th, 2020

This is so good! If you are a parent it’s great insight on things to consider when interacting with and relating to your kids. If you are an adult interested in gaining understanding of what pain and trauma are, and understanding some of your own feelings and reactions to your experiences, it’s supe...Show More

17: Trauma (with Dr. Gabor Maté)

by Last Day

5) #164 Long Distance: The Real Alex Martin

# of Podyssey Recommendations: 18

basicallydan recommended:Aug 1st, 2020

What!?!??!?!? If you’re a long time reply all listener you HAVE to hear this. Remember Alex Martin, the phone scammer in India? That was a crazy story. Well, it’s not over.

#164 Long Distance: The Real Alex Martin

by Reply All

6) The End of Privacy as We Know It?

# of Podyssey Recommendations: 16

olivier recommended:Feb 10th, 2020

I read a lot about online privacy everyday, but this episode was very interesting and important. The part about them running the journalist’s photo in their system was so creepy. Well worth a listen.

The End of Privacy as We Know It?

by The Daily

7) Chapter I

# of Podyssey Recommendations: 14

write2tg recommended:Feb 15th, 2020

I haven’t heard a finer example of storytelling and the insights are deep. This will stay with me. Cannot recommend enough. ‬

Chapter I

by S-Town

8) 101: Cheese Is Delicious Science

# of Podyssey Recommendations: 14

mmaran recommended:Jan 28th, 2020

Girl In Space is *the* podcast that got me into podcast audio dramas, and It. Is. Excellent. All of the usual issues you expect with early episodes is non existent, and in my opinion Girl in Space starts off with strong audio and storytelling straight off the bat and continues to hold your attention...Show More

101: Cheese Is Delicious Science

by Girl In Space | A Sci-Fi Mystery Audio Drama

9) Chapter 1: The Railway Station

# of Podyssey Recommendations: 14

pwitham recommended:Apr 9th, 2020

Fascinating story of the lengths people will go to for what they believe in.

Chapter 1: The Railway Station

by Jungle Prince

10) How To Be An Anti-Casteist

# of Podyssey Recommendations: 13

tqwerty recommended:Oct 27th, 2020

I highly recommend this episode because this issue of South Asia is highly prevalent and one of the biggest atrocities ever seen in the history of mankind. It needs to be actively called out like racism.

How To Be An Anti-Casteist

by Rough Translation

11) 1. A Cross-Border Killer?

# of Podyssey Recommendations: 12

ambahjay recommended:Jun 7th, 2020

First, individual bodies of murdered women were found. Then they started finding mass graves. Technically true crime, but with larger implications. How big of a difference can a national border make when it seperates women living in neighboring cities?

1. A Cross-Border Killer?

by Forgotten: Women of Juárez

12) The Living Room

# of Podyssey Recommendations: 12

write2tg recommended:May 13th, 2020

A beautiful episode that reflects how deeply we are interconnected as humans even when we don’t know each other. The words, the emotions, the reflection - it will move you like nothing else would.

The Living Room

by Radiolab

13) #130 The Snapchat Thief

# of Podyssey Recommendations: 12

phocks recommended:Jul 13th, 2020

I'm really loving these stories where they follow a lead and just keep at it until they get to its logical conclusion. Usually there is a human and emotional element to where they end up. It's unexpected and there's magic in there. This was a pretty great listen.

#130 The Snapchat Thief

by Reply All

14) #166 Country of Liars

# of Podyssey Recommendations: 12

michelle_ebooks recommended:Sep 19th, 2020

oh boy, what a juicy episode. PJ gets to bottom of WHO QAnon really is and shares a whole lot of well-reported context to all the madness

#166 Country of Liars

by Reply All

15) The Karen

# of Podyssey Recommendations: 12

mm recommended:Jul 14th, 2020

Terrific episode about the origins of "Becky" (aka "pre-Karen") and "Karen". Pretty amazing how Reddit has so much influence in culture nowadays.

The Karen

by Decoder Ring

16) 713: Made to Be Broken

# of Podyssey Recommendations: 12

oiamandina recommended:Aug 22nd, 2020

A fascinating and timely collection of stories that will put you face to face with 3 big questions. How do humans respond to inequality? What is fairness? And perhaps the most intriguing question, How do you win?

713: Made to Be Broken

by This American Life

17) How to Love Criticism

# of Podyssey Recommendations: 12

gitawidyasari recommended:May 7th, 2020

Such a great podcast. Giving me new perspective of how to accept criticism and turn it well to your motivation and gain energy from it. Pain + Reflection = Progress

How to Love Criticism

by WorkLife with Adam Grant

18) #513: 129 Cars

# of Podyssey Recommendations: 11

jspinelle recommended:Aug 2nd, 2020

My dad spent his career as a car salesman and this is 100% what it was like!

#513: 129 Cars

by This American Life

19) Collateral Damage

# of Podyssey Recommendations: 11

alyjo007 recommended:Dec 19th, 2019

Super interesting episode and I’m glad it was suggested to me. As a historian who works with an archaeology team, this really hit me. We’re always concerned about losing history to weather, war, and other disasters, so it’s wonderful to know that there are people who have successfully protected thei...Show More

Collateral Damage

by Kerning Cultures | Middle East

20) Alpha Gal

# of Podyssey Recommendations: 11

isla recommended:Jun 1st, 2020

As someone who actually has this, I was fascinated to hear this backstory! My sister and I got the allergy around the same time (maybe even on the same day) during a visit to Missouri as children. Like Amy, no one believed us for *years* until the story made the news. It was so cool to hear the back...Show More

Alpha Gal

by Radiolab

21) Episode 19: The Wolves

# of Podyssey Recommendations: 10

yveehops recommended:Jul 12th, 2020

Such a beautiful story about the dynamics of two Yellowstone wolf packs and the relationships created between the most unlikely of wolves.

Episode 19: The Wolves

by This is Love

22) Love at First Quarantine

# of Podyssey Recommendations: 10

audioamanda recommended:May 19th, 2020

“We’ve never even been for dinner together.” Two people who got locked down together after a first date and then weathered the coronovirus together.

Love at First Quarantine

by Radio Diaries

23) 67: The Big House

# of Podyssey Recommendations: 10

danny recommended:Jul 24th, 2020

Some cool stories on ethical hacking.

67: The Big House

by Darknet Diaries

24) Randonauts

# of Podyssey Recommendations: 10

jennx recommended:Jul 31st, 2020

This was such a fascinating episode 🤯 I wonder if these uncanny experiences are just a coincidence or if there’s something more behind the app. Makes me want to download it to test it out.

Randonauts

by Endless Thread

25) Happy Endings | 1

# of Podyssey Recommendations: 10

aliceko recommended:Mar 22nd, 2020

What would you do after being diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer? Go have as much sex as you can? This came highly recommend to me. Great story to escape in these uncertain times. I can't believe this is a true story!!!

Happy Endings | 1

by Dying For Sex

Did you love this list? Dive further into the most popular podcasts of 2020, with our complete end-of-year wrap-up below.