231 voters

The Best Podcasts With Episodes That Are 30 Minutes Or Less

Updated May 27, 2019 709 votes 231 voters 14.9k views43 items

List RulesVote up the best podcast you can listen to in thirty minutes or less.

Finding a short podcast under 30 minutes that fits perfectly into your commute or spare time can be difficult. This list of the best short podcasts with episodes that average under 30 minutes can help you get ahead of the news, learn a bit about your favorite things, or even practice mindfulness in half-hour episodes.

Even when a podcast has "20" or "30" in their title, they rarely live within that limit, some of them stretching well over an hour.  30 Minute Runner and 30 Minute Italian both keep perfectly under 30 minutes. The 20/20 Meditate For Peace podcast also stays under 20 minutes for the most part, but for a different reason - each 20 episode course of daily meditation begins with a one-minute meditation and adds a minute a day until it finishes with a 20-minute meditation. There's a lot you can learn in a half hour, from how a song came together with Song Exploder, cool language facts from The Allusionist, and even the state of the economy on Planet Money.

Thirty minutes is also plenty of time for fun and fiction. There are several podcasts that examine popular movies a minute at a time, such as the Die Hard Minute Podcast or the Tarantino Minute Podcast, and even several scripted and short story podcasts, including Alice Isn't Dead, The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian, and Getting On With James Urbaniak.

Even though once in a while these podcasts have an episode that slips a touch over the half-hour limit, the majority of their episodes come in comfortably under 30 minutes. Which of these short podcasts are the best? If we forgot a great short podcast, be sure to add it to the list!

  • 1

    Average episode length: under 30 minutes

    Host Michael Barbaro shares the biggest stories of our time, told by the best journalists in the world.

  • 2

    Average episode length: 5-20 minutes

    The economy explained by NPR.

  • 3

    Average episode length: 15 minutes

    Hosts Rachel Martin, David Greene and Steve Inskeep, bring the news you need to start your day.

  • 4

    Average episode length: 15-20 minutes

    Host Hrishikesh Hirway talks to musicians as they take apart their songs, and piece by piece, tell the story of how they were made.

  • 5

    Average episode length: 12-25 minutes

    Host Amie Santiago shares the strategies teachers use in the classroom.

  • 6
  • 7

    Average episode length: 20-30 minutes

    Host Helen Zaltzman explores language, including puns and emoji.

  • 8

    Average episode length: 10-20 minutes

    The sequel to Jules Verne's From Earth to the Moon, presented in short segments.

  • 9

    Average episode length: 10-15 minutes

    Producer Nate DiMeo, shares short, surprising stories of the past.

  • 10

    Average episode length: 15-20 minutes

    Hosts Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal, Howard Tayler, and Daniel Wells discuss writing techniques.

  • 11

    Average episode length: 12-15 minutes

    Host Rob Matsushita and his guest discuss the guest's alltime favorite movie.

  • 12

    Average episode length: 20-25 minutes

    Host Tally Abecassis follows stories about coming back from something that changes you.

  • 13

    Average episode length: 15-20 minutes

    A resource for fitness and body transformation.

  • 14

    Average episode length: 20 minutes

    The latest in fitness nutrition, tech, science, and methodology

  • 15

    Average episode length: 20-25 minutes

    A scripted podcast following a truck driver searching America for her long lost wife.

  • 16

    Average episode length: 20-30 minutes

    Hosts Gary Roby and Victoria Laguna analyze the Harry Potter movies one minute at a time.

  • 17

    Average episode length: 15-30 minutes

    Celebrating baby boomers fifty and better who are on the move and transforming the spirit and style of aging.

  • 18

    Average episode length: 4-25 minutes

    A guided meditation course beginning with a 1-minute meditation on day 1 and adds 1 minute per day for 20 consecutive days, leading to a 20-minute meditation on day 20.


  • 19

    Average episode length: 15-20 minutes

    Host talks about being a geek, their love for Star Wars and 80s cult classics, being a father and a husband.

  • 20

    Average episode length: 5-30 minutes

    Host CarlaRae shares practical tips and resources that you can implement today to find balance in your everyday life

  • 21

    Average episode length: under 15 minutes

    Hosts Mike, Mark, and Nate discuss and analyze each of Quentin Tarantino's films one individual minute at a time.

  • 22

    Average episode length: 15-20 minutes

    Host Vinay Shankar shares the stories of healthcare entrepreneurs and innovators who are growing their unique ideas.

  • 23

    Average episode length: 30 minutes

    Host Imrie is joined by a guest to discuss the issue that's blocking their personal or professional development.

  • 24

    Average episode length: 15-20 minutes

    ESPN's mini-series about monumental moments in basketball.

  • 25

    Average episode length: 15-25 minutes

    A monthly radio drama with a different writer each episode navigating the recesses of his troubled yet charming mind of the actor James Urbaniak.