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The Best Podcasts With Episodes That Are 30 Minutes Or Less

Updated May 27, 2019 651 votes 201 voters 13.6k 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
    The Daily

    Average episode length: under 30 minutes

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

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  • 2
    Planet Money

    Average episode length: 5-20 minutes

    The economy explained by NPR.

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  • 3
    Up First

    Average episode length: 15 minutes

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

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  • 4
    The Allusionist

    Average episode length: 20-30 minutes

    Host Helen Zaltzman explores language, including puns and emoji.

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  • 5
    20 Minute Fitness

    Average episode length: 20 minutes

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

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  • 6
    Song Exploder

    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.

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  • 7
    True Crime Recaps Podcast
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  • 8
    Round the Moon: A Sequel to From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne

    Average episode length: 10-20 minutes

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

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  • 9
    Writing Excuses

    Average episode length: 15-20 minutes

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

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  • 10
    The Memory Palace

    Average episode length: 10-15 minutes

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

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  • 11
    Things Teachers Know

    Average episode length: 12-25 minutes

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

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  • 12
    First Day Back

    Average episode length: 20-25 minutes

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

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  • 13
    Medicinal Moves

    Average episode length: 15-20 minutes

    A resource for fitness and body transformation.

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  • 14
    Wanna Be

    Average episode length: 30 minutes

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

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  • 15
    Alice Isn't Dead

    Average episode length: 20-25 minutes

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

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  • 16
    30 Minute Italian

    Average episode length: 15-25 minutes

    Covering Italian expressions, grammar and culture.

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  • 17
    The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian

    Average episode length: 20-30 minutes

    A serialized science-fiction story for kids for parents to put on when driving or before bedtime.

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  • 18
    Feisty Side of Fifty

    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.

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  • 19
    Life Made Simple with CarlaRae

    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

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  • 20
    Harry Potter Minute

    Average episode length: 20-30 minutes

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

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  • 21
    Tarantino Minute

    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.

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  • 22
    Mann From New York

    Average episode length: 6-12 minutes

    Documenting and sharing stories with an "only in New York" flavor.

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  • 23
    Ten Minutes About Your Favorite Movie

    Average episode length: 12-15 minutes

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

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  • 24
    20/20 Meditate For Peace

    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.


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  • 25
    15 Minutes With The Doctor: Learn from Healthcare Entrepreneurs and Innovators

    Average episode length: 15-20 minutes

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

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