"This Is Uncomfortable" host Reema Khrais Ben Hethcoat/Marketplace

The Marketplace podcasts to listen to right now

Tony Wagner Mar 17, 2020
"This Is Uncomfortable" host Reema Khrais Ben Hethcoat/Marketplace

With tens of millions of children out of school, nearly all large events cancelled and businesses closing or cutting hours in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re all about to have a lot of time on our hands. 

Whether you’re working from home, taking a (safe, socially distant) walk or just trying to take your mind off of your retirement account, we’ve decided to round up a few of our best podcasts for you to enjoy.

You want to learn more about COVID-19 and the economy

On “Marketplace,” Kai Ryssdal and the rest of our reporters have been answering questions, like: What would happen to the global economy if American economic activity shut down for two weeks or more? We also explained why trading doesn’t stop to quell market volatility. Last week, we looked at where the Federal Reserve’s $1.5 trillion in loans went, and what numbers to watch as we prepare for a recession.

If you want a quick hit, “Marketplace Morning Report” did some quick pieces on the Fed’s drastic rate cut from the weekend, and how markets responded (not well). And on “Marketplace Tech,” Molly Wood looked at price gouging on eBay and Amazon, and AI’s potential in vaccine research.

On “Make Me Smart,” Kai and Molly talked with the New York Times’ Neil Irwin about what a COVID-19-driven recession would look like, and heard from a listener in Italy. 

You want to learn about anything but the coronavirus and the economy

On our podcast “This Is Uncomfortable,” Reema Khrais has talked with a divorce lawyer about representing herself, a UX researcher who negotiated a bigger salary than she ever dreamed of and a professional astrologer about what exactly a professional astrologer does all day.

This kind of confusing, anxious moment is also perfect for the “Make Me Smart” Explainathon. They’re special episodes we do twice a year where Kai and Molly try to answer as many listener questions as they can in a half hour with pretty much no prep. Here’s the latest, and you can find all past installments here

You’re getting used to working from home

If you’re not used to it, working from home for days or weeks or more can be a lonely grind.

On “This Is Uncomfortable” last year, we talked a lot about proper video call etiquette and how to make sure your feedback is heard. (That episode also covered what to do when you hate your boss, something that applies whether you’re at home or in the office.)

“Marketplace Tech” looked at why VR wasn’t ready for this remote work moment, and whether educational technology is prepared to support long-term virtual learning

Back in 2015, our podcast “Codebreaker” asked: Is email evil? And on Monday’s “Marketplace,” we reported on how working from home makes you more vulnerable to cyberattacks.

You need a good binge to settle into

Our podcast “The Uncertain Hour” is back with a new season later this year, and this might be a good opportunity to get caught up. Each season is a deep dive into one topic Americans spend a lot of time fighting over, but may not know much about.

Season one is all about welfare reform and who actually benefits from it. Season two focused on federal regulations and why they matter. And last year’s season examined America’s drug war, in 1980s Washington, D.C., and present-day rural Virginia.

Finally, “This Is Uncomfortable” has more than 30 episodes, all around 20 or 30 minutes so it’s really easy to knock several out at once. Last season we had stories about secret inheritances, fertility struggles, stage moms, professional sabotage and more.

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