The Five Best Podcasts To Listen To While Cleaning

The results are in: It's far more fun to eat off of plates than clean them. According to a YouGov survey, there's a three-way tie between American's least favorite chores: laundry, dishes, and scrubbing the bathroom. Sure, cleaning has only gotten easier in the last century, with inventions such as vacuums, dishwashers, and washing machines saving us valuable time and effort. But, as noted by Vox, some tasks are seemingly endless and never truly complete. Rather than the chore itself, it's the constant repetition that gets under our skin.


Fortunately, there are ways to get around the monotony of housework. Music, for instance, has proven benefits when it comes to combating stress. In fact, 80% of Americans report listening to music while they clean, according a Jelmar survey shared by Apartment Therapy. Our favorite upbeat rhythms release dopamine, and scrubbing grout can go from frustrating to manageable, at the very least. 

Podcasts are also a valued method of distraction during especially-long cleaning sessions. So, if you have a pantry to reorganize or a grimy fridge to disinfect, here are our picks for the five best podcasts that will provide the necessary distraction from even the most stubborn of stains.

Dr. Death

Imagine going into the hospital for a routine operation and leaving with life-altering complications — or worse. Dr. Christopher Duntsch fit the description of a charming Dallas neurosurgeon. He had the looks, the qualifications, and the confidence. "Do no harm," right? Over the course of his infamous career, Duntsch killed or seriously injured 33 patients, jumping between Texas hospitals with few repercussions, per People.


In this Wondery Media production, reporter Laura Beil investigates the case of Christopher Duntsch, later known under the moniker "Dr. Death." She seeks answers to two important questions: How did out medical system allow this to happen, and was Duntsch truly a "cold-blooded killer"?

In 2021, this limited audio series was adapted into a Peacock original series. Joshua Jackson stars as Dr. Death himself, with Alec Baldwin and Christian Slater playing the curious surgeons digging into his bloody past, per TIME.

Celebrity Memoir Book Club

Claire Parker and Ashley Hamilton read celebrity memoirs so you don't have to. From the "Real Housewives" stars to A-list actors, the two New York-based comedians prove weekly that there's no shortage of celebrity memoirs on the market, and that some are better than others. In each episode of "Celebrity Memoir Book Club," they discuss each book from cover to cover, noting the especially meaningful moments and the listicles that leave something to be desired. 


You can tune in for a new episode every Tuesday, but keep in mind that Claire and Ashley don't shy away from doling out criticism. As one Apple reviewer notes, "They have all the correct opinions on celebrity memoirs."

Harsh Reality: The Story of Miriam Rivera

The 2004 reality show "There's Something About Miriam" argued it was revolutionizing trans representation on screen, but did producers do more harm than good? Six men traveled to Ibiza to compete for the affections of one woman, "Bachelorette"-style, per Apple Podcasts. They were immediately attracted to Miriam's warmth and unmatched glamour. However, the show advertised a "catch." In this case, it was that Miriam is trans. 


The show and its after-effects are the topic of the podcast "Harsh Reality: The Story of Miriam Rivera." Actress Trace Lysette hosts a deep-dive into Rivera's story, exploring the consequences of the 2004 show and the advances we've made (and haven't made) since its disastrous finale.

Where Should We Begin?

Have you ever wondered what couples argue about in private? In "Where Should We Begin?," esteemed Belgian psychotherapist and relationship specialist Esther Perel sits down with couples for one-time counseling sessions. Though names and identifying details are changed, stories remain the same, per Esther Perel. From a marriage that started as an affair to a couple exploring an open relationship, Esther leads spouses through a series of childhood reflections and conflict resolution exercises. Not only will Esther's guidance help you process your own relationships, it also may serve to distract from the monotony of laundry. After all, who wouldn't want to spend an afternoon as a fly on the wall? 


Fans of Esther Perel can also tune in to her sister podcast, "How's Work?" It's an exploration of our professional relationships rather than our personal ones.

The Left Right Game

Award-winning actress Tessa Thompson, along with a team of other talented voice actors, stars in this limited audio series (via QCode). Nominated for best fiction podcast in 2021, "The Left Right Game" follows journalist Alice Sharman as she investigates a seemingly simple game that appears on a paranormal message board. The rules? As the series trailer explains, "Get in your car, and take a drive. Take a left, then, the next possible road on the right, then the next possible left. Repeat process ad-infinitum." The result makes for an eerie, continuously-riveting story. In other words, it's a perfect mystery to uncover as you fold the laundry.