12 Podcasts Designed to Help You Relax, If It's The Last Thing You Do

 Listen up, pass out, wake up with headphones in your ears.

Listen up, pass out, wake up with headphones in your ears.

These podcasts will put you to sleep, but in a good way.

Falling asleep can be a real struggle, but downloading the right podcast could be the ingredient you've been missing. Whether you’re dealing with a rough breakup, anxious before bed, or even insomnia, you should check out the following 12 podcasts.

They aren’t all geared specifically toward falling asleep, but they should definitely help you relax your body and turn off your brain—which is basically the same thing. 

Sleep With Me: A Sleep-Inducing Podcast


Sleep With Me has branded itself as a “Lulling, droning, boring bedtime story to distract your racing mind.” So basically, the podcast is meant to literally bore you to sleep.

Updated almost every day, even the most interesting of these hour-long episodes (like the one about Gaga and the Night Birds) is designed to quell stress and anxiety so listeners can just let go and get some rest. 

Sleep Whispers


Sleep Whispers is exactly what it sounds like: People whispering about stuff while listeners try to fall asleep. Created with noisy brains in mind, each episode of Sleep Whispers quietly details an educational topic, like the challenges faced by deep sea life or a brief history of the Klondike Gold Rush.

 The podcast’s set-up is meant to engage your brain and quiet it at the same time, which is great for anyone whose thoughts tend to spiral out of control at bedtime.

Daily Meditation Podcast


Hosted by Mary Meckley, the Daily Meditation Podcast might be especially helpful for anyone who deals with a lot of stress and anxiety. Each day, the podcast offers short, guided meditations with general themes, like self love or releasing negative thoughts.

And although the podcast isn’t geared specifically toward falling asleep, Meckley’s calm delivery is well-suited for bedtime.

Game Of Drones


Hosted by the same dude who narrates Sleep With Me, Game of Drones is literally just an hour and a half of the most boring Game of Thrones recap you’ve ever heard.

If you’re not a fan of the HBO series for which it's named, then Game of Drones might not be for you. Otherwise, this spoofy podcast is worth checking out the next time you need help turning your brain off before bed.

Deep Energy 2.0


Deep Energy 2.0: Music for Sleep, Meditation, Relaxation, Massage, and Yoga is the ideal night time podcast for anyone who can’t fall asleep to voices.

Each hour-long installment of the series includes ambient sounds meant to make listeners sleepy—but you could also use these mixes for bedtime yoga and meditation, if that’s your thing.

Great Detectives Of Old Time Radio


If you like vintage radio shows, Great Detectives of Old Time Radio might be for you. Host Adam Graham updates the podcast daily with fun detective tales (starring Sherlock Holmes, among others) that usually last about half an hour—giving you just enough time to eventually lose interest and drift off.

Welcome To Night Vale


Not only is Welcome To Night Vale hugely successful and delightfully creepy, host Cecil Baldwin might have the most soothing voice you’ve ever heard. Personally, Welcome to Night Vale is my go-to on nights when I’m feeling particularly out of sorts at bedtime.

It might not make a ton of sense, but this eerie podcast always calms my nerves when I need it to.

New Yorker Fiction


The New Yorker Fiction podcast isn’t strictly for sleeping, but it can definitely double as your personal bedtime story hour if you want it to.

The podcast features too many esteemed writers to mention here, but for starters, you might consider listening to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi reading Jamaica Kincaid’s Figures in the Distance.

Meditation Minis


If you’re looking for a non-dogmatic way to get into meditation before bed, Meditation Minis might be for you. Each week, host and hypnotherapist Chel Hamilton guides listeners through 10 minutes of relaxing meditations about work, health, and most importantly, sleep.

Meditation Minis also works to boost listeners' confidence and help them overcome negative thoughts, so the podcast is a particularly great choice for anyone struggling with mental health issues.

On Being


On Being features intelligent interviews with scientists, thinkers, authors, and other inspiring folks—making it an excellent bedtime choice if you’re looking for something a bit more educational.

Even better, host Krista Tippet has one heck of a soothing voice. At least, that’s what Molly Ringwald told Twitter a few years ago.

Classical Music Discoveries


The health benefits of listening to classical music are extensive, and its sleep-inducing qualities have proven particularly effective for people suffering from insomnia. So even if you wouldn’t necessarily queue up Debussy for you morning commute, you should definitely consider checking out Classical Music Discoveries before bed.

The podcast is literally just 30 to 90 minutes of classical music, and new episodes are released nearly every day.

Go forth, and cast that pod!

Words: Elizabeth Enochs