There’s a strong chance that you have a few minutes each day for a podcast, even though it might not be convenient for most people to add a few college classes or survey courses to their hectic schedules. Listening to podcasts is a fun, engaging, and educational way to kill time. Here are some enormously clever listening options for those intrigued, as a group of online users proposed.
1- Lexicon Valley
Each edition of this program, hosted by linguist John McWhorter, delves into a grammatical or etymological subject and uncovers some interesting anecdotes. The origins of the term “Baby Mama” and whether languages become simpler with time have been the topics of recent episodes.
2- Freakonomics Radio
Looking to understand economics? This podcast is hosted by Stephen J. Dubner, a journalist and co-author of the wildly popular Freakonomics books. The program not only addresses significant issues while keeping things light-hearted but also presents them in unexpectedly perceptive ways.
Neil deGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist, explores unusual topics like the physics of basketball or the science underlying Game of Thrones while explaining the complexity of space and science topics like climate change and solar eclipses in this program. Even though Tyson has a good sense of humor, his celebrity and comic cohosts combine to make this a genuinely entertaining listen.
For years, this podcast has been a must-listen for people interested in scientific and philosophical issues, both for the themes it covers and how it does so. The show’s interviews and stories are combined with creative sound design and editing to create an engaging aural environment in which hosts Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich may explore the week’s subject.
5- All in The Mind
With host Claudia Hammond guiding listeners through unusual and interesting subjects, including sleep paralysis, the psychology of self-driving cars, and other peculiar regions of the human brain, this BBC Radio program explores the range and potential of the human mind, offering a far better understanding of the human thought process.
Produced by Dr. Sydnee McElroy and her husband Justin, it delves into strange medical history, examining all the bizarre and erroneous ways doctors have tried to help people in past eras—often doing the opposite.
7- Planet Money
This program, which debuted in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, addresses complex economic issues and explains them in terms that are understandable to the average person. It explores various topics, from the cost of higher education to a mysterious chicken tax in California and how they unexpectedly impact the more extensive world.
8- Hidden Brain
This episode investigates how we make choices and establish habits without always being aware of them. Shankar Vedantam, host and NPR social science correspondent, explores what motivates behavior, how it affects your life, and how you can improve it using the most recent psychology and sociology research.
This Washington Post play offers some entertaining and illuminating insights into the history of the executive branch at a time when presidential politics may be sad. The podcast examined each individual who held the nation’s highest office in the forty-four episodes that preceded Election Day 2016 with commentary from Pulitzer Prize–winning historians like David McCullough and journalists like Bob Woodward.
10- Sold a Story
Scientists have been aware of how children learn to read for decades, but many schools disregard the evidence. They invest in teacher preparation programs and materials built around a debunked theory. Emily Hanford looks into a publishing house, four authors, and a concept that has brought millions of dollars.
11- The Naked Scientists
The scientific panelists on this show talk about current science-related topics while taking questions from the live studio audience. These questions range from whether science can slow the aging process to how memory works. People who are often put off by such left-brained themes will find it to be an excellent option because of the colorful, participatory, and approachable tone.
12- Wind of Change
Wind of Change explores the history of the American government’s attempts to influence foreign culture, mainly through music, such as when President Eisenhower sent jazz musicians Dizzy Gillespie and Louis Armstrong to introduce American art to foreign audiences in the 1950s and early 1960s.
13- The Line
Eddie Gallagher and the war crime prosecution are discussed in the program. The podcast primarily consists of interviews with trial participants. Still, there are also significant portions that are structured as courtroom dramas.
14- 99% Invisible
The book 99% Invisible shines a light on the objects right in front of us and those we may pass every day—works of architecture or design that have an unnoticed impact on our lives. It throws a light on anything from baseball stadiums to stethoscopes to athletic bras, taking its name from Buckminster Fuller’s phrase, “99% of who you are is invisible and untouchable.”
Roman Mars is the host, and it’s impossible to watch each episode without leaving with a newfound understanding of the universe.
15- The Tim Ferriss Show
This show tries to deconstruct the most successful people in the world, different from the general norm of breaking down complex subjects. Through interviews with personalities like Richard Branson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tony Robbins, and many others, Tim Ferris gives valuable life hacks that challenge listeners’ preconceptions about the people they think they know while aiming to improve their lives.
Amaka Chukwuma is a freelance content writer with a BA in linguistics. As a result of her insatiable curiosity, she writes in various B2C and B2B niches. Her favorite subject matter, however, is in the financial, health, and technological niches. She has contributed to publications like Buttonwood Tree and FinanceBuzz in the past and currently writes for Wealth of Geeks.