5 NPR Podcasts for Inquiring Minds

5 NPR Podcasts for Inquiring Minds

Every now and then, I listen to podcasts. Not regularly, because I’m a visual learner, and my mind often starts to drift when I’m listening to audio. But I do follow eight podcasts (nine, if you count the one my sister sends me every few months), five of which are by NPR.

I didn’t start listening to NPR until a few years ago. In the beginning, I merely followed them on Facebook and would read the articles (again, because I’m a visual learner and I love reading). I don’t recall how I got into their podcasts, but I ended up following these five because they had interesting content that I could listen to while running errands or doing chores. Sometimes, I would even find reading material from the podcasts. So in no particular orderโ€ฆ

5 NPR Podcasts for Inquiring Minds

Planet Money

Being a former budding economist, I enjoy learning about different industries and economic trends. Planet Money isn’t super technical, so anyone can understand it. A lot of the topics are obscure things we normally wouldn’t pay attention to, which is doubly fascinating for me, to discover new topics. This also helps my fantasies of being on Jeopardy! one day, the acquiring of seemingly useless tidbits. Recent topics include vodka, the Super Bowl, and phosphorus, none of which I would’ve sought out on my own.

TED Radio Hour

This is a new NPR podcast I started following. I love TEDTalks, but I don’t always have the time to “watch” the videos (I say “watch” cuz more often than not I have the video playing in the background while I do other things). So TED Radio Hour is a perfect solution. Recent topics: stigma, space, statistics (unintentional, but I do love a good alliteration).

Hidden Brain

Hidden Brain is about psychology, which is one of my favorite subjects. I love learning about what makes us do the things we do. Knowing ourselves better also helps us to connect to others better. It’s also very conversational; you don’t need a psychology degree to enjoy it. Recent topics: how language shapes perception, the #MeToo movement, how to improve marriage. I’m particularly looking forward to the episode on schadenfreude.


This is also in the realm of psychology, but it’s more focused on human behavior and the unconscious psychology behind it. It’s a smaller, more personal focus than Hidden Brain, making it more relevant to understanding yourself. Invisibilia a new podcast, so it doesn’t have as many episodes. Topics from last season include emotions, reality, and future selves.

How I Built This

Prior to starting business school, I wouldn’t have been too interested in How I Built This. Mainly because I never thought I had any entrepreneurial abilities. But we had to take an entrepreneurship class, and I’ve become very interested in the topic. This series is pretty awesome, because almost all of these companies people built, they were 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration. It goes to show that yes, the idea is important, but without all the hard work, the idea will not be realized. They interview a wide variety of founders, from the creators of Instagram to the CEO of Zappos to the founder of TRX.


Do you listen to any NPR podcasts? If so, which ones, and why? What other podcasts do you listen to/recommend?

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Comments (14)

  • curatedcassi 3 years ago โ€” Reply

    I listen to podcasts almost every day because I have a horrendous commute. For some reason, just listening to music in the car doesn’t hold my attention like a podcast. I love Invisibilia! Another podcast I really like (that’s not NPR) is the Moth. It’s a storytelling podcast that’s recorded from live performances around the country. Very interesting!

    Lily 3 years ago โ€” Reply

    I listen to music rather mindlessly; I can sing along to every song, but when I turn it off, I can’t remember any song beyond the one I just heard. I gotta check out the Moth, I love stories! Thanks for the recommendation ๐Ÿ™‚

  • dreambigtravelwide1 3 years ago โ€” Reply

    Great post! Iโ€™ll have to check some of these out. Not so much NPR, but if you want some good podcasts to listen to… Lewis Howes is super motivational I love listening to his podcasts!

    Lily 3 years ago โ€” Reply

    Cool, I’ll definitely check him out! I had to Google him cuz I hadn’t heard of him before, but it sounds exactly like something I’d love. Thank you for the recommendation!

    dreambigtravelwide1 3 years ago

    Let me know what you think!

    Lily 3 years ago โ€” Reply

    I haven’t checked out the longer podcasts yet, but I listened to a bunch of the 5-Minute Friday ones and they are so good! Thank you so much!

    dreambigtravelwide1 3 years ago

    Oh thatโ€™s awesome! So glad youโ€™re enjoying them! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Charity 3 years ago โ€” Reply

    I love podcasts, I listen to them everyday at my desk job! I haven’t listened to any of these – it’s hard for me to pull away from true crime podcasts – but I am going to put them on my list!

    Lily 3 years ago โ€” Reply

    I was introduced to podcasts through true crime podcasts! I listened to a bunch that was recommended to me by a few friends. But one scared the sh*t out of me and I’ve since moved to more uplifting podcasts hahaha

  • Kristyna 3 years ago โ€” Reply

    ooo… definitely love planet money and how I built this. I will have to check out Hidden brain. Wow in the world is another fun one. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • helpmamameditate 3 years ago โ€” Reply

    I love podcasts. How I Built This is one of my favorites. I also listen to a pop Cultute Happy Hour by NPR and Wait Wait Donโ€™t Tell me. I highly recommend Stuff You Should Know. That is my go to podcast. I love learning new things.

    Lily 3 years ago โ€” Reply

    Stuff You Should Know sounds like something I’d love! Thanks for the recommendation, I’m going to check it out ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Elainie 3 years ago โ€” Reply

    Great recommendations! I haven’t listened to any of these and always on the hunt for good podcasts to listen to when I’m power walking. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve been a listener to EOF and really interested in this Hidden Brain!! Recently more into this psychology stuff after reading Influence. Thanks for the recs!

    Lily 3 years ago โ€” Reply

    I’ve heard of EOF but haven’t looked at it yet, I’ll go check it out! Thank YOU for the rec as well ๐Ÿ™‚

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