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 order…
5 NPR Podcasts for Inquiring Minds
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 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?