We aren’t knocking the occasional Netflix-binge. Hey, we all do it. Sometimes Sundays need to be dedicated to catching up on a million episodes of The Crown or Stranger Things (no judgement here). But, we recently discovered the world of podcasts. We’re hooked — and we want to let you in on the growing trend.
We aren’t the only ones. According to Edison Research, 67 million Americans are listening to podcasts monthly. That number is rising and for good reason. Listening to podcasts is an entertaining alternative to sitting in front of the TV.
Imagine getting that “To Do” list done while learning more about a topic that inspires you. You can follow a captivating storyline or learn something new while on a flight, during a run, doing laundry, cooking – you get it. With over 250,000 podcasts on iTunes, there’s truly something for everyone. We listened to several and picked the best of the best for you.
FOR THE WELLNESS-FOCUSED: The mindbodygreen Podcast
It probably isn’t a shocker that we love mindbodygreen’s podcast series, because it’s all about living a mindful and holistic life. In each episode, mindbodygreen Co-Founder Jason Wachob talks with leaders in the wellness space – from CEOs to famous authors to alternative medicine experts. Episodes are typically an hour long and explore all the elements of mind, body, and soul.
Where to start? Episode 32: GT Dave: The King of Kombucha. You’ll hear all about GT’s humble beginnings and his personal struggles – like how he bottled 100 bottles himself each morning when he started and how his mom was diagnosed with breast cancer and credits Kombucha for her recovery. He also discusses being authentic while balancing purpose and profit in business. This episode is from last year, but definitely worth a listen.
FOR THE DREAMER-DOER: The Tim Ferriss Show
Selected as “Best of” iTunes for three years running, The Tim Ferriss Show is a series of Tim’s long-form interviews with an eclectic group of high-performers in different areas like sports, business, and entertainment (think Whitney Cummings, Edward Norton, Maria Popova, to name a few). Tim talks to his guests about their routines, habits, and strategies for success. The tone is casual and friendly, and the feel is raw and honest. We’re not the only ones who like Tim Ferriss’ style – the podcast has been downloaded over one hundred million times.
Where to start? Episode 295: The 4-Hour Workweek Revisited. This episode isn’t in Tim’s typical interview format, but it’s a great “gateway” episode. Tim looks back at the first book he famously wrote: The 4-Hour Workweek. He talks about how his first attempt at the book actually failed (he threw away the first 5 chapters and was turned down by 27 publishers). He goes on to discuss updated advice and answer follow-up questions from readers on living more and working less (yes, please!). No need to have read the book for this episode to be relevant, though we’d recommend it, too.
FOR THE INTELLECTUALLY CURIOUS: TedTalk
You know that friend who is always dropping interesting, random knowledge at dinner parties? S/he is probably listening to TedTalks. It’s tough to find time to actually watch TEDx talks, so instead, you can listen to them with TED Radio Hour from NPR. There’s an expansive array of topics – some will motivate you, some will fascinate you, and some will make you say “oh that’s why” (one recent episode explores why we lie). If you’re into wellness like we are, check out TedTalksHealth. As you’d expect, this subset explores questions in health, but the episodes are typically in shorter clips.
Where to start? The Secret To Living Longer May Be Your Social Life. In this episode, Psychologist Susan Pinker explores why the island of Sardinia has more than 10x as many centenarians as North America. And it’s only 16 minutes.
FOR THE ENTREPRENEUR: StartUp by Gimlet Media
StartUp is an incredibly interesting documentary series about entrepreneurial life. This isn’t your typical “how I started my company” interview – it’s actually not an interview series at all, but an intimate look at the roll coaster ride that is entrepreneurship. Interestingly, StartUp launched as a narrative about the creation of its parent company, the podcast network Gimlet.
Where to start? Episode 1: How Not to Pitch a Billionaire (we recommend starting with the first season). Alex Blumberg, Gimlet’s creator, gives us a behind-the-scenes glimpse of his journey starting his company. The subsequent seasons cover other inventors, creators, and entrepreneurs with each season following their individual stories from beginning to end. Warning: you may end up binge-listening.
FOR THE HISTORY BUFF: The Dollop.
The word history isn’t usually associated with the word funny, but we’ll make an exception with The Dollop. In each episode, comedians Dave Anthony and Gareth Reynolds explore historical happenings from our past. Before you write it off as boring, we promise this won’t feel like a lame history class. Each week, Dave reads a story from American history to Gareth who is unaware of the topic ahead of time (think topics like the history of Opium to Uber’s tumultuous past). The subsequent conversation between the two is what makes the show. It’s the perfect mix of comedic relief, parody, and facts. Not only will you learn a thing or two, but you’ll likely laugh out loud.
Where to start? Episode 239: Enron or Episode 272: The Bath Riots. Or pick a topic you want to learn about.
There’s no need to breakup with Netflix (or Amazon Prime, if that’s your thing). But instead of hitting “Continue watching” when that pesky “Are you still watching?” message comes on the screen, download a few podcast episodes. You’ll thank us later when your “To Do” list is half as long.