Podcasts That Will Make You Smarter On The Go


Everywhere I go, I’m always listening to music. When I wake up, when I get ready for bed, when I’m walking to class, when I’m riding the bus…you get the picture. And I know that a lot of millennials are doing the same thing. When I peel my eyes away from my own cellphone, I see that nearly every other pedestrian or person at the gym on my college campus has headphones on. Whether they’re nodding along to Kanye’s latest release on Tidal or listening to their own personal mixtape, it seems everyone is immersed in music all day long.

I have no problem with this. I’ve had cranky professors and even my own family members complain that we are missing the world around us by being constantly plugged in, but I disagree. I prefer to think of it as a soundtrack in a movie. It doesn’t distract, it enhances. Yet I have also realized that I listen to music for about three hours every day, and that time could be spent doing something other than chanting the lyrics to “Birthday Cake” by Rihanna over and over. I could be doing something to make myself smarter.

This week, I decided to switch up my listening routine by adding some interesting podcasts. I listened to the latest posts from about 30 series on the Apple podcast app and chose 5 that I thought would help me feel smarter, more interesting, and more informed throughout the week. Then, I created a new rule for myself: Everyday, before listening to any music, I will listen to (and finish) the latest episode from one of my five podcasts. That way, I will still have my jam session time, but also devote approximately 15-60 minutes of listening to something intellectually enriching.

Here’s my 5 favorites:

Psychobabble with Tyler Oakley

This is essentially a bunch of fun nonsense from a really upbeat Youtube personality. However, it’s a great way to stay up to date on pop culture and get some fun facts or trivia you can pull out at a party. Do you know why we celebrate Valentine ’s Day? Just ask Tyler Oakley.

The School of Greatness with Lewis Howes

Lewis Howes is a Lifestyle coach, so obviously he’s perfect to listen to if you want to get smarter and/or improve your life. He has interviews with people who are killing it in every way so that you can get tips from the greats.

The New Yorker: Politics and More

This doesn’t just catch you up on the news, but also brings up great questions about what’s going on in the political sphere. It provokes thought rather than just giving you info to regurgitate. Most importantly, it leaves no politician unscathed. They really put a magnifying glass on everyone.

Another Round with Heben Nigatu and Tracy Clayton

A great Podcast from two fantastic women of color. These women talk about pop culture as well as the big issues of today – like race, gender, and class. This is a great podcast to listen to so you can learn about the minority perspective from some super easy-going personalities. As a woman of color myself, I like to listen to these podcasts just to say “yaaas” and agree.

How To Do Everything

This podcast teaches you interesting things about biology, psychology, sociology and much more in order to make you a better person. Learn how to use science to make yourself more professional, take better pictures of your pet for Instagram, and not get lost on a hike.

Of course all of these blogs are my personal preferences, so some of them may or may not be your style. And that’s okay! But if these don’t tickle your fancy, a great place to start your search for some enriching podcasts would be the top charts section on the Apple podcast app or this great list from Buzzfeed.

Happy listening!




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