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Podcasts to Make You Smarter

podcasts

While podcasts have been around for over two decades, these audio-only series have exploded in popularity over the last few years. There is a podcast for everything under the sun, from true crime to religion to finance to video games—and many podcasts cross genres seamlessly. Free podcasts are a great way to learn, whether it’s deep-diving into a favorite hobby or tackling a totally new concept. Keep reading for some top-notch podcasts that can challenge your brain and teach you something new!

Finance Podcasts

  • Stacking Benjamins: Hosted by Joe Saul-Sehy, a former financial advisor, this award-winning podcast covers both the basics of personal finance and delves into the nitty-gritty. Stacking Benjamins wants listeners to have fun while getting sound advice about their money and investments.
  • Planet Money: This free podcast was launched ten years ago by NPR and has garnered a Peabody Award and an Edward R. Murrow Award for its investigation into the recent Wells Fargo whistle-blower case. Planet Money aims to explain the state of the ever-shifting economy to their audience and put current economic events in historical and social context.

History Podcasts

The Mission, an offshoot of Medium that bills itself as the “#1 source for accelerated learning,” compiled a list of the 25 best history podcasts available. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Revisionist History: Malcolm Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point and Blink, hosts this show that takes a second look at historical events, figures, and ideas. Episode 2, called “Saigon, 1965,” delves into a top-secret research project conducted by the Pentagon to Vietnamese morale.
  • Our Fake History: If you love myths and legends, this is the history podcast for you. Our Fake History looks at historical “facts” that are not based in truth and the history that can be hidden in legends. Season One covers ninjas, Shakespeare, Nero and his fiddle, and the real Braveheart, amongst other topics.
  • Witness: Created by the BBC, this podcast discusses history with the people who lived through each event. For a first-hand perspective on historical events, Witness is the way to go.

Free Science Podcasts

  • 60-Second Science: This podcast comes from Scientific American and is a perfect series if you’re looking to get through a range of topics quickly. Each weekly episode is only about three minutes long and touches upon new and exciting scientific topics. Biology, technology, and sociology are all covered in this mini-podcast.
  • Stuff You Should Know: The SYSK podcasts are amongst the most popular shows across all genres. The HowStuffWorks team doesn’t just tackle science, but their science podcasts are extremely informative and easy to absorb. Check out a recent episode on Chaos Theory.
  • Radiolab: Billing itself as “a show about curiosity,” Radiolab examines science, philosophy, and the human intersection of it all. Radiolab is an actual radio show but is also available in podcast form, and it has a unique audio production—music and sounds are an essential part of each Radiolab This podcast has received much praise for presenting clear and accessible information to all audiences.

By: Elena McPhillips

Sources: Medium, Business Insider, Geek Wrapped

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