Podcast Guide Part 2: Recommendations
Note: This post was updated on October 14, 2017 to add new podcasts I liked and de-emphasize older ones.
There’s a good chance that you’re overwhelmed with the choice of the 250,000 podcasts that exist on the Interwebs. To give you a little kickstart and help you out, I thought I would share the podcasts that I’m currently subscribed to and/or listened to in the past. These are very roughly in order of preference, with my favorite listed first:
- The Fizzle Show: A show for independent lifestyle entrepreneurs. The funny thing, however, is that I’m not one and I don’t necessarily intend to be one. To me, this show is more about a group of people that live their lives on their own terms, refuse to settle with average and unfulfilling lives, and show that business can and should be exclusively about helping the human being instead of exploiting the consumer. Now, they prove that no matter how weird or unsexy it may be, it is possible to make a living doing something you care about. Plus, Chase Reeves is amazing.
- Freakonomics: A podcast about that's more about human nature than economics. It’s nice for getting a balanced and original view of societal trends in a very conversational and human style. Some of their most interesting episodes include wondering how much a President actually matters, how tipping at restaurants is one of the most nonsensical practices in business (one of my favorites), and a very insightful interview with Daily Show host Trevor Noah.
- What She Wants: Didn’t expect to see this one, did you? This is an extremely entertaining, conversational podcast that also provides a nice insight into the, well, different lifestyle of Los Angeles (where they live and record from). It’s filled with not just dating and relationship advice, but also general advice about how to be a better listener, develop your conversational skills, and just be a better person in general.
- Cause Talk Radio: I wrote about this podcast before already, so I won't expand on it too much here. CTR is a great podcast if you're interested in great philanthropic work being done by companies to make a positive impact on the world. Even if you're not an expert in nonprofit work, it's still a nice way of knowing that there are still good things happening in the world, despite all the insanity you see in the news every day.
- This Week In Tech: You don't have to be a hardcore tech junkie to listen to Uncle Leo and Friends. This is a weekly, two-hour long podcast that does a deep dive on the week's most important tech news with a panel of tech experts. The thing that I, as an economist, like so much about this podcast is that the panel often discusses the wider industry and macroeconomic implications of important developments in technology (e.g. artificial intelligence). Besides, Uncle Leo is simply the best.
- Tell Me Something I Don’t Know: Produced by Steven Dubner from Freakonomics, this is a great podcast to learn all kinds of funny trivia. It’s a gameshow where contestants tell the jury and audience something weird/fun that they don’t know in a certain category. Did you know, for example, that men and women’s gymnastics were actually two different sports? Or that there are certain marine animals that are technically immortal?
- BBC Radio 5-Live World Football Phone-In: The best podcast for football enthusiasts and, at the same time, the best podcast for people that don’t care about football at all. It has everything: hilarious pop culture anecdotes, entertaining banter, expert insights into how countries’ sociocultural and socioeconomic environment influenced the evolution of the beautiful game, and funny Nigerian/Scottish accents. If anything, just spend a few episodes listening to and learning from Tim Vickery, who is perhaps one of the most eloquent speakers I’ve ever heard.
- The Art of Charm: Alright, I'll break my rule a bit; this is simply the best podcast out there on the Internet, hands-down. In-depth interviews with high-performing people from a huge range of backgrounds. These include discussions about Narconomics, mental health, the art of manliness, the crucial flaws in the way our brains work, how to improve your confidence, and much more. The quality of the interviews is outstanding so I suggest going through the archives to listen to some of the (over 700!) older episodes.
- Mentally Ch(ill): Hosted by Kristen Carney and, before she tragically passed away, Stevie Ryan, this podcast is a brilliant no-filter look into the real day-to-day struggles of people suffering with depression. It's as entertaining as it is humbling because if you don't suffer from depression, it's a smashing dose of reality to wake you up to the very real struggles of everyday people. As the ladies stress early on, however, they are not doctors so they do not make medical recommendations.
These are ones that I used to listen to and still find quite decent but gradually listened to less or stopped listening to altogether due to time constraints.
- The Hilarious World of Depression: A fascinating series of interviews with comedians that have, or still are, battling with depression. They talk about how it happened, when they noticed the first signs of it in their lives, and what they did to battle it. As the name suggests, it’s actually a very light-hearted take on the very serious issue of depression.
- Quit!: A show about “kicking your corporate stooge job to the curb and starting something new.” Dan Benjamin, one of my favorite “Internet persons”, is refreshingly honest and his rants about today’s career trends, habits at the workplace, and passion in your job/life are both funny and on-point.
- StartUp Podcast: Produced by Gimlet Media, this podcast explores what it’s really like to start a business instead of solely talking about the deceptively romantic view of entrepreneurship. The strength of this podcast is how the hosts carry a recorder basically everywhere they go so that the listener hears very unfiltered and uncensored stuff. Season 4 is especially interesting.
Once again, this is just meant to ease the process of getting started because I often find that people are paralyzed with choice when starting out with something that has so many options. I recommend going through some of the older episodes of these podcasts to find some real standout episodes. If you’ve already found something that you like, then by all means stick to it! Better yet, feel free to share any podcasts you listen to in the comments section.
See you, Space Cowboy.