A Podcast A Day Keeps The Mental Stagnation At Bay

As a city dweller with a 30 minute commute in the morning I spend most of my journey like my fellow commuters with earbuds stuffed in. I’m not quite fully awake (or too exhausted on the way back) to give a book or magazine my full attention, and I can’t access my usual music streaming services within the subway system, so i’ll often listen to the same old music library over and over again. I have a pretty extensive selection but eventually even with one or 2 new albums added every month, it begins to stagnate.

However, lately I’ve taken to downloading a whole load of podcasts and listening to them during this otherwise unproductive gap in my day.

Podcasts are a fairly new concept to me but they’ve been around for a while and seem to be going through a resurgence of late.

I’ve been exclusively listening to the “Stuff You Should Know” channel podcasts for now. For those of you not familiar with this channel, its hosted by Chuck and Josh, two really awesome guys who seem to know just about everything.

Okay so they actually do a ton of research on each topic they cover but what really makes the show a joy to listen to is the rapport they have with one another and their ability to explain even the most complex subjects in an uncomplicated manner.

Episodes I’ve listened to so far cover everything from the history of coffee, to managing finances, to black holes. With 600+ episodes there’s pretty much a topic covering every area of interest. I’m pretty sure I’ll work my way through episodes on topics I hadn’t even considered could be interesting just because of how engaging the format is.

Keep in mind this is just one podcast channel. There are thousands out there covering an even broader range of topics and going in to depth on subject areas I didn’t even think it was possible to go in to depth with. Its astonishing and awesome at the same time and I’m really welcoming the educational experience.

In what would otherwise be dead-space in my work day I can learn something new. Some days what I learn might be extremely interesting, sometimes functional, and sometimes utterly useless, but always fun nonetheless. I’m enjoying the experience regardless of the content and I’d highly recommend starting out with the “Stuff You Should Know” podcast as it covers a pretty broad and highly engaging range of topics.

The best part about this is that most podcasts channels are usually free to listen to and can be downloaded from iTunes, or preferably using a dedicated app. I’ve found “Instacast” to be particularly easy to use and you have access to full libraries of podcasts that aren’t always available through iTunes.

Anyway, give it a go, enrich your mornings, evenings, or any time in between, and let me know if you come across any particularly engaging channels or episodes. I for one am utterly hooked!

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