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The Power of Podcasts: How To Make Yourself Smarter On The Way To Work

Maybe you start your commute to work by listening to that great radio host you love so much as you merge onto the highway. Maybe you put your headphones in and listen to your favourite songs while tuning out the whir of the subway. Or maybe, you rub your eyes at five minutes to nine, roll over, and flip up your laptop screen as a way of starting your day.

Well, I’m here to tell you that the way you start your morning can have a huge impact on how your day’s going to go – and if you wanna have a great one? You should listen to a podcast.

Podcasts first began making waves as early as 2005, once referred to as the audio version of blogging. While big businesses owned fancy studios and printing companies, podcasts were a great way for oral story-tellers, multimedia journalists and aspiring radio hosts to communicate with the public without spending a lot of money or censoring their material. Although podcasts were originally not the most profitable form of media, they’ve since been deemed ‘the future of storytelling’ by Forbes – not only racking up millions of dollars worth of investments in content creation and talent but an average of 57 million American listeners per year and climbing.

Sure, this all sounds great, but why would you actually want to download a podcast and listen to someone else talk? Because podcasts surprisingly aren’t just mindless chatter, but rather a fun way to absorb knowledge during the lulls in your day-to-day life. Sadly, many college and university grads are all too happy to get their degrees and leave learning behind when in fact, you should never stop learning – especially if you want to excel in your career. Podcasts allow you access to the minds of people in your field, journalists, reporters, professional athletes, entrepreneurs, celebrities – the list is practically endless. There are dozens of opportunities to get better informed about what you’re passionate about whenever you can fit it into your routine.

When it comes to actually picking your first podcast, I’d focus on what you’re interested in; whether it be as broad as politics or specific as Diaries of a German DJ (trust me, it’s probably out there). Once you’ve decided what you want to listen to, you can search for it on iTunes or try your luck on a streaming site like Stitcher. If you like what you hear, subscribe to the podcast to make sure you get updates whenever a new episode is released. Here are a couple of crowd pleasers that everyone can (and should) be listening to:

If you want to be informed:
Reveal is an amazing podcast that features some of the most talented journalists in media to date. They’ve been digging up dirt for over 96-episodes on all the trending topics you’ve seen on Twitter.

99% Invisible covers absolutely everything in life – especially the things we rarely think about. This podcast details how things are made, the history behind them and how they affect our planet. As one of the most popular podcasts on iTunes, it manages to keep its charm while still being educational.

Planet Money is also great if you ever need to talk to anyone about the economy. It somehow makes talking finance not only feasible, but fascinating.

If you want to be entertained:
WTF with Marc Maron is guaranteed to get you laughing as it tackles life’s WTF moments with comedians and celebrities like Louis C.K. and Barack Obama.

The New Yorker: Fiction simply tells some of their best stories live on air, to bring another dimension to their already incredible stories.

Homecoming is a really cool old school 12-episode psychological thriller starring Catherine Keener, Oscar Isaac, and David Schwimmer for a quick but stimulating series.

If you want to be inspired:
Optimal Living Daily delivers the latest and greatest content on personal development, minimalism, productivity, and more – it’s basically a yoga class for your ears.

Millennial chronicles the growing pains of a college grad that anyone who finished school in the last 40 years can empathize with. It’s 100% relatable and 200% comforting for when you’re feeling overwhelmed in adult life.

Always had a creative passion that you were too scared to pursue? Try listening to Don’t Keep Your Day Job to the learn the tools you need to turn your side hustle into a full-blown career.

Don’t take my word for it! Go find your own podcast bliss. Tune in, learn, and tune the world out – one podcast at a time.

Paige McPhee