Podcasts Bring Entertainment To Your Ears On a Wide Range of Topics

Helen Sanders, Contributing Reporter

 

Podcasts are an excellent media format. Perfect for both active listening and background noise while you and study, covering all sorts of different topics, and do not require you to stare at a screen to consume them. There are thousands of podcasts available for listening, it may sometimes seem overwhelming. It can be difficult to find a place to start, so here are four podcasts that may give you more insight on what they are all about.

This American Life

This American Life is a wonderful podcast if you like both active listening or simple background noise while you’re doing your homework. Each episode is about an interesting and compelling situation that has happened in real life, that ties back to a larger social issue that we face. You will always finish an episode of This American Life having learned something that you may not have known before. Covid 19, systemic racism, police, the American school system, Climate Change, any issue that we as a modern day society face, This American Life covers in an educated, engaging, and novel way. It can be both grim and witty, uplifting and upsetting. A wonderful podcast all around, and well worth your time.

Hidden Brain

Host and journalist Shankar Vedantam, a former member of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University, has important discussions about the human mind and how it functions with psychologists, neuroscientists, and other experts in the social science field. Topics range from the

 physical effects of long term stress all the way to twins and the issue of nurture vs. nature. The Hidden Brain is perfect to listen to while you study or while on a long drive, it’s both entertaining and educational. You’ll learn more about yourself and the science of how your brain works. For students

taking AP psych, intro to psych, or sociology, this podcast includes many topics that are discussed in those classes. It’s perfect for listening to while you study for the AP psych exam. Psychological research backed up by science, for both long time lovers of the social sciences and for people who want to learn more about what makes us the way we are.

You can listen to Hidden Brain every Saturday at 3:00 p.m on NPR, NPR’s website, Spotify, or on Apple Podcasts. 

Distractible

Produced by Wood Elf, Distractible is perfect for anyone who needs to laugh and temporarily forget about the more depressing aspects of what is going on in the world right now. The painfully relatable hosts, Bob, Mark, and Wade cover a wide range of topics, from camping mishaps, tales from college and childhood, to bad financial decisions, odd family traditions, and bodily injuries. Distractible was an instant hit, hitting No.1 on Apple Podcasts and shooting up to the #1 spot on Spotify’s podcast rankings, mere days after its release, topping The Joe Rogan Experience on Spotify for several days that stretched into weeks. If you’re looking for a place to start, I cannot recommend the episode “Bob’s Fridge” enough. It starts with an old fridge needing to be replaced and ends with a flooded backyard. The episode will have you cringing from second hand embarrassment and doubling over in laughter. This podcast serves as a reminder that we all make bad decisions, and sometimes, those bad decisions make for great stories. Distractible feels casual and relaxed, like you really are just listening to a conversation between three long time friends. Wildly hilarious, charming, immersive, witty, Distractible deserves all the attention it gets. 

Fear and Malding

Popular Twitch streamer, Democratic Socialist, and alumni of The Young Turks, Hasan Piker talks about politics, pop culture, and the happenings of everyday life with his close friend and fellow Twitch streamer, Will Neff. Fear and Malding offers a political perspective that is as chaotic and depressingly funny as politics often are. I personally disagree with some of Piker’s beliefs and I am further to the left than both hosts Hasan Piker and Will Neff combined, but I still thoroughly enjoy listening to Fear And Malding, and listen to every new episode religiously. This podcast provides an outlet for those who are tired of how dread-inducing mainstream media can often be, Fear and Malding allows you to laugh at the grim situations that often dominate our modern political stage.