‘Tis the season to fire up the mower, put on your headphones, and enjoy a podcast while cutting the grass. Thanks to podcasts, yard work is something to look forward to all week. How did we get anything done before Joe Rogan was in our ears?
In the twenty years since the concept of podcasting was born, 80 million Americans became weekly listeners, and we haven’t reached the peak yet. In just one year, from 2020 to 2021, listenership grew by double digits—17%, according to Edison Research.
As interest continues to skyrocket, so does available content. The barrier to entry is low for storytellers, and that’s a good thing. There aren’t enough hours in the day to listen to every great, compelling podcast—a good problem to have, but a problem nonetheless.
To help you find the best of the best, we sourced podcast recommendations from the Planswell team. Yes, we have a deep love for the shows with massive audiences like the aforementioned Joe Rogan; there’s a reason why his show is one of the world’s most popular podcasts. However, we’ve also stumbled upon some lesser-known gems such as Inappropriate Questions and Mindful Habits. Check out our favs below.
Show description: The economy explained. Imagine you could call up a friend and say, “Meet me at the bar and tell me what’s going on with the economy.” Now imagine that’s actually a fun evening.
“I listen to Planet Money and a bunch of different NPR podcasts on economics. Those are always nice, quick consumptions.” —Scott Wetton, Chief Operating Officer
Show description: It began when New York journalist and author Stephen J. Dubner went to Chicago to write about award-winning economist Steven D. Levitt for The New York Times Magazine. The article came out, and led to an unexpected partnership. Levitt and Dubner wrote Freakonomics, a book about cheating teachers, bizarre baby names, self-dealing realtors, and crack-selling mama’s boys. It took up long-term residency on the Times best-seller list, and went on to sell more than 5 million copies in 40 languages. Then they wrote SuperFreakonomics. It too became a worldwide best-seller. Together, the books have sold 7 million copies worldwide. In 2014, Levitt and Dubner published their third book, Think Like a Freak — a blueprint for an entirely new way to solve problems. Dubner and Levitt’s latest book, When to Rob a Bank, is a curated collection of blog posts from Freakonomics.com, which has been called “the most readable economics blog in the universe”.
“I absolutely love Freakonomics. Stephen Dubner is just brilliant. It sounds like it’s all about financial stuff, but it’s not.” —Andy Cosby, Sales Manager
Show description: The good news—and the bad news—about money.
“If you like money, I like listening to Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Radio Show. It gives you a good understanding of finance. —Nick Palumbo, Account Executive
Show description: Over the years, Ron Vereggen tested just about every combination of personal productivity and professional habits to discover the best way to overcome imposter syndrome. And the good news is that it’s possible when you combine the right strategy with the right tools and the right support. He embarked on a personal quest to implement 100+ mindful habits. These habits cover all seven areas of our lives, including mind, body, emotions, relationships, work, money and fun.
“Lately, I’ve been really enjoying Mindful Habits. Ron talks about habit-building and how it can help you and he throws in some neuro linguistic programming and stuff which is kind of cool.” —Craig Savolainen, Head of Engineering
Show description: The Huberman Lab Podcast discusses neuroscience: how our brain and its connections with the organs of our body controls our perceptions, our behaviors, and our health.
Dr. Andrew Huberman is a tenured Professor of Neurobiology and Ophthalmology at Stanford School of Medicine. His laboratory studies neural regeneration and neuroplasticity, and brain states such as stress, focus, fear, and optimal performance.
“I’m really into this podcast by this guy named Andrew Huberman. He’s a neurobiologist from Stanford. His podcast is almost an entire lecture breakdown on neurobiology and the latest science-backed tips to optimize everything. You get thinking about sleep, exercise, mentality, and focused concentration, and he breaks it down to be very foundational. It’s not like you need to be an Ivy league student to understand. He makes it very easy to understand and to apply to your everyday life.” —Jonathan Inada, Account Executive
Show description: Whether you’re giving a toast or presenting in a meeting, communication is critical to success in business and in life. Matt Abrahams, a lecturer of Strategic Communication at Stanford Graduate School of Business, sits down with experts in the field to discuss real-world challenges. How do I send my message clearly when put on the spot? How do I write emails to get my point across? How can I easily convey complex information? How do I manage my reputation? Think Fast, Talk Smart provides the tools, techniques, and best practices to help you communicate more effectively.
“On this show, they discuss real-world communication challenges and give you tools to communicate more effectively.” —Michael Aworoghene, Software Developer
Show description: Guy Raz dives into the stories behind some of the world’s best known companies. How I Built This weaves a narrative journey about innovators, entrepreneurs and idealists—and the movements they built.
“Lately, I’ve been digging How I Built This. You get to hear really, really interesting stories from creators, entrepreneurs, and artists. I recently listened to the one on Soul Cycle, and it’s just a really cool story.” —Daniel Schloss, Account Executive
Show description: Volcanoes. Trees. Drunk butterflies. Mars missions. Slug sex. Death. Beauty standards. Anxiety busters. Beer science. Bee drama. Take away a pocket full of science knowledge and charming, bizarre stories about what fuels these professional -ologists’ obsessions. Humorist and science correspondent Alie Ward asks smart people stupid questions and the answers might change your life.
“They interview different people who are specialists at different things in the world and they just talk about their experiences. It’s really interesting. It’s good. I want to know what people do but I don’t really actually want to know the very specific gnarly details, but this show is nicely packaged, like a summary, and that’s good for me.” —Clover Tang, Happiness Coordinator
Show description: A free podcast dedicated to sharing the ideas that shaped our world. Beginner-friendly if listened to in order. For anyone interested in an educational podcast about philosophy where you don’t need to be a graduate-level philosopher to understand it. In chronological order, the thinkers and ideas that forged the world we live in are broken down and explained.
“One of the best I’ve heard is this podcast I listen to called Philosophize by Stephen West. It’s about the Greek mythologies and all. Very enlightening.” —Michael Aworoghene, Software Developer
Show description: Each week, Dan Cummins takes fascinating listener-suggested topics and enthusiastically dives into time sucks about everything from Charles Manson to the Lizard Illuminati, absurdly and sarcastically sharing the best of what he uncovers with you. Time to get curious! Time for Timesuck.
“One of my favorite podcasts is by one of my favorite comedians, Dan Cummins. It’s called Time Suck. Sometimes he does history. He does a lot of serial killers, telling the entire story of Ted Bundy or Genghis Khan. I love stuff like that, so it’s a really fun podcast. —Danielle Johnson, Sales Manager
Show description: People are curious, and that’s great. But there are some questions you just shouldn’t ask—or at least not like that. Elena “#Millennial” Hudgins Lyle and Harvinder “Just a Dad” Wadhwa break these questions down with guests who get asked them.
“Inappropriate Questions is a really good podcast. It’s about questions minority groups generally get asked. I think it’s really important to be aware of these. Many times, people ask questions to groups without realizing how problematic they can be. I really recommend it and it’s really fun. It’s not at all preachy—it’s just really great conversations between people trying to tackle these problems.” —Nicolette Bertsch, Customer Service Representative
Show description: The world’s greatest, most thought-provoking, mentally stimulating podcast in the history of mankind… hosted by a bunch of idiots.
“He might be a controversial figure, but I like Logan Paul’s podcast with Paul Swift. He has a lot of great guests. And you know, he has a goal of being one of the greatest entertainers of all time and I support that. I think with that podcast and everything that he’s doing in the social media space, I think he’ll actually succeed in that goal.” —Anthony Gomez, Digital Ads Manager
Show description: The official podcast of comedian Joe Rogan.
“I like Joe Rogan. I don’t know if anyone’s listened to his shows, but they’re always like three hours long so it’s tough to go through all of them. He gets random people from every single background you can think of from archaeologists to celebrities and comedians. It gives you a good perspective on different things” —Nick Palumbo, Account Executive
Show description: The Anthropocene is the current geological age, in which human activity has profoundly shaped the planet and its biodiversity. On The Anthropocene Reviewed, #1 New York Times bestselling author John Green (The Fault in Our Stars, Turtles All the Way Down) reviews different facets of the human-centered planet on a five-star scale.
“I have to recommend The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green, where he reviews various things about our modern world on a five-point scale. A recent episode was about the penguins of Madagascar and the smallpox vaccine. I think the smallpox vaccine earned the rare, five-star rating.” —Shaun Esau, Software Developer
There you have it, folks. Happy listening from Planswell!