After graduating from college, I floundered for a little while, trying to find the structure that my education had provided for me and the constant stimulation and the learning that I enjoyed as a student. Podcasts allow me to continue learning during my commute and stimulate my learning muscles. I use podcasts to stay up-to-date on the news, learn languages, and continue learning more about the things I’m interested in. These are a few of the podcasts I use to keep stimulating myself by learning something new.

The Science of Success

 I took a psychology course during my first semester of my senior year of college to explore my interest in the subject. As a senior, it was impossible for me to declare a second major or even a minor, since my university did not offer the option for a psychology minor. I am also someone who prefers logic to spontaneity. Moreover, I also need facts before I believe something.

This podcast satisfies all that by interviewing people with scientific and academic backgrounds to provide the facts behind how to do things like how to persuade people, adjusting your mindset, overcome anxiety and various other keys to success.

This allows me to learn more about the role that psychology plays in everyday life. For me, it is a welcome change from the world of self-help. One thing I appreciate about this particular podcast is that the host will always ask the guest about practical, actionable steps that listeners can take in order to begin

HBR IdeaCast

HBR (which stands for Harvard Business Review) IdeaCast is a podcast that gives leaders in business and management an avenue to discuss various relevant topics, such as how to control your emotions during a negotiation, the unique challenges faced by women in the workplace, and how to address them.

I downloaded this podcast as a way to learn more about how to survive in the workplace, but also as a means to learn more about different facets of the workplace. My favorite episodes thus far have discussed the concepts of resilience, women in the workplace, and the idea of starting and stopping projects or parts of your career with success.

Hearing interviews like this allows me to use time that I normally would waste listening to music to learn things that I can later utilize. Learning about how companies and seasoned professionals function and navigate the workplace allows me to develop and learn about new perspectives, which is refreshing to hear about during my commute to work.

Slate Presents Lexicon Valley

I have always had a strong interest in languages and linguistics. I actually downloaded this particular podcast because I thought that this podcast focused solely on languages. The podcast, hosted by a linguist, varies from week to week, asking questions such as whether or not languages simplify over time or discussing the language of female friendships.

Having studied communications during my undergraduate academic career, listening to podcasts like this that explore questions about languages and communication allow me to learn about things that I didn’t get the chance to during my academic career.

SoulFeed: Chats with Influential Leaders 

Every now and again, I find myself wishing for a break from the science-based content that I prefer, and this podcast provides that. This podcast is hosted by two life coaches who interview different people on a weekly basis. Topics covered on this podcast include effective communication tactics, how to cultivate an abundance mindset, and how to harness the power of your own intentions and thoughts.

One thing I love about podcasts is that you get introduced to interesting people that you otherwise perhaps would not have heard of, mixed in with people who you may be more familiar with. You then start to follow those new people because they produce content about or stand for something that you’re interested in.

I can’t tell you how many people those two life coaches have interviewed who have piqued my interest as a result of these interviews who I now follow on social media in some form. I was also thrilled to see that one of these two life coaches interviewed Tim Gunn for the podcast. Yes, I am a Project Runway fan, and I am not ashamed.

There are many different ways to learn something new and exposing yourself to new and different perspectives is one of them. I may not agree with everything that is discussed in each interview that these life coaches conduct, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t learn something from it.

TED Radio Hour/TED Talks Daily 

Who hasn’t seen a TED Talk at this point? Yeah, that’s what I thought. The podcast gives me a great opportunity to stay up-to-date on TED talks while giving myself the opportunity to catch up on other important things at the same time. All of these talks discuss different topics, which gives you the chance to be exposed to a variety of things.

If I’m honest, I prefer TED Radio Hour to TED Talks Daily, simply because TED Radio Hour tends to combine relevant TED talks with informative interviews with experts, whereas TED Talks Daily, while undeniably interesting, simply provides a TED Talk in podcast form. I don’t deny that there are days when I prefer to listen to a TED Talk rather than a longer episode of multiple snippets of relevant TED Talks, but overall I prefer TED Radio Hour as a whole.

Related: 5 TED Talks to Watch When You’re Ready to Change Your Life

The range of topics discussed in a TED Talk is one of the reasons I have remained subscribed to this podcast for an extended period of time. The variety of topics essentially guarantees that I will learn something new almost every time I listen to this podcast, which makes it a great learning tool, even after I have graduated from college.


While podcasts are certainly no substitute for classes, podcasts make it easy to continue learning more about the things you are interested in even after you leave a classroom environment.