On the Go: 10 Podcasts that Will Change Your Life in a Single Commute.
On the train, in the car or working out (maybe you’re one of those unique people who prefers a soothing NPR personality during your hour on the elliptical) it’s important to keep your podcast queue full. Here are 10 episodes that are required listening.
The New York Public Library Podcast
Podcast #50 with Jay-Z on Hustling and Forgiveness.
A podcast series by the discerning New York Public Library features esteemed thinkers, writers (Joan Didion), filmmakers (Wes Anderson), musicians and visual artists. Its 50th recording features rap legend Jay-Z in conversation about his record label, his memoir Decoded, growing up in the Marcy Projects, hustling and a surprising lesson of forgiveness.
Episode 2: Case #2 Britney
On each podcast of Mystery Show, Starlee Kine (a former veteran of This American Life) attempts to solve a mystery that cannot be solved by a Google search. Fascinatingly, in episode 2, Kine tries to unravel how pop singer Britney Spears was randomly photographed carrying a little-known novel.
Episode 15: He’s Neutral
Before NPR’s hugely popular Serial, there was Criminal, a podcast about crime and people who’ve “done wrong, been wronged or caught somewhere in the middle.” In Episode 15, we meet Oakland resident Dan Stevenson. Sick of the crime in his neighborhood, he places a Buddhist shrine outside which brings worshippers and over time, lessens a neighborhood’s criminal wrongdoings. Namaste.
Episode 8: The Pie Formerly Known as Derby
The bi-weekly podcast, Gravy, looks at how Southern Food is changing with new and old culinary traditions, stereotypes, regions and dynamics. In episode 8, we learn about the Louisville, Kentucky staple Derby Pie, which quickly dives into the questions around who should own the name of a dish, heritage and the backstory of this nutty delicious, bourbon and chocolate-filled pie.
Podcast: The Secret History of Thoughts
Invisibilia (Latin for all the invisible things) co-hosts Alix Spiegel and LuLu Miller explore various invisible forces that shape human behavior including ideas, emotions, thoughts and assumptions. Sound heady? In the engaging Secret History of Thoughts, we meet a man trapped inside his head for 13 years and another drowning in violent thoughts.
Podcast: Debut episode
Based on the popular stage show, Mortified is a storytelling platform where everyday adults read from unedited versions of their candid teenage dairies, early love letters and expressions through art and poetry. Why not start with the debut tribute episode that delivers a teenager’s valentine from February of 1994? It’ll make you feel better about your awkward teenage moments.
This American Life
Episode: Harper High School Part One
Picking a single episode of This American Life is tough, but we’re going with their snapshot of life at Chicago’s Harper High School where 29 current or recently graduated students were shot. It’s intense, informative and truly moving radio.
Podcast: 60 Words
Since 2009, Radiolab’s hour-lounge episodes look at music, live events and other podcasts that “shake up your universe.” The Peabody Award winning “60 Words,” in collaboration with BuzzFeed looks at the days after September 11, 2001 and how one sentence (phrased by a White House lawyer) set the legal marker on the
“war on terror.”
Podcast: Interview with Bill Gates.
Yes, Microsoft’s co-founder Bill Gates (along with Chris Hardwick) talk about the billionaire’s commitment to charity through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and what we need to do to eradicate poverty and polio in developing nations. It’s like a TED talk in your headphones.
Podcast: Economics of Sleep
This weekly podcast from journalist Stephen Dubner and economist Steven Levitt, authors of the wildly popular book Freakonomics, looks at the hidden side of everything from online dating to if more expensive wine tastes better to the science of sleep. In fact, they explore whether a lack of shut-eye can explain how people might become sicker than others. Perhaps after this, you won’t forget to catch your z’s!