Getting lost in a design program and a good lineup of podcasts are my peanut butter and jelly of an awesome, productive work day. I listen to a lot of podcasts and almost always start my day with a basic news recap from Morning Edition on NPR. But after that, I like to click into my “fun” podcasts – podcasts that are either thought-provoking, inspiring, or that make me laugh. Of everything I listen to, these are my top five favorite podcasts as of late:
This is one of my longest-running favorites. If you listen to podcasts then this has probably crossed your radar in the past, or if you’ve taken a business class in the last ten years then you’ve probably heard of it’s namesake, Freakonomics (the book). They take a broad look at economics and dissect human nature, attempting to understand and explain our decisions. Their most recent episode about sugar was a good one.
As someone who listens to podcasts while simultaneously focusing on my work, I love the way this podcast translates highly scientific findings into chewable thoughts. This really breaks down to being an exciting podcast about science at large since they research, interview, and translate topics from genetic manipulation to a runner’s ability to endure distance running.
This one is recorded in front of a live audience and is intended to feel more like a game show than traditional podcasts. If you’ve ever listened to Ask Me Another on NPR, the setup is a lot like that. Every episode is an onslaught of humor and bizarre facts – two of my favorite things! Side note: this is the same host as that of Freakonomics Radio, Stephen Dubner.
When I’m falling into a creative slump, I love listening to something that’s put on by other designers; if you work remotely or independently, it’s really helpful to hear from other creatives in your field. This podcast is a weekly conversation between a group of four well-known designers. This is a relatively new podcast (currently in it’s first season) but so far they’ve discussed topics from design pricing and working with clients, to avoiding burnout. I identified so well with this episode about isolation as a designer that they had me laughing out loud. If you’ve ever worked remotely or independently, you know what I mean.
Okay, so this one might not be too intriguing if you live outside the US or even somewhere with a vastly different climate from Iowa, but I have to include it in my top five since it’s spring and I have a serious soft spot for gardening. Growing up on a farm in an agriculture-based community perhaps explains some of my fascination with horticulture – after all, a good Sunday morning in my book is spent weeding, transplanting, cultivating, and generally just poking around in my garden (my garden being a sizable vegetable garden plus several flower beds, a butterfly garden, and a couple shade gardens. It’s an obsession and I’m always adding more). Hort Day is a one-hour conversation between various Iowa horticulture experts where they discuss everything from pollinator-friendly flower garden tips and how to restore native prairies, to vegetable garden and lawn care advice. This is a good one if you live in the upper midwest and appreciate a good-looking outdoor space.
So there you have it, my top five podcasts as of late. I listen to a lot more, some very abstract, and would love to do a follow-up post to include some of those in the future. But in the meantime, I’m always looking to discover new podcasts – tell me your favorites in the comments so I can check them out for myself!