Eager to engage in lifelong learning, but unsure of where to start? Look no further than podcasts! These digital audio files have exploded in popularity in recent years, harnessing the power of education, entertainment, and storytelling all in one place.
The best part: podcasts are absolutely free! And because podcasts are in an audio format, you don’t have to put your day on hold to glean their educational benefits. Going out to walk the dog? Driving to work? Cleaning the house? Running on the treadmill? These are all perfect opportunities to throw on a podcast and learn something new and exciting. Expand your mind as you accomplish chores. What could be better?
Unfortunately, those age 55+ are not taking advantage of this endless educational resource. While one in four Americans ages 12-54 has listened to a podcast in the past month, only 11% of those 55+ have reaped those rewards. To reverse this trend, we’ve compiled a list of the very best podcasts out today just for you:
- TED Radio Hour– A journey through the fascinating ideas and endeavors presented at TED Talks around the world. Episodes delve into themes such as the source of happiness, the root of fear, originality, astonishing inventions and medical breakthroughs.
- This American Life– Journalism at its best. In entertaining, humorous, and sometimes shocking fashion, specific themes or stories are investigated in amazing depth.
- Revisionist History– Starring Malcolm Gladwell, author of Blink, Outliers, and The Tipping Point, stories from the past are reexamined and retold, giving a second chance to people or events that have long been misunderstood.
- Stuff You Should Know– It’s as simple as it sounds. The ultimate source for learning about landfills, mosquitos, genes and the Galapagos.
- Radiolab– A show spurned by curiosity. Where sound illuminates ideas, and the boundaries blur between science, philosophy, and human experience.
- The Tim Ferris Show– Author of bestseller The Four Hour Workweek, Tim uses his background as a human guinea pig to glean the habits, tricks, and tactics of today’s most impressive and inspiring people.
- Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History– The ultimate source for profound historical journalism. In the unique fashion only Dan Carlin can employ, he investigates the happenings of our past, diving deep into events and figures that you thought you already knew.
- Fresh Air– One of public radio’s most popular programs, featuring one-on-one intimate conversations with today’s biggest luminaries.
- Invisibilia– Interweaving narrative storytelling with scientific research, Invisibilia delves into the invisible forces that control human behavior – ideas, beliefs, assumptions and emotions.
- Freakonomics Radio– Spawning from their books Freakonomics, Superfreakonomics, and Think Like a Freak, the authors continue their tradition of urging us to think more creatively, rationally, and productively.
Personally, I discovered my favorite podcasts (TED, The Tim Ferriss Show) after friends and family suggested them. Ask around at dinners, family gatherings, the doctor’s office, or on the subway. You never know how you’ll stumble across that perfect podcast, but you’ll be eternally grateful you did.
Share some of your favorites below! What series do you like best? Spread the word about episodes that impacted you the most, and check below to find new recommendations!