Whether you commute by car, train or bus, there’s a good chance you do so while listening to something. Although music can certainly brighten a lengthy commute, a good podcast can really awaken your brain and ease the side effects of a stressful commute. That has nothing to do with subject matter, either: You might find yourself learning new things, brushing up on current affairs or simply listening to a quirky storyteller who jogs your creative juices.
Clearly, it’s a good idea to press play on a podcast – especially if you’re on your way to work, where you’re expected to be at your sharpest. Here are 17 podcasts that will improve your commute and possibly your performance, to boot.
Podcasts for Professional Growth
You might just find a career-related podcast will get you in the mood to improve your own.
Grammar Girl: There’s no such thing as too much grammar practice. Perhaps a tip on this quick podcast will help you compose a better email once you get to the office.
Accidental Creative: So many of us tend to discredit our own ideas, especially the ones that come and go on our severely delayed commutes. This podcast will inspire you to use your own brainpower to create business solutions.
Productivityist: There are very few people who can’t use tips to improve their productivity and time-management skills. If you’re one of those few people who have it down pat, you might want to start your own podcast to rival this one.
Planet Money: This podcast sheds light on the business world and the economy, but with a storytelling twist. In other words, you won’t be falling asleep on your commute as you learn.
This Is Your Life: Need a bit of help in the leadership department? This podcast breeds strong leaders and helps inspire listeners to chase their passions, find their focus and lead with serious influence.
Podcasts for Personal Growth
Another great way to spend your commute: Working to make yourself better, healthier and more mindful.
Meditate This: Here’s a good question: What is the meaning of life? The hosts of this show take their best shot at answering and discuss everything that might lead them to a conclusion: art, philosophy, science, mindfulness, music …
You Look Nice Today: The staff of You Look Nice Today say their podcast is an “audio-based journal of emotional hygiene.” Under that umbrella, they’re able to touch on topics like the pain of attending a long dinner party. Who doesn’t need a little bit of help in that department?
The School of Greatness: This one’s a bit less straightforward with its personal-growth tips. Instead, it provides you with stories of other successful people – athletes, businesspeople, celebrities, etc. – and helps you realize what qualities make them who they are. You can then apply those traits to your own life.
Podcasts for Current Affairs
You might appreciate the opportunity to catch up on your knowledge of current events, and these podcasts can help.
BBC Global News: The BBC churns out two 30-minute “Global News” programs each day so they can keep listeners up-to-the-minute on the world’s biggest stories. It’s a great way to start and end your day on an informed note.
60 Minutes: Every TV-watching American is familiar with “60 Minutes,” and this podcast replays the episodes you see on TV. You get a little bit of everything on this award-winning news program – news, features and interviews, In other words, you won’t get bored.
Pop Culture Happy Hour: Hey, pop culture counts as news, especially if it comes from an NPR podcast. This one covers everything from movies to TV to books to comics.
Podcasts for Fun
Finally, why not have a little fun with your podcast choice? There are so many to choose from, but here are our favorites.
Stuff You Should Know: This podcast delves deep into a single topic each episode and explains, well, stuff you should know. The hosts have covered topics including how Bitcoin works and why we shiver when we have to go to the bathroom. Clearly, the spectrum of Stuff You Should Know is pretty vast.
How Did This Get Made?: A trio of comedians takes listener suggestions as to the worst movies ever made. Then, they watch them and review them with their equally-as-funny friends. Ha!
Ask Me Another: There’s nothing like an early-morning quiz to really wake you up in the morning. Don’t worry – this one won’t be as painful as the ones you had in high school. Instead, they incorporate puzzles, pop culture and trivia as presented to a live audience.
The Book Review: Perhaps you’re behind the wheel and can’t spend your drive reading. This podcast will tide you over as authors and critics review the latest releases and share what they’re reading at the moment.
WTF With Marc Maron: A stand-up comedian conducting interviews is always fun, and Marc Maron does it with just the right amount of cynicism.
The Splendid Table: Finally, a food-based podcast might seem a bit weird, but we promise you’ll find it inspiring – at least, as far as tonight’s dinner goes. The show shares cooking tips and recipes, as well as advances in the food world.
So, what are you waiting for? Log onto your smartphone and download a few podcasts that catch your interest. Then, put your headphones in and immerse yourself in a narrative, self-help piece or news story that makes you that much sharper and ready for the day ahead.
What are your favorite podcasts? Share in the comments section below!