I love podcasts.

They have slowly become my favorite mode of content consumption. Why? Primarily because on a regular day, most of my work (and now social interaction as well) is mediated by a screen. And podcasts place no further demand on my tired eyes! I can whip up a quick meal while getting my trivia fix for the day. 

But it’s not just that. They are both entertaining and educational as well. As I recently discovered the world of podcasts, I was amazed by the sheer diversity and quality of content. From news to comedy, recipes to biographies, the pods have it all!

So here is a somewhat eclectic and fun list of podcasts that I have enjoyed lately. Hope you enjoy these as well.

1. The Indian Startup Show

This is a weekly podcast hosted by British Indian entrepreneur Neil Patel featuring some of the coolest Indian start-up players. It is a great place to discover the start-up landscape in India and hear the stories of these straight from the innovators who are running the show. There is celebrity chef Pooja Dhingra who talks about her Mumbai bakery chain Le15 Patisserie, five high school girls from Noida, aka the Tech Witches, who have built an app to connect children from orphanages to senior citizens in nursing homes, and many more. 

You hear about their journey, risks, failures, and successes. If you are nurturing an entrepreneurial dream in your heart, tune in to this channel for both insight and inspiration.

My favorite episode: Chicken 2.0. In this episode, you will hear about the future of food from Dr Siddharth Manvati, co-founder of India’s first cell-based meat company Clear Meat.

2. Weird Work

When we think of a career, teachers, engineers, data scientists, and even astronauts come to mind. But on this podcast, I got to learn the stories of people who have taken the idea of unconventional careers to a whole different level. There is an international pizza consultant, professional wingman, professional cuddler, and even a professional mom!  Listen to this channel for some whacky career stories with host Sam Balter.

My favorite episode: I Am A Space Psychologist. This is the story of Iya Whiteley who wanted to become an astronaut but couldn’t because women in the former USSR weren’t allowed to become pilots. So, she started studying human behavior and high-stress decision-making that astronauts have to do. Voila, that became her job! Whiteley is a space psychologist and the Deputy Director at London’s Centre for Space Medicine, Mullard Space Science Laboratory, UCL.

3. Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls

When we think of fairy tales, the classic image of a princess and a knight and some magic springs to mind. But the stories we tell ourselves and the young people in our lives could be a lot more than that. What if you had champion women read you the extraordinary stories of other champion women? Anyone, at any age, could gain some inspiration from that!

So here is a fabulous podcast that retains the gripping narrative style of fairy tales as it delves into the stories of powerful women like Indian Olympics boxer Mary Kom read by actress Poorna Jagannathan, Kenyan environmental activist Wangari Maathai read by philanthropist Melinda Gates and many others. Epic right?

My favorite episode: Ruth Bader Ginsberg Read By Priscilla Chan. In this episode, pediatrician and philanthropist Priscilla Chan reads the life story of one of the greatest jurists in the history of America. 

4. Radiolab

Let me appeal to the nerd in you now! This is an award-winning podcast created by WNYC Studios that presents well-researched information and insights on varied topics such as the size of outer space, the validity of IQ tests, the moral puzzle of good samaritan laws, and herd immunity. 

My favorite episode: Smarty Plants. This episode touches upon the research into the concept of plant consciousness. Could plants learn? Could they have memory? Tune in to find out!

5. London Real

This podcast was created eight years ago by its namesake global media company London Real. Hosted by its founder and former derivatives trader from Wall Street Brian Rose, it brings you interviews with some brilliant minds from the world of wellness, sports, business, philosophy, and more. They include Colin O’Brady, who did a solo trek of Antarctica, and Ben Goertzel, CEO and founder of SingularityNET who speaks on artificial intelligence.

London Real’s episodes cover a rich variety of subjects from cryptocurrency to hacktivism. And they bring in experts ranging from autism educator Chris Kistan talking about learning challenges to American astrophysicist and planetary scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson who talked about the cosmos. This channel particularly prides itself on being a champion for free speech and therefore, you get to hear some truly candid insights from people.

My favorite episode: Steven Kotler: Find Your Flow State. This episode interviews the author of New York Times best-selling book The Rise Of Superman where Steven talks about peak performance, altered state of consciousness, and much more.  

Have fun listening to these channels and hope you stumble upon your own favorites in the process!

With podcasts being a crucial means of consuming information, you may want to check out our Listening Actively Course. Develop your listening skills by enrolling for our Online Courses.

Ragini Thakur is a Specialist with the Curriculum Team at Harappa Education. She is a postgraduate in International Relations from Jawaharlal Nehru University. She enjoys old Hindi songs, books meant for kids, and all things food.

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