Podcasts are fantastic brain food. When I first heard of them I was about as interested in them as I was AM Talk Radio (which is to say “not very.” The difference with today’s podcasts is that funny, smart, interesting people don’t need to be famous to be heard.
So the resulting streams of authentic ideas and interaction sometimes fall far outside of what we “normally” hear through more traditional outlets.
But my favorite thing about podcasts is that they allow you to listen to audio content whenever it suits you, wherever you are. I love listening to an episode on the commute to work, it’s like being able to have conversations with friends you’ve never met. Here are some great ones:
Jump directly to:
Liberated Body – The Liberated Body Podcast is for body nerds who just plain delight in learning about this thing we get to live in. In each episode host Brooke Thomas talks with thought leaders within the wide variety of somatic fields. Conversations revolve around why embodiment matters, and the emerging 21st century understanding of the body as a whole rather than a collection of parts (and what that even means). In other words, we talk to lots of really smart people about the universes within us.
SpartanUP! Podcast – Joe Desena, founder & CEO of Reebok Spartan Race travels the globe interviewing authors, academics, athletes, adventurers, CEOs and thought leaders. Not only does Joe interview epic people, he has brought together an amazing panel to break down and analyze every aspect of these interviews. We give you the ultimate blueprint and action steps to assimilating these powerful conversations into your own life.
Align Podcast – “We break down everything you need to know about functional movement, lifestyle and nutrition to achieve world class results with the guidance of world renowned experts. Learn actionable steps for optimal diet, strength, endurance, power, weight loss or gain, biohacking, mobility, flexibility, self-care and more!”
The Brain Science Podcast features the latest books about neuroscience as well as interviews with leading scientists from around the world. Host Dr. Ginger Campbell also does another podcast called Books and Ideas mentioned in the Humankind section below.
Found my Fitness -The link jumps right to the iTunes Store. Dr. Rhonda Patrick’s concept of fitness apparently doesn’t revolve around exercise, but she presents thought provoking conversations and research.
JUMP TO TOP
KatySays – Join movement geek Dani Hemmat and biomechanist Katy Bowman for discussions on body mechanics, movement nutrition, natural movement, and how movement can be the solution to modern ailments we all experience. Full podcast transcripts here
Yoga & Beyond – “Interviews with Yoga + Movement Professionals, bringing Movement Pioneers to everyBODY! I started this podcast to provide access to engaging interviews and discussions with thought-provoking, idea-shaping professionals and to stimulate our thinking about WHY and HOW we teach and practice. For me, the “beyond” part reflects the bigger picture of movement, anatomy, biomechanics and wellness. I interview authors, biomechanists, physical therapists, pilates teachers, rolfers, chiropractors, yoga teachers, anatomy teachers and more, all with the goal of sharing ideas about the body and how we move. I feel that there’s a lot of misinformation out there in the yoga world (and fitness world) and my goal is to cut through that and provide more science based info. More Science. Less Woo Woo!”
Move Smart Justin Goodhart from Wellrounded Athlete blog interviews thought-leaders on movement, mobility, stretching, flexibility, strength training, gymnastics, parkour, martial arts, primal nutrition, wellness, meditation, stress management, supplementation, handstands, and more! “Be healthy to be strong, be strong to be useful, and live long to maximize that usefulness…”
Rich Roll Podcast – Each week Rich Roll, author, endurance athlete, and wellness evangelist, “delves deep into all things wellness with some of the brightest and most forward thinking, paradigm busting minds in health, fitness, nutrition, art, entertainment, entrepreneurship & spirituality.”
Body Learning is a podcast devoted to all aspects of the Alexander Technique, a method of learning how to release harmful tension and perform all your activities with greater ease and freedom.
America Meditates – Hosted by Sister Jenna, Director of the Meditation Museum, this podcast has over 600 episodes (30-40 mins. each) of “lively discussion that features celebrities, leaders, authors, and average folks sharing success stories. Discussions provide listeners with inspiring ways to master the challenges we encounter on the journey of life. This is not an ordinary radio show, but rather, a unique format of combined sharings of poetry, wisdom, meditation, music, and it features solutions to current day issues.”
RobCast – Rob Bell, bestselling author, and former mega-church pastor, explores the idea that everything is spiritual.
Waking Up – Join neuroscientist, philosopher, and best-selling author Sam Harris as he explores important and controversial questions about the human mind, society, and current events. His writing and public lectures cover a wide range of topics—neuroscience, moral philosophy, religion, spirituality, violence, human reasoning—but generally focus on how a growing understanding of ourselves and the world is changing our sense of how we should live.
7 wonders from the Be Here Now Network:
Here and Now – Each week Raghu Markus shares wisdom from excerpted Ram Dass lectures that he has given throughout the last 40 years.
Be Here Now, Ram Dass’s monumentally influential and seminal work, still stands as the highly readable centerpiece of Western articulation of Eastern philosophy, and how to live joyously a hundred per cent of the time in the present, luminous or mundane. Be Here Now continues to be the instruction manual of choice for generations of spiritual seekers. Forty years later, it’s still part of the timeless present. Being here now is still being here now. For more from Ram Dass visit RamDass.org
Mindrolling – This podcast is about coming unstuck and the recent history of awoken awareness. It’s about the intersection of culture, consciousness and realization. For host Raghu Markus, Mindrolling is a rock and rolling conversation remembering the sixties, digesting the seventies, paralleling then and now, right now, in the growing teens of the 21st century. The moving power of music is one of the main tools of the show, transformation is the common denominator. Actual direct experiences is the core of the Mindrollers, some of which are enlightening, some of which were intensely frightening – “but we dare to promise honesty and guarantee high comedy along with the more high falutin’ content…”
Pilgrim Heart – In the late 60’s Krishna Das met and travelled with spiritual seeker Ram Dass as his student, captivated by the stories of his recent trip to India and the legendary guru known to most as Maharaj-ji. In 1970, Krishna Das made his way to meet Maharaj-ji, and after two and a half years with Him, he returned to USA. Today, Krishna Das has taken the call-and-response chanting out of yoga centers and into concert halls, becoming a worldwide icon and the best-selling western chant artist of all time.
The Pilgrim Heart Podcast features Krishna Das as he shares his kirtan practice and wonderful stories of his life on the Path and Maharaji-ji, through chanting, devotion, and love. For more on Krishna Das’ schedule, concerts, and live streams, visit his website here.
The Metta Hour – Sharon Salzberg is a central figure in the field of meditation, a world-renowned teacher and NY Times bestselling author. She has played a crucial role in bringing meditation and mindfulness practices to the West and into mainstream culture since 1974, when she first began teaching. She is the co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA and the author of nine books including NY Times bestseller, Real Happiness, her seminal work, Lovingkindness and most recently, Real Happiness At Work. Renowned for her down-to-earth teaching style, Sharon offers a secular, modern approach to Buddhist teachings, making them instantly accessible.
The Indie Spiritualist – Chris Grosso is a public speaker, writer, recovering addict, spiritual director, and author of Indie Spiritualist: A No Bullshit Exploration of Spirituality (Beyond Words/Simon & Schuster) and Everything Mind: What I’ve Learned About Hard Knocks, Spiritual Awakening and the Mind-Blowing Truth of it All (Sounds True, Oct. 2015). Through commentary, interviews and ragged truth-telling, the Indie Spiritualist podcast offers raw and real experiences and insights from an eclectic mix of artists, musicians, yogis, skateboarders, actors, spiritual teachers and more. A come as you are invitation to spiritual exploration.
Insight Hour – Joseph Goldstein has been leading insight and lovingkindness meditation retreats worldwide since 1974. On the Insight Hour podcast, Joseph illuminates the application of Buddhist teachings for the modern day seeker. For many, many more mindfulness and meditation resources, including articles, recipes, dharma talks, meditations, etc. visit his website.
Heart Wisdom – The Jack Kornfield Heart Wisdom hour celebrates Jack’s ability to mash up his long established Buddhist practices with many other mystical traditions, revealing the poignancy of life’s predicaments and the path to finding freedom from self-interest, self-judgment and unhappiness.
On Being opens up the animating questions at the center of human life: What does it mean to be human, and how do we want to live? We explore these questions in their richness and complexity in 21st-century lives and endeavors. We pursue wisdom and moral imagination as much as knowledge; we esteem nuance and poetry as much as fact. This podcast airs on more than 400 public radio stations across the U.S., and is distributed globally. Listeners report that On Being equips them to relate in fresh, new ways to different others, and emboldens them to engage in new kinds of service.
Tangentially Speaking Some of you may be offended that this one finds a place here, with your highbrow views of wellness and mindfulness. This man’s books approach wellness obliquely, and with a stank on it. Almost every conversation is an immersion of instinct and intelligence, and and an exorcism of the shame in being truly human.
The Human Experience – Conversations with some of the most highly credentialed and educated scientists, authors, entrepreneurs, revolutionaries, thought leaders in the world. Focusing on the deconstruction, demystification and philosophical understanding of the things that make us human, as well as business, entrepreneurship, lifestyle enhancement and human performance.
Invisibilia – Exploring the invisible forces that shape human behavior—things like ideas, beliefs, assumptions and emotions. The show weaves incredible human stories with fascinating new psychological and brain science, in the hopes that after listening, you will come to see new possibilities for how to think, behave and live.
Infinite Monkey Cage – This show’s aim is to make everyone in the audience wish they were a scientist, to infect them with the awe of being a living creature in vast universe that can ask questions about the stars and interrogate the world.
The Partially Examined Life – A podcast about Philosophy, philosophers and philosophical texts. The format is an informal round-table discussion, with each episode loosely focused on a short reading that introduces at least one “big” philosophical question, concern or idea. The (4) hosts “aim to to assume no knowledge (of anything, even, like, basic facts of arithmetic or… like… hygiene),” and believe “that even the most withered old Socrates-clone will find the proceedings very entertaining and thought-provoking, if not actually, well, informative.”
Books and Ideas – A monthly podcast from Dr. Ginger Campbell covering topics that don’t fit on Brain Science Podcast. Guest interviews explore history, philosophy, other areas of science, science fiction, and very rarely, politics.
Very Bad Wizards Very Bad Wizards is a podcast featuring a philosopher (Tamler Sommers) and a psychologist (David Pizarro), who share a love for ethics, pop culture, and cognitive science, and who have a marked inability to distinguish sacred from profane. Each podcast includes discussions of moral philosophy, recent work on moral psychology and neuroscience, and the overlap between the two.
On Optimizing Human Potential
You Are Not So Smart – Says host David McRaney: “You Are Not So Smart is a blog I started to explore self delusion. Like lots of people, I used to forward sensational news stories without skepticism and think I was a smarty pants just because I did a little internet research. I didn’t know about confirmation bias and self-enhancing fallacies, and once I did, I felt very, very stupid. I still feel that way, but now I can make you feel that way too.”
Don’t worry, the show is sharp and delightful, not snarky and belittling. Plus, cookies recipes.
The Tim Ferriss Show – Each episode, Tim deconstructs world-class performers from eclectic areas (investing, sports, business, art, etc.) to extract the tactics, tools, and routines you can use. This includes favorite books, morning routines, exercise habits, time-management tricks, and much more. BONUS
Bulletproof Radio – “Our mission is to help people perform better, think faster, and live better using a proven blend of ancient knowledge and brand new technologies, tempered by research, science, and measured results from our customers, top athletes, and medical professionals.”
HBR IdeaCast – The HBR IdeaCast, from the publishers of Harvard Business Review, Harvard Business Press, and hbr.org, features breakthrough ideas and commentary from the leading thinkers in business and management.
Freakonomics – Host Stephen Dubner has surprising conversations that explore the riddles of everyday life and the weird wrinkles of human nature—from cheating and crime to parenting and sports. Dubner talks with Nobel laureates and provocateurs, social scientists and entrepreneurs — and his Freakonomics co-author Steve Levitt
Hardcore History – Journalist and broadcaster Dan Carlin takes his “Martian”, unorthodox way of thinking and applies it to the past. This isn’t academic history (and Carlin isn’t a historian) but the podcast’s unique blend of high drama, masterful narration and Twilight Zone-style twists has entertained millions of listeners.
Smart People Podcast – Smart People Podcast (SPP) is dedicated to enhancing human connection and fostering personal growth while expanding people’s world views through authentic conversations. We are committed to inspiring listeners through intriguing interviews with a wide array of thought leaders from every profession.
Radiolab – “An investigation told through sounds and stories, and centered around one big idea. In the Radiolab world, information sounds like music and science and culture collide. Hosted by Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich, the show is designed for listeners who demand skepticism, but appreciate wonder.”
NPR: TED Radio Hour – The TED Radio Hour is a journey through fascinating ideas: astonishing inventions, fresh approaches to old problems, new ways to think and create. Based on Talks given by riveting speakers on the world-renowned TED stage, each show is centered on a common theme – such as the source of happiness, crowd-sourcing innovation, power shifts, or inexplicable connections. The TED Radio Hour is hosted by Guy Raz
The Invisible Hand – If you’re interested in the ideas behind business and strategic thinking, The Invisible Hand, Enhanced Version is the podcast for you. Each week, Chris Gondek brings you the authors and books that have formed our modern ideas of management and strategy.
JUMP TO TOP
Research Perch is a podcast designed to help you learn how to use massage therapy research in your practice. Each episode digs into a specific article from the International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (IJTMB) and unpacks it so you know how it applies to you. Grow your massage therapy practice and serve your clients better with the power of research!
Massage Podcast – Massage Podcast covers different topics around the profession. From techniques, modalities, marketing, ethics, etc. and has the goal of creating community among massage therapists professionals and students. (Has not been updated since co-host Elaine Calenda passed away in 2012)
Massage Business Blueprint – Allissa Haines and Micheal Reynolds offer resources designed to help support you manage, grow and enjoy your massage therapy practice.
Making Money With Massage – Drew Elliot and Tim Cooper help you out with the “tricky business” of massage marketing
JUMP TO TOP