Ok, so a significant percentage of the population and i are addicted to podcasts. It truly is the golden age of podcasting. So much good content that it’s impossible to keep up. Sometimes i go to work just so i can listen to podcasts while commuting. Don’t tell my wife. Anyway, here are some favorites in no particular order:
Philosophize This – Stephen West – A mostly chronological history of philosophers and their ideas broken down in easily digestible chunks (most episodes are less than a half-hour) with plenty of examples and pop culture references to keep things easily understandable and light. Kind of like having your best friend talk to you about philosophy and doing it better than all your profs combined.
The Tim Ferriss Show – Deconstructing the habits of high performers. TONS of quality guests, many of which you’ve never heard of, but should have. From academics to finance to physical performance to arts to food to pretty much anything, it’s covered. There definitely is an emphasis on tech and 21st century-friendly topics and entrepreneurs. Almost every episode has multiple takeaways and brilliant, unique quotes.
Hardcore History – Dan Carlin – Dan reads all the best historians and then puts together an episode that is usually 3 hours-ish long and worth every bit of your time. They don’t come out super often so it’s not hard to keep up. My favorite part is how much time he spends on historiography, or how history is done/made/revisioned/remembered. Really digs deep to find the diamonds in the rough that help to explain the hows and whys of what went down. Highly recommended by pretty much everyone.
The Naked Bible Podcast – Dr. Michael S. Heiser – A true scholar who knows not only the biblical text but the ancient context and other literature that was relevant at the same time(s). Brings out issues your pastor never mentions (and probably is ignorant of) and breaks down classic stories in enlightening new ways you’ve never heard. Refuses to avoid touchy subjects or uncomfortable truths, whether they are culturally offensive or (supposedly) heretical.
Waking Up – Sam Harris – My favorite “New” atheist, mainly because of this podcast. Thoughtful and open-minded monologues and interviews/discussions about everything from war to neuroscience to morality and, of course, religion. I disagree with about half of what he says but i genuinely enjoy his calm and sensitive, yet still militant, approach.
Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast – Just about as nerdy as you can get about physical (and mental) performance, nutrition, and supplementation. Half the shows are weekly-ish news and updates from the research world and marketplace (usually with a co-host) and the other half are interviews. Not everything discussed will be relevant to you so the 1.5x speed button comes in handy and works well with Ben’s voice/delivery. He knows all the latest research but isn’t afraid of the woo-woo subjects on the cutting edge either. This is my number 1 resource for setting new personal records.
The Joe Rogan Experience – Hey, let’s have somebody over to the studio and talk for a few hours about whatever we want! And you can’t stop listening. Pretty hilarious if you can put up with a fair amount of cursing but covers some heady, thought-provoking ground at the same time. Definitely the podcast i catch myself laughing out loud to the most. Half the guests are either fighters or comedians, the other half is totally random but mostly high-performing “celebrities” (i use that word very loosely) that are usually near the weirder end of the spectrum (i mean that in the best way).
Jocko Podcast – Jocko Willink – I’m pretty much a pacifist so i listen to Jocko for balance. He is a decorated Iraqi war hero that is THE stereotypical Navy SEAL times ten- yes, that awesome. Heavy on leadership topics from a no-nonsense perspective. Most examples are from the military but translate well into the business world and life in general. Super motivating. You will have no excuses after listening to this but you won’t need any because you’re going to get out there and get after it! Talks about the realities of war in a way that no one else can. Frank/brash yet thoughtful.
Tired of typing for now but here are some others on my list-
Reasonable Faith – William Lane Craig – philosophy and religion
TED Talks – there are a few different versions of these, more on that later
Packet Pushers Datanauts – Could be the enterprise IT podcast you’ve been looking for
OPTIMIZE with Brian Johnson – snippets of wisdom, often via short book reviews
Spartan Up! – Joe DeSena – Another podcast interviewing successful people from all walks of life
Pretty much all the NPR shows that are now podcasts are good.
2019 edit: this was the 2017 version that was updated to fix some typos via Grammarly. dang, i say i alot.