Podcasts accompany people during long commutes, workouts at the gym, and downtime in the bathtub, among other places. If you’re wondering if that’s a good thing, it may help you to know that podcasts interact with your brain in the same way stories do.
A 2016 study found that listening to podcasts stimulates multiple areas of both the left and right hemispheres of the brain. Accessing information via the human voice can generate activity in parts of the brain responsible for memory, sensory activity, and emotion.
If that’s not enough to get you listening to podcasts, we’ve compiled a list of some great ones. These health podcasts were chosen for accuracy of information, originality, and listenability.
Podcasts are a modern, efficient way to increase your knowledge base about virtually any topic, including those that affect the health and well-being of your body, brain, and spirit. If you’ve got 15 minutes or more to spare, check them out.
Creator and host Shawn Stevenson does solo shows and interviews with experts about a wide range of health-related issues, including metabolism, financial health, stress, weight loss, self-empowerment, and brain health.
No topic about the human body, brain, or the pursuit of achieving your best life is off-limits in this weekly podcast series. Stevenson’s easy-going style makes the information understandable and accessible — even if you’re multitasking.
The TedTalks Health podcast series features renowned, innovative experts discussing the latest medical breakthroughs, plus new takes on old topics you thought you already knew everything about.
Each podcast was originally an onstage presentation at a TED conference, TEDx event, or TED partner event. Podcasts range in length from small-bite to full-length, so you can choose between those best listened to on long plane flights or in short lines at the supermarket.
Co-hosts Marni Wasserman and Dr. Jesse Chappus interview natural health and wellness experts on topics such as meditation, diet, and insomnia.
The core focus of this podcast series is empowering the listener to make proactive choices about health, by providing holistic information and alternative viewpoints to mainstream medical thinking.
These small-bite podcasts last around 15 minutes each. They feature Dr. Michael Greger discussing nutrition from an evidence-based perspective. Dr. Greger may remind you a little bit of your favorite nerdy-cool teacher from high school, and he really knows his stuff.
These highly informative, no-nonsense podcasts debunk nutrition myths, and provide easy-to-understand information on what you should eat, what to avoid, how to cook foods for optimum nutrition, and more.
In this podcast series, licensed nutritionists and dietitians dish about food and its relationship to everything in people’s lives, from health to mood and relationships. The tone is upbeat and motivational.
Each podcast lasts about 45 minutes, but the time will fly by. Listening to Dishing Up Nutrition feels a lot like getting advice from a trusted, very smart friend over a cup of coffee.
General practitioner and cookbook author Dr. Rupy Aujla believes in the power of food to prevent and treat disease and illness. His podcast is chockfull of research-based tips for healthy eating and optimum nutrition.
Dr. Aujla’s passion for sharing information about the medicinal qualities of food comes through in each segment. These podcasts feature interviews with experts who have unique or research-based perspectives on nutrition’s impact on body, brain, and mood.
Each podcast lasts a little over an hour.
This popular fitness and wellness podcast was created and is hosted by four athletes who were fed up with the way the fitness industry focused on people’s insecurities about their bodies.
If you overheard a conversation between them in a sports bar, it would sound a lot like their highly informative podcast.
Sal Di Stefano, Adam Schafer, Justin Andrews, and Doug Egge have a mission to get their listeners stoked about physical fitness while educating them about how to do it safely and effectively.
Their podcasts provide accurate information about working out, pumping up, and being your best.
Host Ben Bergeron provides quick-paced insights into achieving your best performance, both in and out of the gym. There’s something here for everyone, no matter where you are on your fitness journey.
Bergeron breaks down strategies for eating right and exercising effectively, in easy-to-understand, small bites geared toward those just starting to work out, elite athletes, and every fitness level in between.
As its name implies, this podcast series is all about the happy. Host Gretchen Rubin may be the happiest person you’ll ever know, but she’ll also be the first one to tell you it takes work and strategizing. In this series, Rubin shares her secrets to having a happy life.
Most of the podcasts include input from Rubin’s favorite sidekick, her sister, Elizabeth Craft. The twosome shares practical advice and know-how about turning lemons into lemonade during each segment, which range in length from 3 to 40 minutes.
Host Paul Colaianni provides strategies for increasing emotional intelligence and feelings of empowerment in these full-length, 1-hour podcasts. The focus here is on relieving stress and anxiety, promoting well-being, and having phenomenal, lifelong relationships.
These fast-paced, 19-minute podcasts are geared toward busy people who need strategies for remembering more, reading faster, and pumping up their brain power to maximum.
Kwik provides brain-training exercises and actionable tips for enhancing concentration and fine-tuning focus.
Host Anthony Metivier does a deep dive into a wide range of memory building techniques, with a strong focus on foreign language acquisition. He also focuses on techniques geared toward specific tasks, such as studying for school and memorizing textbooks or sheet music.
Chalene Johnson is a celebrity fitness trainer and author who has a sweet spot for helping listeners overcome obstacles to physical and mental health. She interviews experts on some episodes and goes solo on others.
Johnson tackles topics such as birth control’s effect on the female brain, relationship strategies, and fitness goals. She also welcomes listener’s input and often features their questions on her podcasts.
Hidden Brain is one of the most heavily downloaded podcasts worldwide today. It’s hosted by Shankar Vedantam, a social science correspondent for NPR.
The topics discussed on Hidden Brain are intriguing and unique. They combine great narrative storytelling with easy-to-understand science.
Each highly informative segment provides you with information about the unconscious and conscious choices you make each day, and how those choices affect every aspect of your life, from your relationships to what motivates you.
If you’re new to meditation, this relatively new podcast series may be what you’re looking for. Host Meryl Arnett tapes each podcast at a weekly, live meditation class she leads from her studio.
Episodes start with a brief discussion and include an easy-to-follow, themed, and guided meditation.