5 Podcasts for a More Thoughtful You


Life moves pretty fast. With all the pushes and pulls of modern, life it’s easy to get so busy we forego the little things that help us be better people. So much doing, not enough being. There’s good news though: the modern world has myriad tools and resources to help us cultivate those attributes that can enrich our inner lives. And a lot of those tools, including podcasts, are 100% free!

Here’s a list of five of the best podcasts to help you be a more thoughtful you.

Peabody award-winning journalist Krista Tippett hosts On Being, a conversation that asks, “What does it mean to be human, and how do we want to live?” Tippett has hosted the program for nearly 15 years, and her work has gained well-deserved recognition. In 2014, President Obama awarded Tippett the National Humanities Medal for “thoughtfully delving into the mysteries of human existence.” He added that “Tippett avoids easy answers, embracing complexity and inviting people of every background to join her conversation about faith, ethics, and moral wisdom."

High praise for a remarkable woman who has hosted everyone from spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, sex researcher and anthropologist Helen Fisher, and beloved poet Mary Oliver.

This Dharmacast comes from the monks, nuns, and practitioners at the Deer Park Monastery, a mindfulness center in Southern California founded by Vietnamese Buddhist monk, author, and peace activist, Thich Nhat Hanh, or Thay.

And if you didn’t know about Thay before, now you know. In 1966, Thay met with Dr. Martin Luther King to urge the civil rights leader to renounce the Vietnam War. A year later, Dr. King nominated Thay for the Nobel Peace Prize, saying, "I do not personally know of anyone more worthy of [this prize] than this gentle monk from Vietnam. His ideas for peace, if applied, would build a monument to ecumenism, to world brotherhood, to humanity.” The Nobel committee did not award a Peace Prize in 1967 despite Thay’s undeniable qualifications.

The Vietnamese government denied Thay permission to return to Vietnam in 1973, and he’s lived in exile in France since. Thay’s established several monasteries and practice centers worldwide.

Here’s a two-for-one from Leo Babauta, one of the most popular bloggers on the globe. Babauta started Zen Habits with the aim of “finding simplicity in the daily chaos of our lives. It’s about clearing the clutter so we can focus on what's important, create something amazing, find happiness.” In addition to Zen Habits Radio, Babauta has read his book, The Little Book on Contentment, in a podcast. It’s like an free audiobook, chapter-by-chapter.

Babauta shares wisdom and insight about a host of topics, including simplicity, health & fitness, motivation and inspiration, and living in the moment.

Thoughtful people are able to see the world in new ways and make connections between trends and ideas that may have been hidden from plain sight. Host Stephen Dubner and economist Steven Levitt bring that thoughtful curiosity to Freakonomics Radio, which explores “the hidden side of everything.”

Dubner and Levitt gained fame through their books, and the radio program continues their unconventional examination into how life works. Freakonomics Radio has explored the value of quitting, the economics of online dating, and the secret to buying great wine. There are hundreds of episodes to feed your curiosity.

Serial exploded onto the scene last fall, stirring conversation worldwide about criminal justice, the search for truth, and the role of journalism in the modern, hyperconnected world. Host Sarah Koenig’s refreshing approach to investigative journalism combines humility, humor, and transparency as she tries to track down the truth about a 1997 murder that put a young man, Adnan Syed behind bars for life, despite his claims of innocence and a dubious case in district court. Serial has brought the shortcomings of the U.S. criminal justice to smartphones across the country, and has helped Adnan’s own case as he seeks to overturn his conviction.


This post was written by Chris Jones. Chris is VP of Content for Apollo Scheduling. He blogs at www.thechrisjones.co