The morning commute. It’s something that pretty much everyone (except those lucky few who work from home) will experience at some point in their lives. A necessary evil consisting of long car journeys, hot and sticky public transport, or a combination of both, it’s easier than you might think to brighten your journey into the office.
Whether you’ve read everything on your Kindle or that playlist on Spotify has been repeated one too many times; Podcasts can offer an entertaining, humorous and often thought-provoking discussions about almost every topic.
With plenty of free platforms to listen through and thousands of different podcasts that you can get your teeth into, here are five great podcasts ideas for you to sample on tomorrow’s commute:
1) How I Built This With Guy Raz
From Ben and Jerry’s to Spanx and Virgin to Zumba, this excellent podcast explores the stories behind some of the world’s best-known brands from the creators themselves.
Guy Raz makes for an engaging host as he chats with the likes of Joe Gebbia (Airbnb), James Dyson (Dyson) and Jonah Peretti (BuzzFeed) about their journey to success. And he doesn’t shy away from talking about some of his guests less than successful ideas too; we’d particularly recommend his interview with Richard Branson for a lesson in how to be brave and learn from your failures.
The interviews are often pre-recorded (though there are some great live recordings available too, Reddit’s founders’ interview being well worth a listen) and with an average run time of around 40 minutes, the inspiring stories make for a motivating start to your day.
2) There’s No Such Thing As A Fish
This delightful podcast is the perfect combination of interesting facts and humor. Hosted by the QI Elves (the fact checkers behind the hit tv show QI) each presenter reveals their favorite fact of the week before the panel discusses and quite often digress into other interesting related titbits of information.
The titles of the podcasts themselves are pretty entertaining with gems such as: There’s No Such Thing As A Sexy Black Hole, There’s No Such Thing As A Half-Ape Vampire and our personal favorite – There’s No Such Thing As A Sausage Jacuzzi.
If you’re wondering is this anything like the TV show, you’re not likely to be disappointed. Although there’s no Alan Davis or celebrity guests, the podcast has a tried and tested formula of endearing presenters and bucket-loads of British humor. The hosts are knowledgeable but likable and with episode lengths usually less than 50 mins, it makes for a great start to your morning and is guaranteed to spark some interesting conversations in the office with your morning coffee.
3) The Debrief Podcast
This is the podcast to be listening to for the young adult. Geared mainly towards female 20-30 somethings, this podcast covers real world ‘life hacks’. It’s like being able to get advice from your Mum, but is instead condensed into bite-sized chunks of around 30 minutes.
Previous topics include things like: How To Keep Your Houseplants Alive, How To Survive Other People’s Weddings, How To Deal With Imposter Syndrome and How To Cut Toxic People From Your Life.
The hosts Tessa and Stevie are refreshingly down to earth and are never patronizing in their approach to what can sometimes be sensitive topics. This is a podcast that offers genuinely useful advice and has a habit of normalizing the awkward questions you may have. Not only does it reassure you that you’re not as weird as you thought you were, but everyone else is, in fact, wondering the exact same things!
4) Imaginary Worlds
For the sci-fi and fantasy buffs out there, this podcast is the perfect blend of fan appreciation and real-world application for its strange and wonderful themes. Covering Harry Potter to Joss Whedon and Philip K. Dick to Star Wars and pretty much everything in between, host Eric Molinsky’s no holds barred approach to many of pop culture’s best-loved fandoms is captivating.
Involving discussions not only with fans of the various topics, but also with some pretty respected authorities in the fields of psychology and the like, this is a great mix of your favorite discussion points, but with an edge of gravitas which invokes a sense of seriousness.
There’s not too much that can be said to sum up this podcast as the topic range is so vast, but chances are, if you’re any kind of fan of any kind of fantasy or sci-fi world, you’re going to find a podcast that you love here.
Runtime for these episodes usually hits the 20-minute mark, so if you have a shorter commute time, this may be just what you’re looking for!
5) This American Life
Don’t let the title put you off, this is pretty much about anything but American life and is a great example of a perfect podcast formula. This long-established show has been on-air in various forms since 1995.
Each show is centralized around a topic and features different stories which surround it. This American life has always pushed the barrier of exactly what can be achieved on a podcast, with notable episodes including a 24-hour broadcast from a diner and assembling a band from musicians’ classified ads.
With an exciting mix of guest stars and over 600 episodes at your disposal, there is something of interest for pretty much everyone. Taking inspiration from the theatre, each podcast is split into a prologue and a number of acts. Although the runtime varies vastly, this format means you can listen to as much or little as you want to – perfect for any length of travel!
Who’s looking forward to that hour and a half commute tomorrow morning?