What are the Best Podcasts for Online College Students? Our Top 5 Recommendations
Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote “The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions.”
This notion is the corner stone of lifelong learning. There is always more to know, and every new idea opens new pathways of knowledge.
A widespread thirst for such knowledge is apparent in the exploding popularity of podcasts. Much like Ashford’s online learning programs, podcasts are accessible anywhere, at any time, for nearly anyone. Just as Ashford courses can be completed in six weeks, podcasts present new information in digestible chunks, at a workable pace. Like joining an intelligent conversation, listening to podcasts can help one become a more attentive listener and a more mindful learner.
This curated list of podcasts touches on productivity, balance, and academic subjects. If you're a lifelong learner who wants some entertainment on your study break and who also wants to use free time wisely, these podcasts may be just what you’re looking for.
1. The Pursuit Project
The Pursuit Project contains some actionable tips on how to be more productive, but its larger focus is on cultivating a mindset geared toward lifelong learning and overall self-improvement. It's hosted by two friends from Sydney, Australia - Ngaire and Bronte - who share their goals, offer encouragement, and provide honest advice and feedback. It's a casual conversation with a goal of achieving better outcomes. The kind, positive attitude makes The Pursuit Project an uplifting listen, and there are always plenty of valuable lessons and concepts to apply to your own life. You will particularly benefit from the discussions of balance, productivity, time management, and how to apply yourself fully to the task at hand.
Ologies is designed to make challenging material fun and easy to grasp, even for those with no background in the subjects addressed. Host Alie Ward is a science correspondent and avid lifelong learner who interviews "ologists," people who have devoted themselves relentlessly to their chosen academic or professional subjects. These areas range far outside what is typically considered "science," including episodes on communication, health, criminal justice, design, and much more.
The free-ranging discussion is perfect for you if you want exposure to a diverse array of perspectives. Nothing is off limits, there's something for everyone, and the show is not shy about drawing connections between different disciplines. This can be deeply enriching for students building interdisciplinary teamwork skills as part of their studies. Plus, the personal stories of the "ologists" make tangible the possibilities that present themselves when you pursue a career you love.
The benefits of mindfulness meditation for improved focus, health, and well-being are experiencing a new wave of attention. Whether you're a newcomer to mindfulness meditation or a seasoned practitioner, listening to Untangle will help you enrich your time on and off the cushion. Through the tools of mindfulness, this podcast offers insights to help you better understand your mind, which will give you the tools you need to thrive with more confidence and compassion. It's hosted by Patricia Karpas, who, like many of Ashford's nontraditional students, discovered her passion later in life. She interviews scientists, philosophers, and teachers who share their insights on more mindful approaches to stress, performance, character, and relationships. By listening to Untangle, you will be empowered to reduce your stress, define and accomplish your goals, and approach your busy life with equanimity.
4. Probably Science
After a rigorous session of reading and studying, an episode of Probably Science is the best medicine to cool down your concentration. Two comedians, Matt Kirshen and Andy Wood, discuss academic and science-related news items with a silly and irreverent slant. They interview leading scientists, along with authors, celebrities, and other thought leaders, injecting sophisticated conversations with levity and humility. The hosts are serious in their pursuit of knowledge, are not afraid to admit what they don't know, and they’re skeptical of sensationalism in their search for truth. They demonstrate crucial skills for keeping an open mind and learning more effectively - and they have a lot of fun doing it.
New York Times bestselling author Gretchen Rubin, the host of Happier, believes that "there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for becoming happier, healthier, more productive." Thus, she explores a broad range of research, interviews a diverse cast of experts, and helps her audience examine and experiment with different approaches to the art and science of well-being. You will appreciate her positive and engaging approach to better understanding your needs, managing your resources, and finding your own unique route to success as you define it. One of the show’s core ideas is that in order to be happy, you most connect with your community, a value that Ashford University promotes and encourages.
Listening to podcasts during your downtime can be a wonderful way to build competence, draw connections, and keep your intellectual sparks firing while you’re being entertained.
By Ashford University staff