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April 2, 2019
3 mins read

5 podcasts for an informative study break

You’ve been conjugating French verbs for hours and need a palette cleanser. You need something to listen to, and you’ve already memorized every word to the new Ariana Grande album.

It sounds to me like you need a good podcast.

Podcasts are the medium of the day. Name a topic and there’s a podcast on it. But with more than half a million podcasts on the Apple Store alone, finding the right show can be a tough task.

I’m no expert, but I’ve listened to my fair share of podcasts, both good and bad. So I’m going to share 5 of my favourites to help add some infotainment (the perfect blend of information and entertainment) to your study breaks.

1. Entitled Opinions

Length: Around an hour

Topics: Literature, technology, philosophy

For nearly a decade and a half, Dr. Robert Harrison has hosted the Entitled Opinions podcast from Stanford University. Each episode features a guest expert who provides a wealth of information and insider experience.

Though the concepts are deep, the conversations are easily grasped regardless of your prior knowledge on the topic. There’s also some great music featured on each episode.

My personal favourite episode features a discussion of geography with Dr. Martin Lewis—but I might be a little biased, being a Geography major and all.  

2. The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe

Length: An hour and a half

Topics: Science, medicine, technology

I do not have a science mind. Like, I passed an 11th grade Physics class with 51%. Still, I enjoy the science-focused Skeptics' Guide to the Universe. Each week, host Dr. Steven Novello from the Yale School of Medicine talks about the latest news in the world of science. Although he is incredibly intelligent, he speaks in a way that even I can understand.

Each episode debunks faulty science claims, talks about breakthroughs in medicine, and reviews books and studies. For this podcast, I recommend checking out the latest episode and moving backwards in the archive if your interest is sparked.

3. Women Rule

Length: Under half an hour

Topics: Feminism, motivation, professional development

This one is a little outside of my normal listening habits, but it has really captured my interest! Each episode features host Anna Palmer interviewing women in positions of power, such as U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto. They discuss both the challenges and obstacles they have overcome as women.

The podcast supports numerous equal opportunity initiatives, such as the Association of Women’s Business Centers—it’s good listening for good causes. The episode with NHL executive vice president Kim Davis is a great example of what the show is all about.

4. 99% Invisible

Length: Half an hour

Topics: Architecture, design

Host Roman Mars walks listeners through the creation and construction of a wide variety of things, be that baseball stadiums or the artistic representation of dinosaurs.

The episodes are unique and well-produced, and inspire listeners to consider the intricate designs of the little things in life. Plus, Roman Mars's voice is so soothing, it has actually narrated my dreams.

Although all the episodes are engaging and informative, my very favourite focuses on the importance of album art, using my beloved Devo as an example.

5. Sound Opinions

Length: About an hour

Topics: Music

If you’re bored of playing the same old music, give this podcast a listen. Hosts Jim Derogatis and Greg Kot discuss both past and contemporary music, and frequently feature guests on the show.

This recent episode features an astute review of Solange’s latest album and is a suitable entry point to the vast archive of Sound Opinions.

With finals season quickly approaching, maximize your study breaks with one of these podcasts! A fun and educational episode of your favourite podcast makes a perfect soundtrack while you curl up on the couch and relax in IKB.

If these 5 suggestions don’t fit your tastes, fear not—there are thousands of others out there!

So take a break and get listening!