10 Podcasts That Will Make You Smarter

I listen to two types of podcasts: true crime and educational. So basically, I like learning about murder and nerdy stuff. But jokes aside, podcasts are actually a great way to keep yourself continually growing and learning, even if you’re long past the days of school. There are a ridiculous amount of podcasts out there in the universe, which means you can learn about virtually anything. I highly recommend giving all of these podcasts a listen, because in order to become smarter, we have to break out of our comfort zone. While you may not consider yourself someone who is interested in science or economics, learning new things is the best way to keep our minds in tip-top shape.

Science Rules! with Bill Nye

smarter podcasts

I love this goofy science podcast. We all know and love Bill Nye the Science Guy, and now he’s using his podcast platform to answer your questions. Should you stop eating cheeseburgers to combat climate change? Could alien life be swimming inside the moons of Jupiter and Saturn? All the questions you never thought to ask are explained and then some. 



This show manages to make high-level science fun and attainable. Such as the “Colors” episode, where you can learn about a sea creature with so many colors the human eye can’t even process all of them. Each episode investigates everyday oddities with a blend of science, philosophy and music.


Stuff You Should Know

Stuff You Should Know is a great podcast to start with if you want to become smarter, but aren’t sure where to start. It’s a smorgasbord of knowledge, covering everything from biophilic design to Champagne and how chili peppers work. Dive into the history of topics you had no idea were so fascinating and revolutionary.


Fresh Air

This is a great podcast for fostering your love of literature and the arts. There are interviews with luminaries in music, art, journalism, literature and more, as well as deep dives into the history and process of famous works. It’s a culturally rich podcast that will leave you feeling full of knowledge and inspiration.


The Allusionist

Learn all about the art of language in this series. If you’re a word nerd, you’ll adore this podcast. Host Helen Zaltzman produces a funny and educational podcast that explores the English language and lexicon — from etymology to profanity.



This Radiolab spin-off is all about the frontier of psychology. It’s a podcast about the unseen, unconscious forces that guide our lives: biases, dreams and quirks of perception. It beautifully fuses storytelling and science to make you examine the world through different eyes. 


99% Invisible

Want to become smarter but lacking in time? These snack-sized episodes are perfect for listeners with limited capacity. This podcast is about all the thought that goes into the things we don’t think about — the unnoticed architecture and design, and is brilliant for both design enthusiasts and for people who simply want to see the world with fresh eyes.


Hardcore History

I was never a fan of history class, but this podcast makes me consider myself a history buff.  No, this isn’t your textbook history, but rather an unorthodox approach to thinking about history in new ways. It’s a blend of “Twilight Zone”-style twists paired with high drama and a narrator I could listen to for hours.


Ologies with Alie Ward

The basis of this podcast is humor and science. Alie Ward asks smart people “stupid questions,” and the listeners reap the rewards. Listen to episodes with unique specialists like an alligator ecotoxolgist or a plumologist about topics covering everything from snail sex to the folklore of pumpkins.


Planet Money

This NPR podcast makes finance and economics simple, even if you’re not fiscally minded. The show is described as: “Imagine you could call up a friend and say, ‘Meet me at the bar and tell me what’s going on with the economy.'” Twice a week, you’ll get an entertaining, well-reported look at issues like the Tijuana tech boom that will leave you satisfied with a foundational understanding of the subject, all in just 15 minutes.

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Author: Samantha Welker

Samantha Welker is the business manager at Glitter Guide. She has an Master's in Corporate Finance & Sustainability from Harvard Business School but prefers working in the creative industry. She also hosts a weekly business podcast for creative women called Pretty Okay Podcast. She loves spending time with her husband and her son, Rocky, in sunny San Diego. Follow along on Instagram