• Miriam Grobman

Podcasts I Mostly Admire

Updated: Mar 24


Podcasts, Freakonomics Radio, WorkLife, Adam Grant, Steve Levitt, Hidden Brain


Podcasts are a great way to learn new stuff while on the go. Some of the ones I enjoy listening to are:


1. Work Life with Adam Grant. Adam is one of the most famous professors at the Wharton School because he is a fantastic thinker and a great human being who is obsessed with workplace psychology. His podcast discusses the issues that bother all of us at work: procrastination, bullies, remote working, networking, etc in an insightful way as he interviews experts, CEOs, and other interesting individuals.


2. Freakonomics Radio with Stephen J. Dubner - if you had read Freakonomics, you may be already familiar with Dubner's original way of thinking. This podcast feeds the curious mind because it applies economics to understanding various societal questions like Why hasn't our math curriculum evolved since the 1950s? or How much does one's name matter for his or her success?


3. Throughline - I always hated history class in school but realized later on in life that it was due to how history was taught to us. Throughline is a fascinating podcast about historical events that shaped our modern world. Some of the most interesting episodes were about the cultural revolution in Saudi Arabia (and how it went from semi-modern to conservative again) and the origin of Banana Republic (i.e. how one crazy American entrepreneur created the banana industry and popularized the fruit - it's not a nice story, by the way)


4. Hidden Brain with Shankar Vedantam - Shankar explores with guests the mysteries of human behavior looking at topics like empathy, gratitude, mental accounting, moral choice, group norms, etc. He's a great storyteller and the experts he interviews and the research he highlights are always fascinating, making me rethink my assumptions.


5. People I (Mostly) Admire by Steve Levitt - a spin-off from Freakonomics Radio is an interview show by economist Steve Levitt with people who have had non-traditional lives and careers. In the last episode I listened to, Levitt interviewed Yul Kwon, a Korean American Google employee, who was a lawyer, political organizer, government regulator and a Survivor TV show contestant and winner. Yul, who had a pretty tough childhood as a shy and anxious immigrant kid, shares what motivated him to constantly push his boundaries and what he learned along the way. Aside from engaging stories to listen to, this podcast opens one's mind to the array of possibilities life has to offer.


What about you, what is your favorite podcast?