From NPR News comes Invisibilia which is Latin for “all the invisible things”. Lulu Miller and Alix Spiegel, who helped create This American Life and Radiolab, perfectly combine narrative storytelling with new psychological and brain science. This is a probing podcast about the intangible forces that shape human behaviour such as ideas, beliefs, assumptions and emotions. It will make you view your life from a different angle.
You Are Not So Smart
David McRaney explores topics related to cognitive biases, heuristics and logical fallacies through interviews with scientists who research how the mind works. At the end of each episode McRaney shares a piece of self delusion news and eats a cookie baked from a recipe sent in by a listener. YANSS is a wonderful celebration of self delusion. Start with the enlightening Learned Helplessness episode.
Death, Sex & Money
“Anna Sale talks to both regular people and celebrities about the big questions and the hard choices that are often left out of polite conversation.” Topics include relationships, mental health, family, money and work. This is a podcast about making it all count while we’re here. It’s intimate and occasionally uncomfortable to the point of being cringey.
Greta Johnsen and Tricia Bobeda nerd out about things we watch, read, listen to and encounter. They mostly interview people of the female genre covering topics such as science, death, feminism, cults and much more. The listeners get homework at the end of each episode. My favourite episodes are the interviews with Caitlin Moran, Margaret Atwood, Caitlin Doughty and Alexandra Petri.
This is Actually Happening
First person short format storytelling focusing on experiences that have changed people’s lives. The host Whit Missildine has a PhD in social psychology and has spent over a decade endeavouring to understand human behaviour. “Missildine is the founder of the Permatemp Corporation which produces documentary, experimental films, audio and design as a way to explore the more chaotic interiors of the human experience.” Some episodes are very sad but TIAH is an inspiring and empowering listen. If you have a story to tell, you could be featured on the show! Start with the What if your roommate had a deep dark secret? episode.