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These podcasts are perfect for every type of student

Reading and writing about your subject can be too tiring.

Sometimes you just have to let your ears do the work while you wind down from another day at university. So sit back and enjoy a podcast or two.

History

Malcolm Gladwell Revisionist History:

Gladwell, a bestselling author, delves into well-known stories from history, and questions whether the passage of time has corrupted the truth, or whether reality is as strange as it seems. His goal is to give the past "a second chance"; to understand the misunderstood.

A good place to start: S1 Ep1 The Lady Vanishes.

This episode perfectly encapsulates what the series is about; taking a piece of history and explaining how it could be interpreted and what it actually means.

English

My Dad Wrote a Porno:

This podcast is exactly what it sounds like. Host Jaimie Horton found out that his father has been secretly writing an erotic fiction series charting the exploits of Belinda Blumenthal, the saucy pots and pans saleswoman. With his co-hosts James and Alice, Jaimie reads aloud his father's novels; analysing their meaning, questioning his imagery, and generally laughing at the ridiculous situations Belinda gets herself into. The most eventful and hilarious analysis that an English student could hope for.

A good place to start: S1 Ep1: The Job Interview. 

Start your journey along with the hosts. Get ready to cringe and laugh.

Philosophy

Under the Skin with Russel Brand:

Mostly known for his comedy, Brand steps out of the spotlight and brings in experts in their field to discuss an ethical problem. This ranges from the status of humanity to veganism.

A good place to start: #006 Can Humans & Animals United Heal the World? (With Supervet Noel Fitzpatrick).

A fairly light topic compared to others that Brand goes into, but it's a good view into the types of conversation Brand presents to make the podcast understandable for the listener while bringing up complex ideas.

Biology

Smart Drug Smarts:

Jesse Lawler delves into the science around nootropics (smart drugs) that help cognitive processes. He discusses the biological and psychological impact of drugs (legal or illegal) while talking about mental disorders, and how they are medically caused rather than the usual psychological route.

A good place to start: #119: THE ETHICS OF AMPLIFIED INTELLIGENCE. 

This episode deals with the philosophical question of what nootropics do and what should be regulated. Before diving into the science, this is an important debate to listen to.

Medicine

Sawbones:

A podcast made by a married couple; one is a doctor, one is a comedian. Sydnee tries to teach her husband medical conditions, tests, and history, while he derails the conversation in hilarious ways. The vast majority of episodes are hilarious, but naturally, when the conversation turns to serious matters, they are respectful and informative.

A good place to start: The Man Who Ate Everything.

This topic is one of the funnier ones they cover, and one of the most unbelievable!

Music

Punch Up The Jam:

Hosts Miel Bredouw and Demi Adejuyigbe are comedians who try to "fix" popular songs that have the potential to be great. They take a song and analyse every line to figure out where it goes wrong, and how it can be improved. By the end of the show, they have their own interpretation of the song.

A good place to start: 019 - The Look. 

This hilarious take-down of this 80s bop will have you in stitches. You don't need to have heard the song before, as they play it along as they assess it. Their new version is genuinely better than the original.

Politics

@kingirairaira on today’s Pod Save America

A post shared by Crooked Media (@thecrookedmedia) on

Rather than recommend a singular podcast, we'll go one step further and recommend a podcast network! Crooked Media was created by former Obama speech writers and aids who wanted to discuss the recent American political news. Since creating their first podcast Pod Save America, they have grown their company into the various shows Pod Save the World, Pod Save the People, Majority 54, Lovett or Leave It, and With Friends Like These. These podcast centre towards US politics, however, foreign policy and notable news stories cover the wider context. Because there are too many shows and episodes to catch up on, it's easier if you start with the most recent and wait for updates.

Film Studies

The Bechdel Cast:

It is not only the film industry that is oversaturated with white men, but also the film podcast world. Enter The Bechdel Cast! Jaimie and Caitlin discuss how popular films treat women, and whether they fellow the Bechdel Test. (Just in case you're not aware, for a film to pass the test, they must have two named female characters having a conversation about anything other than men.) If a film fails, it does not automatically make it a bad film. Much like adding more women does not immediately solve the problem. The portrayal of women takes precedence over quantity.

A good place to start: Moulin Rouge with Daniel O'Brien. 

This film sparks an interesting debate, as Moulin Rouge holds some importance to the guest, and yet the film is not as good at representing women as they remember.

Physics

StarTalk

One of the most celebrated scientific minds has blessed us with his own podcast. Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson explores a wide range of scientific subjects such as black holes and global warming. He is joined by fellow scientists or celebrity guests who create an entertaining conversation, rather than a lecture. 

A good place to start: any of their cosmic queries episodes, as Neil covers a lot of subjects that are submitted by listeners. It's impressive to hear him know instantly how to answer the question in a way that even the most scientifically-clueless person understand.

Psychology

this podcast means a lot to me. #thehilariousworldofdepression

A post shared by Megan Fildes (@megan_fildes) on

The Hilarious World of Depression

At first, this title seems contradictory, yet it perfectly describes the premise. John Moe interviews comedians and people in the entertainment industry about their individual struggles with mental illness. At times it is funny, at times heartbreaking. It is comforting to know that mental health can be managed, and in this podcasts, it demonstrates how people can channel that into comedy.

A good place to start: Margaret Cho Works Out A Lot And Makes People Upset In New Jersey. 

The hilarious Margaret Cho talks about how her depression is influenced and affected by race while musing over how her mental illness is harnessed for her comedy. Equal parts hilarious, and equal parts sincere.

Art

A Piece of Work with Abbi Jacobson

Does modern art confuse you? Do you dip out of a conversation when you hear the word "Impressionism"? Fear no more, as Abbi Jacobson (star of Broad City) guides you through some of her favourite pieces of art. With her is a clueless celebrity guest. The audible medium of a podcast is an odd way to art, yet it works. Jacobson paints a good picture of what she is analysing (if you'll pardon the pun). The show does not take the art absolutely seriously; they are just trying to define what it means.

A good place to start: Hannibal Buress Really Wants to Touch the Art. 

The first episode dives straight into the absurd art with sculptures of everyday objects such as wheels, cups, and stools being incorporated in odd shapes.

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