Favorite Podcasts to Listen to While Flying or Exercising

by Janis on October 23, 2015

favorite podcastsDo you listen to podcasts?

One third of Americans ages 12 and older have listened to at least one podcast, according to the Pew Research Center.

I was late to join the party, resisting podcasts for years.

When one of my favorite authors, Gretchen Rubin, started the Happier podcast with her sister Elizabeth Craft earlier this year, I decided to try listening to it. Before long I was hooked on listening to podcasts during two specific activities:

  • While on a plane flight. I make sure my iPhone is loaded with multiple downloaded podcasts, so I can put in my ear buds and tune in to something interesting even when my phone is in airplane mode. This is also a great way to tune out engine noise, crying baby noise, and overly talkative seat mates.
  • While exercising. As a Fitbit Fanatic, I’m often walking fast laps at the park to get in my daily steps when I’m not traveling. Interesting podcasts take the boredom out of repetitive exercise with the same scenery.

There are many podcasts to choose from, which is a good thing, because I’m picky. There are hundreds of thousands of podcasts hosted on iTunes alone, with new ones appearing every day. I’ve learned that I prefer podcasts that generally run 20-35 minutes, and are in an interview or discussion format. Just hearing one person talking tends to get boring for me.

When I listen to podcasts, I want to learn something new that interests and/or inspires me. Here are my five current favorite podcasts:

HBR Ideacast These 20-25 minute interviews from the Harvard Business Review cover topical business issues in an interesting and to-the-point way. For example, I enjoyed learning about Xiaomi, a Chinese start-up company that is now the world’s fourth largest smartphone manufacturer from an interview with Clay Shirky in this episode: China and the Biggest Startup You’ve Probably Never Heard of that was just released yesterday.

Slate Money This podcast is released every Saturday, and covers a weekly roundup of the most important stories from the worlds of business and finance. What could be really dry economic concepts and numbers is brought to life through the terrific voices and conversations of host Felix Salmon of Fusion, Cathy O’Neil of mathbabe.org, and Slate’s Moneybox columnist Jordan Weissmann.

Magic Lessons Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love  was part of the inspiration for us to quit our jobs and explore Europe for five months in our early 40s. The 12 episodes of this podcast features Gilbert talking to people who are facing creative challenges, as well as guest experts who offer perspective, advice and inspiration. Gilbert released these 12 Magic Lessons during the lead up to the publication of her latest book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. Hopefully, Gilbert will be inspired to add more episodes after her book tour, as they as one misses hearing her inspirational voice.

Elise Gets Crafty Since I’m not “crafty,” this podcast may seem like an odd choice but I enjoy Elise Blaha Cripe’s interviews on small business, goal-setting, motivation and creativity. While the discussions are often with artsy millennials who are online business owners, I find them interesting, inspiring and often applicable to my world.

Happier with Gretchen Rubin Known for her books on happiness and habits, and her blog, Gretchen teams up with her sister to Elizabeth for this podcast. Gretchen lives in New York while Elizabeth is a television writer and producer in Los Angeles, but they grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. Since I grew up near Kansas City, and spent five years living in New York and five years in California among other places before returning to Kansas City, I feel a special connection listening to them as they discuss practical advice about happiness and habits. Thanks to Gretchen, I make my bed every day, something I resisted for years.

Interestingly, there aren’t any travel podcasts on my current “favorites” list, although there is an extensive list of Place & Travel podcasts in iTunes. Perhaps I just haven’t found the right one yet, or, maybe it’s because I find visual images such an important part of travel inspiration.

Are you a podcast listener? What favorite podcasts do you recommend? Please share in comments below. 

For an in-depth list of travel tips in one place, check out our Travel Toolkit.

Follow us on Twitter or interact with us on Facebook

Or, check out our boards on Pinterest and/or our photos on Instagram.

Previous post:

Next post: