If you’re anything like me, you either sit in what feels like (or may actually be) hours of traffic every day or take a family road trip at least once a year to see the grandparents or venture to the beach. Instead of winding down after a day’s work with music or listening to the background of whatever your kids are watching on Netflix, take advantage of some free time, (instead of hating on the traffic that isn’t going anywhere), take the opportunity to learn, and subscribe to these podcasts that are perfect for your commute.
- This American Life: Hosted weekly by Ira Glass, this radio program, rated 4.5 out of 5 stars, looks into our culture and society with wise, genuine, and profound insight. One of the most recent episodes, “Who Do We Think We Are?” discusses what we do when we start becoming close or want to be friends with those who have extremely different fundamental values.
- Freakonomics Radio: Branching off their books, Freakonomics and Superfreakonomics, Stephen J. Dubner and Steve Levitt host this station and discuss the “weird wrinkles of human nature.” Whether that be handwriting in the digital age, the art of boredom, creative destruction, or the economics of sleep, this podcast is bound to address random thoughts you have during your day or maybe even some you wish you never knew.
- Reply All: This podcast from Gimlet Media explores the relationship between society and technology, specifically, the influence that the internet has on people and in turn, how people affect the internet. Its most recent episode (2 parts), “On the Inside” explores a man who not only is in jail for a crime he “didn’t” commit but also writes a blog (in a maximum security prison) without being aware of the internet. How puzzling, right?
- Criminal: If you have ever binge-watched True Detective, CSI, or Scandal, I guarantee you will be found listening to this series not only in the car but also at the gym, on your lunch break, and even while cooking dinner. And for those of you who don’t watch crime shows because of the blood and gore, I have good news! Criminal tells stories of people who have been wronged or have caused others to be wrong instead of focusing on gruesome images or details to make the case more drastic.
- How to Do Everything: Now, maybe you don’t care for a life lesson or want to solve a mystery after 8 hours at the office. How To Do Everything is the perfect podcast for some light humor, minimal attention, and a bunch of random knowledge, as the hosts take calls in hope of answering any and every type of questions. If the hosts cannot provide an answer, they call in the big shots for expert advice. Want to talk to astronauts? Want to get back at annoying facebook posters? Check this out!
If you want to be funnier, smarter, and wiser, consider listening to these podcasts on your commute. Or, at least, browse the podcast chart on iTunes and take the time you could listen to the same playlist over and over again to learn and expand your knowledge on various topics, you never know when it could come in handy!