A young man listening to a podcast on his iPhone

Sonic Brain Food: Five Mind-Expanding Podcasts For Your Vacation

Pod Almighty 🙏🏽📱

Cross-country bus journeys, endless flight delays in far-flung airports, or simply chilling on a beach, summer vacations provide plenty of opportunities to plug in your earphones and zone out. 

And thanks to the podcast explosion, you can now feed your brain when doing so.  Here’s our pick of the best summertime aural stimulation.

Articles of Interest  (Mary-Kate)

Part of the bigger (brilliant) 99% Invisible series, each instalment of Articles of Interest looks at a different aspect of fashion: things like the rise of casual wear, how plaid went beyond lumberjacks and why womenswear doesn’t have pockets (a question that definitely needs answering).

 Slow Burn (Season 2) (Eric)

There are some events that happened during our lifetimes that we were old enough to be very aware of, but not quite old enough to fully understand. Bill Clinton’s impeachment is one of those. 

This 8-part series is perfect for getting back up to speed on events that are, if anything, only more interesting when seen through today’s prism of social media, #MeToo and, of course, the current POTUS.

The Dropout (Derek)

The Dropout tells the story of Elizabeth Holmes, who quit college to found a biotech start-up that, at its peak, was valued at US$10bn.  

But that’s where the story, which plays out almost like thriller fiction, really only starts, as Holmes and her company, Theranos, unravel almost as quickly as they rose.

Griefcast (Emily)

As host Cariad Lloyd puts it, “a podcast about the weirdness of grief and death – but with comedians, so it’s not that depressing”.  Each guest talks about someone they’ve lost, and share poignant, relatable and often incredibly uplifting stories.

The instalment with comedian David Baddiel remains one of the best, while the remarkable recent Jayson Greene episode will leave you in pieces.

13 Minutes to the Moon (Our Pick of Picks)

We’ve all become slightly obsessed with the Apollo 11 mission recently.  That we put a man on the moon using less computing power than is in an iPhone blows our mind (especially when you think that we’re now convinced that the best use for that power is Snapchat cat filters…). 

This podcast puts you right inside Mission Control.  And the last episode, which replays the 13-minute landing uninterrupted, is weirdly spellbinding.

Feed your Mind, Pod-y and Soul