educational podcasts

Apple Podcasts

10 educational podcasts to make you smarter as you go about your day

These podcasts will make you smarter without you needing to pick up a single book.


Tess Cagle


People who are always on the go and have an interest in training their brain will find that educational podcasts offer a diverse wealth of knowledge.

While you drive around, you can listen to the history behind the credit card, learn how stuff works, and get a dose of the day’s headlines. Thanks to educational podcasts, you learn while you commute, run, or otherwise go about your business — without picking up a book or turning on the TV.

So, these are the best educational podcasts you’ll find on podcast apps now.

10 best educational podcasts

1) A History of the World in 100 Objects

Listen: Apple Podcasts, BBC, WNYC, NPR

educational podcasts

Created by the BBC, A History of the World in 100 Objects is a 100-episode educational podcast that recounts humanity’s history through the stories of everyday objects people have used. The series is the podcast version of a book by the same name, and Neil MacGregor, director of the British Museum, narrates the show. In the podcast, MacGregor explores all kinds of objects, from Hawaiian feather helmets to the modern-day credit card.

2) Stuff You Should Know

Listen: Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Podbean, Player FM, Spotify

educational podcasts

Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant host the educational podcast Stuff You Should Know. The podcast teaches listeners about a range of topics, like how ventriloquism or peyote work, for instance. The episodes are usually 45 minutes long, although it varies significantly by the scope of the topic.

3) Skimm This

Listen: Apple Podcasts, Google Play

educational podcasts

Skimm This is a short, daily podcast that relays the news of the day in a digestible way. In under 15 minutes, the podcast breaks down complicated issues happening around the world. New episodes premiere daily at 5 p.m., so it’s the perfect podcast for your commute home. Also, Skimm This comes from the same creators of Daily Skimm, a newsletter about the day’s news.

4) Revisionist History

Listen: Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, Podbean, Player FM, TuneIn

educational podcasts

Malcolm Gladwell hosts Revisionist History, a podcast that re-examines something from the past to see whether historians documented it correctly the first time. The educational podcast tackles all kinds of events, ideas, and aspects of culture. For example, past episodes have examined topics from Jesuits to chess masters. Each episode runs about 40 minutes.

5) Mission Daily

Listen: Apple Podcasts, Player FM, Stitcher, Podbean

educational podcasts

Mission Daily is an educational podcast that aims to teach listeners one new thing a day. The podcast says it aims to improve aspects of your life such as your health, wealth, career and relationships. For instance, past episodes have taught listeners how to identify fake news, how to protect your identity online, and the art of audio storytelling. Plus, it already boasts over 300 episodes, so there’s plenty to listen to. Each episode lasts anywhere between 20 minutes and an hour.


6) Ted Talks Daily

Listen: Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Player FM, Spotify, Podbean, TuneIn

educational podcasts

Ted Talks is an online sensation that brings the smartest minds on the planet to talk about what they’re up to or what they’ve learned recently. The Ted Talks Daily educational podcast brings the same viral videos to an audio format, so you can continue listening to the motivational conferences while you’re out and about. Plus, there’s a variety of topics to choose from. For example, past episodes have featured someone who escaped North Korea, a scientist explaining how climate change affects your mental health, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt discussing how wanting attention can make you less creative.

7) Freakonomics Radio

Listen: Apple Podcasts, NPR, Stitcher, Podbean, Player FM

educational podcasts

Hosted by Freakonomics books co-author Stephen J. Dubner, Freakonomics Radio tells you “things you always thought you knew (but didn’t) and things you never thought you wanted to know (but do).” Dubner interviews Nobel laureates, intellectuals, and entrepreneurs. They delve into topics like how the supermarket helped America win the Cold War. New episodes air weekly.

8) The Knowledge Project

Listen: Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, Player FM

educational podcasts

Shane Parrish hosts The Knowledge Project, an educational podcast to help listeners learn things that others have mastered. The podcast features guests teaching listeners about a lesson they have learned during their life. Parrish has interviewed a wide variety of people, including a former NHL player about playing a professional sport. The episodes usually run about 1 1/2 hours.

9) CodeNewbie

Listen: Apple Podcasts, Podbean, Player FM

educational podcasts

As technology continues to rule the economy, knowing how to code only becomes a more lucrative skillset. CodeNewbie is a podcast for those interested in learning to code, and it features stories from coders about their time in the industry. Episodes explore topics such as why Java matters and dive into the nitty-gritty of coding.

10) Back to Work

Listen: Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Player FM

educational podcasts

Award-winning talk show Back to Work is an educational podcast that advises on productivity, communication, and work. Hosts Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin have discussed topics like the changing media landscape and the complexities of personal style. They’ve published over 300 episodes, and each one typically runs over an hour long.


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