Skip to main contentA logo with &quat;the muse&quat; in dark blue text.
Advice / Succeeding at Work / Break Room

6 New(ish) Podcasts That'll Keep Your Brain Sharp

person listening to podcast
Hoxton/Tom Merton/Getty Images

We all love to feel smarter. It’s why we read career-boosting books, watch enlightening videos, and, if we’re super hip and cool, pick up podcasts to listen to.

And we don’t just do this for our own amusement (even if we enjoy nerding out to some random topic). Learning something new helps us have better conversations with co-workers, makes us better at our jobs, and it honestly gives us something interesting to talk about.

So, to feed your brain with all the knowledge (and all the small talk material), I’ve rounded up six newish podcasts you have to listen to this month. Whether you need your daily dose of news, want to try some fun memory exercises, or crave a bit of mystery in your life, these will do the trick.

1. The Daily by The New York Times

Episode: An Illuminating Drive Across Venezuela

If 20 minutes a day is all you have to catch up on breaking news, The New York Times makes this an easy task with this short but extensive series.

2. How I Built This by NPR

Episode: 1-800-GOT-JUNK?: Brian Scudamore

We’re all dreamers—but how much do we really know about making those dreams a reality? Learn how others did it in this series that covers the paths of successful (and sometimes eccentric) entrepreneurs and innovators.

3. Masters of Scale With Reid Hoffman by WaitWhat

Episode: Handcrafted With Airbnb's Brian Chesky

Curious how a company (like Airbnb) got its start? This podcast covers the timeline of a company from start to finish, interviewing famous founders on how they ended up where they are now. Because, turns out, we were all amateurs at some point in our careers—even the power players who we all look up to now.

4. Brain Training by Audioshows Ltd

Episode: Give Your Head a Workout, Play Backwards and Order

If listening to someone talk about their life doesn’t interest you, this podcast might. It’s basically a “workout for your head”—you’ll be guided through a series of games that’ll make you sharper and more focused.

5. S-Town by WBEZ

Episode: Chapter I

The hype is well-deserved for this one. If you (somehow) haven’t listened yet, you’re going to want to check out S-Town, another mystery from the creators of Serial that you’ll be thinking about long after it’s over.

6. Every Little Thing by Gimlet Media

Episdoe: The Hide Rug of the Plant World

This show will, according to its poetic description, “turn over the rock, peek through the keyhole, go down the rabbit hole” of ordinary situations and discoveries. Need to be taken on a journey? This podcast might do just that.

Do you have another suggestion? Tell me on Twitter.