5 podcasts to listen to & learn from (instead of a Netflix binge)

Feed your winter brain with these addictive podcasts.

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As we approach the coming winter months, with a good amount of apprehension and plenty of scarves, it’s fair to say that we all have at least one Netflix binge in our future. And, although it’s pretty easy to curl up with some hot cocoa and drink in an entire season of Gilmore Girls, that’s not really the best thing for your body or mind. Because, well, it’s a little mindless.

MORE TO READ: The 8 most amazing mother-daughter moments from Gilmore Girls

Fortunately, there’s another entertainment option for those lazy snow days: podcasts. Unlike Netflix, which can suck up all your down time, podcasts are perfect for when you’re on the go. Whether jogging on the treadmill or shoveling snow, a podcast is a great way to make your day-to-day winter activities a little more fun. Plus, a lot of these channels are better for your brain because they get you learning, agreeing, disagreeing, and just thinking in general.

So, get off that couch, grab your ear buds, and kiss Netflix-binging goodbye (at least, for the moment).

Marriage is Funny

Jesse and Gerard Pepper are a real-life married couple, whose mission in life is to tackle the “rules” of marriage one podcast at a time. The Peppers know that every relationship can be bumpy but it can also be really funny. Their humor and candidness keeps things interesting as they live out their motto that “the right mix of love and laughter is the best recipe for a healthy marriage.” This podcast is great for anyone married, in a relationship, or just searching for more enlightenment on how this whole marriage thing works.


Titled “Invisibilia,” which is the Latin word for invisible things, this podcast explores the science of the parts of our lives that we can’t see, such as personality, expectations, social norms, and much more. “Invisibilia” combines real-life stories with scientific research that causes us to question our assumptions and beliefs about ourselves. And, although most questions will never be answered, you’re sure to learn something new before the end of this hour-long podcast.

This I Believe

“This I Believe” has been around a lot longer than most current podcasts. It started as a radio show in the 1950s where famous and ordinary people alike would write and read essays about something that they believed. Then in 2005 “This I Believe” became a national organization that publishes weekly podcasts as an outlet for people to share their own life lessons and inspire others. This podcast serves as a meaningful reminder of the power of belief in an always-changing world.

Magic Lessons

Although you may know her as the author and main character of Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert is much more than a pasta-eating enthusiast. Gilbert has spent recent years devoted to spreading creativity and positivity in the world around her. Her latest book, Big Magic, inspired her to start this podcast. With each episode Gilbert talks to a guest, usually an artist either expert or amateur, about what Gilbert refers to as “creative living beyond fear.” Whether you have a case of writer’s block or winter blues, “Magic Lessons” may just be the pick-me-up you need.

Stuff You Missed in History Class

Even—or especially—if history isn’t your thing, this podcast is a great way to educate yourself on events in history that might’ve only taken up a couple sentences in your middle school textbook. With topics like “A Brief History of the ‘White Wedding’” and “The Crayola Crayon Story,” you’re sure to learn something new. But if you’re worried that this podcast will be a little too much like an old documentary, never fear. The show’s lively hosts, Tracy Wilson and Holly Frey, are here to make history fun.

Grace Cooper
Grace Cooper

A student at the University of Pittsburgh, Grace Cooper is studying Nonfiction Writing and Psychology. A writer for Verily and other publications, she dreams of moving to New York City to further pursue a career in journalism.

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