6 Podcasts That’ll Make You A Modern Day Renaissance Man

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From passing the time on your commute to keeping up on current events, podcasts are a pick-me-up for your mind. With  over 550,000 different podcasts available, anything you’re looking to learn is likely covered. These prerecorded nuggets of gold are an excellent way to expand your horizons.

But with half a million podcasts available, which ones are the best? Here are six podcasts that’ll make transforming into a Renaissance Man as easy as pressing play.

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Switched on Pop 

When you’re listening to the latest Ariana Grande, you’re probably not thinking about the chord structures as the bass drops, nor will you ever have to, thanks to musicologist Nate Sloan and songwriter Charlie Harding. Switched on Pop is the podcast that will boost your knowledge of music while applying it to the songs you love most. Next time you hear “No More Tears Left To Cry” you’ll be able to breakdown the tempo rubato, modal interchange, and amen breaks like a pro.

Secrets of the Most Productive People

If you find yourself worn down from the everyday grind but can’t unplug on when you’re off the clock — Fast Company’s Kate Davis and Anisa Purbasari Horton can help you with that. Secrets of the Most Productive People attacks problems you didn’t even know you have. If you struggle with things like sleep issues, staying focused, and organization, this podcast has solutions for you. The guests are experts in productivity, brain science, and human behavior. The best part about this podcast? All the practical tips from real experts on how to improve your life.

Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History

For a podcast that’s one man talking for up to 6 hours, Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History should’t be as engaging as it is. Nevertheless, Carlin’s detailed storytelling and true love of history keeps you hanging on his every word. You can let the self-admitted non-historian teach everything about Genghis Khan’s empire, WWI, Julius Caesar’s subjugation of Celtic tribes, and plenty more.

Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer (Getty Images)

WNYC’s A Piece of Work

If you’re not the type of person to voluntarily go to a museum, or you walk through quickly because you don’t know what you’re supposed to be looking for, this podcast is for you. Hosted by art major and Broad City star Abbi Jacobson, WNYC’s A Piece of Work is described as, “everything you want to know about modern art but were afraid to ask.” In each episode, Abbi chooses one piece from the MoMA to analyze and discuss its importance in art history. Plus, with celebrity guests Questlove, Ru PaulHannibal Buress and more, you’ll find yourself laughing and learning.

My Brother, My Brother And Me

My Brother, My Brother and Me podcast hosts Justin, Travis, and Griffin McElroy are far from experts in anything. That doesn’t stop these West Virginian brothers from answering questions from listeners and Yahoo Answers. This podcast might not teach you any practical skills, but it’s worth tuning in for the stories. The McElroy brothers’ meta-narrative tangents will give you unmatched knowledge on topics like the best foods for fighting, the mystery of ghosts/horses, and what to do with hundreds of plastic crawdads. You’ll find a true family connection that will make you want to be a better sibling, father, and son.

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Planet Money

If the economy confuses or causes you anxiety, you’re not alone. The Planet Money podcast makes understanding the world’s economy simple. It breaks down how these systems and policies are present in every aspect of our lives. With stories as simple as the current trade war with China, to unbelievable tales like Switzerland’s secret cheese cartel, you’ll be ready to hold a conversation with Warren Buffet in no time.

Do you already listen to any of these podcasts? Or are there others you think we need to know about? Sound off in the comments to let us know!