Many people shy away from psychology podcasts because they are misinformed about the whole field of psychology. Just mention it, and they immediately think of straight jackets and Hannibal Lecter. But that couldn’t be further than the truth. Psychology podcasts are a terrific supplement to your mental healthcare. That goes for people who see a doctor regularly and those who don't.
Listening to a podcast is a great way to start or end your day. However, before you pick a psychology podcast to listen to, a proper understanding of the field of psychology will help you out. In fact, it will allow you to see the value of investing your time (and money) in those podcasts.
What Is Psychology and Who Needs It?
Psychology is simply the study of the human mind and behavior, good or bad. Unfortunately, Hollywood has done a great job of feeding the masses the wrong notion that it is all about helping people who have problematic (and usually devious) habits and behavior. In its true sense, psychology is all about turning you into the best “you” you can be.
That means everyone, whether they realize it or not, is affected by psychology every day of their lives. And that is why you need to dedicate time to listen to some psychology podcasts.
Before we tell you the best psychology podcasts to listen to, we still have to answer a pressing question: What are the benefits of understanding psychology and listening to psychology podcasts?
Benefits of Listening to Psychology Podcasts
The benefits of listening to psychology podcasts are too numerous to mention in a single post, but I will give you two of the most important ones.
Psychology helps you understand yourself better
In all honesty, the biggest problems in life are not external, they are internal. Yes, the biggest stumbling block to happiness and success is within you. It is the failure to understand yourself. Without the proper understanding and realization of self, you will limit yourself in life. And it is those limitations that detract from your happiness and success. And that, my friend, is why you need to listen to psychology podcasts.
Not only do they give you a better understanding of yourself and help you feel good, but psychology podcasts also help you do what many people are struggling to do, which is to be in control of their lives.
Psychology helps you understand the people around you
Ever wonder why people do the things they do? Well, if you take time to listen to some psychology podcasts, you will know why your colleagues, friends, and family do some of the things they do. And yes, it is important to understand human behavior if you want to live a happy life.
You see, many times we get offended by the way other people behave, it’s a part of life. But understanding the motivation behind such behavior will help you keep from being offended (most of the time at least). The result? You will be able to live and work better with everyone.
And if you are in business, understanding what makes your customers tick will help you be a better business person. It will even help you provide better services and products, leading to the growth of your business.
Who Needs to Listen to Psychology Podcasts?
Hopefully, by this time you are picking up a strong pattern here: psychology is everywhere. If you have, then you’re probably coming up to the right conclusion as to who needs at least a basic understanding of human psychology. Everyone.
As long as you are a human being and as long as you live among fellow human beings, psychology is something you cannot escape. That is why you need to invest some time to listen to a few of the best psychology podcasts on the planet. And like I said, don’t worry about where to find them -- I’ve got your back.
As a result of some pretty deep research, we managed to sift through the sea of voices clamoring for attention and compiled a list of 10 of the best psychology podcasts to help you get started. This is not a list of some feel-good pep-talks that do nothing more than get you temporarily excited. These are podcasts that will help you grow into a better you. Podcasts that will help you unleash your potential and live your life to the fullest.
Let’s get to it then, shall we?
10 Psychology Podcasts You Need to Know
The voices I will be introducing you to are experts in their fields with track records that span time, geographical location, and social status. In short, these are people everyone (especially you) should be listening to.
1. The TED Radio Hour
For motivation, inspiration, or insight, there’s no better place to go than to a TED conference. If that is not possible, then the TED Radio Hour is the next best thing. This is one of the best psychology podcasts you can find as it explores many different topics including mental well-being, religion, happiness, success, and a whole lot more.
Put on by NPR, the TED Radio Hour brings together different TED talks around a common topic so as to fully exhaust the topic. This is the best place to start if you are looking to dip your feet into psychology podcasts. If you are looking for a platform that offers easy to understand and digest content, then this is it.
2. Happier with Gretchen Rubin
Let’s be honest with each other for a moment here, we are all in pursuit of happiness. The pursuit of happiness is an important part of everyone's life. But what if we are doing it wrong? This is where the psychology podcast Happier with Gretchen Rubin comes into play.
Gretchen Rubin and her co-host (who is also her sister) Elizabeth Craft delve into topics that will help you find happiness in the right places, mainly by cultivating good habits and getting rid of the wrong ones. According to this life-changing podcast, happiness is not in the things we chase but rather in the person we choose to be.
So if happiness has been eluding you thus far, perhaps the simple yet profoundly powerful principles on this podcast will help you finally find it.
3. The Psychology Podcast with Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman
For those looking for deeper psychological lessons and thought-provoking conversations, one of the best psychology podcasts you can feed on is The Psychology Podcast with Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman.
Dr. Kaufman is a highly-respected psychology podcaster that is attested to by his credentials. He is the scientific director of the University of Pennsylvania's Imagination Institute. His podcast aims to break down the complexities of the human mind, with his favorite aspect being the nature of creativity.
When you tune into this podcast, be sure to brace yourself for some sizzling conversations while he probes the minds of fellow psychologists and neuroscientists as they go on a quest to understand human nature and behavior.
4. Brain Stuff
If you are looking for shorter and more lighthearted psychology podcasts, then your first stop should be the Brain Stuff podcast.
These short (usually averaging five minutes) episodes explore a variety of interesting topics. These topics range from “Why do we sleep?” to “Why do men have nipples?” and even daring to explore questions like “Why is the Sky Blue?” Brain Stuff has something for everyone.
Because of the brevity and the format of the podcast, Brain Stuff is one of the most popular psychology podcasts for the “Curious Georges” out there. So if you are curious to know how and why some things happen (or are the way they are) then visit Brain Stuff and get the answers to some of life’s pressing questions.
5. The Psych Files
Another great psychology podcast that really goes deep in discussing all issues related to the human mind and human behavior is Michael A. Britt, Ph.D.
Although anyone interested in understanding human behavior will enjoy this podcast, it is more beneficial to those pursuing a course in psychology or in a career that involves a lot of deep psychology.
Presented in an easy to understand format and with a great flow, The Psych Files is one of those psychology podcasts that keep you hooked from start to finish. It is one podcast that you will do well to listen to as you take your morning commute (or run) as it will jog your mind and help you prepare for the day ahead. So go ahead and tune in to the “most popular academic psychology podcast on the web."
6. Arming the Donkeys
If you are looking for a psychology podcast with a twist, Arming the Donkeys is what you are looking for. The Podcast host, Dan Ariely, is a Duke University behavioral economist and an expert in human irrationality. In this podcast, he sits down with different guests (who are also experts in their fields) to discuss the many ways and reasons human beings tend to violate their self-interest through irrational (and often negative) behavior.
The discussions cover everything from moral issues to compulsive disorders and everything in between. Although this podcast doesn’t have as many episodes as others, 135 in total, and the last episode aired in 2016, it is still a great resource that you will be glad to have.
7. Hidden Brain
Hidden Brain is another great NPR podcast that you definitely have to check out if you are looking for tips to help you improve yourself.
In this podcast, Shankar Vedantam, the host, will guide you in understanding your cognitive missteps, biases, and blind spots. To be honest, we all need these insights as it is part of our human nature to be blinded and blinkered when it comes to certain aspects of life. Vedantam reveals these blinkers so that we can understand the why and how forces that we may not be aware of which impact our decision making and judgment.
By revealing these blinkers and blind spots, listeners are equipped to be able to navigate the journey of life with a “third eye” that will help them avoid the said missteps and biases.
If you are looking to break some common misconceptions, ideas, and fallacies that are limiting you, then Invisibilia is the podcast to tune into. The name Invisibilia is the Latin word for invisible things.
Whether you know it or not, invisible forces shape our lives. These powerful forces shape or dictate our behavior and affect our perspective. Some of these invisible forces include things like ideas, beliefs, assumptions, and emotions.
The podcast fuses gripping narrative storytelling with science and will help you see your own life and the world in a completely different way. Hosted by Alix Spiegel and Hanna Rosin, the podcast has many different guests from all walks of life, all helping you make sense of the invisible strings that direct your behavior and, ultimately, your life.
9. All in the Mind
This podcast from down under is one of the most interesting psychology podcasts everyone needs to tune into. The premise of the podcast is that all human behavior has a source, and that source is the brain.
Host Lynne Malcolm does an excellent job of introducing you to the many sides of human psychology. Among them are topics that range from your social relationships to scientific research like the therapeutic use of psychedelic drugs to treat mental illness. It is an authoritative podcast that backs everything with scientific data to ensure everything you consume is reliable.
If you are looking to understand the workings of your mind and how it relates to everything around you, then tune into All in the Mind.
10. Brain Science Podcast
The Brain Science Podcast is the brainchild of Dr. Ginger Campbell, MD. An experienced emergency physician, Dr. Campbell has a long-standing interest in mind-body medicine, the brain, and consciousness. She is committed to showing that science can unravel many long-standing mysteries that have baffled the world.
In the Brain Science Podcast, Dr. Campbell and her guests share the most recent discoveries from the world of neuroscience in a simple and easy to understand the way that people of all backgrounds can enjoy. Dr. Campbell’s philosophy is that by understanding how the brain works, we gain insight into what makes us human.
Pick Your Brain, Pick Your Favorite Psychology Podcasts
These 10 excellent psychology podcasts for you to choose from are the best way for you to start your fantastic journey to self-discovery and improvement. No matter where you are in life, these podcasts will help you get to where you want to go in life. Whether you are a parent, single, a business person, or even a teenager, there’s something to feed your brain (and habits) in this list.
However, if you are looking for meaty, professional insights in the field of psychology, then The Psychology Podcast with Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman comes highly recommended. For some lighthearted, everyday psychology podcasts, I’d suggest Invisibilia and Happier with Gretchen Rubin.
So which podcast do you relate to the most? And if you have a favorite that is not listed here, be sure to leave your comments below.