Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Ask HN: What podcast(s) changed your life?
57 points by throwawayt856 on Jan 19, 2020 | hide | past | favorite | 57 comments
I am interested in what podcast(s) changed your life.

Thanks for a great community and I look forward to your suggestions.

Almost 200 comments in "Ask HN: What were your most impactful podcast episodes from 2019?" https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=22027315 last week.

EconTalk with Russell Roberts has been huge for me. He is a free-markets, small-government, classical-liberal kind of guy and always brings on interesting guests to talk about a variety of things, including views that he disagrees with. Often the guests are promoting a book that they recently published, but the books are interesting too so I don't feel like it's "too promotional".


+1 he’s humble, a spectacular interviewer and somehow draws truly remarkable insights out of a really diverse set of guests

Joe Rogan, actually changed my mindset. I get more often in the action mindset and also more compassion on myself. Is not something specific about him, or what he says, is more about all the people that he interview, all the stories get me on this permanent feeling that there is always more to learn and that I'm stupid on 99% on any subjects in the world and still I feel optimistic.

Love JRE - I’ve been an avid listener since the early days. “Humble, but fearless curiosity with some good laughs” would be my best attempt at describing it in one sentence.

What are your favourite episodes?

The ones I got in `saved`, not my favorites but the ones I relisten

Dabid Goggins

Bernie Sanders

John Carmack (Oculus)

Dan Bilzerian

Alexis Ohanian

Ioan Grillo

Eric Weinstein (The Portal)

Mike Tyson

Renée DiResta (Mozilla)

Matthew Walker (Sleep)

Douglas Rushkoff (Open Source)

Jordan Peterson

Russell Brand

Travis Barker (Blink 182

Andrew Yang

David Sinclair (Aging)

Jack Dorsey

Nicholas Christakis (Research social networks)

Steve Aoki

Ed Calderon

Jocko Willink (Extreme Ownership)

Bill Burr

Ash Dykes (Trekking)

Steven Crowder

Pen Jillette

Annie Jacobsen (Writer CIA)

Dan Flores (Natural History)

William von Hippel (Scientist, Genetics, Social)

Brian Cox (Physicist)

The one with Brian Cox was just awe inspiring. His passion and curiosity really comes out in the interview and it makes me want to go buy a telescope.

I would add Malcolm Gladwell to this list

Almost #1 in my book.

The Portal by Eric Weinstein.

I listen to the episodes usually same day/next day that they get released. One of my favorite podcasts in 2019.


I also listen to this. It had a rough start but is now getting really good. Listen when you have time to process tho. If you're coding or something and have it on in the background, you'll be missing out.

Nothing especially life changing, however:

The Sy Hearsh interview on Intercepted is a must-hear for anyone interested in journalism and media.

The Ezra Klein show has been great. Individual episodes have been hit or miss for me, but listening to his backlog, you get to view the intellectual development of a very introspective and intelligent guy who was thrown for a loop by 2016 as he makes sense of the changing world. It's not explicit on an epispde to episode basis, but if you're willing to pay attention, it's there.

The No Agenda Show's a morning-zoo style biweekly podcast covering current affairs. It's a lighter take on the news, and the hosts (Adam Curry - former MTV VJ,and John C Dvorak - the guy who was always wrong about technology) have longer memories than most pundits. The episodes are long, but if you enjoy as I do, or are willing to look past their eccentricities, well worth adding to your pod rotation.

Philosophize This!

Available on Spotify and elsewhere.

Incredibly digestible and thoughtful non-ideological exploration of great thinkers in philosophy. Excellent as a starting point for further exploration.

Many of the thoughts and perspectives that have shaped and currently shape the modern world are discussed.

Relevant, not esoteric.

The "On Being" podcast. Really broad range of guests; it's centered around spirituality, but (again) with a really broad lens. Krista Tippet is a fantastic interviewer.

"Pursuing deep thinking and moral imagination, social courage and joy, to renew inner life, outer life, and life together."


Jocko Podcast. https://jockopodcast.com/

Found him through Joe Rogan, which subsequently lead me to Extreme Ownership. Along with that book, those are two game changers for sure.

Jocko is the reason I get up when my alarm rings and immediately make the bed. Jocko has more interesting morsels of wisdom than this, of course, but it's funny how this small change impacted my life so much as he said it would.

Once you have the willpower victory of getting up immediately (no snoozing bullshit) and then the willpower victory of making your bed, it's not a stretch to also do 50 pushups, make a healthy breakfast, clean the kitchen, go for your morning run, avoid HN while you start work, and then carry that momentum into the rest of the day.

I agree, it compounds. It's all in building good habits, so that habitualness takes over and you don't even think about it.

Watching that man's twitter feed, posting the pic of his watch well before 5:00, and aftermath of his workouts is motivating in of itself.

That guy is a force of nature

I found him through his chat with Sam Harris: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFQ5H3zpkMU

Revolutions by Mike Duncan. I've always been interested in History, but Revolutions has really deepened my understanding of how our nations and political philosophies came to be, and what could have been.


Definitely the "Found my Fitness" podcast. I've implemented a lot of the scientifically-backed suggestions that have changed my life to the positive (e.g. intermittent fasting, monitoring and lowering inflammation, etc).

Thanks, which is a must have episode in your opinion to begin with?

Who is the author? Nothing came up in my podcast app

Here: https://www.foundmyfitness.com/ - Dr. Rhonda Patrick

I've got a soft spot for Science Versus: https://gimletmedia.com/shows/science-vs

Changing my life if probably over-stretching it, but it lures me in with "let's take the scientific approach to a topic" - and I can nod along, agreeing with them, and then they sneak in stuff that I don't want to be true.. but well is..

I discovered podcasts late, about 2 years ago, and now religiously tune in during my commute

I started with "In Our Time", recommended for the quality of the guests, the variety of subjects and number of episodes (near 900)

At the moment I switch between these 3:

"The Age of Napoleon" (https://podbay.fm/podcast/1223795973) and "Revolutions" (https://podbay.fm/podcast/703889772) rekindled my interest for History, especially the 19th century.

"The History of Literature" (https://podbay.fm/podcast/1048375034)

Below the Line has really changed my perspective on many things, such as assisted suicide, starting companies as a whole, microdosiing and much more.

A few much required new perspectives on life.


Not sure if it can be considered as "podcast" (more like interviews, with video), but imho London Real has the biggest concentration of high performers in one place. Lots of the interviews have teached me a lot of valuable things. Highly recommended.

[1] https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCZVmatSqIMTTB8uExk8xEg [2] https://londonreal.tv/

My favorite Murder, I ended up bonding with coworkers I had nothing else in common with when they started and gained some amazing friends who I would have never otherwise gotten to know

Sam Harris's: Making Sense (used to be called Waking Up).


I don't agree with him on everything -- he's a bit to the center/right of me in some areas, particularly around what he calls "identity politics". But regardless his guests are usually great, and I agree with him on the core of his philosophy: atheism, rational debate with others, and better knowing oneself through meditation.

I like watching Sam Harris in difficult conversations just to see how to keep a calmer, cooler head. I think his meditation pays off.

For example, his debate with Cenk of The Young Turks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVl3BJoEoAU

That is excellent thanks for the link. Sitting patiently through a Cenk debate definitely speaks volumes.

Two podcasts, very high quality, but are paid subscriptions, $15 a month or so each. I have no affiliation:

1. Real Vision - finance - https://www.realvision.com/tv/home

2. Peter Attia The Drive - health - https://peterattiamd.com/podcast/

I don't know about "life-changing", but I've really been enjoying The Anthropocene Reviewed, written and read by John Green. It "reviews" different parts of life. And example might be "Sunsets" or "Sports Rivalries".

John Green is an excellent writer, I really enjoy his style, and it's a very different, kind of mindful(?) point of view that I find refreshing.

Someone dislikes this author/podcaster enough to downvote? Is he a controversial figure?

Admittedly he is somewhat polarizing. He generally writes "young adult" fiction, which some see as a kind of lowest common denominator.

He also is fairly public about his mental health issues. If you don't have the background about his depression and anxiety, he can seem like a very "privileged problems" kinda guy.

He's also a successful YouTube creator/vlogger/various other kinds of content. The fanbase can be...vigorous and passionate.

There's plenty of reasons people might not like him. I disagree with those reasons completely, but I know there are some.

Armchair Expert.


Highly recommend their "Best of 2019" episode for a sneak peak before diving in: https://armchairexpertpod.com/pods/best-of-2019

The Greatest Generation, for light-hearted deep dives into every TNG and DS9 episode:


If you have trauma or signs or trauma like persistent anxiety or imposter syndrome, Tim Ferriss’s work on psychedelics may be the most important podcasts out there for you.

Econtalk by Russ Roberts. I've been listening to every episode from now going backwards - currently on 2015. It's had a big impact on my political views.

I listened to Sam Harris a lot before this but have since lost interest in him.

How it Began by Brad Harris. Beautifully written and piqued a whole new level of interest in the history of the modern world.

The Relentless Picnic


Tiësto's Club Life. I appreciate the show and it made me appreciate a genre that I thought I didn't like.

The Mad Fientist. This was my gateway to podcasts in general, as well as my road towards financial independence.

He is a great host. Really brings out an interesting conversation from his guests.

Cum Town and MSSecretPod (in a bad way)

Duncan Trussel Family Hour. Specifically the episode where he is interviewing his mom on her death bed.

Stanford's Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders


Chapo Trap House changed my life

La zanzara.

The Daily lowered my opinion of the US

They definitely have a strong point of view

- Waking up - Sam Harris

- The Portal - Eric Weinstein

- Naval - Naval Ravikant

- Joe Rogan

I know and love all of these except for Naval - I’ll have to check that one out seeing as it’s in such good company in this list

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact