The 5 Best Podcasts To Listen To While Driving To Work

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Driving to work can either be relaxing or stressful depending on factors like the weather, traffic, and what was on your mind before you got in your car that morning. Podcasts make a great companion during such a time, either by helping you reconnect with yourself or by taking your mind off work and anything else that's been lingering in there.

Podcasts have become popular for a number of reasons, some of which include the ease at which people can start and produce their own shows, the incredible variety the medium offers, and how engaging the entire experience is, especially when compared to activities like listening to music, according to The Varsity

You might be drawn to self-help podcasts that inspire you to work on yourself each morning, or maybe your taste is more towards the happenings around the world. Whatever your personal taste, this list of five of the best podcasts to listen to while you drive to work might just have that gem you've been searching for. 

Catch a rare glimpse into the lives of well-known figures with Fresh Air

Named as one of the 10 podcasts that shaped the genre of conversation-style podcasts by Vulture, "Fresh Air," hosted by journalist Terry Gross, is well-loved because of the host's unique way of asking the hard questions, per New York Public Radio. With a rich and extensive history in media, Gross exhibits her insightful knowledge as she creates a comfortable environment for her guests to share things about their lives. 

Speaking to New York Public Radio, Gross explained that what keeps people from sharing information is not always necessarily about "the fear of being 'found out,'" but rather "the fear of being misunderstood."

The guests come from varied spheres including arts, politics, and culture, per Fresh Air Archive, and the Peabody Award-winning show's popularity can be evidenced by how much it's grown since its inception in 1975. You can listen to the "Fresh Air" podcast on National Public Radio, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Google Podcasts

Break free from the rut with Magic Lessons by Elizabeth Gilbert

Have you ever felt stuck creatively? You know you're meant to be doing something artistic, yet something is holding you back. Best-selling author of "Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything across Italy, India, and Indonesia," Elizabeth Gilbert expertly navigates this conundrum as she speaks to creative figures about moving beyond fear. The show also features iconic authors like Neil Gaiman, Brandon Stanton, and Amy Purdy as special guests (via Pod News). 

Artistic expression is known to be great for your brain. Whether you've attempted to write one book and you're struggling to find courage to work on your next one or you're simply trying to chart your course as a new artist, "Magic Lessons" is sure to inspire, per Apple Podcasts. Freelance writer and editor Erin Greenawald, commenting on the podcast to The Muse, shared that Gilbert's insights can be helpful for just about anyone who's searching for a boost in artistic expression, not just authors. 

You can find the "Magic Lessons" podcast on Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts.

Learn from a philosophy that's intrigued millions with Dhamma Talks by the Amaravati

As a philosophy, Buddhism has gained popularity around the world, perhaps owing to its scientific and often open approach to the trials and tribulations of life, according to Study Buddhism. The teachings of Buddhism revolve around four simple truths. First, life is full of suffering. However, there is a reason behind such suffering, it is possible to stop the suffering, and there is a way to do so, according to the Indian Journal of Psychiatry

Tackling topics like working through restlessness and mindfulness as a practice, "Dhamma Talks" by the Amaravati Buddhist Monastery in the U.K. will appeal to anyone looking to find some direction or guidance to tackle the secular world, according to The Muse. A Theravada Buddhist monastery, Amaravati is situated amidst breathtaking views in southeast England, per Travelour, and the episodes of the podcast are delivered by monks and nuns who reside there, per Apple Podcasts.

You can listen to "Dhamma Talks" by Amaravati on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts

Deep dive into movies with The Big Picture

If you're looking for a podcast that's going to direct your thoughts to more pleasant topics than work and current affairs, "The Big Picture" by The Ringer might be a good fit for you. The show features chats about new movies, a study of the industry and its awards shows, and even interviews with directors, all handled by Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins and a varied set of hosts from The Ringer (via Apple Podcasts). 

Movie reviews are an interesting way to engage with a film even before you've seen it. They help you understand the story and decide if you'd like to spend your time watching it yourself, per Buzztribe News

If you were curious about a movie you'd seen released recently and didn't have time to research it before booking a ticket to see it, tune into "The Big Picture" while you drive to work so you can be better prepared to make your decision. You can catch the podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts

Get vulnerable with Unlocking Us by Brené Brown

Driving is a good time to reflect on who we are as humans. What sets us off? What do we struggle with? What do we crave the most? What are the values we want to live by?

Researcher and author Brené Brown has been an encouraging voice when it comes to topics like vulnerability and connection. With her podcast "Unlocking Us," Brown harnesses over two decades of research into complex human emotions and delivers raw and unfiltered reflections that will help you better connect with yourself and those around you (via Spotify). Brown alternates between having distinguished guests who discuss various topics related to human connection and solo episodes where she shares her own deep understanding fueled by research and personal experience. You can listen to "Unlocking Us" by Brené Brown on Spotify. 

If the weekend is around the corner and you're planning a road trip, there is a list of podcasts that come recommended for a long drive as well.