5 Podcasts You Can Learn From


My obsessive adoration is genuinely a thing I’m known for. I have a queue I’ll never get through. I routinely make personalized recommendation lists for my friends. Two years ago at a National staff conference I even did an Ignite talk about them wearing a shirt I own that says 100% PODCASTS.

Everyone else was very inspirational and motivational and told tales of how they’ve overcome adversity and then I got up and was like “howdy y’all here’s some nerd stuff” LOLOLOL

If you aren’t familiar with them, podcasts are basically on-demand radio shows that have exploded in popularity over the past few years. There are literally hundreds of thousands, and they run the gamut on topic, from general news updates to SUPER NICHE. You can access them on any smartphone or computer. Because they don’t require your eyes, you can listen while commuting or doing chores like cooking or cleaning or getting ready for work or bed. I listen to podcasts during all of these times!


I have a whole range I listen to regularly, from news to comedy to human interest to true crime to straight up weird ones, but today I want to share a few that I’ve learned from. This is not an exhaustive list, but hopefully you’ll find something new to listen to! These will all be available in whatever podcast app you choose, so I’ll be linking to the official websites of each below.

life kit

Life Kit from NPR

NPR is going to show up a LOT on this list because they are absolutely crushing the podcast game. Life Kit features tools to help you get it together in several categories, including health, money, parenting, and life skills. Recent episodes include How to Focus While Reading, Advice For Dealing With Uncertainty, and Sesame Workshop’s Tips for Parenting During a Pandemic.


grow kinder

The Grow Kinder Podcast

This podcast is from the Committee for Children, and has a social-emotional learning focus featuring interviews with thought leaders in education, business, tech, and the arts. Recent episodes include Preventing Youth Suicide During the Pandemic and an interview with our friend Karen Pittman from The Forum for Youth Investment.


getting curious

Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness

You may know Jonathan from Netflix’s Queer Eye, but he hosted this podcast long before starring in the reboot. In each episode he interviews an expert in a thing he is curious about. If that sounds wide open, it is! Topics have included the Romanovs, emoluments, ableism, and one of my favorite episode titles ever, “How Can We Be Less Rude to Bees?”



UMN EXT Youth Development Podcast

Did you know that the University of Minnesota has a center for youth development research and training? And that they provide tons of resources at no cost to youth development professionals? Well they do and they are great and one of them is this podcast! It’s the most academic on the list, but don’t let that scare you, because it also speaks most directly to our work in Boys & Girls Clubs. Episode topics include Creating Inclusive Environments for Special Needs Youth, Understanding the Impact of Trauma on the Developing Brain, and Innovative Youth Programs.



Hidden Brain from NPR

Hidden Brain is one of my FAVORITES. Host Shankar Vedantam uses science and storytelling to reveal the unconscious patterns that drive human behavior, shape our choices, and direct our relationships. The connections he makes are fascinating. And even better is that Shankar himself will be a keynote speaker at BGCA’s first-ever virtual National Conference in May 2020! Episode topics include why we lie, how to build good habits, and I especially recommend this one on why some college-intending students don’t actually show up to school in the fall.

Happy listening! I am 100% sure that there will be more podcast listicles in the ClubX Blog’s future. 🙂

What are your favorite podcasts? What other forms of entertainment (think books, movies, tv shows) have you learned something from? Let us know by commenting below, on the BGCA Youth Development Facebook page, or by emailing ClubXBlog@bgca.org and your favorites may end up in a future post!


Copy of podcasts learn 1

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