My 23 Favourite Podcast Episodes So Far This Year

I’m a huge fan of podcasts. Listening to them forms part of my daily routine and I get many of my insights from them. I typically list my favourite podcasts, but this time I thought I’d list some of my favourite specific episodes. These may give you a springboard to enjoy the rest of the episodes of those podcasts. So here they are for this year (episode name first, followed by podcast name):


How To Live to 100, Dr Valter LongoThe Kevin Rose Show  (31 Dec 2017) – Kevin Rose is a techie who has diverse interests from bitcoin to health. This interview introduced me to the work of Longo, who I’ve discovered is probably the best authority on how to live long.

Kathryn Mannix’s With the End In MindLittle Atoms (30 Apr) – a much-needed discussion on how people die and how to make it a less traumatic experience.

Zach Bush On GMO’s Glyphosate & Healing the Gut, The Rich Roll Podcast (12 Mar) – Roll is a vegetarian endurance athlete. He has an easy manner and he focuses on health topics. This interview on GMO inspired my blog.

Relationships and growth

From a Survivalist Childhood To Cambridge, Fresh Air (20 Feb)- an NPR podcast series on contemporary culture. This episode interviews Tara Westover who grew up in America without a birth certificate, never saw a doctor and never went to school. Her parents were anti-government and deeply religious. She later defied her parents and ending going to Cambridge University in the UK. Fascinating. If you’ve never watched the excellent movie, Captain Fantastic, this could be a nice companion podcast!

Stan Tatkin on Love, Danger, Deviance and Conflict, Good Life Project  (5 Feb) –  these podcasts are one way Jonathan Fields uses for his Good Life Project, which aims to create intentional communities. This episode Fields interviews Tatkin on relationships with topics ranging from danger to deviance to conflict.

Western Parents Don’t Know How To Bring Up Their Children,Intelligence Squared(2 Mar) – a debate between “Tiger Mother” Amy Chua and Mumsnet’s Justine Roberts on two styles of parents (winning is what matters vs free-range)

What Men Can Learn From Wolves, The Art of Manliness (10 May) – don’t worry these podcasts are not macho testosterone-driven drivel. A case in point is this episode’s fascinating discussion on how Wolves live in packs – you’re understanding of “alpha” males will change after listening.


Community and Culture, Online, a16z podcast (8 Jan) –  a16z is tech-focused and was set up by Silicon Valley venture capitalists, Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz. This episode looks at how communities are forming online around interests rather than relationships and its implications.

Balaji Srinivasan on the Power and Promise of the BlockchainConversations with Tyler (25 Apr) – Tyler Cowen is an excellent interviewer. There is no waffly preamble or meandering questions, he jumps into the most relevant and direct questions. This episode is a case in point. He allows the listener to get clear insights into blockchain and numerous other topics like education and cities.

Bez Blows Top, The Information 411 (30 Mar) – a tech deep-dive podcast series. This episode discusses their investigation into one of the top executives at Amazon.

Has Tencent Lost Its Mojo, Techbuzz China (15 May) – finding information on China is hard even in today’s information overloaded world. This episode gives a history of Tencent and discusses its current business model.

Leadership and productivity

Quality and Wabi-SabiAkimbo: (4 April) – Akimbo is leadership and marketing guru Seth Godin’s new podcast. I’m a fan of his, and while I find his blogs  better than the podcasts, they still are great to listen to. This episode on Wabi-Sabi was so good that I blogged on the topic.

John Heffron/The Laughs You DeserveThe Art Of Charm (AoC): (1 Feb) – The AoC podcasts are performance-oriented interviews. This episode shows the unusual angles they approach as they interview a stand-up comedian who has been on the scene for decades. They talk about the change in use of language (especially around gender), how to read an audience and non-verbal communication (amongst other topics).

Brian Koppelman, The Moment With Brian Koppelman (30 Jan) – Koppelman is a screenwriter of Billions fame. He normally interviews other Hollywood people, but in this episode he answers listeners’ questions on creative living, process and dealing with slumps.


Whitney Cummings Returns! Anna Faris Is Unqualified (6 Feb) – I recently discovered the Anna Faris podcast, and I find her humour and interviews both endearing and very funny. This episode of an interview with another comedian gives a taste of her zany style.

Media, movies and culture

Sacrifice in Avengers Infinity WarBinge Mode Weekly  (3 May) – another new discovery. These podcasts look at movies and TV shows from a particular theme. For example, this episode discusses the latest Avengers through the filter of sacrifice. Good stuff.

Hey, The Allusionist (9 Feb)  – The Allusionist are podcasts on language. This episode dives into opening messages used on dating apps and how easily they can land badly!

Fans Take on Marvel, DC and The Comic Book Industry’s SJW Self-Destruction, The Federalist Radio Hour (4 May) – The Federalist Radio Hour is one my favourite right-leaning podcasts. They are less dogmatic and more questioning than most other right-wing ones. Most the time, they talk directly on politics, but this episode they discuss how Social Justice Warriors (SJW) are sanitising and killing the comic book industry. I’m quite into the topic of how art gets affected by political correctness so this provides some nice ideas.

Summer Movie Preview and What’s Making Us Happy , Pop Culture Hour ( 20 Apr) – one of my favourite pop culture podcasts. This episode is a great taster where the crew discusses what they think will be the big hits and flops of summer 2018 (which they get wrong every year!).

Financial Times CEO John Riddling on How To Make People Pay For Media, Recode Media (5 Apr) – I like to keep an eye on how the business of media is evolving. This episode discusses the economics and implications of an ad-based media model vs a paywall based one.

Economics and Politics

Heidi Matthews, Unregistered with Thaddeus Russell (18 May) – another newly discovered podcast series. Russell focuses on the edges of society and the things we are not allowed to talk about. This episode is a case in point. He interviews the legal expert Heidi Matthews and their conversation ranges from how morality and legality are not connected, the history of alleged Allies’ war-crimes against the defeated Germans after the Second World War and the negative implications of the #MeToo movement.

Daniela Gabor on Safe Assets and Shadow Banking, Macro Musings (23 Apr) – this is very wonkish, but I do like these podcasts. This one on safe assets is excellent as it shines a light on a poorly understood topic in economics.

The Fundamentals, Talking Politics (8 Feb) – one of the best politics podcasts. It’s typically focused on UK (but sometimes on broader Europe). This episode is more general and discusses some of the larger undercurrents affecting politics from housing, economics and political stability.