Skip to main content

The Best Educational Podcasts to Keep Your Brain Working Out

Want to learn a new skill or deep dive into a subject you already love? Then an educational podcast may be right for you! These heady gems are riveting, engrossing, and informative, designed as they are to both teach and entertain.

To celebrate this special genre, I thought it would be fun to introduce you to some of my all-time favorite educational podcasts. Though they cover a wide range of topics (from Old Hollywood to the LGBTQ+ rights movement), they’re all perfect for folks looking to acquire some capital K Knowledge.

You Must Remember This

you must remember this podcast
Image used with permission by copyright holder

If you’re a film buff, you’ve gotta check out You Must Remember This, a popular podcast that tells the “secret and/or forgotten histories” of Hollywood’s golden age. Film historian Karina Longworth hosts the pod and brings a ton of research, specificity, and expert-level knowledge to each and every episode. I like ‘em all, but I particularly like when she spends a few episodes diving into a specific celebrity (the six-episode stretch on Joan Crawford is a major, major standout).


Throughlinethroughline podcast

Over the past year, Throughline has become one of my absolute favorite podcasts to listen to. Each week, hosts Rund Abdelfatah and Ramtin Arablouei “go back in time to understand the present,” tracing the “throughlines” of various subjects (like Vladimir Putin or the grocery store banana). It’s always a wild ride, as the duo interview experts, unearth interesting historical details, and map out how in the world we got from there to here.


99% Invisible

99% invisible
Image used with permission by copyright holder

For those interested in design and architecture, 99% Invisible is the podcast for you. Each episode hones in on a single topic or type of design, and includes interviews from architects or folks who have been influenced by said subject. The whole premise is that when we look at a building we see and understand maybe 1% of it, but there is so much more at play. I especially like that the episodes hover around 30 minutes, making them perfect for a quick commute or lunch break.


Revisionist History

revisionist history
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Revisionist History is a fascinating podcast for how it challenges and re-examines moments in history that have long been classified as “understood.” For host Malcolm Gladwell, it’s less about reporting on the facts of a historical situation, but more about interrogating the process of making history itself. Why are certain people remembered and others not? Why do certain details endure for centuries while others change with each generation’s retelling? In this way, the whole pod is really a thought experiment in the power of collective memory.


Making Gay History

making gay history podcast
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The aptly named Making Gay History podcast is all about bringing the history of the LGBTQ+ rights movement to life by highlighting the heroes who’ve powered it. It’s an intimate, personal, and deeply educational pod that touches on everything from the first bricks thrown at Stonewall to the Act Up protests of the 80s and 90s. Each episode is fairly short, so you can take them in doses or binge them all in one sitting. I also like that it’s really accessible, but doesn’t skimp on the facts or details, which makes it great for folks who know a lot about the topic and those just getting their feet wet.



invisibilia podcast
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Invisibilia is like a master class in human empathy. In each episode, Alix Spiegel and Hanna Rosin delve into stories of love, loss, grief, and resilience. Though the topics change, the main thrust remains the same: What are the invisible things that connect us to one another and make us human? No other podcast makes me laugh or cry nearly as much as this one does, and though it’s not about science or history, it is certainly educational on matters of the heart.


The History Chicks

the history chicks podcast
Image used with permission by copyright holder

There are a lot of history podcasts available online, but one of my faves is The History Chicks. As the name suggests, this pod focuses exclusively on women in history, bringing to life their stories with research, humanity, and plenty of nerdy charm. If you’ve been looking to stock up on your fill of fierce and unsung heroines, this is most definitely the podcast for you!


Well, that about does it for this guide to the best educational podcasts! For more pod fun, check out our round-up of the best podcasts to listen to while working from home.

Editors' Recommendations

Cody Gohl
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Cody Gohl is a Brooklyn-based writer who enjoys covering a wide range of topics, including travel, fashion, literature, LGBT…
9 of the Best Food Podcasts To Feast on
Man wearing headphones cooking in kitchen.

The culinary world of today is a boundless one — full of talking heads, reality programs, online (wine) courses, and more. Starting from celebrity chefs all the way to dramatic winner-take-all cooking shows, the entertainment value is high, and there are countless rabbit holes you can get lost in. This makes food and cooking podcasts all the more attractive. You can choose your theme ahead of time, whether it's Asian American industry leaders or simply cooking from home. Tuning into a new episode of your favorite podcast is a great way to get rid of some of the noise and really focus on a particular topic or style of cooking. And you may even become a better — or at least more informed — cook in hindsight.

There's a new food podcast roughly every day, so we've gone ahead and done the combing for you. Here are the best food podcasts to listen to right now.
Point of Origin
Launched by the ever-passionate Stephen Satterfield of Whetstone Media, Point of Origin is arguably the best food podcast right now. If nothing else, it's the most important. As the name suggests, the series dives eloquently into the genesis stories of all kinds of foods, revealing the amazing terroir aspect attached to many different ingredients. It's also completely evolved, tackling tough topics like racism and inequity in food with outstanding and entertaining context.

Read more
The 14 Best Board Games to Play Right Now
Young group of friends playing board game on table at home interior.

One bright spot in this new world that stays home way more often is the resurgent popularity of board games. Board games have always been a staple in homes and a way to pass the hours while spending time with family and friends, especially when games with playing cards just aren't cutting it anymore. Board games are a fantastic way to stave off boredom, allow people to get to know each other on a deeper level, help escape real life for a few hours, and even make for a useful housewarming gift. The genre has certainly come a long way since the days of chutes, ladders, "Go To Jail" cards and creating words with wooden tiles.

The popular games of past generations pale in comparison to the best board games of today. For example, every game of Life, Clue, and Monopoly was essentially the same, but every single board game on this list makes for an incredible night of fun because the gameplay creates different scenarios every single time. And yes, we included a version of Monopoly -- but a much cooler and updated version. Here's our list of the best board games that are sure to keep players of all skill levels and ages occupied for a few hours.

Read more
6 of the Best Air Conditioners to Keep You Cool All Year

It is possible to escape the heat, and one of the best ways to stay cool is by plunging into the swimming pool. If you don’t have one of those, the other alternative is to crank that air conditioner up high and stand in front of it for a few minutes. Or all day.
Related Guides

How to Stay Cool Without Air Conditioning
Men's Apartment Essentials

Read more