3 Podcasts to Feed Your Brain

Ah, mid-December. Either you're coming down from the frenzy of finals, or racing towards the last day of work for the year, slightly checked out and holding your breath until you can activate your OOO email. Whether traveling home or elsewhere for the holidays, you're looking forward to some much deserved down time. 

In anticipation, here are three podcasts to feed your brain. Podcasts provide a passive form of learning, so whether you're sipping hot cocoa by a fire or roadtripping to fresh powder, you can still be absorbing good stuff with little effort. Chosen for their ability to expose us to new ideas and aspects of humanity, these three podcasts help stretch our thinking. While not directly related to advertising/marketing, they'll create fresh connections in your brain that can then be sparked unexpectedly by things you're working on in the future.

1) Beautiful Stories with Anonymous People

Beautiful/Anonymous (for short) is wonderfully simple: host Chris Gethard invites one anonymous caller to talk about whatever s/he wants for an hour. The only rules are that Gethard can't end the call, and the guest must remain anonymous. The magic is the combination of beginning with zero information on who's on the line, and Gethard's superhuman ability to draw out what lies beneath. Callers often begin with a pre-set agenda, but Gethard is able to organically move the conversation towards something significant, moving, and remarkable. You'd never guess that listening in on a conversation between two strangers could be so cathartic.
Start withThe Most Amazing DestructionRon Paul's BabyThe Illustrator

2) Here Be Monsters

Here Be Monsters is named after a cartography concept—essentially, when we reach the edge of the known world and fear what lies beyond. Host Jeff Emtman's aim is to, "take our fears and moments of discomfort and pursue them." The topics veer towards the dark, the graphic (there are EXPLICIT warnings on many of the episodes), and the things we tend to shy away from (hello, placenta eating, ayahuasca, and cults). Through stories from artists, scientists, philosophers and journalists, Emtman and Story Editor Bethany Jo Denton try to break down our fears and give us a way to process them. 
Start withThe Grandmother and the Vine of the DeadLast Chance to Evacuate the EarthThe Art of the Scam, by Malibu Ron

3) Reply All

Don't write off Reply All as a podcast about the internet—after listening, you'll see that it's really about all facets of the human experience. Whether hosts PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman are discussing a website that helps people through bad drug trips, or a blog written from inside a maximum security prison via the prisoner's mom, you'll feel like you've learned something thought-provoking and new.
Start withOn the Inside, Parts I-IVShine On, You Crazy GoldmanShipped to Timbuktu

**I'm deeply thankful for all the We Are Next subscribers—yes, you! As a small token of appreciation, I'd love to send you some holiday snail mail. If interested, reply to this email with your name and mailing address. Notes + goodies will be sent over the next two weeks. :)

Happy listening/hang in there,