Five podcasts that will change your life

Listening to podcasts enhances concentration, fires imagination and makes you more compassionate. Here’s how

By Shona Mallalieu

Forget apps.

These days, whatever subject you can think of, there’s a podcast for that.

There are tutorials, talk shows, tinfoil hat conspiracy theories, comedy hours, cat-grooming tips, urban crime investigations, spiritual and meditative workshops, cereal bar health kicks, therapeutic advice sessions, scientific insights, motivational get-up-and-do-its.

    ...millions of people worldwide are replacing music with podcasts for their morning commutes.  

You name it, there’ll be something for you.

A recent study by Emma Rodero, a communications professor at the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, shows that listening to narratives, such as podcasts, generates vivid images in our minds.

Because we are listening and don’t have any visual stimuli to look at, as it once was with radio, the brain has to conjure up its own images. This in turn requires higher levels of concentration and attention.

Not only that, another study demonstrates that listening in this way incites higher levels of emotional involvement. Listening to a podcast can actually make you more compassionate.

I found all of this and more to be true when I made the transition from listening to mostly music on my iPhone to tuning in to podcasts.

I had been sceptical.

But the best thing about podcasts, and something that any fan will tell you, is that you can relax while listening to them, even while your knowledge expands. They are at once both calming and engaging.

Podcasts also make you feel productive. When you listen to them, you’re improving yourself, and you don’t have to stare at a screen or the printed page to do it.

With so much choice out there, where does the podcast novice begin? Here are five of the best podcasts, covering a range of topics and tastes. Enjoy!

    Podcasts also make you feel productive. When you listen to them, you’re improving yourself,...  

1. Spiritual, socio-political: Under the Skin with Russell Brand

Any fan of Russell Brand will love this podcast. Each week the comedian-turned-sage has a different expert guest on the show to talk about some of the most pressing issues we face today.

Standout episodes include a discussion of addiction and mental health with Dr Gabor Maté, an analysis of US politics featuring black Republican commentator Candace Owens, and “Hooked on Tech – Can we ever be free again?”, featuring Douglas Rushkoff.

2. Historical: Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History

Millions of listeners tune in to hear Dan Carlin’s wacky theories and the questions he asks about the past. By no means a traditional historian, his style of narration makes for very good storytelling and fascinating listening.

Carlin’s podcasts are downloaded in their thousands by a devoted band of listeners, so may well strike a chord with you.

3. Science/Factual: The Infinite Monkey Cage

Presented by rock star astrophysicist Professor Brian Cox and comedian Robin Ince, this podcast is for any science fan who wants things explained simply, and with a bit of fun.

You’ll laugh out loud while listening, at the same time as expanding your knowledge about the complexities of the universe.

4. Environmental: Costing the Earth

Ideal for any Extinction Rebellion supporters out there, or anyone concerned about our impact on the environment.

If you’re looking for updates and glimmers of good news in debates about climate change and the future of the planet, this one’s for you.

5. Weird and wonderful: Lost Origins

If you like talking about aliens and unusual, unexplained facts and findings (and let’s face it, who doesn’t?), you will love Lost Origins.

A slightly leftfield offering, for a slightly leftfield topic.

Published: 24 April 2020

© 2020 Just Recruitment Group Ltd

If you enjoyed this article, you may like: Why relearning the piano is the best (and hardest) thing I’ve done for years

You may also enjoy: Just Recruitment navigating its way through the crisis

Jobs currently available

New job
QA Manager
Sector: Engineering and Manufacturing
Salary: Discussed on application
Location: Saffron Walden
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910873
About the role

Our client is seeking an experienced Quality Assurance Manager to join them on a permanent, full-time basis. This opportunity offers stability, longevity and professional development.

Reporting directly to the MD, the Quality Assurance Manager will be responsible for:

  • Maintaining and improving the Company's Quality Management System and ensure internal compliance
  • Working with all departments to ensure their procedures are being followed and to improve their internal and cross-functional processes and procedures
  • Ensure that the quality of current and newly introduced products is compliant and traceable
  • Coordinate Quality activities with all over departments
  • Develop and improve quality relationships with all customers of the Company
  • Responsible for all Quality activities and personnel in the Quality Department for the Company
  • Provide strong leadership in the day-to-day operations of the Quality department and mentor the members of the team
  • Establish performance goals for all departmental employees and monitor performance on a continual basis
  • Oversee all hiring, appraisal, training and discipline of Quality personnel
  • Member of the Company's Management team
  • Produce the Quality element of the company's annual Budget
  • Formulate the departmental strategy aligned to the overall Company strategy
  • Embed a Continuous Improvement culture within the Quality Dept and contribute to the Continuous Improvement programme across the site

Requirements:

  • HND or equivalent qualification in Engineering or a related technical field required
  • Minimum 5 years experience in a Manufacturing environment
  • Ability to articulate (verbally and in writing), defend and negotiate Quality expectations with internal and external customers at all levels of management
  • Good interpersonal skills with the ability to guide and educate/train at all levels
Read more
New job
Customer Service Administrator
Sector: Customer Service
Salary: £22,000 per annum
Location: Halstead
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910871
About the role

Just Recruitment is delighted to be supporting a well-regarded organisation at the forefront of its sector that is looking to add a Customer Service Administrator to its team, due to growth – based on the outskirts of Halstead.

The main purpose of the role is to service current and prospective customers by receiving and processing orders, enquiries and general information in a timely and courteous manner.

Key tasks include:

  • Answering incoming calls, giving product information, lead times, dealing with general enquiries and queries, redirecting calls to relevant departments
  • Raising and inputting orders and proforma invoices
  • Raising quotations
  • Amending orders, as required
  • Scanning documentation
  • Liaising with Areas Sales Managers and responding to their requests
  • Arranging couriers and/or carriers as required
  • Any general office associated duties

Key requirements for the role:

  • Excellent computer skills
  • Good eye for detail
  • The ability to work well under pressure
  • Courteous

Previous experience requirements:

  • Previous Customer Service Administrative experience gained within an office environment
  • Excellent telephone manner with the ability to communicate at all levels
  • High level of attention to detail and accuracy
  • Good working knowledge of Microsoft Office and experience of in-house systems
  • Ability to multi-task and prioritise own workload
  • Exceptional communication skills, both written and verbal
  • Understanding of the importance of data protection and adherence to the process

Offering free parking and an excellent working environment, this is a great opportunity to join a growing team.

Working Monday to Friday 37.5 hours per week - offering a competitive salary and company benefits.

Read more
New job
Production Operative
Sector: Engineering and Manufacturing
Salary: £8.91 per hour
Location: Needham Market
Role: Full Time
Contract: Temporary
Job ref: 910811
About the role

Want to work in a safe, clean environment?
And have the possibility of ongoing work?

Just Recruitment is recruiting for a Temporary Production Operative to be based in Needham Market.

Duties include:

  • Ensure all final and completed products are packed to the customer specifications                               
  • Informing Line Leaders of defects found in the products
  • Keep machines supplied with packing materials and labels
  • Assist the Line Leaders with handovers and changeovers
  • Responsible for general cleanliness of the production area and removal of production and general waste
  • Check products on the line for quality and defects
  • Basic production duties carried out in a fast-paced environment

Working hours:

8.30am - 5.00pm Monday to Friday

Read more
New job
Logistics Coordinator
Sector: Transport, Logistics and Shipping
Salary: £24,000 per annum
Location: Ipswich
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910869
About the role

Just Recruitment is delighted to be supporting, a well-regarded, family-run business on the outskirts of Ipswich.

You will be responsible for assisting with the loads out operation of the business by ensuring that the process from collection to arrival at the final destination is fully supported by the relevant goods in haulage documentation.

You will also be supporting the sales function of the business by dealing with customer queries in terms of both sales and operations as well as assisting with various ad-hoc marketing campaigns. This is a very varied role and requires flexibility, commitment and a substantial desire to learn and grow with the flourishing business.

Duties will include:

  • Process orders and oversees the order to completion of paperwork
  • Facilitate the shipping of products from one destination to another
  • Arrange transportation with outside hauliers
  • Receive paperwork from the Weighbridge department and check and complete the paperwork within the allocated time allowed
  • Answer calls and emails relating to customer queries and log them on the CRM system and resolve any outstanding issues raised
  • Keep CRM records up-to-date
  • Work with the sales and operations team to ensure that high customer service levels are achieved and delivered to all customers you are responsible for at all times

Skills required:

  • Good Microsoft skills including Word, Outlook & Excel
  • Ability to work proactively on an independent basis as well as be a good team player
  • You will have the interpersonal skills necessary to develop and sustain effective relationships with team members of other departments and with all customers
  • Good attention to detail and analytical skills
Read more
New job
Legal Secretary (Part-Time)
Sector: Law and Security
Salary: Up to £11.00 per hour
Location: Witham
Role: Part Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910868
About the role

Just Recruitment is delighted to be supporting an established business, based in Witham looking to add a highly-skilled secretary to their long-standing team.

The role will involve, audio typing, preparing documents, answering the phone, dealing with enquiries and assisting colleagues as well as directing queries as needed.

Key responsibilities to include:

  • Audio typing – dictation
  • Preparing letters and drafting documents
  • Handling diaries and booking appointments
  • Answering the phone and dealing with queries
  • General secretarial and office-based duties

As well as having experience in a secretarial position, you will have audio typing experience and excellent typing skills. The role requires you to have a good level of IT literacy, experience of Word (essential) and Excel would be useful. You will take pride in your work and have a caring and sympathetic nature.

Please note this role is part-time.

This is a great opportunity, offering a good pay rate and company benefits.

Read more