If you’ve been following us for any period of time, you’ll know we’re big podcast advocates. We love learning about a range of topics whilst doing many of life’s mundane, yet obligatory tasks. Our podcast library runs very deep, so we limited this top 6* list to the health and wellness category.
*Caveat, these are pretty deep ‘in the weeds’ podcasts for people who like to nerd out on science-backed, health discussions. There are countless ‘health advice’ and ‘wellness philosophy’ podcasts that could be listed, however our goal for this is to focus on enriching, data-driven conversations with subject matter experts. We hope you’ll love them as much as we do!
1. The Peter Attia Drive Podcast Episode 47: Matthew Walker, Ph.D., on sleep – Dangers of poor sleep, Alzheimer’s risk, mental health, memory consolidation, and more
This episode generated significant buzz because of the shockingly strong correlation between lack of sleep and a long list of severe health conditions. Dr. Peter Attia is known for getting pretty technical and using research to help individuals live longer, be healthier, and optimize their performance (sign me up!). If you’ve struggled with sleep or find yourself not feeling your best mentally and physically, examining the quality and duration of your sleep is immensely important. This meaty three-part podcast explores the compelling evidence around sleep and Alzheimer's disease, poor sleep and mental illness, how to improve one’s sleep quality, and why certain sleep aids aren’t going to help your prevention efforts. If you still need more convincing to prioritize quality sleep, give this quote some consideration, “I think that sleep may be one of the most significant lifestyle factors that determines your risk ratio for Alzheimer's disease." Matthew Walker (researcher and podcast interviewee)
The Making Sense Podcast will be included in this short list twice because it’s worth your time. If we had to pick one source of media (book, show, podcast) that has most drastically impacted the way we look at the world, it would be Sam Harris’ Making Sense Podcast. He interviews highly respectable, well-vetted domain experts to generate deep, rich conversations that draw the listener in. He’s willing to cross over controversial lines to champion for facts and rational thinking. In this episode his guest, Gary Taubes, is sharing his thoughts on ‘what to eat’ with a goal of optimizing for individual health. Without a doubt there are many sides to the ‘food discussion’, from climate change to cultural practices that aren’t addressed in this episode. However he does present compelling data for general guidelines to improve individual biomarkers, especially within a typical Western diet.
3. The Tim Ferriss Show Episode 50: Dr. Peter Attia on Life-Extension, Drinking Jet Fuel, Ultra-Endurance, Human Foie Gras, and More
This episode may appeal more to the athlete or biohacker enthusiast given the background of both these participants. Tim Ferriss has interviewed many well-known guests on topics pertaining to morning routines, meditation, ketogenic diets, psychology, fulfillment and so much more. In his lengthy interview with Peter Attia (of the Drive podcast) they discuss longevity, fasting, health optimization, ultra-endurance, and how Peter has struggled with mediation - which we can 100% relate to. This quote from Peter Attia concisely summarizes the conversation and central question, “How do you balance the desire to live longer with the desire to perform well?”
This wouldn’t be a well-rounded discussion about wellbeing if we didn’t include a podcast about mental health. This conversion brings an interesting perspective to addiction, the underlying causes of depression, and developing a more holistic approach to treatment.
We’ve been fans and consumers of Jesse Thomas and Lauren Fleshman’s Bend-based company Picky Bars for a few years now. We tune into their weekly Work, Play, Love Q & A style podcast, and it was both validating and refreshing to hear them being interviewed on the Ali on the Run Show. They bring a very honest perspective to balancing life, relationships, stress, and athletic pursuits, while running a company. They speak openly about parenting, resentment, entrepreneurship and more. If you consider yourself a multidimensional individual who often feels torn between the different ambitions within your life, this one is worth a listen.
We’ll conclude this list on a more lighthearted note. One of the OG podcasts and still a favorite for our nerdy minds, Freakencomics. Host Stephen Dubner always puts out interesting, digestible and research-backed episodes that intersect with human behavior and the surrounding influences. As we’ll soon be approaching flu season, it’s a great time to revisit the topic of flu shots. We’ll give you the even more condensed version, YES you SHOULD get a flu shot. If you need more convincing or some data-driven leverage for the person who is telling you it will make them sick, give this a listen.
As you can tell by this list, we love to dive deep into all topics related to health and wellness, from mental to physical. If you enjoy these episodes, you’ll likely find the other podcasts from these talented individuals interesting, even if not related directly to health and wellness.