Podcast Picks for Physical Wellness

Kate Hardy, a student in the College of Graduate Studies and a student member of the University-wide Mental Health Committee, contributed the following article, continuing her series of recommended podcasts on the eight dimensions of wellness: emotional, environmental, financial, intellectual, occupational, physical, social and spiritual. (In case you’re wondering, the term eight dimensions of wellness came from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a U.S. government agency.)

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Today’s Topic: Physical Wellness

Do you ever lament that you have to pause your learning if you want to cook or exercise? I don’t have a magic solution to help you study for exams while doing those tasks, but I do have a solution for a different type of learning that can boost your intellectual wellness:  Instead of learning by reading, you can learn by listening.

Podcasts are great for multitasking as most don’t require your undivided attention. I listen while driving, cleaning, cooking and exercising. I also listen while walking a loop around campus to take a short mental break and stretch my legs for physical and emotional wellness!

Being a great health care provider requires more than knowing what’s in the books. By listening to these podcasts, you can keep yourself updated on current events in just about every topic imaginable. Many of them are also worth listening to just for their entertainment value.

Most hosts and guests on podcasts speak very slowly and clearly, which makes it accessible to people with mild hearing loss or whose first language isn’t English. However, many podcast apps have the option to speed up the playback. I listen to most podcasts at 1.5x speed.

Because podcasts are so abundant, there are countless choices for each dimension of wellness. Below, I have included my podcast suggestions with brief descriptions. Podcasts followed by an asterisk are my personal favorites. And if podcasts aren’t your style, you may like listening to audiobooks. The Libby app by Overdrive allows you to borrow audiobooks (and ebooks) for free with a library card.

Physical Wellness

Life Kit

(NPR, 15-35 min.): Guides for different aspects of life including sleep, exercise, making friends as an adult, traveling and money management. Each guide contains a few episodes.

TED Radio Hour

(NPR, ~50 min.): Experts talking about “Technology, Entertainment, Design.” Sample episodes:

How To! With Charles Duhigg

(Slate, 30 min.): This informative and instructional podcast provides answers to questions you were never able to ask. Sample episodes:

Med Student Mentor

(The Scope Radio, 5-10 min.): Wellness, career and general life tips geared specifically for med students; also research and medicine in the news.

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