Sharpen Your Mind With Spotify’s Brain Snacks Podcast Playlist

by Moneika Okawa

Looking for lite, tasteful, zero-calorie snacks to satisfy your intellectual cravings? Try out Brain Snacks, a “clever blend of short podcasts that’ll make you smarter”—one of the new curated editorial podcast playlists on Spotify.

Last month, Spotify launched a suite of new editorial podcast playlists in the U.S., Germany, Sweden, the U.K., Mexico, and Brazil. This launch introduced three flagship playlists—Best Podcasts of the Week, Crime Scene, and Brain Snacks—all curated and updated regularly by local editors. Through these programmed playlists, Spotify aims to solve the podcast discovery issue by bringing the same expertise they’ve applied to their curated music playlists that listeners have enjoyed throughout the years such as RapCaviar, Hot Country, and ¡Viva Latino!

Brain Snacks is a sweet blend of relevant, digestible (generally 20 minutes or less) little factoids that keep your brain healthy and stimulated. Ranging from topics regarding climate change to the effectiveness of juice cleanses to how dog training works, there’s a lite “byte” for everyone. Here are a few noteworthy episodes I’ve discovered through the Brain Snacks playlist so far.

“If You’ve Always Wanted to Write a Book, Here’s How”

by Life Kit

A rich and hearty, 22-minute episode designed to energize the aspiring writer. Life Kit is an NPR produced podcast to “help you get it together.” From relationship advice to health and wellness tips, Life Kit recognizes that “everyone needs a little help being a human.”

This snack contains:

  •  Six nourishing takeaways to help writers get started on their book (or any piece)
  •  Savory insights from industry experts: 
    • Petra Mayer, Editor of NPR Books 
    • Grant Faulkner, Executive Director of National Writing Month 
    • Elizabeth Acevedo, New York Times bestselling author 
    • K. Tempest Bradford, sci-fi and fantasy author
    • Kat Chow, former NPR reporter.
  • Sharp strategies to quiet the negative inner voices that commonly discourage aspiring writers.
  • Zesty background piano music.

“How Boredom Can Lead To Your Most Brilliant Ideas”

by Ted Talks Daily

Anything but boring, this episode is packed with rich insights that will leave you with a healthy new perspective on boredom. Ted Talks Daily provides the latest talks in audio every weekday. “With Ted Talks Daily, find some space in your day to change your perspectives, ignite your curiosity, and learn something new.”

This snack contains:

  • Fresh perspectives on boredom from journalist and podcast host, Manoush Zomorodi.
  • Notable facts from neuroscientists and cognitive psychologists explaining the connection between spacing out and innovation.
  • Smart ways to digitally disconnect from Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.
  • A spicy curse word that may not be suitable for young palates.

“BrainStuff Classics: Do Juice Cleanses Actually Work?”

by BrainStuff

Cleanse your mind of common misconceptions regarding juice cleanses with host, Christian Sager. BrainStuff is an iHeartRadio produced podcast exploring the “everyday science in the world around us.”

You will learn:

  • Micro facts explaining how the body uses nutrients and removes toxins.
  • Psychological benefits of a juice cleanse.

“What Is The Air Quality Like Near You?”

by Everyday Einstein

A palatable spread of information concerning the fundamentals of air pollution and how behavioral changes in response to a pandemic have drastically impacted air quality around the world. Learn “quick and dirty tips for making sense of science” through Everyday Einstein with astrophysicist Sabrina Stierwalt.

This snack contains:

  • The fundamentals of air quality and the basics of measuring air pollutants. 
  • Quick tips on how to track air pollution in your area.
  • Highlights from cities around the world where air quality has substantially improved due to stay-at-home orders.

Brain Snacks is updated every other Thursday.

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