Graduate school leaves little time to sit quietly and enjoy your surroundings. Many of us like to escape into nature, while some of us escape into Netflix. Both hiking and Netflix and chilling can be great. But they also soak up a lot of time. Whether it’s planning a weekend trip to the mountains for some fresh air, or planning a weekend trip to the couch for an entire season of Luke Cage (I just did this!), down time can either be a luxury or a procrastination device. Carving out time to do you is still highly necessary in the grad school game, but me time can often breed guilt. But who wants to feel guilty or anxious while actually trying to de-stress? (Not me!)
To circumvent the “trying to de-stress makes me stressed out” feeling, it may be helpful to de-stress while doing other things. I like reading books, but I can’t very well read books while grocery shopping or driving to and from campus. I can however listen to books on tape via sites like Audible and Overdrive. Sometimes, my brain is too full of academic things to engage with non-school related literature. So, I turn to podcasts.
Podcasts are great. They are like targeted, tailored radio shows where you feel like you’re developing relationships with the hosts. Most podcasts have weekly shows and thus the information you get will be fresh, current, and relevant to things large and small going on in the world. As far as categories of shows, podcasts run the gambit from non-fiction and history related episodes, to true crime, to general entertainment/gossip. So whether you’re into the history channel, or Bravo housewives, there is a podcast out there for you. I like to listen to podcasts while exercising, commuting, cleaning my apartment, folding laundry (grrr), and even between classes. Podcasts are especially wonderful when I need something to lighten my mood after a particularly devastating meeting or frustrating class session.
Here are 5 podcasts that may interest you as you navigate the grad school grind. To get your full relaxation on why not also try some calming teas paired with each podcast.
- The Read. A weekly, full-bodied and strongly brewed conversation with two of the funniest friends in the business. The Read will make you laugh until you cry, but the hosts will also make you think deeply about life, whether they’re discussing race, politics, or relationship issues. The Read is true to its name and pairs well with scalding hot black tea.
- Serial. I know, I know. For many of you Serial is old news (and even a little problematic at times) but it’s still a captivating investigation into the state of our criminal justice system and the complex interactions between journalism and voyeurism.
- BONUS: Undisclosed. A lawyer close to the case in the first season and two additional attorneys further investigate what was left unsaid in Serial. Season 2 of Undisclosed is currently underway with a new case that will equally get your ire up regarding the criminal justice process.
- To be perfectly honest, both of these podcasts may raise your blood pressure, so to ensure your podcast listening is actually calming, pair with a soothing herbal tea like Chamomile.
- Stuff You Should Know. 2 buds talking about history, science, and social phenomenons through time. It’s like getting lost in obscure wikipedia pages without having to do all the clicking. Pairs great with a minimally processed white tea.
- 2 Dope Queens. Another hilarious comedic duo who dive deep into all things life, love, friendships, and navigating identities and diverse voices. This team is not for the faint of heart, and like hosts of The Read, they are unapologetically real. Detox your soul with some Green Tea.