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Our pick of the best podcasts to help you learn, grow and develop

In today’s blog we’re talking podcasts. We find listening to podcasts to be a really effective way to learn new skills, explore different ways of thinking, and more generally brush up our knowledge on certain subjects or areas. Whether you want to excel in your career, grow as a person, learn how to work better in teams, or find inspiration for coming up with more creative ideas, there’s a podcast for everything.

But, diving into the podcast library can be a minefield, especially if you’re not sure what you’re looking for; with so many to choose from, where do you start?

Here, we’ve pulled together seven of the Refresh team’s current favourites to get you started. While many of these are what you might class as professional / career-leaning podcasts, we’ve through a couple of more personal ones in for good measure. Enjoy! 

Eat Sleep Work Repeat

What is it: Ex-Twitter VP, Bruce Daisley’s, musings on workplace culture and how we can make it better. With semi-regular episodes (every week when we’re lucky, stretching to every month or so occasionally) on everything from innovation, creativity, resilience, workplace politics and conflict, right though to career/workplace-led in depth interviews with experts and familiar faces.

Average episode length: 40 minutes to an hour – great for a morning commute (if you’re still doing that!)

Why we love it: We all know how important workplace culture is. However, collateral around it can sometimes be wishy washy. This podcast is the absolute opposite of that, and has given us lots of great ideas on improving culture, performance and innovation – some of which we’ve actively implemented into our agency. We also really like Bruce’s interviewing style and how he calls in some of his personal experiences in the corporate world to illustrate his points.

Find it here.

The PR Pod

What is it: A bi-weekly podcast by experience Australian PR professional, Brooke, who draws on her two decades of PR experience to advise those wanting to get into the industry, or those in the early years of a PR role.

Average episode length: 30 minutes to an hour

Why we love it: It covers a great mix of topics related to our field, from the practical skills needed to excel in a PR role such as building media relationships, creating effective campaigns and social media integration, through to personal development advice including managing mental health, how to better focus and what to do to get promoted. Even though the show is coming from literally the other side of the world, most of it feels very relevant to our PR roles in the UK

Find it here.

FT’s Tech Tonic

What is it: The Financial Time’s podcast series that, in its own words, ‘investigates the promises and perils of the new technological age’. There were weekly episodes back in 2016/17/18/19 but the pandemic saw them taking a bit of a hiatus, before coming back earlier this year with ‘seasons’ on specific topics, in shorter bursts. 

Average episode length: 20-30 minutes – perfect for listening to when getting ready in the morning or whilst making dinner

Why we love it: As an agency working heavily in the tech sector, this podcast is really helpful for brushing up our skills on the latest developments in the tech world. We also find the new way in which it is structured (with mini-series’ on certain topics – most recently a deep dive into AI) really digestible and informative. The length of each episode is great too, and doesn’t feel too overwhelming.

Find it here.

Unlocking Us with Brené Brown

What is it: In Brené’s words, conversations that unlock the deeply human part of who we are, so that we can live, love, parent and lead with more courage and heart. This (usually) weekly show has a big focus on courage and vulnerability and how instilling these in ourselves can make us better leaders.

Average episode length: Around an hour

Why we love it: We find the podcast really inspiring, and the guests Brené gets access to are pretty spectacular. These have included the likes of President Barack Obama, Melinda Gates, Alicia Keys, Reese Witherspoon, Tim Ferriss, Oprah and President Joe Biden, all whom have come on the podcast to discuss their personal experiences. If you want to find some inspiration and faith in the world and people again, we suggest giving this a listen!

Find it here.

Image: Microphone in studio

Ctrl Alt Delete

What is it: Writer and journalist, Emma Gannon’s, weekly podcast on work, wellbeing and creativity. Emma is quick to state that it’s not a traditional career podcast - instead one for people that have taken an interest-first approach to the work they do.  

Average episode length: 45 minutes – another lunch break / leg stretch favourite

Why we love it: Emma has carved out a career for herself that she loves and we really enjoy hearing some of her learnings applied in this podcast, which covers some of the more practical elements of work, including climbing the career ladder, how to build a varied career and dealing with rejection. She also gets access to some great guests in the workplace, business, wellbeing and literature fields, including the aforementioned Bruce Daisley, Deep Work advocate, Cal Newport, and writer Nick Hornby.

Find it here.

How I Built This

What is it: Ever wanted to know how Hinge started? How Urban Decay came to be a leading cosmetic brand? (Spoiler: you wouldn’t think it was started the co-founder of Cisco Systems) Or how Five Guys built a worldwide empire from one burger joint in Virginia? If so, this is the podcast for you, sharing the stories behind the brands from the mouths of those who created them.

Average episode length: Varies hugely, from 30 mins to 1.5 hours

Why we love it: Like reading a long-form interview with a founder but with so much more depth and personality. Some of the stories behind these businesses will inspire you, sometimes confuse you, and in some cases, make you physically gasp! With almost 400 episodes in its back catalogue, you’re bound to find a few that pique your interest. A couple of personal favourites in the team are the stories of Cisco & Urban Decay, Lululemon and Five Guys.

Find it here.

BBC Woman’s Hour

What is it: A daily podcast by women, about women – topical conversations to inform, challenge and inspire.

Average episode length: An hour – one we like to listen to on our lunch break

Why we love it: This is another favourite as it focuses on real world issues and how they are impacting women. The podcast really shines a light on timely stories, that aren’t always featured within mainstream media but are affecting women globally. We find it a great way to gain trustworthy access to world news, and as some of our clients work within the field of women’s issues, we always learn something new by listening.

Find it here.

And with that, there’s not much more to say other than get those headphones out and happy listening!





Above photo by Jonathan Velasquez at Unsplash. 

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