As a grad student, you find yourself busy with lots of schoolwork. Sometimes, however, you need to take a break, a little escape. These 11 informative, inspirational and feel-good podcasts will help you do just that—wherever you are and whenever you need them. They'll also equip you with tips that will assist you in your daily life, provide stories that will inspire you to overcome whatever obstacles you may encounter and give you tips and tricks to help you navigate grad school and your future work environment. And, maybe, they’ll just entertain you for a while. On your next study break, check one of them out for yourself.


This is a podcast that talks about more than just getting a graduate degree; it talks about living very real lives. Whether you’re currently in graduate school or thinking about returning to school, you’ll appreciate the wisdom of Dr. Tonya Vetter, the self-dubbed “APA Queen.” As her nickname suggests, she’ll examine what it takes to successfully tackle graduate writing. And she gets real about those times when real-world issues seem impossible to navigate. Recent podcast topics include Red Marks are Everywhere, Postpartum Dissertation and Graduation and Cut, Bruises, and Grad School.


Hosted by 4th-year clinical psychology doctoral students Rebecca Miller, M.A. and Christian Mallett, M.S., Growing Through Grad School is a podcast hosted by grad students for grad students. While exploring self-care and the personal growth issues grad students frequently face, they’ll expand your scholarly knowledge, explore the challenges of grad school and lead you through guided meditations and breathing exercises. Examples of their podcast topics include Sleep Hygiene and the Two-Process Model of Sleep Regulation, Casual Summer Talk about Finances and Paying Student Loan‪s‬‬ and Addressing Underlying Fears of Failure.


This inspirational podcast is designed to help you manage change—It's going to happen, may as well work with it—and find opportunities in unexpected places. Her motto is, “If change is the only constant, let’s get better at it.” This podcast encourages you to embrace your imperfections, insecurities, fears and intuitions as the “superpowers” they are while in the midst of change. Author of Pivot: The Only Move That Matters Is Your Next One, Ms. Blake invites you into intimate conversations with friends and other authors who share practical tips, tools, and moments of finding opportunity in unexpected places. Podcast examples include Stay Relevant and Solve Difficult Problems with Stephen Shapiro, Saner Arguments — Discourse vs. Debate with Bob Gower and The Practice — On Generosity, Peculiarity, and Showing Up with Seth Godin.


Whether you want to change careers or make a little extra money on the side while in grad school, Side Hustle School will inspire you to go for it. Each day the podcast features a detailed case study of someone who earns extra money without quitting their job or while attending school. The show is hosted by Chris Guillebeau, the New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Pursuit and The $100 Startup. Examples of some of his recent podcast topics include Can I Make an Audio-Only Learning Course (No Video!)?, How to Become an eSports Commentator and “Ordinary Dude” Creates Meditation Books for Men.


As you transition from grad school to the workforce, you may find yourself facing a whole different set of challenges. This is where Manager Tools podcasts can step in and save the day. One listener says that “Manager Tools podcasts gave me the best management training I had in my career.” Manager Tools has a podcast dealing with every situation you may face as a manager, new and experienced managers alike. From delivering a performance review to having a direct report repeatedly saying no to feedback to a list of hiring mistakes to avoid to body odor issues and so much more, this podcast equips listeners with the tools needed to become successful managers. 


Manager Tools hosts another podcast, Career Tools, which is all about being good at what you do and maintaining good relationships with those with whom you work. After all, both skill sets are required to be truly successful. Career Tools covers a wide range of topics that will equip you, as a grad student, to make the difficult transition from school life to career life. Examples of recent podcasts include Highlighting Soft Skills on your Resume, Stupid Interview Advice – Chapter 2, Interview Update 2021, Starting a New Job – Part 1 and Yes, Praise Your Colleagues.


Lewis Howes has an amazing story to tell about his journey towards the creation of his inspirational and highly successful top 100 iTunes ranked podcast, The School of Greatness. Mr. Howes’ rise to greatness is something his peers and teachers would have been hard-pressed to guess the bullied, special needs child they knew. He is a lifestyle entrepreneur, high-performance business coach, keynote speaker and successful author of a bestselling book, also titled The School of Greatness. Details Magazine says he is one of “5 Internet Gurus that can Make You Rich.” In his podcasts, he imparts his wisdom as well as sharing the secrets of other highly accomplished individuals through interviews with them. Examples of recent podcasts include Unlocking the Power of Your Mind with Neuroscientist Dr. Andrew Huberman, 5 Steps to Create Your Rich Life, Grant Cardone: Mastering Money, Persuasive Negotiation & Building a Billionaire Mindset and Positively Influence Others, Increase Mental Flexibility & Diversify Your Identity with Adam Grant.


The creators of This American Life, in collaboration with WBEZ Chicago, also provide the radio shows/podcasts of This American Life and Serial. They have also joined up with The New York Times to publish Nice White Parents. As we look at each of these podcasts a little closer, you’re sure to find that their stories do more than entertain you; they will also cause you to view life a little differently and provide an excellent escape when you need a study break.

This American Life is a weekly podcast and public radio program featuring “an entertaining kind of journalism that’s built around a plot.” These stories are centered around compelling people who are often immersed in funny moments and, often, undergoing feelings that are large and fragile. These stories frequently reveal interesting ideas and may have surprising plot twists. Think of This American Life as “movies for radio.” Their programs have received numerous awards, including the very first Pulitzer Prize awarded to a radio show or podcast. You might want to begin your journey with them in the New to This American Life? list of titles. You can check out their entire archive of 700+ episodes or, perhaps, their recommended list of podcasts. Be forewarned: They like to experiment. For instance, in one of their shows, they put together a band from the musicians’ classified ads; and in another, they taped for 24 hours in an all-night restaurant.

With three seasons currently under their belt, Serial tells a story—a true story—over the course of a season. Hosted by Sarah Koenig, Serial has managed to win every major award for broadcasting available, including the first-ever Peabody awarded to a podcast. Season One covers the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee, a popular Baltimore high-school senior, and the subsequent arrest of Adnan Syed, her ex-boyfriend. Season Two tells the story of Bowe Bergdahl, a U.S. soldier who had been a prisoner of the Taliban for almost five years and was set to return home, but there are clouds of suspicion concerning his “capture.” Season Three takes us back to court. But rather than covering one courtroom case, they’ll share some of the extraordinary stories that are often found in ordinary cases after spending one year inside a typical American courthouse. The description of Episode One will have you hooked, “A young woman at a bar is slapped on the butt. So, why’s she the one in jail?” 

Nice White Parents is a six-episode series that examines the 60-year relationship between white parents and the public school system, a relationship that began with a commitment to integration.


Hosted by Lauren McGlamery, this inspirational podcast is dedicated to filling in the gaps school doesn’t address. It’s filled with tips, tools and storytelling of Ms. McGlamery. As an adult, she soon realized that she’d been taught “some pretty useless things in school.” She felt ill-equipped to manage her life, adapt to changes and to move through setbacks. Her journey to filling in the knowledge gaps began when her mother died from breast cancer in 2017. Join her for short podcasts dedicated to the in-between of knowing and doing for college students.

Now that you’ve had time to escape through these entertaining, inspirational, useful and feel-good podcasts (you did listen to some of them, right?), it’s time to return to the real world. Time to think about your future career options and the higher learning that may be required to get you where you want to go. If you’re interested in learning more about the graduate degrees offered at University of the Cumberlands, contact an admissions counselor or request more information today.