The top ten podcasts to keep contractors competitive

3rd April, 2019
The top ten podcasts to keep contractors competitive

Fast, easy and informative, podcasts are a trend that every contractor should tap into. From how to keep yourself healthy to the latest current affairs wrapped up in a digestible fifteen minute bulletin, podcasts are a great way to slot in useful information on the go. With creative thinking fast becoming the most sought after skill, plugging into a podcast can feed your ideas factory and provide you with new perspectives. Here we take a look at some of the podcasts that are making waves and why they’re great for contractors.

Food and Fitness
Taking good care of yourself should be top of everyone’s priorities, but self care is especially relevant to contractors. Most contractors work without a benefits package, which means they receive no sick pay and must also fund their own private health insurance. Throw in stress, uncertainty and an often-demanding schedule, and the need for contractors to inform themselves about nutrition and fitness is a must.

The Doctor’s Kitchen: Confidently applying the ‘food as medicine philosophy’, Doctor Rupy Aujla works as a fully qualified medical doctor in the NHS while also teaching a groundbreaking culinary medicine course to medical students at Bristol University. Packed with cutting edge facts and recipes, whether you’re eating for your skin, IBS or eye health, DK is a mine of useful information.

Move Your DNA: Biochemist and podcast host Katy Bowman is a leader of The Movement Movement, which believes that society has become too sedentary. The solution – get up on you feet and move! Bowman also fronts the Nutritious Movement which focuses on the individual head to the toe movement of all body parts. Conversations are aimed at redefining movement through activities such as rewilding breathing, gardening and sleep habits.

TEDTalks Health: TEDTalks are known for providing big ideas in short timeframes, and the TEDTalks Health podcast takes some of the best health-related talks from their conferences and events. Topics cover neuroscience and the treatment of both physical and mental conditions. With interesting explanations that offer surprisingly practical insights, each episode is brimming with inspiring ideas.

Mental Health
With 28% of people in the UK having sought therapy, mental health is rapidly becoming the most pressing yet underfunded social issue. Stress, insomnia, depression and chronic anxiety are some of the most common symptoms, and if left untreated, they can have a devastating affect on people’s lives and their professional ability. Contractors often lack a support network of long-term colleagues, or other workplace facilities that can help resolve problems; this isolation from extended support can leave them vulnerable.

The Mental Illness Happy Hour: Comedian Paul Gilmartin interviews comedians, artists, writers, friends, and doctors about their experiences of mental illness. The podcast attempts to normalise and de-stigmatise mental health issues by reflecting that nobody is immune. Its angle also highlights the interesting relationship between creativity and mental illness, and how humour can be both symptomatic and restorative.  The Mental Illness Happy Hour is a safe place for people to openly discuss fears and traumas they don’t feel comfortable discussing anywhere else.

10% Happier with Dan Harris: Based on his own experience of having an anxiety attack on live TV, ABC newsman Dan Harris takes us on his subsequent journey as he interviews executives and musicians and a whole cross section of society to learn about the circumstances that drew them to meditation, how they practice, and whether it’s helped them become happier.

Yogaland: This weekly yoga podcast offers interviews with well-known experts about yoga and wellness. They cover a broad range of topics from yoga and anatomy to emotional wellness and nutrition. The goal is to align wisdom and health information in a down-to-earth, relatable way. With that in mind, Yogaland offers tools and ideas for self-development as well as inspiration for practising yoga.

Creative thinking & Philosophy
Considering the meaning of life might not seem immediately relevant to our professional development, but the ability to engage with the big topics is a mind-expanding exercise. Challenging ourselves to think about the bigger picture helps us to see how things are interconnected, and helps us to both deconstruct and gain perspective on personal and professional problems.

Hurdle: Host Emily Abbate chats with someone who has overcome an obstacle or difficulties by incorporating wellness into their lives. Guests cover a wide range of backgrounds from the co-founder of Headspace, the creator of TRX and various athletes, who share valuable insight into how they’ve overcome hurdles in creative ways, from meditation to major lifestyle changes.

The Guardian’s Science Weekly: A podcast where science journalists at the Guardian pose the big questions before answering them in an engaging and accessible way. Topics range from fundamental musings on what it means to be human in an age of AI, to considerations about free will. Each episode is a digestible 30 minutes packed with thought provoking content.

HBR Ideacast
Another hotbed of innovation and provocative thinking, the Harvard Business Review’s free podcast features leading thinkers in business and management. These visionaries and entrepreneurs give listeners an insight into their world, where they’re joining the dots ahead of everyone else.

Story Collider
The art of storytelling is a creative skill that’s working its way into many aspects of business, from presentation and pitching skills to sales and marketing.  This podcast uses the central theme of science to explore the art of narrative storytelling. The compelling tales that take a human look at science and technology in 15 minute takes.

These thought provoking podcasts can act as a great source of inspiration for contractors, helping to generate ideas for personal and professional growth. Contractors might need specific industry skills, but by casting your ideas net wide, you’ll learn new ways of applying them.

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