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Podcasts to Strengthen Your Creativity Muscles

Creativity is not something only special people have. It is innate to all humans. I so very often hear people say, "I love what you do. I wish I was creative." Which I never let slide. I have never once let someone walk away from me continuing to believe that lie.

Not only is creativity part of all of us, it works exactly the way our muscles do. In fact:

"Studies have shown the main difference between creative people and others was: The creative people thought they were creative, and the less creative people didn’t think they were." Roger von Oech, renowned author on the topic of Creativity

Which is great news no matter where you are along the creativity spectrum. A practicing creative? Great! These podcasts will be perfect jumping off points for refinement. Think you're one of those 'not-creatives'? Now you know you are and the whole world is your oyster. These podcasts will help you think about your world differently—which is the absolute first step to all creative endeavors.

Since I spend all day making with my hands, I have a ton of time to listen with my ears. I've listened to a lot (a lot!) of podcasts over the last year or so and finally had to start a notebook so I could keep track of all the great info, quotes and ideas that I hear. I add several things to that notebook each day.

Most of these recommendations would likely not come up in a Google search for "creativity podcasts", but my brain sees just about everything as creative fodder and these 5 podcasts always spark new ideas or point me to interesting connections.

No matter what line of work you are in or what tasks you have to complete on a daily basis, exercising your creativity muscle will positively impact your performance. And you don't have to take my word for it, there's plenty of science to back me up.


5 Podcasts That Will Jump Start Your Creativity

1. 99% Invisible

Time Investment: 30ish min

Creative Payoff: Trains your attention to details of design in your everyday life.

Bonus Payoff: Roman Mars's voice is like butta.

99% Invisible is a treasure trove of interesting stories that spark all sorts of interesting ideas. The title is a reference to the fact that our entire world has been designed by people yet we ignore and take for granted 99% of it. The host, Roman Mars, picks common and not-so-common topics and leads you through a fascinating journey of how that random thing is connected to so many other things.



2. Creative Next

Time Investment: 40ish min

Creative Payoff: Some deep thinking around how AI will impact your work.

Love it or hate it, AI is our future. It's impossible to know how all the tentacles will reach into our lives, but Creative Next is a good place to start the process of trying to think through at least the first few stages of the inevitable.



3. All My Relations

Time Investment: 60ish min

Creative Payoff: A chance to listen to new voices and perspective that will make you question what you thought you knew.

All My Relations is a podcast hosted by Matika Wilbur (Swinomish and Tulalip) and Adrienne Keene (Cherokee Nation) to explore relationships— relationships to land, to our creatural relatives, and to one another. I especially found Episode 2 on Food Sovereignty and Episode 9 titled "Can Our Ancestors Hear Us?" to be particularly thought provoking.



4. Hidden Brain

Time Investment: 40ish min

Creative Payoff: Fascinating metacognition insights through storytelling.

Hidden Brain helps curious people understand the world – and themselves. Using science and storytelling, this pod reveals the unconscious patterns that drive human behavior, and the biases that shape our choices. It will help you think differently about people, projects and processes.


5. Revisionist History

Time Investment: 40ish min

Creative Payoff: It trains you to think more deeply about conventional wisdom of all sorts.

Malcolm Gladwell seems to be a guy that engenders a lot of polarized opinions. I can totally see how he might come across as a bit of a snooty intellectual, but I don't care. I love his books and find this podcast supremely fascinating. In part because I'm not a huge fan of conventional wisdom. I think it's often just unexamined habit. I'm also not much of a fan of convention in general. I don't think Malcolm is either. So, snooty or not, I'm inclined to like him.

Check Out My Other Podcast Suggestions & Pass Along Your Picks

There are so many great podcasts out there right now. (I heard the other day that there are over 700,000!) There's no way anyone could even scratch the surface on all the really great ones, so this is just the first of—hopefully—many lists.

Making jewelry all day allows me to come across new podcasts all the time. You can keep track of my latest finds on my Pinterest board. Or, better yet, leave me a comment and let me know about the ones you're listening to and how they inform, inspire and ignite your creativity.