Podcast Review: Hidden Brain

This month, I want to bring your attention to the NPR podcast, “Hidden Brain,” hosted by Shankar Vedantam. The description on the podcast reads, “Shankar Vedantam uses science and storytelling to reveal the unconscious patterns that drive human behavior, shape our choices, and direct our relationships.” 

After listening to the podcast for probably two years now, I’d say that’s pretty spot on.

I’m super interested in social and positive psychology, and this podcast almost always has something interesting, insightful, or even transformational for me. The topics are always relevant, so I have a hard time resisting them when they pop up in my podcast app. What I appreciate about the content is that it is often things we don’t consciously uncover in our lived experience. Often times, it takes a researcher with a really great quality problem or question to unearth the subtleties of why we do what we do.

Like the episode about the presence or absence of trees in our neighborhoods, and the implications this has on crime. FASCINATING research that discovered that the mere presence of trees decreases the incidence of crime in a neighborhood, which was totally contrary to popular thought and wisdom. In that same episode, they discussed the impact of looking up in to trees while walking instead of at the ground on happiness and depression. You probably guessed which one leads to which. You may have intuited that one once you reflected on it, but I’ll tell you that even though I walk among trees every day when I walk my dog, I now consciously look up at the trees during the walk because I know it’s good medicine to battle depression, which is something I struggle with.

Human nature is sometimes intuitive, and sometimes the opposite. Hidden Brain does a great job highlighting the times when it’s not.

Lastly, it’s a really, REALLY professionally made podcast. They add A LOT of audio elements, including original music for every episode, to bring you right in to the world of the topic of the day. Sound effects, interviews, re-enactments, whatever is necessary to tell the story and keep you engaged. Well, IT WORKS.

Listen to a new episode every Monday, and enjoy!

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