May can be a month of monotony. Everything seems to move in slow motion as we brace ourselves for the colder months that seem to push a greater need for mental tactics and positive novelty.

We know busy people like shortcuts. We also know that coming home to read more words after a long and tedious work day can be the opposite of appealing. However, our human being-ness means we have a constant and insatiable desire to learn, grow, and apply knowledge. So to honour this noble motivation we thought we’d do the hard work for you – deciding what new discussions would be most applicable for our society right now.

In order to avoid becoming stuck in a ‘just waiting for summer’ headspace, we’ve put together a list of 5 new podcasts to challenge your thinking. Plug in that aux chord while waiting in traffic, turn up your speakers while you cook dinner, or head out on that long and pondersome evening saunter and allow these ideas to fire up your synapses, shake up your brain’s routine, and freshen the parts of yourself that are feeling a little bit stale this month.


Naomi Shihab Nye on the ON BEING podcast -Your life is a poem:

Naomi Shihab Nye believes that poets speak in ways that gently force people to reframe the way they see and experience the world. Seeing them as more than artfully crafted sentences on a page that are oftentimes so cryptic they become irrelevant, she challenges us to believe that our every move throughout life is a type of ‘poem.’

“When you think, when you’re in a very quiet place, when you’re remembering, when you’re savouring an image, when you’re allowing your mind calmly to leap from one thought to another, that’s a poem. That’s what a poem does.”



Michael Murphy’s TED talk – Architecture that’s built to heal:

We are possibly one step ahead of the curve in understanding the importance of this concept here in Christchurch. The rebuild of our city has stimulated a need for innovative architecture that serves to heal, connect and protect the new systems and realities we were faced with after 2011. Michael Murphy dives into this incentive even deeper. In his talk he is proposing that building projects can have great impact our health, and can even rally positive change towards social injustice in less privileged parts of the world.




Dear Sugars podcast – Love in the Digital Age:

The internet has taken love relationships into quite an ambiguous field. With the rulebook constantly being rewritten, and our sense of belonging being threatened by the manipulation of words shared without true context. This talk explores the way online platforms are assisting in ‘fantasy relationships’ as a form of escapism, and the danger of engineering ‘emotional affairs’ that don’t seem serious because they are behind a screen. Because in reality but they may prove to be rather detrimental to our sense of self, and the fulfilment of our true needs and desires.



Hidden Brain by NPR podcast – Decide Already:

“Justifying our decisions isn’t actually necessary – it’s just the mind finding realistic ways to see the world, so that it feels better about the world in which it finds itself.”

Hidden Brain is a podcast dedicated to disrupting our human conditioning, encouraging us take a good hard look at the automated responses we bring to life. Perhaps we think we are inherently bound to our long standing behaviours, rationalising their importance to us without even really considering why we have them. Perhaps we aren’t even aware of the ways in which we walk around with an air of self righteousness that has only been awarded by our own justifications?
In this episode, the speakers look at the ways in which our mind can resort to a form of trickery comfort when we are presented with decisions that lead to irreversible actions, such as long term commitment.



Bessel Van Der Kolk on the Becoming Wise podcast – Trauma and Resilience Land in our Bodies:

In this episode, Bessel Van Der Kolk talks us through the very real after effects of various trauma and negative life events on our bodies and minds. Research into the field of neuroplasticity has been around for quite a while now, but only in recent years has the ‘mind body connection’ reached mainstream health and healing forums. This discussion reminds us that we ultimately must feel to heal, and actively detach from the traumas of our past through the profound act of letting go.



Illustration: Samantha Totty