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Podcast review: How to build a better brain

Maverick Life

PODCAST REVIEW

How to build a better brain

Medical information exhibit at the Museum of Weed. Image: Bret Kavanaugh / Unsplash

Want to become a better you? Your brain is the best place to start. Braincare, Huberman Lab and TEDx are three podcasts to help us understand our brain and improve our behaviour.

The brain is the centre of who we are. It controls our thoughts, memories and emotions, our motor skills and senses and even our ability to breathe.

And yet, it only weighs in at around 1.3kg (about 2% of body weight!) and is made up of 60% fat. This week, we’re listening to podcasts all about how we can make the most of this small but hugely significant organ.

***

Braincare

  • Format: Podcast series
  • Year: Since 2020
  • Listen on: Spotify, Apple Podcasts and more

Braincare takes complex topics and breaks them down into short, snappy listens that entice the audience and encourage them to make changes in their own lives. At the same time, the show presents its discussions in an easy to understand manner, never letting its listeners get left behind and bogged down underneath masses of data and information.

Dan Murray-Serter is also a fascinating host. He is himself a mental health advocate and someone who has been on his own journey of bettering his brain health and overall wellbeing.

“I started reading scientific papers on nutrition and mental health,” Murray-Serter writes. “I was pretty surprised to see the masses of evidence-based papers relating to nutrition as well as optimising your cognitive performance for productivity, performance, decision-making, and more.”

Through the episodes, Murray-Serter continues to learn more, making for a thought-provoking listen that encourages the audience to keep learning new things too.

***

Huberman Lab

  • Format: Podcast series
  • Year: Since 2020
  • Listen on: Spotify, YouTube and more

The Huberman Lab podcast is a fascinating show that introduces the listener to experts on neurology and neuroscience who have spent their lives researching one complex organ.

There are plenty of interesting episodes if you have a particular question or topic in mind, but we do recommend starting at the very beginning. The first episode, “How your brain works and changes”, explains the brain and its functions at a base level and will help the listener make sense of the episodes that come next.

The show’s host, Dr Andrew Huberman, knows what he’s talking about too. A neuroscientist and tenured professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine, he specialises in brain development, brain function and neural plasticity.

In his podcast, Huberman shares his own knowledge from years of experience in the field, and each episode is in-depth and full of research. This makes episodes long, with some even clocking in at over two hours, but it’s well worth the listen. 

***

TED Health talks on the brain

  • Format: Podcast series
  • Year: Since 2020
  • Listen on: Spotify, Apple Podcasts and more

TEDx is known for its educational and motivational talks, but if you are strapped for time and want to learn about a specific topic quickly, TED Health is a good place to start.

The show takes excerpts from its longer talks and cuts them down into podcast episodes, making it easier to find information on various themes without having to listen through entire speeches.

The show is hosted by Dr Shoshana Ungerleider, who is also a practising internal medicine physician and science and healthcare advocate. In each episode, Ungerleider introduces the listener to a new health topic, guiding one through the information and sharing why it matters for physical and mental wellbeing.

The show also has a range of other topics, so once you have conquered the brain, check out some of the other episodes based on other aspects of the body. DM/ML

 

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