10 Podcasts for Healthy Aging – That Aren’t Just About Health!

In recent years, podcasts have emerged as a popular and unique way to be entertained and learn new information. Research shows that 55% of American adults listen to podcasts regularly or have listened before – that’s over 100 million adults across the country! Podcasts offer a unique way to engage with a world of ideas, stories, and advice right from the comfort of your home – or wherever you are! 

Let’s explore why podcasts are an excellent way for older adults to build healthy lifestyle habits and which podcasts might be interesting to listen to. And remember, we’re not just talking about physical health – we’re also referring to brain health as well. With that in mind, let’s dive in.

How podcasts differ from radio or TV

Unlike radio or TV, podcasts offer an on-demand way to listen to tailored content that covers virtually any interest or hobby. They can be paused, rewound, or saved for later, giving each listener complete control over their personal listening experience. 

Podcasts often dive a deeper into niche subjects – think everything from why we’re exploring space to grandparenting tips for a better connection with the young people in your life – providing more specialized and engaging content than traditional media offers.

And the fun thing is, with how popular podcasting is these days, if there’s a TV or radio show you love, there’s a high chance one of the actors or hosts may also have a podcast!

Why podcasts contribute to a healthier lifestyle

Listening to podcasts can significantly contribute to mental and emotional well-being which are key to staying healthy as you age. Listening to podcasts keeps the mind active and engaged, offers a sense of connection to wider communities and interests, and can be a source of both relaxation and stimulation. For older adults, this means staying intellectually engaged and socially connected, which we know are important as we get older.

Plus, you can listen to podcasts just about anywhere, making them accessible during activities that you do daily.

Activities to do while listening to podcasts

Senior woman on phone going outside for exercise.

A beautiful thing about podcasts is their versatility. They can be enjoyed while engaging in various activities, such as:

  • Gardening
  • Walking
  • Exercising
  • Relaxing at home
  • Cooking
  • Baking
  • Driving
  • Arts and crafts
  • Morning routines
  • And so much more

Aside from moments where someone may need your full attention, podcasts can be listened to just about anywhere!

The Benefits of Listening to Podcasts

Podcasts offer several benefits, particularly for older adults, including:

  • Cognitive stimulation: There is science-backed research that shows how podcasts help keep the brain active and engaged.
  • Social connection: By regularly listening to podcasts, you can feel like you’re part of a broader conversation and community, and have new and exciting topics to contribute to conversations with friends and loved ones.
  • Emotional well-being and mental health: Podcasts that encourage enjoyment, relaxation, and sometimes a good laugh, are shown to positively impact mental health and overall well-being.
  • Diversify views and opinions: Topics that cater to a wide range of interests and tastes and encourage a broader worldview. 

How to listen to podcasts

Senior woman researching a senior living care facility

One of the great appeals of podcasts is their accessibility. You can listen to them in a variety of ways, making it easy to integrate them into your daily routine, regardless of your technical savviness. Here’s a quick guide on how to access and enjoy podcasts:

  • On a smartphone or tablet:
    • Podcast apps: Most smartphones come with a built-in podcast app like Apple Podcasts for iPhones or Google Podcasts for Android devices. You can also download popular apps like Spotify, Stitcher, or Overcast on your smartphone or tablet.
    • How to use: Simply open the app, search for the podcast you want, and hit play. You can also subscribe to your favorite podcasts to get automatic updates when new episodes are available. These notifications will pop up on your screen whenever a new episode is published.
  • Via a computer:
    • Websites: Many podcasts have websites where you can listen to episodes directly. Simply search for the name of the podcast on your favorite search engine, and it will typically pop up as one of the top results. Additionally, platforms like Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts have desktop versions.
    • How to use: Go to the website, find the podcast episode you want to listen to, and press play. It’s that easy!
  • Smart speakers or voice assistants:
    • Devices: If you have a smart speaker like an Amazon Echo or Google Home, you can use voice commands to play podcasts.
    • How to use: Use voice commands like “Alexa, play [Podcast Name]” or “Hey Google, play the latest episode of [Podcast Name].”
  • In the car:
    • Bluetooth or AUX cable: If your car has Bluetooth capability, you can connect your phone and stream podcasts directly. Alternatively, you can use an AUX cable to connect directly to a smartphone or device that houses your downloaded podcasts.
    • Car systems: Many modern cars come with infotainment systems that support apps like Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, making it easy to listen while you drive.
  • Through traditional MP3 players:
    • Downloading episodes: If you prefer using an MP3 player, you can download podcast episodes to your computer and then transfer them to your device.

If you want support on downloading podcasts, get in touch with a relative, staff member at your senior living facility, or a friend who is tech-savvy – people around you are willing to help so you can start listening!

Looking beyond health topics for healthy aging podcasts

While health-focused content is great to consume, healthy aging encompasses more than just physical well-being. Engaging with a variety of topics – from history and culture to storytelling and humor – contributes to brain (cognitive) health and emotional balance. This diverse engagement with a range of interesting topics ensures a more holistic approach to wellness later in life, contributing to a better healthy aging trajectory.

And without further ado, let’s dive into our recommendations.

10 podcasts for seniors 

Here are our eclectic and fun recommendations for a well-rounded healthy aging podcast routine. Try them out as you see fit!

  1. This American Life: This podcast, hosted by NPR’s well-known journalist, Ira Glass, offers a mix of journalistic pieces, essays, and memoirs, providing a rich tapestry of American life and experiences. You can expect everything from human interest stories that are lighter to heavy-hitting news topics that are discussed in more depth.
  2. Living to 100 Club: Dr. Joe Casciani, founder of the Living to 100 Club, created this podcast intending to embrace life’s challenges and opportunities, especially relevant for those in their later years of life. From mental health struggles that older adults face, to breaking stereotypes of what it means to age, this could be a great one for someone looking for a more holistic view of healthy aging.
  3. Camp Codger: To lean into aging, three friends got together and created this podcast as a light-hearted take on getting older. Filled with humor and relatable discussions, this is a fun one to listen to.
  4. Good Job, Brain!: If you’re a trivia nut, this one’s for you. This quiz show and offbeat trivia podcast can keep your mind sharp and entertained by testing your knowledge on several topics.
  5. Stuff You Should Know: If you’ve ever wanted to know more about a random topic, this is the podcast for you. It offers fascinating insights into a wide range of topics, perfect for curious minds who are always looking for the fine print in life.
  6. Radiolab: Known for its deep-dive explorations into scientific and philosophical questions, Radiolab is a great offshoot of This American Life (listed above).
  7. Aging in Full Bloom: For those out there who want to live their best life at every age – and sometimes even laugh about it – give this podcast a try. Host Lisa Stockdale, covers many different topics ranging from smart home automation to make life easier, to older adult-focused programs to take advantage of.
  8. Heavyweight: Have you ever had something in the past that was unresolved or bugged you? Jonathan Goldstein takes listener’s submissions and investigates them to help ease their mind. From the prom date that dumped you and you didn’t know why, to mysterious mail that ended up in your mailbox by mistake, give it a listen to learn more.
  9. Retirement Reimagined!: Retirement doesn’t need to be so prescriptive. This podcast focuses on redefining retirement and making the most of your years after you stop working.  
  10. The Grand Life: Grandparenting takes time and intention, and that’s why this podcast explores the grandparent-grandchild relationship and the modern role of grandparents.

Are you ready to start listening to a new healthy aging podcast?

Podcasts are a fantastic resource for seniors seeking entertainment, education, and connection. They offer a window to a world of stories, ideas, and advice, enriching the journey of aging with content that is as diverse and vibrant as life itself. Whether you’re looking to stay mentally active, learn something new, or simply enjoy a good story, the world of podcasts has something for everyone.

Looking for more older adult-focused lifestyle tips? Visit our blog!