31 Best Podcasts for Men Who Want to Level Up

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by  Sam Brinson | Last Updated:  Nov 04, 2020
31 Best Podcasts for Men Who Want to Level Up

Remember listening to the radio?

Like everybody’s dad ever always says, times have changed.

I think radio still exists, but now we’re onto something new—on-demand streaming services. 

We don’t tune into a radio station for music these days, we open an app and play what we want when we want it. 

Increasingly, the same is happening with conversation.

Podcasts. They’re everywhere, and while they aren’t new, there’s now over a million of them, with 30 million episodes between them. 

The breadth of options means there’s a show out there for every guy.

In this list, you’ll find the best podcasts for men, covering everything from shaping facial hair to surviving a nuclear apocalypse.

Charge up your headphones and lean on in.

The Tim Ferriss Show

Who’s it for? The guy who wants to level up at everything.

What’s it about? There’s nothing Tim Ferriss hasn’t tried his hand at—he had a TV series titled the Tim Ferriss Experiment where he tasked himself with learning something in record time. But he doesn’t wait for TV deals, Ferriss is learning all the time. 

All. The. Time.

Whether it’s being more productive, making better investments, learning martial arts, learning Japanese, cooking better food, or learning horseback archery, Ferriss has done it. Combine that with the guests he invites on and you have a recipe for great conversation. 

Notable episodes:

The Knowledge Project

Who’s it for? The guy who wants to think clearly.

What’s it about? Shane Parrish is a fan of what are often called ‘mental models.’ These models are tools for thinking about things. They’re a lens through which we can more accurately interpret the world. 

Shane is so interested in these models that he published a book about them and started this podcast. Each guest jumps on to talk about the ideas and theories from their respective fields, with discussions exceeding the hour mark and arriving every couple of weeks.

Notable episodes:

Bill Burr’s Monday Morning Podcast

Who’s it for? The guy who likes to go on a foul-mouthed rant every so often.

What’s it about? Listen to comedian Bill Burr ramble on about anything that strikes his interest—and ire. Every Monday morning he complains, as if people weren’t already annoyed that it’s Monday morning. 

There’s no shying away from controversial topics or vulgar language, it’s just Burr being Burr for over an hour, which is great for anyone that wants to laugh at absurdities and frustrations of the modern world.

Notable episodes:

The Art of Manliness

Who’s it for? The guy who wants to learn to whistle with his fingers.

What’s it about? At a time when manliness feels like a bad word, here’s a podcast that wants to make men men again. If you want to be the type of man that knows how to take care of your beard, pitch a tent, or fight a bear, listen in. 

Just under an hour in length, each episode of The Art of Manliness podcast sees host Brett McKay interview guests on subjects ranging from philosophy to stress to having good conversations

Notable episodes:

The Joshua Sigafus Podcast

Who’s it for? The guy who wants to level up his attraction and bolster his dating game. 

What’s it about? Listen to dating coach, blogger, and YouTuber Joshua Sigafus talk about mating behavior, the alpha mentality, dating tips for men and women, and how to become a higher-value man.

His style is conversational, and you’ll often hear him tell stories from his own dating adventures along the way. 

If you love digging deep into the topics of mating behavior, alpha mentality, leveling-up your dating life, and becoming a stronger and more competent man, this podcast may be for you.

Notable episodes:

Philosophize This!

Who’s it for? The guy who wants more philosophy in his life but would prefer it in plain English.

What’s it about? Philosophy often seems obtuse, possibly because a lot of it is. But that’s not what you’ll find on Philosophize This. 

Host Stephen West has a knack for expounding on the ideas and theories that have shaped history in an accessible and highly engaging way. 

While you can jump into any episode without any trouble, it’s worth going back to the beginning and working your way through.

Notable episodes:

Men in Blazers

Who’s it for? The guy who isn’t afraid of a 0-0 draw.

What’s it about? Blazers are fancy, sports are gritty, but in this podcast the two crash together with hosts Roger Bennett and Michael Davies, with the occasional guest getting thrown in. 

If the ‘football’ found in the English Premiership interests you more than the ‘football’ in the NFL, this podcast should be added to your playlist. Episodes arrive every few days and vary in length from 20 minutes to over an hour. 

Notable episodes:

Hardcore History

Who’s it for? The guy who loves to dive deep—really deep—into history.

What’s it about? Let Dan Carlin’s voice take you back in time with tales of the most significant movements and events in history. 

This podcast is rather different from all the others—each episode clocks in at around 4 hours or more, which highlights why it takes months for each new episode to arrive. 

It’s more like waiting for a hotly anticipated movie than a weekly series. Except that they often are series. For instance, Carlin’s exploration of World War 1, titled the Blueprint for Armageddon, has 6 episodes—amounting to about 23 hours in full. With that, you’ll know more about WW1 than people who lived through it. 

Notable episodes:

The Peter Attia Drive

Who’s it for? The guy who wants to make it past 100.

What’s it about? Peter Attia is focused on increasing the human life span. The weekly episodes largely feature discussions with leading scientists and researchers, who discuss ways to optimize longevity and lead a healthy life. 

While the goal is quite specific, the topics it covers are wide, from healthy habits to genetics to disease.

Notable episodes:

The Bill Simmons Podcast

Who’s it for? The guy who spends Sunday afternoon playing fantasy football. 

What’s it about? Bill Simmons started the Ringer website in 2016, which is now a podcast network including the one which bears his name. 

If you want analysis on the NBA playoffs, trade rumors, season-ending injuries and all that jazz, Simmon’s has you covered. 

Actually, he has you covered on more than sports, there are a few interviews with celebrities and conversations on non-sports topics, but they’re like the fries to the side of your steak. 

Notable episodes:

Sean Carroll’s Mindscape

Who’s it for? The guy whose ears perk up anytime he hears the word “wormhole.”

What’s it about? Sean Carroll is a smart man. He’s a theoretical physicist who studies things like quantum mechanics, dark electromagnetism, and spacetime dimensions. I don’t know anything about that except that it sounds difficult. 

But don’t worry, Carroll isn’t going to run through the math with you. Over these hour-long weekly episodes, he sits down to talk with other experts in science and technology, with a few discussions on philosophy and culture thrown in. 

It’s still intellectual, but not the over-the-top-of-your-head variety.  

Notable episodes:

Art of Charm

Who’s it for? The guy who wants to go on a date without breaking out in a sweat.

What’s it about? The Art of Charm is centered on the topic of personal development, particularly in the form of life-lessons on business, health, and relationships. 

If you want to hold yourself with greater confidence, to speak more persuasively, to command more attention—basically to be more like James Bond—the Art of Charm will go a long way towards getting you there. 

Notable episodes:

Startalk Radio

Who’s it for? The guy who wants to know how movies get the science wrong.

What’s it about? Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has one of those very distinct voices, perfect for a podcast. 

While Tyson alone can make science interesting, Startalk is made even better with co-hosts Chuck Nice and Gary O’Reilly, as well as an eclectic range of guests. It strikes a perfect balance between having a laugh while talking science.

Notable episodes:

HBR Ideacast

Who’s it for? The guy looking to follow in the footsteps of Warren Buffett.

What’s it about? From Harvard Business Review, hosts Alison Beard and Curt Nickisch interview business leaders and entrepreneurs to extract lessons and offer insights on navigating the corporate landscape. 

Episodes are weekly, and at only 20 – 25 minutes long they don’t require much investment, perfect for a commute or morning stroll. 

Notable episodes:

Stuff You Should Know

Who’s it for? The guy who takes regular forays down Wikipedia rabbit holes.

What’s it about? There’s no easy way to categorize this podcast, with the title being the best way to describe it. 

Each episode attempts to explain how something ‘works,’ from peanut butter to epilepsy, nude beaches, and reverse psychology—as I said, hard to categorize. With over 1400 episodes to choose from, any inquisitive mind should be well served.

Notable episodes:

Freakonomics Radio 

Who’s it for? The guy who wants to know how drug dealers do their banking.

What’s it about? Journalist Stephen J. Dubner and economist Steven Levitt first got together to write a book called Freakonomics, which explores economics in rather unusual ways, using examples like the Klu Klux Klan and sumo wrestling. 

It was quite the success, selling over 4 million copies between its release in 2005 and 2009. So successful was it that it spawned a blog, documentary, and this here radio. Episodes are usually under 30 minutes and aim to make apparent the hidden economics and workings of the world. 

Notable episodes:

How Did This Get Made?

Who’s it for? The guy who has ironically watched The Room. 

What’s it about? There’s a lot of good cinema out there—and there’s a lot of junk. Some movies are so impressive you have to wonder how they were made, others are so dreadful you wonder why they were made. 

This podcast is all about the junk. The trio of Paul Scheer, Jason Mantzoukas, and June Diane Raphael dig into the good, the bad, and the ugly of Hollywood. Everything from acting performances to plot inconsistencies and general absurdities are on full display.

Notable episodes:

WIRED Gadget Lab

Who’s it for? The guy who will sleep outside the Apple store to buy the new iPhone.

What’s it about? Keeping up with tech news and developments can be overwhelming. 

Every day there’s a new smartphone, smart TV, or smart car hitting the market. Then there’s all the social media giants and the constant debate about data. There’s automation and artificial intelligence. There’s virtual reality and robots doing backflips. 

How do you stay on top of it all? There’s an answer, and it’s WIRED Gadget Lab, who can keep you from getting lost in the digital wilderness.

Notable episodes:

TED Radio Hour 

Who’s it for? The guy who wants to know what the big idea is.

What’s it about? If you don’t already know of TED, it was established in 1984 as a conference on technology, entertainment, and design. Now they have conferences all over the world with the recorded versions being some of the most popular online videos. 

Their motto is “Ideas worth spreading,” and they have a lot of ideas spread across their network. With this weekly hour-long podcast you can get those ideas fed directly in through your ears.

Notable episodes:

Reply All

Who’s it for? The guy who is worried about getting scammed.

What’s it about? Hosted by PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman, Reply All finds the most interesting stories on the internet to keep you entertained and perhaps even concerned. 

From Bitcoin hunters to Snapchat hackers, there is plenty enough to convince you the internet isn’t a safe place—while also helping you avoid the pitfalls. 

Notable episodes:

Science Vs

Who’s it for? The guy who struggles telling fact from fiction.

What’s it about? There are more ways to be wrong than right, and history is full of examples of people falling on the wrong side. But today, with science, we can improve the odds we end up closer to the truth. 

That is, provided we know and trust the science. Science Vs breaks down all the fads, conspiracies, and flat-out lies which have fooled people—in the hopes that they won’t fool you. 

Notable episodes:

Armchair Expert

Who’s it for? The guy who wants to know how his life compares to famous people.

What’s it about? You might recognize Dax Shepard if you see him, he acted in a series of comedy movies in the 2000s including Idiocracy and Without a Paddle. He’s also married to actress Kristen Bell, lucky him. 

More recently Dax has dug into podcasting, where he and Monica Padman talk to celebrities and experts in a variety of fields, which is interesting, humorous, and occasionally educational. 

Notable episodes:

How I Built This

Who’s it for? The guy who binge watches Shark Tank.

What’s it about? From NPR, Guy Raz hosts this podcast in which he talks to innovators and entrepreneurs about their success stories—and their failures. 

Pay attention and you’ll find many lessons on starting and running businesses, plus some inspiration too.

Notable episodes:

27 Club

Who’s it for? The guy interested in the dramatic lives of rock stars, and spurious patterns.

What’s it about? Each season of this podcast explores the life of one of the members of the infamous 27 club—the musicians that all died at age 27. 

For those unaware of it, there were a surprising number of artists who died at different times and of different causes, but all at the same age. There’s Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse, and Janis Joplin. 

But season one starts with the first and most famous member: Jimi Hendrix.

Notable episodes:

Planet Money

Who’s it for? The guy who wants to know why beer isn’t cheaper.

What’s it about? “Economics” and “engaging” aren’t two words you often see together, but this is one instance in which it works. 

Combining story-telling, humor, and informative content isn’t easy, but this podcast from NPR does exactly that, and in 20-minute episodes to boot.

Notable episodes:

Book Riot

Who’s it for? The guy who can read more than an opening sentence.

What’s it about? For a podcast about books (new books, old books, popular and obscure books), look no further than Book Riot. 

Rather than a single podcast, Book Riot has several—one which bears the same name, along with ‘All The Books,’ ‘For Real,’ ‘Get Booked,’ and others. 

With such a selection, there’s bound (pun not intended) to be podcasts of interest for anyone that reads, and even those that don’t.

Notable episodes:

The Joe Rogan Experience

Who’s it for? The guy interested in watching Elon Musk smoke weed. 

What’s it about? Despite Joe Rogan’s controversial recent move to Spotify, the comedian and lover-of-UFC remains top of the podcast charts and has been there for some time. 

There’s a reason why—there’s nobody he won’t talk to, no subject he won’t weigh in on, and he’ll do it with his characteristically inquisitive and comedic style. Settle into an interesting discussion for a few hours, you’ll have a laugh and learn something.

Notable episodes:

Song Exploder

Who’s it for? The guy who wants to know how booming bass sounds are created.

What’s it about? When you listen to music, you only get the finished product. Song Exploder digs deeper, pulling apart those polished products to see the blood, sweat, and tears that went into them. 

Host Hrishikesh Hirway talks with the artists behind each song to extract their stories and processes, and to highlight just how difficult it is to create a hit.

Notable episodes:

Akimbo: A Podcast from Seth Godin

Who’s it for? The guy looking for career advice and ideas to live by.

What’s it about? Seth Godin knows how to get attention. He’s a marketer and entrepreneur who has authored over 19 books with strange titles like ‘Purple Cow’ and ‘Whatcha Gonna Do with That Duck?’ 

He also has a lot of insights and advice to offer—and this podcast is the outlet for said advice. From creativity to productivity, Godin has plenty to offer.

Notable episodes:

Lead to Win

Who’s it for? The guy who wants to level-up his leadership skills.

What’s it about? Host Michael Hyatt is a blogger, author, and podcaster. Lead to Win sees Hyatt offer up weekly lessons on success, leadership, and business. Episodes are about 30 minutes long and arrive every week.

Notable episodes:

99% Invisible

Who’s it for? The guy who’s interested in the hidden factors that influence his life.

What’s it about? Design is everywhere, and it influences what we think and do, even when we’re not aware of it. Everything from the color and shape of the buttons on a website to the handle on a door has an affect on the people using them. 

In 99% Invisible, Roman Mars exposes this underbelly of design and its strange effects on society. Episodes are weekly and settle in around the 40-minute mark.

Notable episodes:


With that, you should have no shortage of auditory cheesecake to pleasure your eardrums for hours. 

But unlike cheesecake, podcasts are good for your health. 

There’s no need to feel guilty about spending the day with your headphones on, because that’s what leveling up looks like today. 

It’s education reimagined. Go enjoy it, and share the article so other guys can reap the rewards.