Podcasts offer relief from midterm stress

Podcasts offer relief from midterm stress
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

While spring can be an exciting time for vacations with friends and the reappearance of warm weather, there is surely a loss of excitement at the thought of more exams. Midterms can cause a lot of stress that may be hard to recover from. But fear not, there is a cure. 

While there are the usual suspects to de-stress during and after midterms, such as binge-watching a favorite show or going out with friends, there is an on-the-go solution to ease stress levels back to normal: podcasts. Whether you’re sitting at home, walking around campus or driving to a friend’s house, podcasts are easily accessible. 

Here are five podcasts that can help take your mind off impending midterm grades.

“Keep It!”

Ira Madison III hosts this weekly podcasts that focuses on the dissection of pop culture and politics. Joined weekly by Kara Brown and Louis Virtel, “Keep It!” tackles an array of topics while discussing the best and worst things of each passing week. From Justin Timberlake and Taylor Swift to the Golden Globes and sexual harassment in Hollywood, “Keep It!” looks at these issues and how they correspond with subjects such as race, gender and sexuality. Madison also holds a guest interview to finish every episode, bringing each episode full circle on the topics at hand. “Keep It!” airs new episodes every Wednesday. 

“Modern Love”

Produced by and based on weekly essays published in The New York Times, this podcast focuses on love in the age of technology. Hosted by Meghna Chakrabarti, “Modern Love” taps notable celebrities and personalities to read essays on contemporary love. Some may revel in the chance to listen to Issa Rae read an essay about the perceived difficulties of intimacy that come with long-distance relationships. "Modern Love" gives listeners that chance. While focusing on love, loss and intimacy, these nuanced essays describe the benefits and complications of relationships, sometimes featuring updates from the essayists. “Modern Love” has new episodes every Thursday. 

“Pop Culture Happy Hour”

Linda Holmes hosts this podcast, which is produced by NPR. Holmes is almost always joined by a discussion panel, typically comprised of people that understand certain fields. For example, members of NPR Music joined the panel to dissect SZA’s devastating losses at the Grammy’s this year. A shorter podcast, this is one for someone who doesn’t have any much time outside of school. This is the perfect podcast to listen to while walking to or from class or sitting on the Crimson Ride to help even the busiest student keep up with current pop culture. New episodes air every Tuesday and Thursday. 

“TED Talks Daily”

While most people might be aware of TED Talks on Netflix, they might not know that they can listen to them on their phones. TED Talks focus on a wide array of topics, ranging from international refugee programs and bipartisan politics to the concept of virginity and ways to get over a broken heart. With five new episodes a week, “TED Talks Daily” makes it easy to scan through episodes to find a topic that stands out. For someone who wants to be able to sit down and watch these TED Talks, this podcast makes it easy for an on-the-go listen. New episodes are available every weekday. 


Sometimes, the easiest way to de-stress is to think about something totally distant and unrelated to school. In this way, “Serial” can be the perfect post-midterm podcast. Hosted by Sarah Koenig, “Serial” unravels the true story of a 1999 murder in Baltimore over the course of a full season. Through shocking twists, this mystery unfolds in a beguiling story that keeps audiences entranced. A popular and compelling podcast, “Serial” won a Peabody Award in 2015 for its story-telling. Instead of binge-watching the latest Netflix series, binge-listening to this long-time favorite podcast might keep some students from thinking of their midterm grades dropping. All episodes are available now, and season three is set to premiere sometime this year. 

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