Raise your dopamine levels by listening to podcasts.
Podcasts have rapidly grown in popularity over the last few years. Research from Podcast Insights 2021 state that there are more than two million active podcasts available covering several genres. It is a medium our team has been focused on, too, with the launch of the Goodleaf podcast.
Are podcasts good for your brain?
When getting started, finding what you like will take some trial and error, but the exploration is worth it.
Consuming information by listening to a podcast can activate your mesolimbic pathway (the ‘reward pathway’) releasing dopamine (the feel-good hormone) throughout the brain. Here are just some examples:
Podcasts for calmness: When you meditate your brain releases a chemical called oxytocin, known as the love hormone. This is often associated with empathy, trust and building relationships.
Recommended podcasts for meditation:
Heart-pumping podcasts: There’s a scientific reason you’re drawn to true crime stories. Your brain interprets this suspenseful information and releases several chemical triggers in response that keep you coming back for more.
The rush you get also releases endorphins, as well as the production of dopamine and serotonin, leaving you feeling terrified, but in a good way.
Recommended true crime podcasts:
Podcasts to make you laugh: When your brain consumes humorous content your frontal lobe sends that message to your cerebral cortex, which triggers things like laughter, surprise and delight. This in turn also lowers levels of cortisol, resulting in stress reduction.
Recommended comedy podcasts:
Listening to podcasts on a regular basis can be tough, especially when they are quite lengthy. To build a habit you might want to try bundling listening. This means consuming the content while you perform daily tasks that have become somewhat automated, for example, making your morning coffee, driving to work, or going for a walk.
When you bundle a new habit with an existing ritual it serves as an automatic trigger, and you don’t need to carve out additional time in your day.
If you have podcast recommendations, please share them with us.