It’s fair to say that some podcasts are so good they can actually make you a better man, just by tuning in. But while learning the basics of business or key conversation techniques is always a studious move, you’re still going to need some nuggets of wisdom to stand out from the hordes of similarly well-listened fellas.

So how do you take your mental prowess up a notch? Facts. Lots of them. Luckily, some of the world’s foremost experts, comedians and writers have been busy creating a whole host of audible insights that can take any man’s knowledge from zero to hero – for free. Just add headphones.

The Big Interview With Graham Hunter

More than two million downloads can’t be wrong – football journalist Graham Hunter’s podcast brings together ex-pros, managers and pundits from days gone by to share their experiences and recall shenanigans from the good old days.

Hunter’s passion for the beautiful game is both infectious and varied. You’ll hear the story of Bobby Moore as told by Harry Redknapp and tales of Gary McAllister’s giant vibrator. Seriously.

grahamhunter.tv

On Taking Pictures

Focusing on the belief that photography has three aspects – art, science and philosophy – this podcast explores the role each plays in the process of becoming a sharpshooter.

While some of the topics can be quite highbrow, the conversational style makes it approachable for even the newest camera aficionado. Have a listen and you’re guaranteed to learn some tips that’ll up your game, even if it’s just on the ‘gram.

5by5.tv

America’s Test Kitchen

Learning to cook is every man’s secret dream (and every man’s secret weapon, if he already can).

If more Mr Bean than Masterchef, America’s Test Kitchen provides tips and challenges for steadily improving culinary skills – perfect for any newbie who’s intimidated by stepping into the kitchen.

Alongside the podcast, there’s also a TV show and cookbook so you can take this newfound love for cookery offline, too.

americastestkitchen.com

Basic Brewing Radio

Fancy setting up your own craft beer outlet in the back garden? Even if the answer is no, this podcast is enough to make any man want to try.

Home-brewing is more than just a hobby; combining creativity and science. With tips for beginners and anecdotes for pros, there’s something for everyone who loves beer. And who doesn’t?

basicbrewing.com

Final Games

Desert Island Discs is a perennial classic. But let’s face it, we’re all on Spotify now instead. Final Games is a 2017 update to the series.

Ex-Rockstar games employee Liam Edwards, who worked on Grand Theft Auto V, invites developers, journalists and people in the industry to select the games they love, and which one they’d be stranded in, should the real world cave in.

soundcloud.com

Hardcore History

Most guys haven’t picked up a history book since school, but it’s easy to bring your knowledge of the past up to date with historian Dan Carlin’s accessible podcast.

Covering dozens of key events including the Cold War, the Blitz and the Mongol Empire, each episode is four to five hours long and incredibly well-researched. It’ll make a flight go by in a heartbeat.

dancarlin.com

Revisionist History

Malcolm Gladwell’s bestselling books might be his most known work, but his audio series digs deeper into assumptions that we have about how the world works.

In each episode, Gladwell dissects a moment in history and reinterprets it. For example, why one billionaire chose to donate his fortune to a tiny, underperforming college over his alumnus of Stanford and what decisions like that actually mean. More interesting than it sounds.

revisionisthistory.com

Stuff You Should Know

Doing exactly what it says on the tin, this podcast – hosted by journalists Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant – ventures deep into the world of obscure facts, pulling out the ones that should be common knowledge.

From dissecting the science behind humour to uncovering Ian Fleming’s role in WWII, the pair will ply you with enough ‘really? I didn’t know that’ facts to get through even the most uncomfortable of dinner parties.

stuffyoushouldknow.com

99% Invisible

According to journalist Roman Mars, the world is made up of lots of things we don’t notice. From maps to chairs to parking spaces, it’s here that Mars breaks down the meaning, history and cultural reasoning behind the silent staples that make life work.

Each bite-sized episode is less than 10-minutes long, so stack them up for a commute or pop one on while having a coffee.

99percentinvisible.org