Running With Podcasts

After a year of working from home, some of us may feel like our days are repetitive and stagnant. Our guest writer Benedict Yeo, a researcher from the Housing and Development Board, shares how podcasts are a refreshing change and benefit his career as a public officer.

Get more out of your daily exercise by listening to a podcast.

With work-from-home being the norm in the past year, the line separating life and work has also blurred.

To retain a sense of control, some have tried to claim back “me-time” in the evening, intentionally pushing back their bedtime despite knowing that they need to sleep. In China, a term has been coined for this phenomenon: “Revenge Bedtime Procrastination”.

Worse still, with the uncertainty of when the pandemic might end, a New York Times article suggested that “languishing” could be the dominant emotion of 2021. Languishing happens because the long-drawn pandemic has disrupted the usual rhythm of life that is punctuated by regular social events.

So we procrastinate going to sleep to engage in activities that make us feel rewarded, yet end up consuming mindless things as we feel listless and unmotivated to do more challenging tasks.

Many have turned to exercise to get out of a rut. I exercise by running as it releases feel-good endorphins and reduces stress hormones. But recently, I have started to pair my runs with a podcast. Since running takes little effort to focus, a podcast keeps my mind engaged as my body does the physical work.

Podcasts are a rising trend in the region. According to consumer insight company Global Web Index, as of early 2021, 66% of people in the Asia-Pacific region engage with podcasts a day, spending about an hour listening to them.


It does not take a massive project or hobby to make you feel energised beyond work.

Choosing a podcast you like from the 2 million shows available across all platforms may seem overwhelming, but it is easier than it looks. Simply search for a topic that interests you on your audio platform of choice (e.g., Spotify, Apple Podcast, Google Podcast).

Here are some of my recommendations which you can listen to as you run:

Philosophy Bites

Interested in philosophy but feel daunted by it? Philosophy Bites is an accessible entry into the world of philosophy, providing digestible episodes on a broad range of philosophical concepts from utilitarianism to the existence of free will. Most episodes are only 20 minutes long, making them perfect for a short run.

Scope Conditions

If your job requires you to do research on social issues, this useful podcast features in every episode one academic and their work, such as the methodology and arguments of their research. It provides a fresh angle into how research can be done in practical settings and can benefit those who find their research endeavours stagnating. Most episodes are an hour long, perfect for those who run longer distances.

Something Private

This is a fabulous made-in-Singapore podcast on everything women, featuring stories from women on topics from the intimately small to the systemic large.

With the government dedicating 2021 as the Year of Celebrating Singaporean Women, conversations on women and their importance in society are ever more relevant. This podcast provides a way to understand the lived experiences of Singaporean women from all walks of life. The episodes vary in length, so find one that suits your pace.

Listen to the Challenge podcast to gain a deeper insight into public service.

The Challenge Podcast

Are you a public officer? (Yes!) This new-kid-on-the-block podcast by the Public Service Division delves into the inner workings of the Public Service in Singapore. Listening to fellow public officers talking about their job and how they serve the public might motivate you in your own career. Perfect for a pre-work run to get you going for the day ahead!

I enjoy listening to podcasts because of the new perspectives they offer. As a public officer engaging in work for the public good, being exposed to a broad range of personal experiences helps to build greater empathy.

Even if you’re not a runner, you can listen to a podcast while doing household chores or before you sleep. As podcast episodes come in various lengths, they can be squeezed into any pocket of time, making them friendly for multi-tasking.

It does not take a massive project or hobby to make you feel energised beyond work. Having small bursts of activities throughout the day can add some groove to your daily flow.

You might even end up being inspired to embark on a new project or use a different approach to do the same work after listening to a particular episode. For me, this may well mean a venture into making my own podcast. Regardless, I hope you would try a podcast and enjoy the many stories out there. Happy listening!

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    Aug 20, 2021
    Benedict Yeo
    Janessa Aw
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