Finding proper downtime to switch off from work and general life stresses can be tricky. But podcasts can be a great antidote, with agency execs listening to tune out other commuters on the subway or take a break from parenting duties.

Here are some agency execs’ favorite podcasts:

Alastair Boyle, head of strategy, Essence
“‘How I Built This‘ features company founders telling the real story behind their venture. It’s a collection of business case studies, with insights into the origin of a wide variety of brands from Airbnb to Zumba. The host, Guy Raz, teases out the human side of the narrative — the moments of despair and salvation, the personal bonds forged and broken — so it’s really entertaining.”

Fern Miller, chief strategy officer, International, DigitasLBi
“I listen to ‘The Bugle‘ on the train, drowning out my fellow passengers! It picks up my thirst for an angle on current affairs that makes you smile when the BBC’s news quiz is off air. And I have a very high tolerance for slightly intellectual satire and cricket statistics.”

Matt Rhodes, head of digital strategy, WCRS
“My current favorite podcast is ‘50 Things That Made the Modern Economy‘ from the BBC World Service — a series of nine-minute podcasts giving a potted history of things we take for granted that have had a huge impact on our economy and on our lives, from the shipping container to the department store and public-key cryptography. It feeds the strategy geek inside me and is perfect for learning about just how interesting the things that surround our lives today are.”

Sheryl Marjoram, managing director, McCann London
“My favorite is ‘The Infinite Monkey Cage.’ It makes science funny enough to understand. It was recommended to me by my smart mate Richard Kelly, global planning director at MullenLowe, who was sick of engaging in conversational cul-de-sacs with me.”

Dani Bassil, integrated operations director, JWT
“‘Women’s Hour.‘ Every week. It started in the ’40s and was considered “dangerously radical,” which I think is super cool. There’s no podcast that swings from the perfect cake icing to feminism, motherhood and working, to politics. Some of it is a bit twee, but some of it is magic.”

Iain Tait, executive creative director, Wieden+Kennedy London

“‘RA Exchange.’ It’s in-depth, super geeky interviews with electronic musicians, DJs, producers and club promoters. I always find fresh nuggets of wisdom about creativity and culture in there.”

Jon Davie, CEO, Zone
“I haven’t lived in Liverpool for 30 years, but my favorite podcast helps me reconnect with my inner Scouser. ‘The Anfield Wrap‘ covers all things to do with Liverpool Football Club — match reviews, news and transfer gossip, but also a rich seam of history and exploration of the club, its culture and its unique role in the city. It’s produced and hosted by a team of passionate fans, and that passion comes across in every single episode. It’s a lovely way to start and end the day — a rare moment of headspace between a growing agency at work and a young family at home.

Allan Blair, head of digital planning, JWT
“One of the things I really love about podcasts is they have become such a rich, personal and powerful form of contemporary storytelling. Podcasts like ‘Serial’ and ‘S-Town’ are probably the pinnacle of this, but ‘Love + Radio‘ have taken this format and condensed it down to short one-offs that provide fascinating short narratives that are much easier to dip in and out of.”

Richard Dutton, CMO, Engine UK
“‘Stuff You Should Know.’ It’s a weekly podcast from howstuffworks.com that explores everything from stoicism to Scooby-Doo.”

Rachel Forde, CEO, Spark Foundry
I’m really enjoying the Russell Brands podcast “Under The Skin”. here he looks under the surface of various topics from politics to spirituality. He has some excellent guests on and although it can sometimes be a bit heavy and political he touches on subjects that are incredibly topical and they are well worth the listen.

Rena Varsani, head of copy, Rufus Leonard
“‘Filip & Fredrik.’ It’s about two Swedes who live in Stockholm and Los Angeles and chew the fat about any and every subject from celebrity photo walls in Italian restaurants to the epic failures of reverse innovators like Zola Budd and Eddie the Eagle. The other is the ‘Guilty Feminist,’ hosted by the epic Deborah Frances-White and featuring the brilliant “I’m a feminist but …” feature where people confess their anti-feminist thoughts. If you happen to be a feminist who loves random ramblings, you need these podcasts in your life.”

Charlie Hurrell, managing director, McGarryBowen UK
“‘The Adam Buxton Podcast.’ If you don’t have this wonderful, silly man in your life and your earholes, [you’re] poorer for it. He ‘chats’ (he’s not a proper interviewer as such) [with] a wide range of fascinating people from [actress] Sharon Horgan to [drummer] Jim Eno. He records his own jingles as the intros and outros whilst walking his dog, Rosie. He is a deeply funny individual, and listening to his podcast can’t fail to make you snigger for an hour.”

Simon Gill, chief creative officer, Isobar UK
“‘Hospital Records‘ is no ordinary podcast. It’s a 335-plus edition, five stars, multi-award-winning entertainment show that shines a bright light out to its tribe. The music is standout, the commentary inspirational and emotive, the community truly special. No matter how bad things feel, a listen ensures I’m smiling before long. It’s where the best modern brands need to head and what being excellent in digital means.”

James Connelly, CEO, Fetch
I’m more of an audiobook person than podcast. I’m just about to learn about the human race with “Sapiens.” And I’ve just finished “Golf is not a game of perfect” by Dr Bob Rotella: a must-listen for any budding golfer.

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