I am all about continuous growth, learning, and squeezing as much as possible into each waking moment, and there’s one secret that helps me do all of those every single day. Podcasts! Podcasts are a great way to fill down time, get up-to-date information quickly, keep yourself challenged, and have fun! I often get asked which podcasts I listen to, so today’s post highlights my favorites from each category: you’ll find the best health podcasts, best motivation and personal growth podcasts, best productivity podcasts, best entrepreneurship podcasts, and best news podcasts. I hope you enjoy!
When to listen to podcasts
I have my car’s Bluetooth synced to my phone, so my podcasts automatically start playing when I get in the car. I also listen to podcasts as I’m doing hair and makeup in the morning, walking my dog several times during the day, walking to and from work, and often when I’m cooking or food prepping (Want to start meal planning and food prepping? Here are my best tips!). That adds up to a lot of time … I would estimate I listen at least an hour a day, likely more. And all of that time would have been wasted otherwise! (Note: yes, I see the value in just being present on walks, and I try to do that sometimes! But listening to a podcast is surely better than scrolling through social media, right?)
If you want to cram even more value into your time, I suggest listening at 1.5 speed (easy to do on most podcast players or phones). On a recent car trip, my obviously-annoyed husband asked, “why are they talking so fast? Can you even understand them?!” I guess you get used to it, because I didn’t even notice! 😊
Best Podcasts in Each Category
- Best Health Podcasts
- Ben Greenfield Fitness: I’ve been fascinated by Ben for years (in fact, his podcast was #1 on my 2013 podcast recommendation post, too!) He’s certainly not one to shy away from high-tech gadgets and health hacks, but also lives a back-to-nature life (including hunting game and foraging for plants!) in Washington with his adorable family. While some of his episodes are too “out there” for the average person (e.g. spearfishing or sound-healing tables), he also covers more “normal” health topics, and is a must-listen for anyone who loves well-researched health information.
- The Model Health Show: In my opinion, this show deserves its spot as the #1 Health and #1 Fitness & Nutrition podcast on Apple Podcast, because host Shawn Stevenson makes each topic understandable and actionable for the average person. He shares research (which you know I appreciate!) and stays up-to-date on the latest health news, but doesn’t make it quite as science-geeky as Ben (above) or Dave (below). Covering topics related to fitness, nutrition, sleep, mental health, stress, and motivation, this is a great starting podcast for anyone interested in health. Warning: he’s sure to mention Organifi and Four Sigmatic, both of which I think are great products. His sponsorships don’t bother me personally, but I’ve heard a few people complain!
- Bulletproof Radio: For those of you who want to biohack your way to longevity and best health, and who always want to know the facts behind the cutting edge health trend, Bulletproof Radio is for you. I love Dave Asprey’s dedication to researching everything he talks about, and am completely on board for geeking out about nutrition. A few of the episodes are too science-y even for me, but most are great.
- The Jillian Michaels Show: Honestly, I listen to this one just for fun (Jillian is hilarious!), for motivation (she interviews some great people, like Carmelita Jeter, gold-medal runner), and because I love Jillian overall. If you’re looking only for health tips, this isn’t for you, but if you want 80% fun and 20% health, give it a shot!
- Running Rogue: A great combination of news from the running world, practical tips for runners of all abilities (but somewhat tailored to more advanced runners), and a fun and easy listen. Hosts Chris and Steve do a great job at combining their obvious passion for the sport, their tremendous knowledge, and some humor along the way. Don’t forget to catch my episode here!
- Marathon Training Academy: I’ve literally been listening to Angie and Trevor since their very first episode, and I love every one. If you’ve never run a step in your life, they may just inspire you to run a marathon. Their funny couple banter, their own race experiences, and their personal touches make this a fun listen for those interested in running.
- Balanced Bites: I love Diane and Liz’s well-researched approach (are you noticing a trend here?). They’re both educated, down-to-earth, and committed to sharing the health information that has helped them on their own personal journeys. They attract interesting guests on a wide range of applicable topics, too.
- Livin’ La Vida Low Carb: If you know me and my love for veggies, you’re probably thinking, “what? Low Carb?” and you’re right. I don’t brand myself as low carb (or anything else, for that matter). But I do like how host Jimmy Moore aims to share health information that is helpful to anyone, whether it’s the same information that helps him personally or not. As one of the longest running health podcasts, he has over 1400 episodes, so there’s a bit of something for everyone! Watch out for my episode, which drops on August 23, 2018!
- Best Personal Growth / Motivation Podcasts
- Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations: Anything Oprah touches is pure gold, and these conversations do not disappoint. Because she’s … well … Oprah, she attracts world-class thought leaders and is able to extract insights that will have you thinking for the rest of the day. For motivation, life lessons, and inspiration, check this one out!
- Oprah’s Master Class: I’ll admit that I’ve only listened to three of these episodes, because I just found out about this second podcast, but they’ve all been amazing. Again, Oprah interviews world-class masters at their trade, and shares the stories of what made them who they are today.
- Achieve Your Goals with Hal Elrod: My morning routine is one of my most important health habits (see my full routine here!), and host Hal Elrod had a huge part in helping me develop that. His cohost, Jon Berghoff, is one of the most present people I know, and I’m honored to have been a part of their Mastermind group in previous years. Hal and Jon interview people on topics from health to overcoming obstacles, from wealth building to productivity. Hal’s own journey of overcoming cancer just adds to the inspiration factor of this uplifting podcast. Catch my episode here!
- Best Productivity Podcasts
- How to be Awesome at Your Job: Host Pete Mockaitis ensures that his guests are prepared with research-backed tips, practical advice, and interesting stories, and his preparation pays off. Each episode is jam-packed with actionable strategies to help you be more productive, no matter what your job is. Catch my episode here!
- Beyond the To-Do List: I’m newer to this podcast, but I’ve really been enjoying the breadth of topics they cover, and the productivity tips they share.
- The Less Doing Podcast: Host Ari Meisel and his guests share tips to work smarter, not harder … something that almost everyone can get behind! While some of the episodes are a bit too tech-y for me, I love hearing how intentional he is about managing his time and effort for maximum productivity.
- The 5AM Miracle: Host Jeff Sanders dose a great job at inspiring people to wake up early and maximize their day with healthy habit ideas, nutrition and fitness tips, and more! With guests like Deepak Chopra and Shawn Stevenson, you can trust that you’re getting high quality information here. Catch my episode here!
- Best Entrepreneurship Podcasts
- Smart Passive Income: Pat Flynn is one of the most down-to-earth, funny, and genuinely helpful podcast hosts I listen to, and I feel like I “know” him through the show. Not only has he himself created a $2M annual revenue online business, but he’s helped thousands of entrepreneurs build their own businesses, too. I instinctively trust Pat’s advice, and appreciate all of the free value he delivers through his podcast!
- Ask Pat 2.0: Pat (from Smart Passive Income, above) does a coaching session with a listener in each episode of this short-form podcast. Even if the question is from a different industry or doesn’t seem to apply, you’ll generally find a nugget of wisdom in each episode!
- Entrepreneurs on Fire: This may be the most well-known entrepreneurial podcast, and John Lee Dumas attracts rockstar guests that share a lot of value. I prefer Pat Flynn’s friendly style, but often learn a lot from EOFire, as well!
- How I Built This: This is such a cool podcast! Host Guy Raz interviews entrepreneurs of brands you’ve heard of (think Spanx, Beauty Bar, Lyft, Patagonia, etc.) about where their inspiration came from, and how they built their businesses and turned them into the brands they are now.
- Business School Without the BS: Even after getting my own MBA, I love the “business school style” tips that the hosts deliver in this podcast. Again, I’m fairly new here, but enjoying it so far.
- Best News / General Knowledge Podcasts
- NPR’s Up First: 15-minute, daily news brief, Monday-Friday, featuring interviews with top correspondents and a no-nonsense style.
- The Newsworthy: a bit more upbeat, fun, 10-minute (or less) way to get your news brief, Monday-Friday. I like to listen to this one first as I’m waking up on the way to my workout, and Up First afterwards. Even if they cover the same topics, I find The Newsworthy a bit more cheerful, and if it’s really important news, I figure I need to hear it twice anyway!
- Hidden Brain: This podcast has a different theme every week, and discusses interesting “unconscious patterns that drive human behavior.” Covering topics like why people misbehave, or where new slang terms come from, host Shankar Vedantam can make just about anything interesting.
- The Daily: The New York Times’ deep dive into a relevant news story of the week. A few episodes have struck me as a bit biased, but I like the opportunity to learn more about a relevant current event or topic.
- Planet Money: This economics podcast is a lot more interesting than it sounds (and that’s not just because my undergraduate degree is in economics)! 😉 Each week the team of hosts picks a topic like the strategy behind selling snacks at sports games, or the credit card black market online, and dives into everything you could want to know about the topic at hand.
Now it’s your turn … What’s your favorite podcast that I haven’t mentioned? Do you love any of the ones on my list?