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What advice will resonate varies wildly from person to person. Podcasts like the Tim Ferriss copycat shows, are already widely recommended. In the oversaturated genre of self-help podcasting, it can be hard to find shows that provide space for sharing opinions, rather than establishing a single ideological platform.
Here are nine self-help podcasts that will inspire you to rethink how you currently live, without requiring you to drink butter or pay $100 to enrol in an online mentorship program.
Dr Laurie Santos, the host of The Happiness Lab, is a Professor of Psychology at Yale. Although many of her episodes focus on improving the mental health of college students, her discussions on stress are applicable to anyone participating in the rat race we call society. Dr. Santos knows how to make a compelling speech. She presents a comprehensive tool kit in a format that will appeal to those resistant to other forms of “New Age” thinking, making concepts like meditation accessible to those who need it most.
With a no-frills formula focused only on tried and true advice, NPR’s Life Kit series is essential self-help listening. The show’s topics are diverse, ranging from how to talk to kids about our turbulent news cycle, to how to find yourself a mentor or get more sleep. I stumbled across Life Kit while waiting for the right moment to tell my then manager that I was leaving my job — and also the country — in a matter of weeks. The timing was everything: too soon and I might be passed up for useful training; too late and I wouldn’t be able to smoothly transition my replacement
The pace and consistency at which Rich Roll releases his podcasts, many of which are over two hours long, could be viewed as a reflection of his dedication to long-distance running. At 53, Roll is a plant-based ultramarathon runner whose popular podcast recently surpassed the 500-episode mark. Roll provides a platform for scientists, athletes, and thought leaders to share their views in a conversational setting that finds a balance between relaxed and rigorous. Roll is an excellent interviewer, putting his guests at ease, yet never shying from challenging their ideas.
Russell Brand’s development from promiscuous addict to spiritual guru is too bizarre to believe.
His personal evolution was documented quite publicly, and it is perhaps because of this exposure that thousands have followed him into this new realm of “consciousness.” His experiences inform his discussions on the show, which feel intuitive and provoking in a way that appeals even to those who aren’t a fan of his political ventures. His recent conversation with Brené Brown is one of his best, the flow of their discussion revealing new elements to two personalities we thought we had figured out.
Hosted by Dr. Dominique Broussard and Terri Lomax, H.E.R Space intends to give women of colour a resource to inspire them through conversation. An acronym for Healing, Empowerment, and Resilience, H.E.R addresses universal issues, such as one’s life purpose, through a lens of a particular experience. It’s a valuable and refreshing approach, as these existential topics often aren’t discussed alongside the nuances of gender or race. Broussard, who is a psychologist, and Lomax, who is a motivational speaker, make for an effective hosting duo.
Elizabeth Day’s How to Fail explores self-improvement through her interviewees’ worst moments, asking us to find lessons in our challenges. Her attempts to humanize the rich and successful work for the most part, although many of her guests overlook the benefits they’ve received coming from a privileged background. But the show offers an alternative look at career development, with Day’s experience in media giving it substance. Whenever I ask friends to recommend self-help podcasts, How to Fail is invariably mentioned.
Dr. Rangan Chatterjee broke into the mainstream following the success of his bestselling books on stress and nutrition. What makes him effective as a podcaster is not merely his eloquence, but also his softer approach to interviewing. Where other hosts dictate into the microphone, Chatterjee questions everything, facilitating discussions with a unique mixture of scientific scepticism and New Age optimism. This style makes the topics he covers accessible to those at the beginning of their health journey, yet the discussions contain a depth that will attract even self-help veterans as well.
If you’re the sort of person who looks for life inspiration by scrolling through Instagram, then Routines & Ruts will speak to you on an aesthetic level. But don’t let its cutesy imagery fool you; there is much concrete value in this new self-help podcast.
Host Madeleine Dore is the woman behind Extraordinary Routines, an interview project examining the everyday patterns of the creatively inspired. It is a well-executed concept that is original enough to make the dull reality of other people’s daily routines intriguing
After listening to too many self-improvement podcasts, you may find yourself disillusioned by the advice — because, let’s be real, not all of us feel will better after taking a cold shower. Help Me Be Me, a self-help podcast that doesn’t make unrealistic promises knows how you feel.
With over 150 episodes on topics like tackling shame and overcoming loneliness, Help Me Be Me believes that feeling overwhelmed by self-help advice can be alienating and risks driving you even further from the life changes you want to make.
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