Personal motivation is one thing the virus has almost universally ruined. Many of us are itching to do and accomplish more after more than a year of significantly altered work, home, and personal lives. There is a sense of loss of enthusiasm, creativity and overall productivity. Probably because so much of our new daily routines include screens – from zoom calls for work, or a video call with friends and family, or even our entertainment like Netflix – all come to us from the same screen. We’ve reached lockdown fatigue and screen fatigue. Many of us don’t even know how to get over it.
If you’re aware you need change but don’t know how to go about breaking certain patterns, start with small, easy-to-understand guidance in the areas of your life where you need it most. Here are some podcasts that will compartmentalise the part of your life that you feel you need a jolt with, while giving you a break from your screen.
Whether you’re a fresh college graduate or just looking for a career improvement, these podcasters offer invaluable insights into big and small industries alike.
Too Smart for This
Hosted by Alexis Barber, a Gen Z Black woman navigating post-grad life, love, and career, Too Smart for This gives you a little bit of everything. Barber is a Google marketing manager and a micro influencer, and her podcast provides her straightforward insight on how to succeed in both fields, including how Black women and women of colour might be treated in either profession. Barber discusses diet culture, dating, and establishing goals in between self-hosted episodes and interviews with other influencers, career-chasers, and activists.
How I Built This with Guy Raz
As everyone knows, NPR is audio journalism royalty, and How I Built This is no different. With each of his amazing guests, Guy Raz weaves engaging career narratives. Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia; Whitney Wolfe, CEO of Bumble; Jonah Peretti, CEO of Buzzfeed; Sarah Blakely, inventor of Spanx; and others are featured in each episode.
This podcast, produced by The Women’s Network, contains conversations with women in leadership roles from a variety of notable firms, including Meredith Gertler of HBO, Kathryn Ordower of Glossier, Suzie Reider of Waze, Farah Mohamed, formerly of the Malala Fund, and others. Each speaker shares their personal experiences and career choices with the hopes of motivating other women to succeed in the workplace.
Happiness and Mental Health Motivation
Our own mental health can seem like the most difficult obstacle to face, but these podcasts aim to make it a little smaller, easier, or even more enjoyable.
Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris
Ten Percent Happier is a meditation software as well as a podcast. While the app takes you through meditative techniques taught by specialists such as Joseph Goldstein and Sharon Salzberg, the podcast is hosted by ABC journalist Dan Harris, who interviews meditation teachers and researchers about how to live a happy life. Harris tackles issues such as social anxiety, productivity, and creativity, and argues that happiness is a learned talent. And, like any other ability, it can be learned — an upbeat spin for an upbeat podcast.
Happier with Gretchen Rubin
Hosts and sisters Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, and Elizabeth Craft, a television series producer and writer, take delight in providing quick, practical, and humorous advice on how to be happier. The duo considers common issues such as how to tidy and give better gifts, as well as more philosophical musings such as how to parent during a pandemic and how to have awkward discussions. Every other episode is dubbed “Little Happier” and is usually two to three minutes long. These minis provide a brief dose of general serotonin or advice, such as how to reframe a situation.
The Happiness Lab
Dr. Laurie Santos distils happiness down to its scientific foundations for science buffs. The programme is based on her wildly popular Yale psychology course, in which she deconstructs the newest research and interviews colleagues scientists about investigations into distraction, laughter, money, and a variety of other factors that influence your happiness.
Financial Wellness Motivation
These podcasts are designed to educate and motivate you to take control of your finances and set you up correctly for the future. We feel more secure when we have money matters under control.
Tori Dunlap’s utter fury for finance occasionally can be intimidating. That is, however, what makes her podcast and business, which empowers women to take charge of their finances, so appealing. Dunlap, the founder of Her First $100K, a money and career website, is enthusiastic about helping millennial women understand the difficult and often privileged world of finance. While the podcast is still in its early stages (there are just three episodes now available, with more on the way), she has solidified her skill on TikTok, where she has 1.6 million followers.
If you’re interested in learning about economics, Planet Money makes it nearly enjoyable. NPR’s superheroes take on the economic beast by highlighting the people, firms, and concepts that matter to us – TikTok, Hot Cheetos, Robinhood, minimum wage, Bitcoin, Google, and more.
Physical Health Motivation
With the whole pandemic limiting who we see, most of us don’t have a workout friend or accountability partner these days. These podcasts may be able to take the place of your personal fitness trainer, or at the very least prompt you to consider where you want to take your physical health journey.
Food Psych Podcast with Christy Harrison
To say the least, getting inspired to take on your own body is a BEAST. As a result, some of us gravitate to diet culture, which promotes restrictive behaviours that can rapidly become poisonous. Christy Harrison, a certified dietician and author, attempts to dissuade you from monitoring your health and food. She speaks honestly, having experienced disordered eating, dieting, and food journalism firsthand. Each episode lasts an hour or more, and Harrison delves into themes like intuitive eating, anti-dieting pregnancy, and how different societies relate to food, such as how Latinx beauty standards affect Latinx health.
TED Talks are some of the most inspiring information available, and TED Health brings the iconic speaker format into a podcast format. Each episode has a different guest speaker who addresses a variety of health issues such as nicotine addiction, panic attacks, menopause, and negative emotions. While the episodes don’t always provide direct guidance for each health condition, knowing the facts is an excellent way to push yourself to take charge of your health. And don’t worry, the audio episodes are usually approximately 10 to 30 minutes long, similar to a TED lecture.
Dating and Relationships
We’re not sure if the epidemic has transformed dating as we know it for the better or for the worse. Let these podcasts encourage you to maybe consider going on a date if you haven’t done so in the past year.
We Met at Acme
Isn’t dating a pain? Making it hilarious, on the other hand, makes it a bit more bearable. We Met at Acme offers dating advice while also providing hilarious anecdotes, such as a list of all the shady things men do, to remind you that you’re not alone, even if you think you are. Lindsey Metselaar, the CEO of Lindsey’s Lunchbox, a social media management firm, is the host, and she invites professionals to address the hot topic behind sex, marriage, first dates, and more.
Seeing Other People
Hosts Ilana Dunn and Jonah Feingold, a writer and a social media manager, are dating (by the sound of it). They were dating at the time, had a podcast together, broke up, reconnected, started a new podcast, and Seeing Other People was born. The podcast tackles their own troubled relationship with surprising candour, as well as deconstructing all of the strange dating stereotypes that millennials encounter today, such as double texting, dating apps, and booty calls. They also address more serious issues such as abortion, dating while suffering from a chronic disease, and coming out.
The Turn On
“When you’re part of a marginalised group, discussions around your sexuality tend to get politicised, often at the cost of more personal conversations around individual experiences. The Turn On is a counter to that, with hosts Erica and Kenrya leading raunchy, but still approachable, conversations around what gets them off as two Black women. Some episodes are more free-form interviews with experts on topics like kinks, toys, sex education, and sexual difficulties. But The Turn On’s bread and butter is its unique structure of first reading a piece of erotic literature followed by the two talking about what they like about it. It’s a podcast designed to spark the sexual curiosity of Black audiences seeking satisfaction that’s uninhibited by the white male gaze.” —Jess Joho.
Working from home for more than a year has broken most people’s usual productivity patterns. These podcasts, thankfully, not only provide valuable reminders on how to work successfully, but also urge you to think about productivity outside of work.
Beyond the To-Do List
“How many items can I cross off my to-do list today?” is what we’ve all been thinking about on a daily basis. However, Erik Fisher, a social media director with a long daily to-do list, urges us to consider productivity in its entirety, including creativity, mentorship, identity, and purpose, when attempting to have the most productive days. Each episode lasts around an hour and contains an experienced speaker on the issue at hand, ranging from project management to getting things done while depressed.
ProdPod, a Productivity Podcast
ProdPod’s episodes are two-minute episodes. You can easily line up many episodes back to back if you want a lengthier listening experience, with over 100 episodes to pick from on topics ranging from managing people to overcoming burnout.
Home and Family
If your home and family are draining you, it may be time to try some fresh approaches. There are entire podcasts dedicated to teaching you how to manage both, which is fortunate for you.
A Slob Comes Clean
Hearing a perfectly neat individual teach you how to be neater is less motivating if you are a frequent hoarder. They simply do not comprehend. Dana White, the show’s host and a writer, motivational speaker, and author, understands. She’s a slob herself, and she’s made it her mission to share slob-friendly practises and habits with everyone. Her episodes break down decluttering for specific scenarios, such as moving, and general advice on developing healthier habits for your family is also really helpful.
No One Is Coming to Save Us
No One is Coming to Save Us, a new podcast, is merely a four-part series. However, presenter and ABC News journalist Gloria Riviera and actress Kristen Bell have pleasant, realistic views on parenting in the first two episodes. They don’t sugarcoat how difficult parenting can be, hence the podcast’s name, but they do question the American systems that make it so difficult.