I originally wrote this post a year and a half or so ago but wanted to freshen it up a little bit as a) it will be helpful for these trying times and b) I’ve gotten even more into podcasts than I was before (particularly in the motivational + inspirational spaces) and have added several new ones to my rotation. As you know by now I am a big, big fan of podcasts and have my own podcast, Bad on Paper, with my friend Becca. I’m not going to talk about how great and uplifting we are (we are! I swear!!!) as today’s post is about other podcasts and not my own, but if you have not listened to it yet, I’d love for you to give it a try!
I still do listen to a LOT of political and newsy podcasts but we are leaving those out today as sometimes we just want to feel good, gain motivation, or just be entertained. There is nothing wrong with that. I look at my media consumption the same way I look at my everyday life… balance is important. You can still care about world affairs but also want something a little lighter to help preserve your mental health. And that’s when I like to put on an uplifting podcast or motivational podcasts!!!
My Definition Of An Uplifting Podcast
To me, uplifting can mean a lot of things. When my spirits need a lift, I put on one of two kind of podcasts.
- Some of these podcasts uplift me because I feel like I’m talking to my best girlfriends. I laugh along with them and always feel better afterwards. That is really the goal with our podcast! We want to keep things light and fun and be your guilty pleasure.
- Some of these podcasts are more thought provoking and will help with personal development. They inspire me and encourage personal growth. Whether they are inspiring listeners to live their best lives or highlighting someone who is just killing it in their industry, I love these podcasts.I love listening to interview podcasts with people who have interesting business stories, have overcome a big hardship, etc.
The Ultimate List Of The Most Uplifting Podcasts
Press Send With Chinae Alexander
This one is a new addition as Chinae launched her podcast after I published my first list. Chinae is hilarious and funny but also such an incredible example for women of all ages. I love her body positive outlook, how she shares her daily life with us on social media, and I LOVE her advice. Her podcast is fun in that you can go her website and submit a question, and then her and her guests will answer them! The guests are always fantastic… she has had a really great mix of women on. Becca and I just recorded an episode with her – you can listen to that here! Listen to Press Send here.
Absolutely Not With Heather McMahan
I mean, is there anything more uplifting and funny than spending an hour with Heather McMahan? She is one of my favs to follow on social media and I just adore her. This new podcast brings me so much joy. Heather is hilarious. It’s always under an hour, it’s always SO FUNNY, and she’s had on some amazing guests. I regularly laugh out loud at inappropriate places when she’s in my ears. Listen to Absolutely Not here.
Be There in Five with Kate Kennedy
This is another new to me one and now I’m hooked I don’t always get the pop culture references but I LOVE Kate and all of her deep dives. You never know what she’s going to talk about. It’s really fun, I always learn something new, it’s just great all around. Separately we have also had Kate on our podcast! It’s a very fun episode! Listen to Be There in Five here.
Girls Gotta Eat
This has become one of my favorite podcasts as I just laugh and laugh and laugh with these two. It’s kind of like U Up (another favorite) but with a strictly female perspective (although they regularly bring on men as guests). They are definitely not always politically correct, and they are sooooo very open about their dating lives and real life, but I just laugh. Through podcasting and life in New York Rayna and Ashley have come to be real life very good friends but before that I would listen to them and feel like they were my friends.
As a single girl in her thirties, dating in New York, I live for each episode – it helps me realize I’m not alone in this crazy, crazy world. Also: I keep getting asked for recommendations for a podcast similar to Girls Gotta Eat – I can’t really think of any, besides maybe U Up! Listen to Girls Gotta Eat here.
Ted Talks Daily
This is a given (does anyone NOT listen to Ted Talks?) but man – I have learned so, so much from Ted Talks podcasts, particularly the more motivational podcasts. I love that they come out every day and they’ve become an important part of my day to day routine! It’s thought provoking and always something interesting. I try to listen to most of the new episodes, but this podcast is so prolific that I also find myself looking up older episodes to reference them. Listen to Ted Talks Daily here.
Unlocking Us With Brené Brown
I’ve gotten really into Unlocking Us this year (I think it was Helena who talked about it, and I quickly subscribed). Brené Brown is an overall inspiring podcast and she has had an incredible roster of guests (I loved the episode with Ibram X Kendi) Listen to Unlocking Us here. She’s an amazing interviewer and has even interviewed Barack Obama!
The Lively Show
Jess Lively is such an inspiring person. She is currently on a hiatus (I hope the podcast comes back but I am still making my way through all 280 episodes!) but she really should be a motivational speaker or life coach. Her interviews are amazing. Her weekly podcast is one of the first podcasts I ever heard about, but I was a late adapter to podcasts so now I’m caught playing catch-up. Listen to The Lively Show here.
This is Hillary Kerr’s podcast and I just love it. This is such an inspirational podcast. Hillary is one of the founders of WhoWhatWear and I just find her to be so relatable and likable – while also being aspirational. The podcast is very new but it’s full of great interviews with women who have amazing careers… about life and business. She’s talked to Jen Gotch (the founder of Ban.do), Jessica Alba, Lauren Conrad… it’s just such a good podcast. As a blogger I most recently got a lot of interview with Marianna Hewitt. Listen to Second Life here.
Happier with Gretchen Rubin
Can Gretchen Rubin please be my life coach? She is the bestselling author of the Happiness Project (LOVED this book and its pragmatic look at attaining a happier life) and is inspiring listeners to live their best lives. She has such an amazing understanding of human nature. This one is definitely helping with my own personal growth and just learning to embrace my own life and be happy with what I have. Listen to Happier with Gretchen Rubin here.
Magic Lessons by Elizabeth Gilbert
Elizabeth Gilbert is the bestselling author of Big Magic, City of Girls, Eat Pray Love, I could go on. You know her! I looooved Big Magic, and was so excited to learn that she has a podcast too! Similar to the book, the podcast is all about unlocking your creative potential in your daily life. This is a really inspirational podcast and I feel like it would be so helpful for women in a creative field. She brings on different influential people and creatives in every episode. I personally really loved the episodes she did with Brené Brown and Glennon Doyle. Listen to Magic Lessons here.
The Chalene Show
Chalene Johnson is amazing. She’s a celebrity fitness trainer and her podcast is thought-provoking, inspiring. I love all the practical advice – it really covers everything. From diet + fitness tips to relationships to productivity hacks, it’s just chock full of useful, valuable content. Not every episode is relevant to me (i.e. “What to do when you eff up as a parent”) but I included it as the ones that are relevant are incredible. I loved the one about worrying less. Listen to The Chalene Show here.
I feel like I could be friends with Kate and Doree! They have a lot of beauty + self-care recommendations along with a healthy dose of real life. I always feel happier after listening to them chat about their everyday life, favorite books and beauty products, and more. It started as a weekly podcast and now they have little mini-episodes, which I just love. Listen to Forever 35 here.
Good Life Project
I’ve only just discovered this podcast but really like it so far and there are SO many episodes. I love a conversational podcast and this is a good one if you feel that way too. They’ve had some incredible guests as well… think Elizabeth Gilbert, Brené Brown, Sir Ken Robinson, Seth Godin, and Gretchen Rubin! Listen to Good Life Project here.
The Tony Robbins Podcast
This is one of the best motivational podcasts. Tony Robbins needs no introduction but he is the #1 Life and Business strategist and has helped over 50 million people. This podcast unpacks his strategies and tactics for getting better results in work, life, finances and relationships. I really liked the more recent episode about trading expectation for appreciation. Listen to the Tony Robbins Podcast here.
The Tim Ferriss Show
Tim Ferriss also needs no introduction but he’s the bestselling author of The 4-hour workweek. (I really want to read this book, btw!) In this podcast, he deconstructs world-class performers from eclectic areas (investing, chess, pro sports, etc.), digging deep to find the tools, tactics, and tricks that listeners can use in their everyday life. Listen to The Tim Ferriss Show here.
The Art of Charm
Hosts Johnny and AJ are all about teaching us how to master human dynamics, relationships, and becoming your best self to become higher performers, better spouses and partners. I really love how they dig deep into human behavior and the science behind it to help us better understand what we do and why we do it! Listen to The Art of Charm podcast here.
School of Greatness
Because we all could use a bit more greatness in our lives, right? This one is hosted by Lewis Howes who I was not familiar with but he is a NYT best-selling author, 2x All-American athlete, keynote speaker, and entrepreneur. This podcast is full of inspiring interviews with successful people to help inspire us to unlock our own inner greatness! Listen to School of Greatness here.