The Most Uplifting Podcasts!

most uplifting podcasts // grace atwood, the stripe

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.

Second Life

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, 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.

Forever 35

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.

Products shown in photos: pink iPhone case (similar!) // apple airpods (read my full airpods review) // patchology lip balm (a new fav – it’s so thick + hydrating!!) // white heart sunglasses

current podcast obsessions: gretchen rubin, elizabeth gilbert, and a few to make you laugh!

PS – for even more podcast recommendations, I rounded up my favorite podcasts back in November of 2018 and then added to that list with a few new additions in March. I also have a fun list of the best true crime podcasts!

The Ultimate List Of The Most Uplifting Podcasts


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  1. Thank you for the recommendations! More podcasts to listen to on my way to work, I guess. Girls Gotta Eat sounds interesting! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    7.17.18 Reply
  2. Perfect timing – I’ve been on the hunt for new podcasts since I have a number of longer road trips coming up. Thank you! I can’t wait to listen to one of these on Friday!

    7.17.18 Reply
  3. Christina:

    I feel like you’d love Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard. I started listening because I love Parenthood so much and many of his guests are fellow former cast mates, but it’s fantastic. It’s hilarious, but he also finds a way to go really deep – I think some of it is because his guests trust him and they are good friends, but they go into some things that are so real and interesting. For example, Erika Christensen is a Scientologist and Dax asks in his intro that the listener doesn’t jump to conclusions about it before listening all the way through. Their conversation about it is super candid and Dax asks questions that I would want to ask. He also has an episode with his mom, who has gotten through several abusive relationships and went on to create a hugely successful business and have a really happy marriage. That episode deserves some kind of podcasting award. These episodes are long, but I love listening to them over several days of commuting and I always end up learning and laughing a lot. Can’t recommend this one enough!

    7.17.18 Reply
  4. Megan:

    If you like Queer Eye, JVN’s podcast Getting Curious is fantastic. He sits down with an expert every week and just chats about something he’s curious about. The topics are amazingly smart and varied: Atlantic pirates, Saudi Arabia, landing a triple axle, British English vs. American English, etc. I’ve binged like 15 episodes in the last two weeks. And while sometimes the topics are heavy (bail reform, opiod crisis), he has such a great attitude and is so positive that it’s not as depressing as it could be.

    7.17.18 Reply
  5. Some of these I’ve never heard of so thank you!!! Can’t wait to give a listen.


    7.17.18 Reply
  6. Omg thank you for sharing this! The Him & Her show is one of my favorites too for the same reasons you mentioned, but I’m also excited to try some of these other podcasts. Thanks again for the ideas!

    7.17.18 Reply
  7. I also LOVE Second Life! Co-sign what you said about Hillary. Thank you for these other recs! Just subscribed to 3 of them.

    7.17.18 Reply
  8. TedTalks in amazing! So much inspiration it really gets me going in the mornings on my way to work. I’ll have to try out some of your other recommendations too. Thanks!

    7.18.18 Reply
  9. Katie:

    My favorite light hearted podcasts are My Dad Wrote a Porno (THE MOST HILARIOUS! I can’t listen in public if I don’t want people asking why I’m laughing, it’s so so good and just the most pure comedy). I also love TBT: A Movie Podcast. Two hilarious girls rewatch movies from the 90’s and 2000’s and kind of recap them and talk about them. The girls really make it, I could listen to them talk about anything! How I feel about You and Becca on BOP!

    7.19.18 Reply
  10. Gabriela:

    Thank you, I really really needed this post. I have been listening to Fresh Air, the Daily, and Pod Save America, on rotate and have been feeling so down and anxious. I sometimes listen to “Here’s the Thing” with Alex Baldwin but recently his guests have been political minded as well…I love your podcast (I like to listen to it in the shower). I can’t believe your parents are moving from the Cape to Charleston. I am from MA and live in VA and really miss northerners (we are different). But the weather and cost of living will be great in SC. A fun place to visit!

    7.20.18 Reply
  11. Gillian:

    Such a great list – subscribed to all the ones I currently don’t have in my library. I have been in a bit of a rut (except for BOP, of course) and the podcast world is overwhelming and over saturated beyond belief. Can’t wait to dive into these on my commutes and when I need some inspiration!

    7.20.18 Reply
  12. The Happier Podcast is also one of my favorite inspirational podcasts. I also enjoy listening to Above and Beyond with Brock Huard (I am a college football fan)

    7.22.18 Reply
  13. Might need to invest a bit of time into podcasts!

    7.23.18 Reply
    • I hope you do!!! x

      7.23.18 Reply
      • Mackenzie:

        Hi Grace! So many new podcasts for me to try out. I never listened to podcasts until you launched yours! I now listen to BOP, Group Chat, and the Office Ladies. Group chat is about the news but it’s a few guys just talking about current events. It’s very lighthearted and I get a good laugh at some of their takes. The Office Ladies is Pam and Angela from The Office going through the entire series of the Office and giving inside information and behind the scenes look for each episode. As an office lover, I enjoy this show!

        Can’t wait to try out these other podcasts though!

        12.4.20 Reply
  14. Liz:

    I’ve been hearing a lot about Forever 35 – I need to give that one a try. If you like Him & Her, you might also like the LadyGang podcast (they’ll occasionally guest on each other’s shows) – they can be a little raunchy at times, but they’re definitely open and honest. It sounds like they might be an LA version Girls Gotta Eat.

    7.23.18 Reply
  15. Caroline:

    Thank you so much for these recs! I love listening to podcasts while I work and these are all perfect. Grace, you are one of my most trusted recommenders. I just bought the Everyday Oil too. It’s SO amazing!

    7.24.18 Reply
  16. Sarah Allen:

    Thank you for these recommendations! I have downloaded most of them & already listened to all of Elizabeth Gilberts Magic lessons – My favourite!

    7.24.18 Reply
  17. Thank you so much for introducing me to the Chalene Show! I now listen to her every morning, its the best way to start my day. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    7.27.18 Reply
  18. Ohhh will def have to check out those podcasts- I just started getting into those right after Christmas!!

    1.8.19 Reply
  19. These are so great- thank you so much! I love Ted talks so def following this one as I need to listen to a meditation, podcast, or audiobook as I get ready each morning lol that one sounds so inspirational.

    1.8.19 Reply
  20. Dana Mannarino:

    Girls Gotta Eat IS THE BEST! It’s all we talked about in Croatia and we may have drunkenly started our own version 😉 Happy Thursday, Grace!

    Dana | The Champagne Edit

    8.29.19 Reply
  21. Emily:

    Besides BOP, I also learned about Forever 35 from you, with your earlier post and really enjoy it! And one of my all time favorites is the Baby Sitters Club Club podcast–start at the beginning or it won’t make any sense–very goofy (two guys rereading the series), but it makes me laugh (a lot, while wandering around in public/inappropriate places), and what can be more uplifting than laughter? 😉

    8.29.19 Reply
  22. Katie:

    I love The Lively Show and Forever 35 (especially the diversity of their guests). My favorite uplifting podcasts though are Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations and the Goop Podcast. They are so inspiring and I love how they both have conversations about a wide range of topics without judgement.

    8.29.19 Reply
  23. Sasha:

    Thank you for these suggestions! I had actually never listened to a Podcast until you launched yours, but now I’m a big fan (of yours and several others!) will have to check some of these out

    8.29.19 Reply
  24. Cathy:

    I would love for you and Becca to do a crossover episode with Kate and Doree.

    8.29.19 Reply
  25. I went from taking the tube (and reading) to now driving for my commute because of life changes. Will most definitely be saving these to listen to!

    chevrons & éclairs

    9.2.19 Reply
  26. Love love love The Skinny Confidential’s Podcast! I feel like everything they talk about is either relatable or inspirational in some way. I need to check out the rest of these podcasts next.

    Stephanie | a learning story blog

    9.3.19 Reply
  27. Tressa:

    You have to listen to “TheAlisonShow”

    9.6.19 Reply
  28. Stephanie:

    One of my faves is the high low – which just had its last episode this week! It’s two British journalists who cover “highbrow” and “lowbrow” culture. They’re hilarious and cover a great mix of things. Also great book reviews and recommendations every week!

    12.4.20 Reply
  29. mss:

    Oh, I love this list. Thank you! Listening to Bad On Paper is my first order of business on Wednesdays. I especially love hearing your “highs and lows” for the week. It always feels relatable.

    12.4.20 Reply
  30. I am going to have to give some of these a listen, thanks for sharing!

    Danielle xx

    12.5.20 Reply
  31. Nell:

    The Skinny Confidential is concerning. They’ve been so careless during COVID – not wearing masks and hosting guests who’ve traveled in the studio w/o social distancing. Michael frequently talks about how the pandemic is overblown and how people are overreacting. Harmful.

    12.5.20 Reply
    • Hey, thanks for that feedback! This post is a couple years old, to be honest I haven’t listened since the pandemic. I need to update this list next week and will take this feedback into consideration, appreciate it.

      12.5.20 Reply
  32. Thanks for all the great podcast recommendations, Grace! I have been feeling a little down lately (haven’t we all?) due to both COVID and the overall situation. I hate that it’s dark when I leave the house and dark when I return, sooo looking forward to sunshine and longer warmer days! In the meantime, I’m definitely checking out many of these podcasts! 🙂

    12.10.20 Reply