This post has been in the works for the last couple of weeks, and I almost hit publish on it last Friday, but in light of deeper realisations, that I am frankly still grappling with, I pushed posting it till today.
In a continuation of some of my own feelings about the kind of content I am consuming these days, putting together this roundup of my current favourite podcasts made me realise just how much work I have to do on the diversity front. I have already started doing the work and I plan on rounding up a list of new-to-me and noteworthy content creators rather soon.
As far as podcasts go, it does take time for them to grow on you and I don’t want to be frivolous about the names I recommend. While the names you see below is a roundup of my current favourite podcasts, I know that this list will only keep growing from here as I make my way through my “to be heard” podcast pile.
I’m a rather late adopter to the whole podcasts trend as I mentioned here, so I really have a lot of catching up to do. They’ve become my favourite companions during my walks and I continue to be amazed at the amount of great content that is available through these podcasts.
Anyway, enough rambling on. Here’s a list of 9 podcasts worth listening to, including my favourite episodes from each.
1| Armchair Expert
Recommended for: insightful celebrity interviews
I’ve been a fan of Dax Shepard since Parenthood days (though admittedly, I’m an even bigger fan of his wife, Kristen Bell!) and have loosely followed him over the last few years. So I’d been aware of his extremely popular podcast even before I really started dipping my toes (ermmmm, ears) into the world of podcasts.
It kinda follows that his was one of the first podcasts that I started getting into. I was glad to find out that it did not disappoint. The podcast has been around for nearly two years, so there’s lots of episodes to get through, but some of my favourite interviews that I have heard so far are the ones with Kristen Bell (kinda obvious), his mom, and Glennon Doyle.
2| The Lavendaire Lifestyle
Recommended for: learning about various personal-development tools
Hosted by Aileen Xu, the Lavendaire Lifestyle podcast is all about personal development and lifestyle design. She has over a million subscribers on her YouTube channel, and I love how she focuses (on both the podcast and her YouTube channel) on crafting a better life by doing the work on ourselves. Her Artist of Life workbook is also well-designed and a great resource for lifestyle planning / goal setting.
Onto the podcast – well, she uses the interview format to bring a whole bunch of smart women to talk about all the things. There have been episodes on human design to creating a brand to moon cycles to manifestation to dealing with failure and so much more.
I love that most episodes are under 45 minutes and how Aileen uses the last few minutes of the episode to summarise the key points from the discussion. And I definitely love the focus on showcasing strong, smart women who are doing amazing things in their chosen fields. Like the episode with Tatcha founder, Vicky Tsai – that was soooo good! I mean, Vicky goes into all the details of how her skincare brand came to life and just how much intention and hard work has gone into creating a successful (and meaningful) company in a seemingly over-saturated market. Definitely worth a listen, even if you really don’t care much for the beauty industry.
Again, there are a lot of episodes to get through, so I am slowly making my way down the list. Some of my other favourite interviews have been: Lauren Zander (on how to keep promises to yourself), Rachel Reimer (how to heal your life), Erin May Henry (on building an audience and your brand), and Kimberly Wenya (on manifesting your desired reality).
3| The Alchemized Life
Recommended for: learning about holistic wellness tools
Hosted by Ava Johanna, I classify The Alchemized Life podcast as a holistic wellness channel. Ava is a popular yoga and meditation teacher, and she’s recently started “The Academy of Breath“, which dives deep into using breathwork to create breakthroughs in your life and bring about massive transformation.
The podcast episodes are primarily interviews that typically last well over an hour. And she has had some amazing guests for sure – her episode with Mark Groves was an absolute killer, and definitely worth a listen if you want to learn more about creating better relationships. The episode with Mama Medicine was also eye opening, and I really enjoyed the perspectives on learning to heal ourselves.
Ava also throws in a few solo episodes into the mix. My favourite solo episode so far has been the one on stepping into the next level version of yourself – it’s a short episode – just a shade over 20 minutes – but is packed with a lot of value. She goes over a super doable exercise to help you identify the next level version of yourself and it makes for a really motivating episode.
4| The Dare to Grow Show
Recommended for: bite-sized lessons on growing your online business
Over the last few months, I’ve been working on setting up a creative business and earlier this year, I opened my design studio on Etsy. There is so much imposter syndrome going on in that aspect of my life that I cannot even begin to tell you (maybe in time I will find the words for it over time to explain more about it to you all). Which is where this podcast comes in.
Sarah Morgan has been a digital creator from before it was sexy to call yourself that. She has used all that experience of hers to create a podcast that is all about teaching solopreneurs and online business owners to level up. The episodes are really bite-sized, usually 10-15 minutes, but filled with so much practical tips and exercises. She covers a wide range of topics, from running a digital business to how to sell digital products, content creation, email marketing tips, and so much more.
My favourite episodes so far have been the one on selling digital products, her content creation plan, and her best list building tips. Her helpful tips are just the right dose of motivation I need in my life to step up my creative business game.
5| Rise Podcast
Recommended for: guidance on creating and living a better life
I’ll admit – for the longest time, I did not want to get on the Rachel-Hollis-is-fantastic train. I mean, you’d see her name popping up just about everywhere, and frankly, I kind of just found that really annoying. Mind you, I’ve not read any of her books, or really listened to her, but I just really found her omnipresence annoying.
So it took me forever to even start listening to her show. But after seeing her podcast being recommended by a few bloggers whose opinions I trust, I decided to give it a shot. And I’ll admit, I came out far from disappointed. :)
Her episode on vision casting for the rest of 2020 is really, really solid gold, and one that I would highly recommend giving a listen to. We’re all struggling to define what the rest of the year will look life for us, but she’s taken up the challenge and put together an episode with doable, practical exercises, which I think are totally worth doing.
Also, her recent (re-released) episode with Chris Chandler on finding and loving your best self was truly fantastic.
6| Second Life
Recommended for: career inspiration from strong women flourishing in their roles after a successful pivot
Hosted by Hillary Kerr, the co-founder of Who What Wear and what eventually became Clique Media Group, the Second Life podcast quite literally delves into the second life of a multitude of women leaders across various industries.
Hillary Kerr herself knows something about pivoting into a “second life”, well, “third life” if you’re really counting. She uses experience as a journalist from her days at Elle magazine to put together really riveting interviews with her guests. And what a roster of guests that is. Kristen Bell. Joy Cho. Justina Blakeney. Gucci Westman. Reese Witherspoon. And so many more.
I love that the show focuses on strong, powerful women with careers spanning across industries, and how it creates an uplifting message for women in any stage of their careers. These women are candid about their mistakes, open about the lessons they’ve learnt, but most importantly, they own their space. And that is something that I think I can certainly do more of.
It’s difficult to choose a favourite episode, because really, they’ve all been unbelievably fascinating and inspiring to listen to.
7| Self-Care Sunday
Recommended for: the perfect mish-mash of all things self-care and conscious action
Hosted by Kaylee Reed, who calls herself an “influencer marketing strategist”, the Self-Care Sunday podcast focuses on mental health, entrepreneurship, social media, and self-care. These topics are really high up in my interest list these days and the episodes are just the perfect length to get in meaningful information without seemingly going on for hours and hours.
I love that she does periodic tarot card readings on her podcast as well. It’s something I really haven’t seen in too many other podcasts, and it adds a differentiated element to her podcast.
She’s also done some work with John Krasinski’s Some Good News (I love, love the show!) and the episode where she talks about her whole experience is quite insightful about how influencer campaigns really work.
One of my favourite episodes from her podcast is the one where she talks about self-competition and learning to be the best version of yourself.
8| Practical Positivity
Recommended for: a joyful kick-in-the-butt to start living your best life
I’ve been following Sophie Cliff, the gorgeous host of Practical Positivity, since her travel blogging days. Now, she goes by the Joyful Coach, and yes, her podcast and her blog are just the right dose of positivity you need in your day.
She truly embodies the spirit of a happy soul and through her weekly episodes, shares “tips on how you can squeeze more joy out of your everyday, mindset hacks that will help you to build your confidence, and a whole load of practical positivity”.
Two of her episodes have been real standouts for me so far: the one on figuring out what’s truly important to you, and the one on the importance of identifying your values. I will share my detailed thoughts on these two specific episodes and the questions that she leaves you with, but suffice to say, this podcast is all about equipping you to bring more joy into your everyday by getting to know yourself, and staying true to what you value.
9| The Melissa Ambrosini Show
Recommended for: a compelling take on actionable self-love and self-improvement
I don’t quite remember how I stumbled upon her show – I’ve never read her books – but I am so glad I did. Sure, she covers a lot of topics which many other podcasters seem to cover – mental health, self love, creating a better attitude, manifestation – and yet, her voice is fresh and her take on these often talked about matters is compelling enough.
Bonus: A few episodes worth listening to
In addition to the above mentioned podcasts that I subscribe to, there are a few other podcasts that I just like to dip in every once in a while, or when I see something really interesting. A few such ones are Bad on Paper, Unlocking Us, Super Soul Conversations, Natalia Benson, 10 Things to Tell You, and The Chalene Show.
Some of my favourite episodes from these podcasts are:
- Unlocking Us: Brené Brown and Chris Heuertz on the Enneagram
- Super Soul Conversations: Oprah and Alicia Keys
- Natalia Benson: Natalia Benson and Vanessa Montgomery on Astrology 101 (including mission statement for all the signs)
- The Chalene Show: How to Have a Healthier Mindset
So there you have it – my current favourite list of podcasts worth listening to. Are you a podcast person yourself? Which are your favourites? I am all ears for new suggestions, especially if they help in bringing about more diversity into my content feed!