The Top 10 Podcasts That Will Turn You Into A More Well-Rounded Human

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Have you ever taken a moment to think about how you spend your time? If you do, you may realize how much of it is wasted dicking around on social media. At least that was my realization.

Because I work from home and for myself, I control my schedule. That kind of freedom is great if you have a substantial amount of discipline and self control. Otherwise, you can spiral into a social media time-sucking nightmare. And work from home or not, I think many people reach a mental stopping point in their day. For me, it’s 2 pm. I cannot stare at my computer screen any longer; all motivation leaves me. I make many trips to the fridge and stare at the half empty jar of pickles – hoping this time, miraculously, a piece of cake will be sitting beside it.

Early on in my new real estate career, while working from home, I got into the healthy habit of going for a walk at 2 pm. I decided to get out of my head and my house. It was better than forcing myself to continue a project I was stuck on. So, every day, I go for a walk, and I listen to a podcast. This change in my schedule was one of the most beneficial things I could do for my personal growth and my business growth. The following are the podcasts that resonated with me the most and changed me for the best.

1. The Tim Ferris Show

The Tim Ferriss Show

The gist: “Each episode, I (Tim Ferris) deconstruct world-class performers from eclectic areas (investing, sports, business, art, etc.) to extract the tactics, tools, and routines you can use.  This includes favorite books, morning routines, exercise habits, time-management tricks, and much more.”

I have a soft spot for Tim Ferris because of his book, The Four Hour Work Week. It changed my life, or at least gave me the courage to try things that ultimately had a huge impact on my life. I read it at a time I needed it most and instantly identified with his overall message. Even though I was a lost and jobless twenty-three year old, this book got me excited for my future. His podcast gives me that same feeling. Tim is a fascinating human, to say the least. I like the way he allows his guests to tell their story all the way through. Many hosts tend to speak over their guests or cut them short, but Tim lets them carry on longer before redirecting them to a different question. This will lead to long episodes, but the audience gets to hear a unique conversation with a world class performer and Tim asks all the right (unique) questions. One of my favorite episodes is with Jamie Foxx. To be honest, I didn’t know anything about Jamie Foxx and did not have any real interest in him. But his story and storytelling was amazing! One of the best discussions I’ve heard in awhile and the way Tim interacted with him had everything to do with the success of the interview.

2. The Moth

The Moth

The gist: “The Moth is a non-profit group based in New York City dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling. Founded in 1997, the organization presents a wide range of theme-based storytelling events across the United States and abroad. The Moth Podcast features re-airs of all new episodes of The Moth Radio Hour, plus additional stories from our vast archive recorded over the past two decades.”

The Moth is wonderful. I know technology is a marvelous tool, but sometimes I wonder if it has inhibited our storytelling skills. Before technology, that’s how humans entertained themselves, but telling a good story is still extremely important in society today. Storytelling is key to launching a new business; it helps others get to know you, and hey, we all have to give a good wedding speech at least once in our lives.

I recently ran my first marathon with a friend, and I swear the only thing that kept us going for a few miles was my rapid-fire stories. I look around when I’m in a public place, and instead of people engaging in meaningful conversations, they are often glued to their phones. The Moth is a great podcast because it’s everyday people telling their stories. It shows that everyone has a moving tale to tell. It encouraged me to recall stories in my past that I want to share. I want to hear strangers’ stories. I want to hear my family’s stories. I want to hear my friend’s stories! I hosted a “mini moth” with my friends, and I regularly attend Backyard Story Night here in Austin. I encourage you to do the same. Go to these events if they are available in your town or start hosting events with your friends.

3. Mom & Dad Are Fighting

Mom & Dad Are Fighting

The gist: “Slate editors Allison Benedikt and Dan Kois review and debate the latest parenting news, and try to stay civil.”

I included this podcast because I think proper parenting is super important, and it freaks me out that people start popping out kids without much knowledge on the subject. I think this particular show touches on broad subjects that would also be interesting to somebody like me…a twenty-something year old who doesn’t have children yet. I’m one of those weirdos that wants to learn about parenting now. No, I don’t have kids. No, I don’t want them now. I do know that I want kids one day though and my friends are starting to have kids. Listening to topics surrounding parenting and current issues is something I find useful to pay attention to every so often. This is how we change a generation! It starts with the way we raise our youth. Call me crazy but I’m going to start paying attention now.

4. The Art of Charm

The Art of Charm

The gist: “You’ll learn our top strategies to improve your career, confidence, lifestyle and love-life from top experts like life and business-hackers and the Art of Charm team themselves.”

When I first started listening to this podcast, it was meant for a male audience. This has changed over the years, and now their listeners are a healthy mix of men and women alike. At the time, I was seeking a different perspective. I read all the great reviews that men were writing about The Art of Charm and realized I could probably gain some insight from the podcast. I was thinking: I have to live and work with men. I date men. Perhaps listening to this podcast would allow me to get a better understanding of how their brains worked. I liked how there was no “fluff” in the episodes. I’d get a lot of knowledge jam-packed into 35-45 minutes and the host, Jordan Harbinger, is relatable, straightforward, and excited about life. It makes for an entertaining listen. He’s like the friend you go to for great advice – someone who will tell you how it is and won’t be worried about hurting your feelings. Everyone needs a friend like that.

Ladies, you may have a few doubts when first listening. The intro can come off a bit “bro-ey” and like I said, the host tells it how it is. Little to no “fluff.” But I think well-roundedness comes with getting a little uncomfortable sometimes, and the information that Jordan and his guests put out into the world is definitely something you should be paying attention to. After hearing the content and listening to a few episodes, I quickly forgot all about my initial judgments. Many of those episodes helped in sculpting the way I think today. Jordan tries new things with his show and realizes quickly when something does or does not appeal to listeners. They even have “fan-mail Fridays” where guests can write in and ask for advice or comment on past episodes. I may or may not have had my email read on a fan-mail Friday.

5. NPR Politics Podcast

NPR Politics

The gist: “The NPR Politics Podcast is where NPR’s political reporters talk to you like they talk to each other. With weekly roundups and quick takes on the news of the day, you don’t have to keep up with politics to know what’s happening. You just have to keep up with us.”

I was shocked by the 2016 election. I think many of us were. It’s crucial that we don’t get lazy with our political education. For me, coming into adulthood meant realizing how much there is to know and how little I do know. (Is that why your twenties are so scary? A discussion for another time.) I’ll openly admit that when it comes to the US government and politics, I can get a little lost. I realize this the more I start paying attention, and the NPR Politics Podcast has been that reliable guide for me. You shouldn’t complain about what’s going on if you don’t know what’s actually happening. Hopefully, this podcast will get you curious, and you’ll want to get a better understanding of the history of our country’s politics. You can do some further digging for yourself. I’m just waiting for a local government political podcast for here in Austin. Anyone?

6. Bigger Pockets Podcast

Bigger Pockets Podcast

The gist: “Our show, with hosts Joshua Dorkin & Brandon Turner, was designed as a tool to help both novice and experienced real estate investors. Our goal is to bring top notch educational content and interviews to our listeners, without subjecting you to the non-stop pitch that is prevalent around the industry.”

BiggerPockets.com is another website/podcast that has changed my life. It helped me realize the lifestyle I wanted to lead and how to get there. I’ve connected with hundreds of people through Bigger Pockets; seeking advice and wisdom online and in person. They’ve created a loyal community, and for me, it started with the podcast. You may be thinking; “I’m not interested in Real Estate!” Trust me, when you hear a story about a 22-year-old who bought his first home in college and how he was able to do it, you’ll be intrigued. Life can get boring sometimes; we get stuck in our routines. Listening to stories of people doing amazing things that are different than what you hear on a day-to-day basis is incredibly inspiring. There are so many ways to invest in real estate; you don’t have to be house flipping and knocking down walls. Leave that to HGTV. You can get involved without ever even stepping foot into an actual home.

7. The Mental Illness Happy Hour

The Mental Illness Happy Hour

The gist: “Comedian Paul Gilmartin hosts a weekly, hour-long audio podcast consisting of interviews with artists, friends, and the occasional doctor. The show is geared towards anyone interested in or affected by depression, addiction, and other mental challenges which are so prevalent in the creative arts. Paul’s hope is that the show and this website will give people a place to connect, smile, and feel the return of hope. The biggest myth about mental illness is that you are alone and there is no help.”

I can’t say enough great things about this podcast. It’s honest, it’s uncensored, and the content touches on topics that many people deal with but feel uncomfortable discussing. It’s like a weekly support group. If you have any family history of mental illness or friends who do, you need to listen to this show. It will give you insight into the best ways to handle yourself, friends, or family. Let the youth in your life listen! I grew up hearing phrases such as “she’s so bipolar!” It was an intended to be used as an insult. Until talking to somebody who is bipolar, I didn’t realize what that actually meant or how hurtful phrases like that can be. The more familiar we become with the issues, the less pain we will cause through our ignorance. Some of the topics that are discussed can get serious quickly, but Paul is a comedian and does an excellent job with adding comedic relief at the most appropriate times. He has created a safe place and a wonderful community.

8. Call Your Girlfriend

Call Your Girlfriend

The gist: “Call Your Girlfriend is a podcast for long-distance besties everywhere, hosted by Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman and produced by Gina Delvac. Every other week, eavesdrop as Aminatou and Ann call each other to discuss the intricacies of pop culture and the latest in politics. We’re highbrow and lowbrow, unapologetically feminist, and not afraid to realtalk each other about everything from menstrual cycles to workplace dramas.”

I can’t resist a group of powerful ladies. This podcast is wonderful. Three best friends talking about intellectually stimulating subjects. Most of us can relate to these three ladies’ relationship. Many of my closest friends live across the country from me and every time I listen in, I’m immediately reminded of my relationship with my friends from high school. I would especially encourage you men out there to listen. Do you want to understand us? You can begin by listening to this podcast and getting comfortable with hearing and saying words like “menstruation” and “feminist.”

9. A Couple Cooks

A Couple Cooks

The gist: “The Podcast is a show about home cooking and the power of real good food. It explores how to cook seasonal produce at home & integrate deliciously healthy recipes into everyday life. Listen for recipes, kitchen tips, stories, & conversations with the freshest voices in food, from celebrity chefs to local farmers.”

To be honest, I have not been listening to this show long. A friend suggested it to me but I’ve realized I need A Couple Cooks in my life. My idea of cooking is baking a sweet potato and throwing canned tuna over lettuce. I recently attended a panel in Austin called “Vote With Your Fork.” It was about exploring the sustainability of our local food practices and the options we can consider when dining in or out. I’m usually pretty conscious of what I put into my body. I (try to) eat organic and “real” food but I’ve never thought about buying seasonal food and why that’s important as well. A Couple Cooks website is all about incorporating seasonal foods into recipes, and proving that healthy food can actually taste good. This podcast has been helping me become a more well-rounded person, and that’s what I’m about, so, I’m adding it to my podcast list.

10. The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe

The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe

The gist: The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe is produced by SGU Productions, LLC – dedicated to promoting critical thinking, reason, and the public understanding of science through online and other media. The first episode of the SGU podcast went online on May 4th, 2005.”

I tend to have a skeptical attitude in general, so, I was immediately drawn to the title of this show. After listening to a few episodes, I was introduced to so much new information on scientific topics that I can now research further. It also helps that the show displays tasteful humor and wit that anyone can appreciate. The Skeptics’ Guide To The Universe has helped me become a better skeptic and debater!


I hope this list has encouraged you to expand your podcast list! There are so many amazing podcasts out right now, and I’m thankful that they are easily accessible. It can be hard to get in all the reading I want to do each day. Listening to a podcast during my morning routine or during my lunch break makes me feel a lot better about my diminishing reading time. I’m optimistic that they will help you as well.

Also, throughout the month of March, many podcast hosts are encouraging listeners to introduce a friend, relative, or coworker to a new podcast. People who love podcasts will be asked to share stories of why they listen and their favorite podcasts using the hashtag #trypod. I encourage you all to participate! TC mark

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