Everyone needs a little motivation sometimes. Whether it’s on Monday as you mentally prepare for the work week, or as you unwind after a long day. Podcasts are a great way to learn, and they’re ideal for ambitious multi-taskers.
So we’ve tracked down some of the best motivational podcasts out there, in some of your favorite genres. But first, let’s see why podcasts are the best way to get inspired.
Motivational Podcasts — A Practical Way to Find Inspiration
There are so many things that make podcasts our new favorite medium.
You can broaden your horizons while you organize your pantry. Get motivated on your morning commute. And the best thing? You can learn about any subject.
Podcasts are on-demand and easily accessible. When we’re feeling stagnant, it would be great to be able to sit and watch YouTube videos of your favorite mentors and teachers, but most people don’t have the extra time to do that.
With motivational podcasts you can listen while you drive, while you eat — you can even listen when you don’t have internet! (Download your episodes before you leave the house).
But there’s one thing that makes podcasts particularly inspiring. It’s the most motivational medium because most podcasts are created with intimacy in mind. Since lots of podcasts tend to be more niche, and hosts and guests know you’ve actively chosen the podcast, this allows them to be more candid and genuine. It allows you to find what you’re looking for and connect with people you’ve never even met.
10 Best Motivational Podcasts to Get Inspired
Keep in mind that these are the top inspirational podcasts, so they all share an encouraging, personal growth angle. But they each have something special to offer in their own niche.
Whether you’re looking for a morning motivation podcast or you’re looking for advice on habits and mindset, you’re sure to find something for you.
Mindset & Habits — Happier with Gretchen Rubin
The New York Times called Gretchen Rubin “the queen of the self-help memoir.” But she says her work is “self-helpful, not self-help.” She’s written more than a handful of books about happiness and habits, including “The Happiness Project,” and “Better than Before.” She’s also been published in the Yale Law Journal.
In Happier, she chats with her younger sister, Elizabeth Craft — a TV writer and producer in Los Angeles. On the show, this dynamic sister-duo provides listeners with practical advice about happiness and good habits. These candid conversations between are sure to motivate you and provide practical tips on how you can improve your habits to lead a happier life.
Best Episode: Checklist for Habit Change
Career & Work — How’s Work? With Esther Perel
Esther Perel is a world-renowned couples therapist and speaker. She’s also the author of the bestselling book, “Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence.” For more than twenty years, she’s mostly explored romantic and sexual relationships. But now she’s bringing her expertise to the office. She’s tackling workplace connections in a whole new way.
Through her conversations with coworkers, colleagues, and even cofounders — Perel sheds light on the relational habits that we bring to the workplace. “How’s Work?” serves as the jumping off point for unorthodox discussions about our professional relationships and how we can improve them. If you’re looking for some podcast motivation at work, and you like the psychology angle, this is the podcast for you.
Best Episode: You’re Inching Me Out
Health & Fitness — Food Psych with Christy Harrison
Christy Harrison, (MPH, RD, CDN) describes herself as an “Intuitive Eating Coach and Anti-Diet Dietitian.” She’s also an author and a major player in the Health at Every Size (HAES) movement. She says “this podcast calls out diet culture for the life-thief that it is, and challenges it in all its sneaky forms.”
Through her conversations with health and psychology professionals, anti-diet activists, and leaders in the body liberation movement — Harrison inspires us to heal our relationship with food as we continue along a path to self-acceptance.
Best Episode: The Truth About “Food Addiction” with Marci Evans
Business & Entrepreneurship — The Tim Ferriss Show
If you’re looking for an inspiring business podcast, this is it. Tim Ferriss is the author of the cult hit “The 4-Hour Work Week,” and his show can often be found on Apple Podcasts “Best of” list.
Ferriss has motivated millions to work smarter, but his podcast isn’t just for the business minded. It’s deeply rooted in mindset and good habits. Malcolm Gladwell, Peter Thiel, and Sia have all been guests on this show — where Ferriss interviews an eclectic collection of “world-class performers.” In these interviews, he tries to “extract the tactics, tools, and routines you can use” so that listeners can do better.
Relationships — Unlocking Us with Brené Brown
It might seem inappropriate to describe Brené Brown as a cultural phenomenon, because she’s a serious professor and professional — but that’s what she was. She first appeared on the scene in 2011 with her TED Talk — the power of vulnerability, which is now in the top 5 most viewed TED talks ever, with over 45 million views.
Brown is a research professor and Huffington Endowed Chair at the University of Houston where she has been studying shame, vulnerability, courage, and empathy for nearly two decades. She’s also a bestselling author.
In her podcast, she invites respected guests to tell their stories and share their ordinary moments and struggles. Through these conversations, Brown hopes to unlock our most human parts, so we can live with more courage and love.
Best Episode: Dr. Vivek Murthy and Brené on loneliness and connection
Personal Finance — So Money Farnoosh Torabi
Torabi is a financial reporter turned bestselling author, money-coach, and overall wealth guru. She doesn’t just teach people how to make a budget. Torabi helps people figure out their social and emotional connections to money, so they can clean up their financial messes.
In her podcast, Torabi chats with highly accomplished guests like Tony Robbins and Seth Godin about their personal money journeys. These conversations highlight “the good, the bad, and the ugly.” They’ll remind you that everyone struggles with money, but anyone can take control of their finances. One of the top motivational podcasts for people who want to thrive financially.
History — Revisionist History
This isn’t the typical inspiring conversations podcast like most others on our list — while there are indeed plenty of interviews, the host takes a more historical approach. Host, Malcolm Gladwell is an acclaimed author and academic.
In his podcast he artfully blends storytelling with innovative research to revisit the past and illuminate pivotal or interesting moments in history — to “reconsider the overlooked and the misunderstood.” This isn’t your typical motivational Monday podcast, but it’s great for when you’re looking to learn something new and get inspired to think about the world differently.
Best Episode: Hallelujah
Society & Culture — Food 4 Thot
This is the only panel hosted podcast on the list. “A multiracial mix of queer writers talk about sex, relationships, race, identity, what we like to read, and who we like to read” — as described on Apple Podcasts.
While it’s not classically inspiringl either, this is a motivational podcast to listen to for the more culturally inclined. Hosts and self-described “Thots,” are Tommy Pico, Fran Tirado, Dennis Norris II, and Joe Osmundson, and they won’t disappoint. They’re sure to provide you with valuable insight on a wide ranging selection of “thots” and ideas, including the writings of Mary Oliver and Mariah Carey’s better days.
Best Episode: Bye, Bye, Binary! (feat. Alok Vaid-Menon!)
Mental Health — The Mental Illness Happy Hour
Host and comedian, Paul Gilmartin has described this podcast as “A waiting room that doesn’t suck,” so he would probably cringe to hear his show categorized as a motivational psychology podcast. But it certainly deserves some credit.
Gilmartin has interviewed a wide variety of folks over nearly a decade. Guests often include comedians, doctors, friends, and therapists. It’s particularly geared toward mental health issues because Gilmartin knows firsthand that they are especially prevalent in the creative arts.
A few disclaimers — these episodes should not be considered a substitute for professional treatment, and this is not a quick motivational podcast (episodes run longer). But for the many who are struggling with mental illness, it just might motivate you to seek help or share your story.
Best Episode: Dr. Jonice Webb — Emotional Neglect
Spirituality — On Being with Krista Tippett
This is an award-winning radio show that contemplates what it means to be human. Krista Tippett is a journalist turned author and entrepreneur and she has an extremely soothing voice. She also attended Yale Divinity School.
This is an inspiring conversations podcast to the core and you never know who’ll come on next. Tippett has interviewed an impressive list of guests including Ocean Vuong, John Lewis, and Devendra Banhart. She can talk about spirituality and human existence with just about anyone. This is a thought provoking podcast that will leave you feeling introspective and hopefully more connected with humanity.
Best Episode: The Universe Is a Question with Kevin Kelly
Great Podcasts Inspire, Teach, and Create Connection
Good podcasts have the power to teach, inspire, connect, and motivate. Whether you’re looking for a motivational podcast for success or something inspiring to start your day — you’re sure to love one or all of these.
Did we forget your top inspirational podcasts to listen to? Comment below and tell us about your favorite motivational podcasts to listen to at work, on-the-go, or when you have some extra downtime.