I go through phases of time-passing activities on my daily 45-minute commute each way. For a while, it was reading books (they became too heavy to lug around with me), for a period of time it was streaming Songza (which ate my data way too quickly), then came the TED Talk viewings, the social media perusing, and my current obsession: podcasts.
There’s been one podcast of which I’ve listened to every single episode and tune in religiously week after week since it started, but otherwise, lately, I’ve gotten into even more.
It shouldn’t surprise my avid readers who know that I’m a loyal fan/follower/reader of Gretchen Rubin’s, that her podcast, Happier, is one I continue to tune into without fail.
She recently launched a network of podcasts – the Onward Project – that right now features two other podcasts from talented authors and professionals on the overarching topic of self-improvement.
I checked these out and simultaneously got intrigued by all the other fascinating podcasts out there right now. The list in iTunes is pretty overwhelming, and there are so many I want to listen to, but I try to commit to just a few great ones at a time.
(Note: I just saw Marie Forleo is launching a podcast, so I might have to add another to my list in the near future!)
My top 5 podcasts
See above! Gretchen brings her sister, a Hollywood TV writer, onto the show to co-host this smart and engaging podcast on tips and tricks to live a happier life. They often have wonderful guests, like Drew Barrymore, on, but my favourite episodes are those featuring just the two of them chatting about their tales and teachings in the daily experiment of happiness.
Best part: They share weekly “try this at home” tips ranging from the obvious to the genius, like “pick a one-word theme for your year.” Also love their sisterly dynamic!
Good Life Project
I’ve only listened to a few of John’s podcasts but have really enjoyed the discussions he’s had with leaders in a variety of fields on topics like success, career, mindfulness – and their thoughts on what it means to live a good life. Many of the chats he has with gusts run a little long, so it’s definitely one to tune in to when you have a roadtrip, long walk or travel of some sort.
Best part: John is great at digging deep with his questions.
Side Hustle School
I just finished reading Guillebeau’s newest book, Born for This, in which he touches on the topic of side hustles: gigs people have to make a bit of money and use their talents outside their day job. His podcast (part of Rubin’s Onward Project) goes deeper into this topic, profiling people who have successful side hustles and how they launched it and manage it. While the podcast is short and daily, Chris does a weekly recap from the previous seven days. I tune in to this summary as it’s less of a commitment than tuning in every day.
Best part: Some of the hustles are a little offbeat and very creative – neat to see what ingenious things people come up with!
The second show on Rubin’s Onward Project, Radical Candor, is all about being a good boss and working well with a boss. It’s led by Kim Scott, a former Googler who wrote a book with the same title, and Russ Laraway, a former marine who also worked at Google, as well as Twitter. They share insight, through their own personal anecdotes and guests’ experiences, on topics like giving effective praise and criticism.
Big takeaway: “Care personally and challenge directly.”
The Lively Show
I’ve only listened to the Brene Brown interview on this show so far, but really enjoyed the interview and intrigued by the other guests she has on the podcast. Can’t wait to tune in more!
Best part: Jess is really good at paraphrasing guest’s ideas and distilling them to ensure listeners understand ideas and concepts.