Everyone wants to be motivated. And motivation really comes down to self improvement. But finding the right self improvement content to consume can definitely get discouraging. Personally, I’ve gone through endless motivational podcasts and influencers, just trying to find the ones that give me the perfect mix of inspiration, education, tips, tricks, and are overall packed with value.
Below I’ve listed 11 of the best motivational and self improvement podcasts (in my opinion):
The first one is The Rich Roll Podcast. Every single time I press play on one of these episodes I know I’m going to be learning something new that I can implement into my own life. The guests that come onto this series are the best and brightest in self development, neuroscience, fitness, and so much more.
Rich himself is an ultra-athlete, wellness evangelist and bestselling author. I will say that the episodes are quite long, many reaching the two hour mark. But don’t let that turn you off from the series. I guarantee that you’ll love it. This isn’t a series that I put on in the background while I work -- it’s a podcast that I truly want to digest and reflect on.
With the tagline, “Healthy has become overcomplicated. I aim to simplify it,” Feel Better, Live Better is hosted by Dr. Rangan Chatterhee, a GP with over 16 years of experience, star of BBC 1’s Doctor in the House, and author. Although this series technically fits within the ‘alternative health’ category, I still think it’s a great series to tune into for motivation and self development. The show covers an array of topics that all come back to giving you the best advice and toolbelt to live a healthier life, physically, mentally, and emotionally.
The episodes in this series are on the longer end as well, averaging 60-90 minutes, but Dr. Chatterjee also releases bitesize episodes every Friday that are around 10 minutes in length. The guests that Dr. Chatterjee sits down with are all incredibly well known in the health and wellness space or are celebrities that you’ve probably seen on screen. If you want to start getting your overall health in check and living a more meaningful and powerful life, give this series a listen.
A conversation that we’re not having enough as a society is what life looks like after prison. With the odds stacked against them, Zach Babcock and Travis Richey (both convicted felons) have started a podcast to tell you exactly how they’re living a life that’s worth being proud of.
Being judged and getting turned down because of their past is something these two know well. But they’re on a journey to help those who are either in prison, about to go in, or are getting out, how to turn your life around. The only thing they ask of listeners is that they are 100% ConvictEd and dedicated to changing their story.
The Daily Stoic is hosted by author and speaker, Ryan Holiday. As you can imagine, this is a daily podcast that brings you a lesson about life that’s inspired by the thoughts and writings of the great Stoic thinkers, including Marcus Aurelius, Seneca the Younger, and others.
The episodes range in length from 2 to 90 minutes. In some, Ryan goes through a quick life lesson with you, in others he delves a little deeper into the meaning behind the lesson, and in some episodes he’ll bring on amazing modern day thinkers to discuss how we can live our lives to the fullest. I love this podcast because if I’m in the mood for a quick dose of inspiration I can listen to a 2 minute episode but if I want to hear an in-depth conversation, that’s available as well.
This podcast also has an amazing newsletter that I encourage you to sign up for.
This one should not come as a surprise for any of you as The Tim Ferriss Show has been praised for many years. Tim is a self-experimenter and best selling author (if you know about the 4-Hour Workweek, that was him). In this series, Tim sits down with world class performers across a multitude of industries and disciplines to uncover the tools, tactics, and tricks that listeners can take and implement into their own lives.
For some reason it took me years to get into this show. Maybe I thought that it was too popular and probably too generic for something that I’d be interested in… but I was wrong. I have thoroughly enjoyed every episode that I’ve listened to so far even though I haven’t even begun to make a dent in his over 500 episode roster.
This series is inspirational, motivational, thought-provoking, and most importantly - helpful. Again, this is a longer series with episodes ranging around the 2 hour mark but I still recommend sitting down with this one.
Dare to Lead is the latest Brene Brown podcast that launched in 2020. I’m a lover of Brene Brown so it was no surprise that I also love this podcast. This series is based on Brene’s book, Dare to Lead that was debuted at #1 on the New York Times and Wall Street Journal's bestseller lists.
This is a series that I love to have playing in the background while I’m working, cooking, cleaning, really anything. Brene sits down with change-catalysts, culture-shifters, and “as many troublemakers as possible.” She also has solo episodes where she’ll discuss leadership, change-making, self development, and so much more. No matter what you do, learning how to become a great leader will always be valuable, so give it a listen!
The last thing I’ll add is that I absolutely love the rapport that Brene has with every single guest that comes onto the show as it makes the show more engaging to tune into.
Many of you probably know who Jay Shetty is at this point -- he’s a former monk, author, and purpose coach. Every podcast that I’ve listened to with Jay on it has been value packed so a few months ago I thought I might as well give his podcast a go… I was not disappointed.
I truly love how his mind works and his way of presenting new perspectives on topics that we all deal with (i.e. confidence, relationships, etc.). The type of guests he has on his show really ranges but the key focus is that they all have insights to share around their mindset, profession, or ideas. The episodes range from 20 minutes to over 2 hours so similar to the other shows that we’ve discussed, it’s definitely leaning towards long-form content. If you want a dose of motivation or want to look at yourself in a more positive light, press play.
The School of Greatness is hosted by New York Times best-selling author, 2x All-American athlete, keynote speaker, and entrepreneur, Lewis Howes. Lewis sits down with some of the most successful and influential leaders in business, entertainment, sports, science, health, and literature. The goal is to inspire you to find your own inner greatness and unlock the power within you to live your best life.
I love the array of guests that come onto this series and that I can find conversations with experts within every single aspect of human health and success. This show has been around for quite some time, surpassing 1,000 episodes in 2020 (wow). Similar to The Tim Ferriss Show, I’ve only made a dent in this podcast but so far, I thoroughly enjoy the conversations.
The Huberman Lab is hosted by Dr. Andrew Huberman, a tenured Professor of Neurobiology and Ophthalmology at Stanford School of Medicine. This show is pretty new, having just launched its first episode in January 2021.
I can’t put into words how amazing this podcast is. Although it doesn’t technically fit into the ‘self development’ category, this show gives you knowledge and tools to better yourself physically and mentally. The show is very scientific but Dr. Huberman easily breaks down how our minds work when it comes to making us stronger individuals. If you want to discover the scientific tools that lead to optimal performance, definitely give this show a listen.
Okay, before you say anything, let me clarify -- I acknowledge that this podcast is a full health podcast. But let me justify why it’s on this list (aside from being a great series).
Eating well and taking care of your inner health has a huge impact on your energy and mental state. Learning about how what we put into our body impacts our performance is incredibly valuable. Dr. Hyman places a focus on nutrition but he also talks to guests about how they’ve managed to change their lifestyle and find motivation. This series is the perfect blend between physical (inside and out), mental, and emotional health.
Kwik Brain is hosted by Jim Kwik who is a widely recognized world leader in speed reading, memory improvement, brain performance, and accelerated learning with students in over 150 countries. If you’re looking to optimize your performance and unlock your brainpower to learn anything faster, as well as live a life of greater power, productivity, and purpose - this is for you. And honestly, who doesn’t want that?
The show brings on amazing guests that cover an array of topics but all tend to focus on our brain and how to train it. Episodes typically come in more ‘bite sized’ pieces of content with each episode being only around 20 minutes in length.
What are some of your favorite motivational podcasts? Let us know on Twitter!
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