The Best Motivational Podcasts

Last updated on: 
March 18, 2021

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 10 of the best motivational and self improvement podcasts (in my opinion):

1. The Rich Roll Podcast

rich roll podcast

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.

Episode Recommendations:

How to Change Your Brain with Dr. Andrew Huberman

The Minimalists: Less is Now

Navy SEAL Rich Diviney On The Attributes That Drive Optimal Performance

2. Feel Better, Live More with Rangan Chatterjee

feel better live more podcast

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.

Episode Recommendations:

#159 Dr. Mark Hyman on Getting Real About Food

#154 BITESIZE | How to Find Your True Values and Live the Life  You Really Want | Jay Shetty

#145 How to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones with James Clear

3. The Daily Stoic

daily stoic podcast

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.

Episode Recommendations:

Adam Grant on Ego and Knowledge

You Can’t Make People Feel What You Want

You’re Not As Beloved As You Think | Prepare For The Storm

4. The Tim Ferriss Show

tim ferriss podcast

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.

Episode Recommendations

#494: Michael Phelps and Grant Hackett - Two Legends on Competing, Overcoming Adversity, Must-Read Books, and Much More

#490: Dr. Jim Loehr on Mental Toughness, energy Management, the Power of Journaling, and Olympic Gold Medals

#478: Scott Kelly - Lessons Learned from 500+ Days in Space, Life-Changing Books, and The Art of making Hard Choices

5. Dare to Lead with Brene Brown

brene brown podcast

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.

Episode Recommendations

Brene with Adam Grant on the Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know

Brene with Simon Sinek on Developing an Infinite Mindset

Brene with President Barack Obama on Leadership, Family and Service

6. On Purpose with Jay Shetty

jay shetty podcast

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.

Episode Recommendations

7 Simple Ways to Build Confidence & How to Feel Stronger and More Empowered in Relationships and Work

Priyanka Chopra Jones ON: How to Forge Your Own Path To Success & Release From External Expectations

Daniel Pink ON: How to Master Time Management & Turn Procrastination into Productivity

7. The School of Greatness

school of greatness podcast

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.

Episode Recommendations

1075 How Food Heals or Harms Your Body, Aging & Mentality w/ Dr. Mark Hyman

1065 Five Things to QUIT for a Happier Life

1061 Rich Roll: Use Your Flaws for Good, Gain Confidence & Achieve Your Goals

8. Huberman Lab

huberman lab podcast

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.

Episode Recommendations

Control Pain & Heal Faster with Your Brain

How to Focus to Change Your Brain

Optimize Your Brain with Science-based Tools

9. The Doctor’s Farmacy with Mark Hyman, M.D.

the doctors farmacy podcast

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.

Episode Recommendations:

Reflections On Living an Authentic Life with Matthew McConaughey

Wired and Tired: Fixing Adrenal Burnout with Dr. Elizabeth Boham

How to Make Behaviour Change Stick with BJ Fogg

10. Kwik Brain with Jim Kwik

jim kwik podcast

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.

Episode Recommendations:

217: 3 Activities to Mitigate Stress with Dr. Stephanie Estima

213: Steps to Achieving the Impossible with Steven Kotler

200: Five Steps to RESET Your Brain

What are some of your favorite motivational podcasts? Let us know on Twitter!

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