Are you into podcasts? I’m picky about them. It got worse when I started writing for a scripted podcast…I have little patience for loose, rambling conversations with people who are trying to sell something. For my time investment, I like to get credible, well-researched, and/or personal insights that I can apply to my life.
I also find it challenging to find time to listen, especially now that I’m not in the car going anywhere. One way I fit them in is to listen through my browser when I’m doing work that doesn’t require concentration. (Sidebar: Someone needs to invent an amazing algorithm that accurately curates the best podcasts based on an individual’s tastes and interests and also recommends the “best of” episodes. Not too much to ask, right?)
But, when I find those I love, it’s like finding hidden treasure. Here are five favorites that give me a boost:
For quick, feel-good hits
Kate Hanley’s How to Be a Better Person. I know Kate from some writer groups and mutual friends, and she truly walks her talk. Her short, daily podcasts help us calm down, perk up, and be better. My all-time favorite is “Forgive Your Mistakes,” which is about letting go of regrets and screw-ups.
For amping up your dinner party game
Stuff You Should Know answers questions you didn’t realize you wanted answered. How do Easy Bake ovens work? Did you know there’s a modern-day treasure hunt? What is fascism, anyway? Have a wealth of conversation-starters at your fingertips.
For getting more done
This one would be on my list even if I wasn’t a contributor to Fast Company: Secrets of the Most Productive People. Kate Davis and Anisa Purbasari Horton as they try to figure out how to be more effective in work and life—and be fairer, juster, and more inclusive doing it. The interviews are always worthwhile because they have access to top experts, and the hosts are so upbeat and smart.
For stoking your inner creative
Think you’re not creative? Think again. The Accidental Creative can help you develop systems, habits, and practices to help you cultivate and tap into your inner creative genius. Start with this episode about how to spark creative ideas for your next project. It may help you think differently about what you’re trying to accomplish.
For happiness tidbits
Once a podcast gets big and popular, it can start to lose its focus. Happier with Gretchen Rubin seems to have expanded its definition of what falls under the “happiness” umbrella (not a bad thing), but still delivers excellent insights on how to live a happier, more fulfilling life. I like this episode about the saying, “A stumble might prevent a fall.”
Do you have a podcast you love? Tell me about it at firstname.lastname@example.org.