From the moment I discovered podcasts, I fell in love.
The ability to listen to a short piece of actionable advice on virtually any topic imaginable, wherever I am, and whenever I want, easily makes podcasts the single best format for absorbing information.
Whether you’re into finance, fitness, health, spirituality, or general self-improvement, there’s a podcast out there (likely many podcasts) that can help you improve that area of your life.
Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.
– Anthony J. D’Angelo
There are a lot of great podcast options, but I’m pretty strict about the ones I subscribe to. Over the years, I’ve overdosed on them and decided to settle on a simple rule:
Subscribe to a single podcast (or two) for each specific aspect of my self-improvement journey.
And since I’ve listened to a lot of audio shows and narrowed down my selection, below are some of my favorite ones ever:
1. The Tim Ferriss Show
There’s very little content that I’d say is absolutely required if you want to improve your life, but I consider The Tim Ferriss Show to be one of them.
The reason is simple: It’s all about Tim Ferriss interviewing world-class performers and distilling their greatness in an easily digestible format. If you’re looking to improve your life, getting first-hand accounts of the daily process of many of the world’s most successful people is a no-brainer.
Between the quality of guests Ferriss has on the podcast (ranging from Arnold Schwarzenegger to Richard Branson and Maria Sharapova) to the host’s masterful ability to pull out great nuggets of wisdom from his interviewees, The Tim Ferriss Show is nothing short of mind-blowing.
2. The Tony Robbins Podcast
Since it’s interview-based, I consider the Tony Robbins podcast to be in the same category as Tim Ferriss’ podcast. However, it’s a nice pairing because the guests are often quite different and you get to hear from Robbins himself.
Also, as of now, the podcast is published every other week, so it doesn’t feel overwhelming, which can happen when you subscribe to a lot of podcasts simultaneously.
Given that Robbins is old-school and most of his content is gated and only accessible via a subscription, the fact that you get to hear from him on a bi-monthly basis for free is worth it in itself, and shows he’s stepping up his game to match the digital age.
3. 10% Happier with Dan Harris
A meditation-centric podcast, 10% Happier offers a unique glimpse into the lives of various authorities, notable celebrities, public figures, and interesting personalities who meditate. The guests share meditation tips and insights.
This is easily one of my favorite podcasts ever for a few reasons. First, the host is ABC anchor Dan Harris, a skeptic-turned-regular meditator who credits mindfulness meditation with helping him deal with the debilitating stress of his job. (His anxiety hit its peak when he experienced a panic attack on air).
Did I mention this podcast is actually produced by ABC? The combination of the quality of the production, the host and the way he colors the content with his backstory is interesting and valuable.
Plus, the podcast isn’t exclusive to a particular form of meditative practice. Harris speaks with practitioners of every form of meditation I can think of. And he often chats masters who have practiced for decades.
The interviews remain journalistic in their style, but they are always entertaining.
4. Ram Dass Here and Now
When it comes to the realm of spiritual development and deeper life issues, I’ve found Ram Dass’ Here and Now podcast to be the best of the best.
The podcast is almost entirely based on previous recordings of Ram Dass’ speeches throughout the past several decades. (He had a stroke in 1997, so newer speeches are more rare). Host Raghu Markus introduces the topic of the episode, and then Ram Dass’ recording takes over.
I’ve subscribed to many similarly themed podcasts over the years, but the way that Ram Dass breaks down basic human experiences without imposing any particular belief system on you is nothing short of masterful.
If you want to learn how to better handle life’s challenges or are looking for deeper experiences, this is the perfect podcast for you.
5. Optimal Living Daily
Optimal Living Daily is one of my absolute favorite podcasts for several reasons.
Since it’s based on existing content, each podcast is typically no longer than ten minutes in and offers a very succinct message and value. And you always know you’re going to get value, because the content is carefully curated.
On top of that, where most podcasts have a specific focus, OLD’s subject matter is more diverse and includes discussions on productivity, minimalism, finance, and general personal development.
You can look forward to a new episode at the same time, each and every day, which makes Optimal Living Daily the perfect companion for your daily commute.