Slowly but surely, I am becoming a podcast aficionado (iTunes tells me that I currently have 498 unplayed episodes, but I’ll get through them… eventually…). Listening to podcasts are among my favourite things to do while walking (I’m an avid walker) or commuting (I hate commuting). You can listen to podcasts anywhere and at any time – at the gym, during lunch, while walking the dog, as you wash the dishes, while you are kneading bread… The accessibility of podcasts is part of its charm.
My favourite podcasts are the ones that make me think and cause me to look at myself, others and my world in a new or fresh way. To be my favourite podcast, it must teach me, inspire me and encourage me. My favourite podcasts all have certain themes in common, including authenticity, openness and intellectual stimulation. Below are twenty (yes, I know – only twenty) of my favourites.
(I’ve used the word “favourite” a lot in the above paragraph, but I’m not exaggerating – these podcasts may just change your life.)
Note: All of these podcasts are free. You can also download iTunes (also for free!) to listen to these podcasts, regardless of whether you are a Mac or a PC user. That’s how I’ve chosen to subscribe to the following podcasts, especially since iTunes will automatically download new episodes as they become available. Alternatively, you can download these podcasts directly from their respective websites or search for them on TuneIn.com, Podbean, Stitcher or Soundcloud.
Society and Culture
Jess Lively Show
“The Jess Lively Show is a weekly podcast designed to add a little intention to your day. Episodes touch on various aspects of our lives including possessions, personal habits, relationships and our careers. Entrepreneurship and online business also appear from time to time. There is a special emphasis on the blogging world, and each episode is designed to inform, uplift and inspire.”
How to Do Anything
“We’re half advice show, half survival guide. We answer all your questions, from how to find a date, to how to find water in the desert.”
Dear Sugar Radio
“The universe has good news for the lost, lonely and heartsick. Dear Sugar — the cult-favorite advice column from The Rumpus — is back, but this time speaking right into your ears. Hosted by the original Sugars, Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond, the podcast fields all your questions — no matter how deep or dark — and offers radical empathy in return.”
The Influence Network Podcast: Make it Mean Something
“The Influence Network is the online community of women dedicated to making their online lives mean something. This podcast features interviews and encouragement designed to inspire and resource women to use the Internet for good, for God’s glory. New episodes air weekly and topics include writing, blogging, justice, spiritual growth and creative business.”
TED Talks (hd)
“TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. On this feed, you’ll find TEDTalks video to inspire, intrigue and stir the imagination from some of the world’s leading thinkers and doers, speaking from the stage at TED conferences, TEDx events and partner events around the world. This podcast is also available in high-def video and audio-only formats.”
TED Talks Society and Culture
“Thought-provoking videos about life and being human, with ideas from business leaders, psychologists and researchers speaking onstage at the TED conference, TEDx events and partner events around the world. You can also download these and many other videos free on TED.com, with an interactive English transcript and subtitles in up to 80 languages. TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading.”
NPR TED Talk Radio Hour
“The TED Radio Hour is a journey through fascinating ideas: astonishing inventions, fresh approaches to old problems, new ways to think and create. Based on Talks given by riveting speakers on the world-renowned TED stage, each show is centered on a common theme – such as the source of happiness, crowd-sourcing innovation, power shifts, or inexplicable connections. The TED Radio Hour is hosted by Guy Raz, and is a co-production of NPR & TED. Follow the show @TEDRadioHour.”
“Heben Nigatu and Tracy Clayton cover everything from race, gender and pop culture to squirrels, mangoes, and bad jokes, all in one boozy show.”
Death, Sex and Money
“Death, Sex & Money is a podcast about the big questions and hard choices that are often left out of polite conversation. Host Anna Sale talks to celebrities you’ve heard of—and to regular people you haven’t—about the Big Stuff: relationships, money, family, work and making it all count while we’re here. WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics Radio, Note to Self, Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin and many others.”
Great Speeches in History
“Great Speeches in History is a podcast devoted to the great thinkers, statesman and other public orators that have graced us throughout history with their words. Each week LearnOutLoud.com will offer up a new speech in audio format. Please visit http://www.learnoutloud.com for more educational audio and video.”
The New York Public Library
“Join The New York Public Library and your favorite writers, artists, and thinkers for smart talks and provocative conversations from the nation’s cultural capital.”
What it Takes
“What It Takes is a podcast featuring intimate, revealing conversations with towering figures in almost every field: music, science, sports, politics, film, technology, literature, the military and social justice. These rare interviews have been recorded over the past 25 years by The Academy of Achievement. They offer the life stories and reflections of people who have had a huge impact on the world, and insights you can apply to your own life.”
“Magic Lessons are road maps for the path to creativity, the extra nudge you need when you’re feeling stuck. In alternating episodes, Elizabeth Gilbert talks to people who are facing creative challenges and to guest experts, to offer perspective, advice, and inspiration. Gilbert is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love and Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear (published on September 22, 2015). The podcast is produced by MaximumFun.org and Riverhead Books.”
Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast
As a side note, I met Carey Nieuwhof at a Christian Legal Fellowship Student Conference at Osgoode Hall Law School. He and I have a lot in common: we both graduated from the same alma mater (York University, Glendon College), we both have law degrees and we both have an interest in theology. I’ve always found his podcasts to be insightful.
“The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast is a podcast all about leadership, change and personal growth. The goal? To help you lead like never before—in your church or in your business. Carey interviews top leaders like Andy Stanley, Perry Noble, Jon Acuff, Kara Powell, Rich Birch, Pete Wilson, Casey Graham, Thom Rainer, Mark Batterson, Ravi Zacharias, Chris Lema, Jeff Henderson and many more. The podcast features a mix of well-known and everyday leaders whose insights can bring tremendous value to your team. For insightful posts on leadership, change and personal growth, and for more information, go to http://www.careynieuwhof.com.”
Max Lucado Daily Devotionals
Short daily devotionals by pastor and best-selling author, Max Lucado.
Daily Hope with Rick Warren
“Learn, Love, and LIVE the Word! Join Rick Warren Monday-Friday as he presents practical and applicable teaching from God’s Word that will give you daily hope. Apply biblical wisdom to your marriage, children, spiritual growth, hurts, habits, and purpose on this earth. Listen every day for your daily hope. http://RickWarren.org”
Kingscliff Weekly Sermons
“Weekly Messages from the Bible, Preached at Kingscliff Seventh-day Adventist Church.” David Asscherick is the senior pastor. Nuff said.
Sabbath School University
Sabbath School U is a weekly half hour program available on video and audio podcast where young adults study the Adult Sabbath School Lesson.
Hope Channel Sabbath School
“A lively discussion of a weekly topic which is reviewed by a rotating group of twelve young adults. Viewers from around the world participate in the one-hour Bible study program.”
Harder to Kill Radio – Forging Unbreakable Humans
“Steph Gaudreau from Stupid Easy Paleo interviews the best experts in fitness, nutrition, sleep, and mindset so you can apply their lessons to optimizing your own health and wellness. Discover how to improve your health using a multi-faceted, holistic approach so you can spend more time doing the things you enjoy in life instead of being a slave to diet and exercise. Steph weaves her science teaching experience with her holistic nutritionist training and years as a competitive athlete into a rich tapestry supplemented by the experiences of her expert guests to bring you a useful show. Topics range from paleo, primal, real food nutrition, weightlifting, CrossFit, mobility, interval training, fitness, personal development, mindset work, meditation, sleep, stress management and more to help you dial in your lifestyle.”
McGill Law Journal
Yeah…okay… So this is the 21st podcast on this list, but I used to be on the MLJ and I helped develop this podcast, so I had to include it in my list. Plus it’s bilingual to boot.
“Under volume 57, the McGill Law Journal became the first Canadian legal journal to launch a significant podcast series. The goal was to increase the Journal’s online presence by providing a forum in which to discuss important legal questions, while connecting with our audience in a deeper way. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or suggestions regarding our Podcast series.”
I’m always looking for more podcasts to add to my list. What podcasts do you love? I’d love to hear your recommendations. Tell me in the comments. 🙂