Six Podcasts to Help You Grow

Podcasts have really blown up recently. At least, it seems that way to me. I was first introduced to podcasts in high school; they sounded interesting, but I wasn’t interested enough to look into them. I listened to the radio and to my iPod, I read books, I watched TV… what was the point of podcasts anyway? However, a couple months ago, so many of my favourite public figures started podcasts that I decided to give them a try, and now I love them.

Some of my favourite things about podcasts are that they allow me to relate to strangers, they often make me laugh, they provide me with advice and reassurance, I don’t have to stare at a screen to enjoy them, and I can download episodes to listen to while I’m offline.

As you might already know, many podcasts aren’t purely for entertainment purposes either! Below, I’ve listed six well-liked, free podcasts on the topics of personal and professional development. Try them out on Google Play or iTunes and see what you think!

Personal development

1. Optimal Living Daily

Optimal Living Daily logo.Ever searched for things like “the best ways to stay motivated” on Google? Well search no more! This podcast is like an audiobook, but it’s an audioblog instead. Host Justin Malik finds and reads the best blog posts on personal development, productivity, and the like on a daily basis; as of now, he’s narrated 879 posts. Each episode of this podcast is about 10 minutes long, so you don’t have to pause an episode and come back to it later, having forgotten what was said. Helpful and efficient!

2. Happier with Gretchen Rubin

Happier logo.Gretchen Rubin is the bestselling author of two books, and in her podcast, she provides advice about happiness and good habits. She does this by telling stories from her daily life, and as her cohost is her sister, Elizabeth Craft, episodes never feel cold or unrelatable. A new episode comes out every Wednesday (each one is rarely more than 45 minutes long), but to tide you over until then, Gretchen releases a mini-episode only a few minutes in length every Monday. The purpose of these “little” episodes is to provide a quick tip and make your week “a little happier!”

3. Tiny Leaps, Big Changes

Tiny Leaps, Big Changes logo.Hosted by Gregg Clunis, this podcast is about the behaviours we engage in every day that affect what we get out of our lives. He believes that tiny leaps lead to big changes, so he shares simple personal development strategies and good habits that can improve your life. He often sounds like a friend who’s providing you with encouragement and advice, and he shares parts of his life (such as his difficulties after the passing of his father) as well. Episode length greatly varies, but many episodes are under 20 minutes long, and a new episode comes out at least once a week.

Professional development

1. How I Built This with Guy Raz

How I Built This logo.Curious about the stories behind successful companies, and how their founders get things done? If so, this podcast is for you! It focuses on ups and downs, creativity, and perseverance, so even if you’re not building your own company (yet), you’ll feel inspired and motivated. Guy Raz asks founders interesting questions, and they weave a story that’s easy to follow. A new episode comes out every Monday, and each one is usually about 45 minutes long. In addition, at the end of each episode, a listener shares what they’re building, so if you share your story, you may be featured!

2. Beyond the To Do List

Beyond the To Do List logo.In this podcast, host Erik Fisher talks to a variety of people about productivity; they converse about successes, but also about struggles. Most importantly, they talk about about how they overcame those struggles. Listeners learn about how to get good work done, as well as how to get the right work done, by practically implementing certain productivity strategies in their lives. A new episode comes out every Monday, and each episode is typically between 30-60 minutes long.

3. Dear HBR: (Harvard Business Review)

 logo.Similar to an advice column in the newspaper, this podcast explores solutions to listeners’ workplace dilemmas. Co-hosts Alison Beard and Dan McGinn provide different perspectives, and their guests add valuable insight as well. They refer to academic research, and they end with practical overall recommendations. The issues they tackle (such as difficult people) are common, but even if one hasn’t faced them, there’s always something to learn. This is a new, bi-weekly podcast with episodes that are about 40 minutes long, but the HBR has created some other podcasts as well, so be sure to check them out!


Happy listening!

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