From Cleaning to Finances, These 20 Self-Help Podcasts Will Make You Better at Life
Did you forget all about that New Year’s resolution to finally learn how to invest or start training for a 10K? Don’t wait until next January to half-heartedly promise yourself the same thing: Take half an hour right now to listen to one of these insightful self-help podcasts instead. See? You’re making progress already.
Sex and Love
1. Savage Lovecast
Seasoned sex-advice columnist Dan Savage isn’t afraid to take a deep dive into what goes on (and what doesn’t) in the bedroom. You can profit from his wisdom in matters of the heart (or loins, as it were) when you listen to him tell it like it is on the Savage Lovecast—a call-in advice podcast that’s both insightful and uproariously funny (and never prudish). Bonus: If you’re Lovecast-curious, you can start listening to micro episodes for free before upgrading to a magnum subscription.
2. Where Should We Begin?
This one allows you to listen in on real, unscripted consultations of anonymous couples with the Belgian-born psychologist, whom you may remember from the 2015 TED Talk “Rethinking Infidelity.” Unlike Savage Lovecast, Esther Perel’s Where Should We Begin? offers a glimpse into relationships from both sides, and not exclusively the stuff that happens between the sheets. Even if you’re not personally dealing with the same dysfunctions, hearing these couples work out their issues (or not) in this ten-part series can help anyone sympathize a little more with the loved ones in their lives.
3. Ask a Clean Person
Cleaning expert Jolie Kerr advises on a wide range of simple tasks you haven’t yet mastered (like caring for your pricey denim or cleaning up after your dog) and things you’re simply too embarrassed to ask. No matter how tidy you keep your bathroom, you’ll undoubtedly pick up a tip or two from the listener's questions on the weekly Ask a Clean Person.
4. A Slob Comes Clean
If you’d rather get your cleaning advice from somebody who doesn’t naturally excel at staying neat and tidy, Dana K. White is your girl. On her podcast A Slob Comes Clean she shares cleaning and organization tips that actually work in real life. (In other words, her advice doesn’t require that you have enough time to make a career out of keeping your home nice.) Best of all, her style is refreshingly down-to-earth and peppered with irreverent humor to ensure that the program is both informative and thoroughly entertaining from start to finish.
5. What It Takes
Tune into What it Takes whenever you are in need of some serious inspo to keep pursuing your biggest aspirations: This thoughtful and fascinating podcast is devoted to exploring the achievements of some of the most remarkable folks in every field, and from every walk of life. Previous guests have included baseball legend Hank Aaron, talk show host Larry King, singer Judy Collins and Pulitzer Prize-winning photo-journalist Carol Guzy. Each episode of the podcast features the personal stories and insights of a different awe-inspiring individual, pieced together with interviews from the American Academy of Achievement. Suffice it to say that one listen will make you want to be your best self.
6. The Challengers with Amy Brenneman
A moving podcast that’s sure to empower you whenever you start to feel like a victim of circumstance—The Challengers with Amy Brenneman features intimate stories from people who have been met with all manner of challenges—illness, debt, infertility (to name a few)—and managed to conquer them. The takeaway? This program serves as a weekly reminder that you aren't alone in facing hardship (big or small)—and the things that bring you down might ultimately reveal your promise and personal strengths.
7. The Marie Forleo Podcast
The Marie Forleo Podcast is all about helping you make your life better, in more ways than one. The content covers a broad range of topics, including financial stability, health and wellness, creativity, giving back, productivity...you know, the stuff of happiness. Bottom line: The programming is diverse enough to keep you coming back for more, and Marie Forleo—who Oprah lauds as a ‘thought leader’—is full of actionable advice when it comes to keeping your life on the up and up.
Health and Nutrition
8. Just One More
Join writer/performer Joanna Shaw Flamm and personal trainer/nutrition counselor Daphnie Yang every Monday on Just One More for a real-time wellness chat for “people who still eat bread.” Besides offering tangible tips on topics like preventing and recovering from injuries, meal planning and grocery shopping, and staying healthy during business travel, the co-hosts touch upon more sensitive subjects, like couples therapy, body shaming and emotional eating.
9. Cut the Fat
In contrast to some of the more varied content featured in other health and wellness podcasts, the focus here is a little narrower—namely, how to achieve your weight-loss goals. That said, Cut the Fat really nails it with a program that includes conversations with doctors and various experts who weigh in on the most effective weight-loss methods, discuss the latest dieting trends and debunk the bogus ones so you can keep your facts straight and stay healthy as you work towards your ideal body.
Jobs and Career
10. How to Be Awesome at Your Job
No matter whether you’re an intern or a CFO, there’s always room for improvement. Enter Pete Mockaitis, “trainer-in-chief” and host of How to Be Awesome at Your Job, where he chats several times a week with psychologists, consultants, venture capitalists and others to survive office politics, deal with difficult colleagues, supercharge productivity and more. Too busy killing it at work to listen to an episode? Just register for the Golden Nugget newsletter, which boils it down to the top takeaway from each interview.
11. Superwomen with Rebecca Minkoff
It’s not hard to be inspired by the revolving cast of incredible guests on Superwomen, a podcast hosted by fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff that features the success stories of females in every field—from visual art to entrepreneurship. This one is a particularly rewarding listen because Minkoff is committed to keeping it real, and her guests are similarly genuine, readily sharing the good, bad and ugly of the balancing act they manage while striving for (and achieving) success at what they love.
12. How I Built This
How I Built This—another podcast that serves up inspiration weekly—is an NPR program in which the host Guy Raz, speaks with entrepreneurs from across the globe (most recently the co-founder of JetBlue) and mines them for their secrets to success and some of the hurdles they encountered along the way. This one is full of fodder for your biggest dreams.
13. SO Money
Farnoosh Torabi, an award-winning financial strategist and bestselling author, hosts this decidedly smart podcast on successful money management and all the (many) intersecting topics (think: race, gender and disability). Of course, there’s also lots of general knowledge on offer here—a recent episode covered everything from the merits of paying for life insurance to the most tax-efficient ways to invest.
14. The Fairer Cents
If you’re looking for financial advice from the lens of a more feminist perspective, The Fairer Cents will be right up your alley. This podcast focuses on speaking the truth about the less-than-desirable economic realities that women and other marginalized groups often experience. Hosts Tanja Hester and Kara Perez fearlessly tackle hot-button socio-economic issues including the wage gap, emotional labor and the economics of motherhood, while proffering actionable advice to empower all the unsung heroes who keep the economy going without their voices being heard.
15. On Being
Whether you’re a strict Shabbat observer or a lifelong atheist, you’ve probably ruminated on human existence. That’s exactly what Krista Tippett, who was awarded the National Humanities Medal, explores on the Peabody-winning On Being. The weekly podcast features a wide-ranging array of guests to discuss the complexities of life, such as resilience after loss with Sheryl Sandberg.
16. Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations
In true Oprah style, this podcast serves up a generous helping of empowerment and relatability—all in the context of said superstar hosting thought-provoking discussions on all things human with spiritual luminaries and psychologists alike. The takeaway? If you want to go soul-searching and come back feeling warm and fuzzy, Oprah is the way to go.
17. The Motherhood Sessions
In The Motherhood Sessions, acclaimed reproductive psychologist Dr. Alexandra Sacks has hard-hitting conversations with real mothers who—in opening up about the vulnerabilities, doubts and joys—paint a raw portrait of parenthood that’s at once heart-wrenching and incredibly relatable. Parents should tune in for a dose of intimacy and humanity that’s sure to resonate.
18. Cool Moms
Many women struggle with the uncomfortable identity shift that comes after having a child, and Cool Moms is a podcast that’s devoted to helping those women find themselves again. In her own words, host Elise R Peterson created this interview-based podcast to “highlight mothers who prioritize both their passions and parenting.” If you’re in search of balance and empowerment, this podcast has your back.
19. The Chasing Joy Podcast
The host of this program is upfront about her mental health struggles (among which are a bipolar diagnosis and an eating disorder) and encourages listeners to find happiness and accept themselves no matter what they’re coping with. Honest and self-aware, this one really is a joy to listen to.
20. That Sober Guy
Anyone in recovery from addiction will readily relate to the no-holes-barred style and humorous tone of this podcast, which also happens to be replete with invaluable advice on adjusting to a new lifestyle and, above all, staying sober.