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Self-improvement is a never-ending journey that requires guidance along the way. And while self-help books and inspirational talks can prove insightful, serialized content also has immense value. Podcasts allow you to relax and tune into a show each week, learning practical advice on personal achievement and well-being from diverse sources — all curated by a host with an overarching ethos you can relate to.
But the podcast landscape is overwhelming to navigate, with a seemingly infinite ocean of content to sift through. How do you find the self-improvement podcast that’s right for you?
This list of podcasts includes life-changing advice and powerful lessons in personal development. Find your new favorite podcast so you can spend your morning commute or lunch break becoming your best self.
The 14 best podcasts to unlock your potential
No matter your self-improvement goals, these 14 podcasts will inspire you to accomplish them.
1. The Happiness Lab
Plenty of gurus out there will tell you how to improve your mood, backed by insightful anecdotes and intuitive advice. Dr. Laurie Santos takes a more data-driven approach to her mental health podcast with “The Happiness Lab.”
Laurie is the Chandrika and Ranjan Tandon Professor of Psychology and Head of Silliman College at Yale University, where she teaches Psychology and the Good Life — Yale’s most popular course in over 300 years. Her podcast dives deep into the science behind various aspects of happiness, sharing inspiring stories, unexpected findings, and actionable advice along the way.
2. Life Kit
No one person has all the answers. That’s why “Life Kit” talks to new experts each week. This wellness podcast from NPR features life coaches, therapists, psychologists, and more — all offering you a little help with being a human.
NPR’s brilliant journalists guide listeners through insightful conversations on various topics to help them navigate life’s challenges. Expect to hear advice on finance, friendship, and love (plus eclectic episodes about earthquake preparedness and becoming a better birder).
3. The Tim Ferriss Show
Tim Ferriss has been a central player in the self-help space for years, authoring the bestselling book “The 4-Hour Work Week” and offering advice on productivity, fitness, and learning. In 2014, he launched “The Tim Ferriss Show” to talk to exceptional people from various fields about how they live their lives.
Across hundreds of episodes, Tim’s podcast has spoken to household names such as Hugh Jackman, Mark Zuckerberg, and Tony Robbins. That might explain why the show is a perennial chart-topper in Apple Podcasts’ business section. But it’s the strategies and routines he extracts from these conversations that make the podcast so valuable.
4. The Minimalists
On the road to self-improvement, you may find things you’d rather leave behind. That’s where “The Minimalists” can help. Bestselling authors and Emmy-winning documentarians Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus guide listeners through the process of decluttering their life.
Their philosophy celebrates the freedom of living with less, whether by donating the clothes in your closet or cutting down on impulsive actions. Joshua and Ryan assert that excess stuff in your life can stand between you and personal growth. Add this podcast to your rotation to start subtracting stressors from your life.
5. The Rich Roll Podcast
Rich Roll is the embodiment of “Anything is possible.” Rich overcame addiction and other destructive lifestyle habits early in life. On the eve of his 40th birthday, he committed to prioritizing his health and pushing the limits of his body. Just two years later, he was the first vegan to complete the 320-mile Ultraman endurance challenge.
Now, Rich is sharing the secrets to his unending drive and discovering the tactics of other high-achievers. Each week, he engages in deep conversations with the top minds in wellness on his podcast. Topics include increasing longevity, processing pain, and connecting spiritually.
6. Happier with Gretchen Rubin
Who doesn’t want a happier life? Gretchen Rubin’s podcast, “Happier,” provides advice, interviews, and daily routines that will help you lead a better life. Alongside her younger sister (and guinea pig), Gretchen covers an impressive amount of ground in each episode. Episode 428, for instance, helps you become a source of opportunity, find good books to read, and cope with a difficult dog.
No matter what you’re in the mood for, Gretchen has something to make that mood a little more chipper. In addition to more formal episodes, the feed is filled with casual “More Happier” sessions and mini-episodes entitled “A Little Happier.”
7. Honey, I Blew Up the Business
Whether they’re covering personal development or business growth, many advice shows suffer from survivorship bias. The host found immense success, leading them to start a podcast that guarantees you will, too. But there are no guarantees in life, so what do you do when you fail?
Dan Kirby answers this question with “Honey, I Blew up the Business.” After experiencing overwhelming failure and living to tell the tale, Kirby now talks to other visionaries who faced tough times and came out the other side. He dives into entrepreneurship’s raw and ugly side to help you avoid making the same mistakes (or at least learn from them when you do).
8. On Purpose with Jay Shetty
Jay Shetty says his “purpose is to make wisdom go viral.” With guests including Kobe Bryant, Alicia Keys, and multiple Kardashians, it’s safe to say he’s achieved virality. Don’t worry — there’s wisdom in ample supply, as well.
“On Purpose” sees Jay sit down with thought leaders — entrepreneurs, journalists, and celebrities — to gain insight into living a more fulfilling life. He uncovers relationship advice, productivity-boosting tactics, physical health tips, and more. Hundreds of episodes are organized by topic so you can find exactly what you need.
9. How To!
If you’re a chronic over-thinker, you might have trouble taking advice. Try “How To!” to appease your inner skeptic. Instead of trusting a single self-help guru, Slate magazine offers an advice podcast with all the rigor of investigative journalism.
Hosts Amanda Ripley and Carvell Wallace are bonafide advice aficionados with bestselling books and major magazine columns under their belts. They focus on finding answers with backing from relevant experts and proven research. And because they take questions from listeners, you never know which problem they’ll tackle next.
10. WorkLife with Adam Grant
What if you could listen to a podcast during your morning commute that improved your whole work day? “WorkLife with Adam Grant” offers precisely that. Adam is an organizational psychologist and professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. His podcast picks the minds of celebrities and successful professionals to find ways of improving your working hours.
Adam explores unique work cultures, insightful anecdotes, and the dynamics that make up the labor market, talking to experts along the way for guidance on applying these lessons to your own life.
11. Kwik Brain
Podcasts provide a wealth of knowledge, but they can pose a significant time commitment for a busy professional. “Kwik Brain” is the perfect solution. Host Jim Kwik provides bite-sized episodes that feature hacks for rapid learning, improved memory, and a healthier brain. Jim uses tactics based on learning theory and neuroscience to help listeners become the best version of themselves.
Nobody knows the power of these learning devices better than Jim. At a young age, he suffered a severe brain injury that left him struggling in school. It wasn’t until adulthood that he found the mentorship and methodology to unlock his brain’s maximum capability. Now, he’s determined to share what he’s learned with the world.
12. Help Me Be Me
Sarah May Bates starts every episode of “Help Me Be Me” with a disclaimer: the podcast is “self-help for people who hate self-help” and that you must “take what helps, and leave the rest.” What follows is just as refreshingly honest as her intro.
Sarah is a self-love and relationship coach with an M.A. in marriage and family therapy, leading her to approach topics with humility, vulnerability, and care. Her podcast is packed with practical tools for tackling life’s emotional hurdles. She breaks up each episode into the what, why, and how so you better understand your emotions and see the logic behind the methods.
13. Speak Up with Laura Camacho
Communication skills are essential for professional success, and learning to listen is a vital first step. Spend some time listening to “Speak Up with Laura Camacho,” and you’ll pick up plenty of crucial practices to build healthy communication habits in your life.
Laura describes herself as a “culture fixer and career accelerator” who coaches leaders to converse more effectively. Her podcast invites communication specialists to share their best advice for becoming a more successful speaker. You’ll learn to negotiate, market yourself, make a positive impression, and more.
14. How to Be a Better Human
Who says self-improvement has to be serious? Comedian and writer Chris Duffy injects humor and wit into the world of self-help podcasts with his show, “How to Be a Better Human.” With the help of therapists, scientists, and authors, Chris identifies everyday struggles and provides actionable advice on addressing them.
The show features a refreshingly holistic perspective, often focusing on how to balance the personal, interpersonal, and professional. Unlike the podcasts of some productivity influencers, you won’t be urged to grind 24/7 to achieve maximum results. Instead, expect to be casually encouraged to set boundaries, have difficult conversations, and find fulfillment outside of work.
Learn and grow with insightful content
Podcasts are an excellent way to turn daily drives and tedious chores into a productive and engaging experience. Pick from this list of self-improvement podcasts to learn strategies for building a happier, healthier, and more fulfilling life.
But self-improvement doesn’t have to be limited to your listening time. Bolster this learning by also diving into leadership books, advice columns, and self-improvement seminars to ensure you have the tools needed to achieve your goals.