I know ‘5 Podcasts That Changed My Life’ is catchier than 8, but I seriously couldn’t narrow it down to 5.
If you aren’t familiar with what a podcast is, it’s basically free information in audio form that you stream right from your phone. You can search any category imaginable and get free knowledge from thought leaders on any topic. Comedians, authors, artists, musicians, entrepreneurs, you name it. They are all there for the taking.
I first started listening to podcasts sometime in mid 2014. I felt like my brain wasn’t really awake and fully functioning by the time I got to work in the morning. My routine at that point was listening to music or having the news on in the background, or both at the same time. I started out listening to psychology lectures on iTunes U, then moved to the Podcast app to explore what was out there.
I was hooked.
3+ years later I can say that a significant amount of my growth as a person, a writer, an employee, and an athlete is in large part due to things I learned on podcasts.
These are the 8 episodes that made the biggest difference.
These are two of the most fascinating, proactive, impactful people alive today. This podcast will leave you feeling recharged and knowing that one person truly can create mass amounts of positive change.
Listening to The Minimalists has helped inspire me to get rid of more than 75% of all my belongings, but it also helped me get a handle on my finances. I’ve mentioned their Budget episode in other blogs of mine, but this one about debt was the first time I started to think about how much I pay each month towards my debt. And it also got me to start seeing that there are other ways of doing things – like living below your means, driving a shit car you can pay cash for, and paying off all your debt aggressively so you can live a life of freedom and options.
I heard about Dave Ramsey through the Minimalists, and it only took me 30 minutes to completely change my thoughts around debt and money. The callers and the debt free screamers showed me that there are lots of people out there working towards a debt free life! Maybe that could be my new normal? Living well below my means, attacking my debt, and being incredibly intentional with my spending? Yes. I decided that day. I was going to go for it. He had a road map, made it simple, and I was hooked. Total life changer. I’m just about at the milestone of paying down 20% of my debt just 4 months into the process. Thank you Dave Ramsey.
My brain can be my worst enemy. And when I was on a ‘break’ (and soon to be break up) with my last boyfriend my brain was a total asshole. Imagining the worst case scenario constantly, bracing myself for something horrible, you know the drill. I knew I needed to get a handle on that or I’d be totally miserable, and then I found this podcast. What I love love love about the Joy Junkie (Amy E. Smith) is that she talks super openly AND gives you actionable things you can do. One of the tips she gives in this episode game was the ‘Positive What If Game.’
It can be so easy think disastrous things – what if we break up and I never hear from him again? What if I never fall in love like that again? What if my heart is irretrievably broken and I’m just an empty shell of a person forever? Amy then says we should challenge ourselves to think about the positive what ifs. What if I end up marrying my next boyfriend? What if I end up happier than I’ve ever been? What if I land a big book deal because I find a beautiful human way to write about the lessons I’ll learn from all this? That feels a hell of a lot more empowering.
I have actually been so inspired by this one that I even used it as a coaching tool with some of my employees! Chris Lee is a phenomenal speaker, teacher and coach and has a way of inspiring SO much action. He was actually the catalyst for me to move forward with my kidney donation as well earlier this year. In the podcast he says that we are all millionaires – what would a blind person pay for our eyes? Or someone in a wheelchair – what would they pay for our legs? And what about a person who is strapped to a dialysis machine three times a week? That kidney to them is priceless. I was already seriously thinking about that, and hearing Chris frame it up that way launched me into action. I called the Transplant Center that same afternoon.
I also used this podcast as a coaching tool with two of my employees, and I’ve referenced Michael Hyatt and his book Living Forward countless times to people. If you feel like you don’t know where you’re going in your life, or feel like somehow you ended up somewhere you never intended, you HAVE to listen to this. This interview and his book are incredible. Get ready to reclaim your life and set your course in the direction you want! This one is on point!!
Two of my lady write heroes unite in this to absolutely grip your heart and make you feel all the feelings. They address how important creativity is for a wholehearted life, and their absolutely vulnerability and honesty will knock you on your ass. I love these ladies. The two of them have inspired me to level up my writing game time and time again and always remind me that the more I share my flaws and my relationship with them, the more relatable my writing is.
Now this is the grand daddy of them all for me. I’ll never forget the night I heard this podcast. It was late December 2014. I had just ended a serious relationship in October, and then in November my dog died. I was crushed. I had lost both of my best friends in the span of 4 weeks. I was walking my newly adopted dog (that I wasn’t bonding with) on a snowy night, desperate to find some traction in my life. I needed something to get me moving forward again.
As I looked up at the stars and listened to the podcast unfold, I was bowled over. There was something in the way Jesse spoke. His views. The way he explained things. Something was clicking for me. Finally. He had a personal development course starting the following month. The next day I coughed up the $600 to pay for it. And then I was on my way.
This one was a complete game changer for me and I will never forget that. It makes me think of the quote “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” That’s 100% what this felt like to me!
If you have any favorite podcast episodes I’d love to hear about them!