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Inspiration, Mystery, & Humor – 18 Perfect Podcast Recommendations

If you are like us, then you love diving into a good podcast. There is nothing better than getting deeply attached to a story, such that your waiting with baited breath on the next episode. Or being wildly entertained by talented story-tellers and personalities talking into your ear on your commute into work. It can be tough to find the very best podcasts though, so look no further, as we’ve done the work for you. Here are our 18 perfect podcast recommendations!

Before we dive in, here’s how we’ve structured the page. Each podcast will have the title, brief synopsis, our description of why we love it, and a stream of the most recent episode. All of these shows are available on Apple podcasts, or really wherever you find your podcasts. Enjoy!

Business

Goal Digger

Synopsis: How do I build my dream job? How do I make money online? Am I ready to leave my 9 to 5? How can I create passive income? How can I grow my Instagram following? And the biggest question of all, can I *really* turn my passion into profits? Welcome to the Goal Digger Podcast where we will answer ALL of these questions and so much more! Week after week, host Jenna Kutcher brings you productivity tips, social media strategies, business hacks, and inspirational stories that can help YOU design your dream career.

We love this podcast. First off, because Jenna is a self made millionaire who loves to educate others. She is constantly sharing the freaking amazing business advice that led to her success. And we mean constantly!

In addition to the tips she gives in her podcast, she is always dropping tidbits on her website to give you some extra guidance. Every episode of this pod leaves us feeling inspired, motivated, and empowered to crush the content we are working on.

How I Built This

Synopsis: Guy Raz dives into the stories behind some of the world’s best known companies. How I Built This weaves a narrative journey about innovators, entrepreneurs and idealists—and the movements they built.

How I Built This is seriously inspirational for any entrepreneur or anyone thinking about starting a business. Guy Raz takes us through journeys of how big successful businesses got to where they are today, showing what it takes to “make it.” It is incredibly inspiring to hear how these people made their dreams a reality, even if it meant failing a few times. Our favorite episodes were AirBnB, Instagram, Starbucks and TOMS.

This is Success

Synopsis: Revealing conversations with today’s most inspiring business, sports, entertainment, and government leaders. Candid interviews with the likes of Sheryl Sandberg, LeBron James, and the founders of companies like Lyft and Tinder. Insightful stories and useful advice about how to get to the top.

This is Success is similar to How I Built This, but is not entrepreneurially focused. It is an interview-based podcast with people that have achieved the summit in their field. Just listening will rev your engine enough to have you fighting for your own dreams!

Pop Culture & Sports

Chicks in the Office

Synopsis: On “Chicks in the Office,” Ria and Fran discuss the biggest stories in pop culture. New celebrity relationships and breakups, TV show recaps, answering fan submitted questions and special celebrity guest interviews. Just two chicks keeping you informed and up to date on the hard hitting pop culture news you didn’t know you needed.

Zach turned Julie onto this one, it is really his guilty pleasure. Ria and Fran, Zach’s two favorite podcasting chicks, take you through all of the recent pop culture happenings in a RIDICULOUSLY entertaining 90 minute show. Give Chicks in the Office a shot, you won’t regret it.

Off the Vine

Synopsis: Ready to shake things up? Kaitlyn Bristowe is creating a space where girls (and gents) can feel empowered to be themselves… because there’s more to life than Instagram, right? Kaitlyn isn’t afraid to keep it real as she talks with some of the biggest names in Hollywood! Get ready for lots of laughs, candid convo, taboo topics, unfiltered advice, and wine… lots of wine!

Kaitlyn Bristowe is a true gem. She is a smart-as-hell business woman, who knows how to keep it REAL while providing some major comic relief! She has a guest on every episode (or most) where she shares their story, asking questions and chugging wine the entire time.

It is extremely fun to learn about her guests – where they came from, how they achieved their own measure of success, and where they plan on going. But, if we’re being honest, our favorite part is when everyone shares a confession. People “go there” and it is down right hilarious. Our favorite episodes are with Laura Akins and Claudia Oshry (Girl With No Job).

Pardon My Take

Synopsis: On “Pardon My Take,” Big Cat & PFT Commenter deliver the loudest and most correct sports takes in the history of the spoken word. Daily topics, guests, and an inability to tell what the hosts might be doing will make this your new favorite sports talk show. This is a podcast that will without a doubt change your life for the better- guaranteed, or your money back.

Zach’s favorite podcast, and it is not even close. It is a special kind of humor, mixed with all of the relevant sports topics at the time. The best part of every episode is the interview, planted smack dab in the middle of each pod. The 2 cohosts, Big Cat and PFT Commenter, seriously know how to make the most out of their interviews.

Give this a listen and let us know what you think. If you don’t fall in love, then you probably shouldn’t hang out with Zach after his fourth Coors Light around the campfire. To be honest that’s probably true for a few reasons, but just add this one to the list.

True Crime

S Town

Synopsis: S-Town is a new podcast from Serial and This American Life, hosted by Brian Reed, about a man named John who despises his Alabama town and decides to do something about it. He asks Brian to investigate the son of a wealthy family who’s allegedly been bragging that he got away with murder. But when someone else ends up dead, the search for the truth leads to a nasty feud, a hunt for hidden treasure, and an unearthing of the mysteries of one man’s life.

S-Town tells the story of a hold-the-phone-HILARIOUS man named John, as he navigates what he calls Shit-Town, Alabama. This podcast is a serious roller-coaster of emotions. One moment will have you rolling on the floor laughing your ass off (ROFLYAO), only to leave you scratching your head a few moments later. If this were a book, it would be a page-turner. We binged it without stopping, just couldn’t wait to hear what happened next!

Dr Death

Synopsis: We’re at our most vulnerable when we go to our doctors. We trust the person at the other end of that scalpel. We trust the hospital. We trust the system. Christopher Duntsch was a neurosurgeon who radiated confidence. He claimed he was the best in Dallas. If you had back pain, and had tried everything else, Dr. Duntsch could give you the spine surgery that would take your pain away. But soon his patients started to experience complications, and the system failed to protect them. Which begs the question: who – or what – is that system meant to protect?

Brand new and hot off the press as of the writing of this post. This one still has episodes coming out! We still don’t know the conclusion, but HOLY MOLY this has us on the edge of our seats (and a little scared to go into a hospital…). Dr Christopher Duntsch is a literal crazy person, and the fact that he was able to get away with what he was doing for as long as he did is a serious implication of our medical system.

Up and Vanished

Synopsis: Up and Vanished Season 2 focuses on the disappearance of young mother Kristal Reisinger from a remote mountain town in Colorado. Follow along with host Payne Lindsey, a filmmaker turned amateur investigator, as he travels to Colorado to trace Reisinger’s path. In UAV Season 1, Payne tackles his first cold case story, the long unsolved disappearance of Georgia high school teacher and former pageant queen, Tara Grinstead. The 11-year-old case remains the largest case file in Georgia history. Up and Vanished aims to tell compelling, true stories and give these cases the exposure they deserve.

Payne Lindsay has done it twice, in Seasons 1 and 2 of Up and Vanished. In each season, he unearths a cold-case of a missing woman. Incomprehensibly, he is able to dig up things that were previously undiscovered by investigators, and eventually help to make progress with the case! Does he help solve it?? You’ll have to listen to find out! But we bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Serial

Synopsis: Serial is a podcast from the creators of This American Life, hosted by Sarah Koenig. Serial unfolds one story – a true story – over the course of a whole season. The show follows the plot and characters wherever they lead, through many surprising twists and turns. Sarah won’t know what happens at the end of the story until she gets there, not long before you get there with her. Each week she’ll bring you the latest chapter, so it’s important to listen in, starting with Episode 1.

Another murder mystery we loved, along with the rest of the country. If you have ever talked podcasts with anyone, I bet they’ve brought up Serial. Season 1 tell the true story of Adnan Syed’s alleged murder of his ex-girlfriend, and the whirlwind of a trial that follows. This will have you on the edge of your seat. Season 2 is good also, but it is tough to top Season 1. Also, just announced, Season 3 coming out soon!

Dirty John

Synopsis: Debra Newell is a successful interior designer. She meets John Meehan, a handsome man who seems to check all the boxes: attentive, available, just back from a year in Iraq with Doctors Without Borders. But her family doesn’t like John, and they get entangled in an increasingly complex web of love, deception, forgiveness, denial, and ultimately, survival. Reported and hosted by Christopher Goffard from the L.A. Times.

This true story had us hooked after one episode. Dirty John tells the story of a single mom, Debra, who falls in love with a lying, pathetic, manipulative man (although Debra would disagree). Her daughters have a very suspicious feeling about John, and start to investigate him without their mom knowing. They dig up his dirty past which is enough to leave you in awe, but none of this seems to phase Debra. How far will her daughters go to save their mother? Have a listen to find out! Hint: they will go RIDICULOUSLY far.

Health and Fitness

Balanced Bites

Synopsis: A practical and modern approach to real food nutrition and lifestyle topics with a healthy dose of humor. Hosted by holistic nutritionists Diane Sanfilippo (New York Times Bestselling author of “Practical Paleo” and “The 21-Day Sugar Detox”) & Liz Wolfe (bestselling author of “Eat the Yolks”).

Balanced Bites is a podcast that provides quality and accurate information about nutrition and your health, FINALLY. It has seriously made us reconsider what we call clean or “healthy” eating. But it’s not only a podcast about food. The hosts keep it fun and entertaining while providing tips on how to create a mind-set for success.

10% Happier

Synopsis: Dan Harris is a fidgety, skeptical ABC newsman who had a panic attack live on Good Morning America, which led him to something he always thought was ridiculous: meditation. He wrote the bestselling book, “10% Happier,” started an app — “10% Happier: Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics” — and now, in this podcast, Dan talks with smart people about whether there’s anything beyond 10%. Basically, here’s what this podcast is obsessed with: Can you be an ambitious person and still strive for enlightenment (whatever that means)?

Are you a fan of meditation? Or maybe interested in learning about the benefits and interested in trying it out? This podcast is for you. Dan Harris is an ABC News anchor who fell in love with meditation after studying it for a story. He wrote a book, a bestseller in fact, and started this podcast under the same title. Don’t worry, there are no religious affiliations with the book or pod. It is strictly about how meditation can improve your health and well-being, and even make you 10% happier!

The Science of Happiness

Synopsis: Learn research-tested strategies for a happier, more meaningful life, drawing on the science of compassion, gratitude, mindfulness, and awe. Hosted by award-winning professor Dacher Keltner. Co-produced by PRI and UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center.

The Science of Happiness is a great little podcast that comes to you from UC Berkeley. The host takes you on a happiness journey each week, testing happiness theories on ‘guinea pigs’ each episode. The episodes are short, 15-20 minutes, and give great little tidbits on how to improve you happiness and state-of-mind with little tweaks on a daily basis!

Other

Reply All

Synopsis: “‘A podcast about the internet’ that is actually an unfailingly original exploration of modern life and how to survive it.” – The Guardian. Hosted by PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman, from Gimlet.

Reply All is a little hard to describe, but to be honest it is probably the most fun podcast we listen to! Each episode tells a wildly different story, and the hosts, Alex and PJ, are extremely creative and talented story-tellers. All we can say is that you have to give Reply All a shot, you’ll thank us later.

Freakonomics

Synopsis: Discover the hidden side of everything with Stephen J. Dubner, co-author of the Freakonomics books. Each week, Freakonomics Radio tells you things you always thought you knew (but didn’t) and things you never thought you wanted to know (but do) — from the economics of sleep to how to become great at just about anything. Dubner speaks with Nobel laureates and provocateurs, intellectuals and entrepreneurs, and various other underachievers. Special features include series like “The Secret Life of a C.E.O.” as well as a live game show, “Tell Me Something I Don’t Know.” 

The synopsis says you’ll ‘discover the hidden side of everything‘ and they aren’t lying folks. Do you ever think that some things aren’t just as they seem? Well, you’re probably right, and Stephen Dubner is here to help you prove it. If you love having a fantastic ‘did you know…’ fact ready for a game of trivia or a night out with friends, then Freakonomics is a show for you. The book is fantastic as well!

More Perfect

Synopsis: From the producers of Radiolab, a series about how the Supreme Court got so supreme.

More Perfect Season 1 is Zach’s favorite season of any show, ever. Mostly because of his fascination with American history, but also because of how talented these story-tellers are. If you have a history-buff bone in your body, or are at all interested in the Supreme Court and how it came to be what it is today, then you have to start listening to More Perfect IMMEDIATELY.

Revisionist History

Synopsis: Revisionist History is Malcolm Gladwell’s journey through the overlooked and the misunderstood. Every episode re-examines something from the past—an event, a person, an idea, even a song—and asks whether we got it right the first time. From Panoply Media. Because sometimes the past deserves a second chance.

Have you ever read the book Blink or Outliers? If you liked those, you’ll love Revisionist History! And if you haven’t read them, we highly encourage you to check them out, or just give Revisionist History a try. Malcolm Gladwell takes you down paths you didn’t even know existed, and does so in a way that leaves you fascinated and educated at the same time!

There you have it, our 18 perfect podcast recommendations! Share your favorites in the comments!

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Our 11 Favorite Binge-Worthy TV Shows

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