The 5 best podcasts for personal growth

24 April 2017 - inspiration

Are you committed to personal development but aren’t sure where to start? Try podcasts. Think of them as your ever-reliable friend in your journey of self-growth. The best of them are full of accessible and portable wisdom that you can listen to anywhere (and for free). Put them on while you cook or travel. Lack of time is no longer an excuse.

Filled with topics ranging from simple productivity tips to profound conversations about purpose and joy, we share 5 of our favourite life-enhancing and inspirational podcasts.

1. On Being by Krista Tippett

Host Krista Tippett’s guests range from prominent figures like Maya Angelou and the Dalai Lama to everyday experts such as family therapist Pauline Boss. By exploring the multifaceted lives of these people, On Being asks the questions that are at the centre of human life: What does it mean to be human? How do we want to live?

Some topics explored: “The Vitality of Ordinary Things”, “The Myth of Closure”, “Anatomy of Gratitude”, “Randomness and Choice”

Episodes to start with: Rebecca Solnit, and “Falling Together” 

2. Design Matters by Debbie Millman

Described as the “world’s first podcast about design and an inquiry into the broader world of creative culture”, Design Matters is by writer, artist and brand consultant Debbie Millman. It is a thought-provoking podcast that interviews industry leaders in a wide range of creative fields.

Some topics explored: Design, advertising, communication, psychological health, poetry, change, creative courage, creative collaboration, work-life balance

Episodes to start with: Dani Shapiro, Milton Glaser and Seth Godin

3. Modern Love by The New York Times

An adaptation of its beloved print column, the Modern Love podcast invites popular actors to do a reading of a past Modern Love piece and then discuss why they chose it. But the most satisfying part for fans of this column is when the writers of the pieces come on board to give updates about their current lives. Hailed by The Atlantic as an adaptation that is “perhaps better than the original”, the Modern Love podcast is a wonderfully addictive listen that examines the human condition through modern day stories about relationships and love.

Episode to start with: To Fall in Love, Do This

4. The Tim Ferriss Show 

If you’re looking to “win life” one habit at a time, look no further than the #1 business podcast on iTunes. Tim Ferriss, author of the bestselling The 4-Hour Work Week, interviews experts in business, sports, art and more to learn about the methods, tools and routines they use to increase their productivity and define their purpose. Guests include Cheryl Strayed, Amanda Palmer, Jamie Foxx and Marie Kondo.

Some topics explored: “Calming Philosophies for Chaotic Times”, “The Art and Science of Learning Anything Faster”

Episodes to start with: Debbie Millman, "How to Design a Life" and 5 Morning Rituals That Help Me Win the Day

5. The Overwhelmed Brain by Paul Colaianni

If you’re tired of simplistic affirmations such as “think positive”, this podcast leaves out the fluff and gets right down to practical advice and steps that help you create the life you want. Focusing on relationships and emotions, it offers listeners insight into the psychology behind our beliefs and choices, and reminds us about the bigger picture.

Some topics explored: “Indecision and Stagnation”, “A Journey into Jealousy”, “13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do”, “Do You Become Who You Are Around Family, or Who You Used To Be?”

Episode to start with: Aligning with Your Career and How Do You Show Up For Life?

6. Bonus: You do you

Here’s where it gets even more fun. Personal development may be about dealing with your emotions and lifestyle headfirst, but it’s also about finding time for the things that interest you. Whether that’s history, science or the most obscure of interests, podcasts are an easy way to deepen your knowledge. Here are 4 suggestions:

Do you listen to any of these podcasts? We'd love to hear about your personal favourites at

- The Mindful Company Team