Wisdom//

27 Podcasts That Helped Us Thrive in 2018

Boost your success and happiness just by listening.

artparadigm/Getty Images
artparadigm/Getty Images

Podcasts can be incredible tools for inspiration and change. Thrive Global’s own podcast features compelling personal stories and amazing advice about overcoming obstacles and truly thriving from successful people like Katie Couric, Jennifer Aniston and Mark Cuban, in conversation with Arianna Huffington.

Check out this inspiring clip of Katie Couric on the Thrive podcast here:

We know the members of the Thrive Global community are huge podcast fans, so we asked them to share the podcasts that changed their lives this year.

The resulting list features podcasts that can help open you up to new ideas, inspire a life, health or career change, and unlock your full potential. Which ones will you add to your to-listen list next year?

Oprah’s Master Class: The Podcast was my favorite newcomer this year. The episodes all feature different celebrities who share their stories and provide lessons learned from both their careers and personal experiences.”

—Lindsey Myers, public relations, New York, NY

“I’ve enjoyed the Good Life Project Podcast and On Being with Krista Tippett. It’s easy to get caught up in the mundane things that keep our lives and business on track. These two wide-ranging podcasts take me away and feed my mind and soul with meaningful conversations, reminding me that there are bigger questions and ideas in life. Discussions go from esoteric and thought-provoking, like those of the late poet John O’Donohue, who talked about ‘The Inner Landscape of Beauty’ in On Being, to the inspiring, like Susie Daly’s story of how she started the Renegade Craft Fair.

—Karen Thurman, fine art gallery owner, England

“I would definitely say The Tim Ferriss Show. A friend recommended his podcast about two years ago, and I’ve been hooked ever since. I like that he is curious and switches topics/people, so every episode is uniquely different. He describes it as deconstructing world class performers — which he does down to the smallest subjects — like what someone eats for breakfast. Tim has an explorative mindset, which I relate to, and he isn’t afraid to try new things or ask questions. Sometimes I cherry-pick episodes, but I find that all are worth a listen. He has a way of connecting with his interviewees and brings the listener along for the ride. This is perfect for an introvert like myself. A notable, favorite episode of mine was the one with Arianna Huffington.”

—Kim Green, graphic designer, Denver, CO

“Dax Shepard’s podcast Armchair Expert has become a staple for me. His funny, self-deprecating comments remind me that self-actualized, thinking men still exist in our world. When interviewing celebrities, he makes a point to ask if success and fame has translated into happiness for them. Most of the time, the answer is a resounding ‘no way!’ And finally, he challenges his listeners by bringing on experts to debate the socio-political issues prevalent in our world today. It’s a definite ‘must-listen!’”

—Elena Zaretsky, screenwriter, Los Angeles, CA

“I get so much value from both SUCCESS Talks and The Brendon Show. Both podcasts are chock-full of fresh ideas, the latest books and concepts from thought leaders. They uplift, educate and entertain me while I’m driving to meetings and help me feel both wiser and more purposeful. They’re perfect for anyone wanting to further their professional development in bite-size, 20-minute segments.”

—Snowden McFall, president, author, stress expert, Jacksonville, FL


“The podcast that helped me thrive this year is The Smart Leaders Sell Podcast with Jessica Lorimer. I set up as a freelancer this year and her sales advice is just golden! She’s the best-kept secret in the industry, but she totally deserves more visibility.”

—Giorgia Martinucci, hospitality marketing consultant, Italy

“My favorite podcast is Entrepreneur’s Problem Solvers. It has really helped me to think of the problems that other entrepreneurs have faced, and to remember that obstacles are part of the process. I have had several setbacks this year, from manufacturing to injuring my back, but I keep going and it’s partially because of this podcast. Perseverance with a dash of ingenuity really goes a long way when the road takes twists and turns.”

—Annabel Mendez, founder, Miami, FL

“My favorite podcast of 2018 is Opt Out Life. As an entrepreneur, we’re always looking for ways to increase our revenue channels and many people always say that the average millionaire has seven sources of income. This podcast is exactly about that. Normal people that have made a great living based on lifestyle and multiple revenue streams. It’s the only podcast that consistently talks about real-life opportunities from real-life entrepreneurs who love to share their stories and tactics. Anyone curious how to maximize side hustle money needs to check out the Opt Out Life.”

—Drew Gurley, digital insurance marketing, St. Louis, MO

“I discovered NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour this year and it’s my favorite podcast right now. I spend a lot of time in the car commuting from Ohio to visit my family in Michigan. Instead of stressing about the drive or worrying about my long list of to do’s, I listen to this podcast. They provide reviews and commentary about movies, TV shows, books and music. It’s fun and lighthearted, and I enjoy their witty banter. It feels like I’m hanging out with my friends.”

—Rebecca, freelance writer/editor, Westlake, OH

“I’m convinced that one of the things that makes people great at what they do is opening their mind to other fields and topics that they aren’t used to exploring. Listening to NPR’s TED Radio Hour with Guy Raz helps me think differently about how to approach my work with clients, as well as my own life. This podcast helps me think beyond my field, connect what I do at the micro-level with the macro-level, and sharpen my creativity.”

—Lina Salazar, health educator and coach, Washington, D.C.

The Financial Grown Up Podcast with Bobbi Rebell: I liked how her guests, including several top business leaders, were open and honest in their financial dealings. Some made huge mistakes, and shared their painfully learned lessons, which I deeply appreciated. We all make mistakes, but not many openly share them so that people can learn from them. Others provided advice that I took to heart.

Death, Sex & Money with Anna Sale: these are three topics that most people studiously avoid. Anna makes what can be difficult, gloomy topics into insight and enjoyable listens. I particularly enjoyed her two segments on a couple who, after being married for three weeks, endured a life-changing accident: the husband became paralyzed from the waist down. Their honesty was touching, and underscored the vows that some take a bit too lightly — in sickness and in health. It shows what true devotion is and Sale was excellent in interviewing the couple. She was compassionate and kind.

You Must Remember This: it’s a podcast devoted to old Hollywood. I find it ceaselessly amazing that the struggles women faced in the early 1900s — like sexual harassment and unfair treatment — still resonate today.

So Money with Farnoosh Torabi: this show combines biography with financial tips, and I identify with her guests (many of them are senior-level women) who open up about how they have climbed the ladder, the struggles they endured, and how they reached their goals.

Trailblazers.FM with Stephen Hart: this is a podcast that focuses on the accomplishments of black professionals. It’s an uplifting and inspirational podcast that showcases people of color, which is especially necessary in these divisive times. It picks me up when I see other black professionals succeeding.

#SECURETHESEAT with Minda Harts: This podcast outlines what women of color need to do to secure their seat at table. The guests are women who freely share their stories and provide information that helps other women of color in business. Our needs are unique and their experience and advice recognizes that.

Secrets of Wealthy Women with Veronica Dagher: this podcast features women who happen to be wealthy sharing their ‘secrets’ on how they got to be this way. Being rich is nothing to hide, but this podcast does not obnoxiously flaunt wealth. It provides information that helps those who listen with a roadmap taken by women — many of whom were not born with a silver spoon, like me — to get to the top of the financial mountain.”

—Jennefer Witter, public relations/public speaker, New York City, NY

“I enjoy How I Built This with Guy Raz (NPR). This podcast features the most successful entrepreneurs today, including leaders from Airbnb, Drybar, Whole Foods, and Lululemon. Not only are they in-depth and insightful, but they also share their struggles and successes. The recurring theme is that they’re not overnight successes, and the key — besides a great concept — is tenacity. As a startup company founder myself, this podcast has inspired me and strengthened my belief that I’m on the right path, showed me what I should and shouldn’t do, and unlocked my potential. I recommend it to all business owners and anyone contemplating starting their own company.”

—Eve Dawes, founder, Las Vegas, NV

“Both my energy and client coaching are boosted every time I listen to The Mind Your Business Podcast. I especially enjoyed episodes 114 and 207, both of which I listened to this year. They are soulful game-changers, especially if you own and operate your own business!”

—Shea Ki, interview coaching, Ashburn, VA

“The podcast that I’ve been completely hooked on this year is MyDomaine’s Second Life, which features interviews with women who have successfully changed career paths. Hearing notable women share their journeys helped me to realize that I wasn’t alone in feeling stuck and gave me the motivation to quit a job that wasn’t a good fit for me. I’d recommend it to anyone who is questioning whether they’re in the right job or career and needs inspiration to figure out what’s next.”

—Kaitlin Bitting, health and wellness coach, Philadelphia, PA


“No other podcast this year has enlightened me the way that Pod Save America has. Their witty dialogue on the current state of politics cuts like a knife and their interviews shine a light on invisible issues, people and places. In addition to probing insights, the podcast inspires me to take action in my community and to get out and vote. I’ll always be a proud friend of the pod.”

—Roger Porter, writer, Los Angeles, CA

“I’ve found that podcasts are a great way to escape. My Favorite Murder is at the top of my list right now. It combines humor and history, peppered with real girl talk about everyday problems. There is nothing more satisfying than a good laugh and solving a mystery!”

—Penny Guyon, marketing, Los Angeles, CA

The School of Greatness podcast with Lewis Howes is by far my favorite podcast. He does an excellent job of picking unique guests who all have valuable, inspirational, and sometimes even humorous information to share. I would recommend it to anyone who may need some extra words of encouragement. Each time I listen, the takeaway is always, ‘keep going, you’ve got this.’”

—Heather Reinhardt, self-love aficionado, Los Angeles, CA  

“I had the gift of discovering the Unspoken Podcast this year. Within minutes, creators Ruthie Lindsey and Miles Adcox swept me up in a warm, life-affirming hug. With the help of their celebrity and highly-acclaimed friends, they explore the importance of saying things that typically go unsaid. Hearing activist and actress Sophia Bush reveal that she gets lonely despite her fame and 2M Instagram followers was barrier-breaking. I listen anytime I want to feel a sense of the connection that only comes from one human being vulnerable and truthful with another.”

—Jenna Hillier, life coach, New York, NY


“In 2018, I’ve discovered the Enduring Health  podcast from Dr. Shan Hussain, which has completely altered my perspective on health and wellness. The host and his guest provide refreshing and inspirational perspectives on the many factors that contribute to overall well-being. The episodes explore a variety of ideas about promoting and maintaining health in terms that are both relatable and easy to understand. Every episode has provided me with at least one practical tip that I have been able to implement in my own life. I wholeheartedly recommend it!”

—Toby Hazlewood, project manager, Manchester, England

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