7 Podcasts That Will Lift Your Spirits After a Long, Stressful Day

Press play and soak in the positivity.

Courtesy of mimagephotography / Shutterstock
Courtesy of mimagephotography / Shutterstock

Whether during your morning commute or at the end of a stressful day, sometimes there’s nothing better than tuning into a favorite podcast to help us unwind, reset, or simply make us laugh. We asked members of the Thrive community to share the podcasts that boost their happiness and they had some great recommendations.

“The Way I Heard It”

“Some podcasts are funny and some are funny-strange. There is the kind of funny that leads to deep belly laughs or unapologetic, loud bursts of laughter. Then there is the kind of funny that makes you think, ‘hmm, that’s interesting,’ or, ‘I did not see that coming.’ And that is the kind of funny I find in ‘The Way I Heard It by Mike Rowe.’ He has a knack for telling you a story that you thought you knew, but always with an exciting twist. And you learn that maybe you do not know history and pop culture after all.”

—Margaret Meoni, Ph.D., author, Long Beach, CA 

“The Daily Show”

“’The Daily Show With Trevor Noah.’ His fun banter on politics or other issues around the globe brings a smile to my face. His show is quite hilarious and still informative.”

—Atam Adi, lecturer, Nigeria 

“This American Life”

“‘This American Life.’ I always learn something interesting and, even when the show is ‘dark,’ humor is present. It makes me laugh out loud. The joy comes from recognizing myself or friends in the story. I smile especially when I randomly turn on the radio and hear Ira Glass.” 

—Sally Wilke, writer and pastor, Winterset, IA 

“The Moth”

“I love The Moth, a storytelling podcast. As humans we are all drawn to a good story, like a moth to a flame. Each week, stories are told in different places of the world and focus on these places. The stories bring laughter, tears, and a warm feeling of community and joy. I return to this show and share it with others weekly. One day, I vow to contribute to a moth live show.” 

—Tricia Wolanin, Psy.D., clinical psychologist, Mildenhall, U.K. 

“The Honest Designers Show”

“I love ‘The Honest Designers Show.’ It’s an unedited, honest (funny enough!) insight into the design industry. The hosts have an easy, familiar way about them and they talk about real topics and issues within the design industry that are always relevant, interesting and very funny. The podcast makes me feel like there are people out there who get what I do and what I go through as a sole trader, and make me feel just a little bit less alone. And that’s just fabulous!” 

—Laura Hurst, freelance graphic designer, Glasgow, Scotland, U.K.

“The Read”

“‘The Read’! Every Thursday, I look forward to hearing Crissle and Kid Fury chat about the latest news in black culture and social impact. They present the material in a digestible and relatable manner. I also enjoy the dose of trashy or funny topics they include to lighten the mood. Crissle are Kid Fury are like my best friends in my head!”

—Ashlee Simpson, publicist, Brooklyn, NY

“Crazy Good Turns”

“The podcast that always brings a smile to my face, an uplift to my heart, and often tears to my eyes is ‘Crazy Good Turns.’ It features inspiring stories about ordinary people who do amazing things to help others. Like Susan Trieschmann of Curt’s Café, which keeps kids out of jail. Or Travis Mills, a quadruple amputee, who helps veterans discover life after trauma. Or Riley Gantt, a 10-year-old who started a nonprofit to distribute school supplies to kids in need. I’ve listened to every episode and give the podcast five stars when it comes to boosting happiness — and making a difference.”

—Bev Bachel, freelance writer, Minneapolis, MN

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