My Favorite Podcasts

Mar 21

If you aren’t listening to podcasts, there’s never been a better time to start! Or as in my case – better time to find your new obsession. Yes, I said it – I’m addicted to podcasts to the point of near obsession! #hearteyes #somanyissues

I was aware of podcasts, but never listened because for a long time it meant you were tethered to a computer or something in order to hear one. I’m never in one place for long periods of time, as you can imagine, so that wasn’t gonna to happen. And there wasn’t anything necessarily pushing me or getting me excited about figuring out how to listen.


One day a random blog post arrived in my reader from the ever-addictive Young House Love’s John and Sherry. If you’re reading my blog, chances are you’re familiar with them so no need to make the introduction. As you know, for a long while they took a blog break, but one day surfaced to share they had been interviewed on a podcast, The Lively Show. If you’re a YHL reader, you too may have been curious and hopped over to listen. Everyone was disappointed to see them leave the blog – understanding but bummed. They’re still around, popping up occasionally with their witty, fun and always inspiring home improvement posts…but I couldn’t wait to hear what they’d been up to during their break. And what they had planned moving forward.

Anyway, the interview was great! While making dinner, I happily listened and was surprised how easy it was from my phone with my ear buds in. And crazy enough, I felt as if I was a part of the conversation. When you read a blog for as long as I read YHL, it was like hearing my friends being interviewed. It was a nice change to “hear” their voices…instead of “read” their voices. All told, that night I ended up subscribing to Jess’ podcast, The Lively Show, and enjoyed catching up on her feed the next several weeks.

Fast forward to now, a solid 6 months later, I have quite the list of podcasts going…and it grows weekly. I’ve learned from listening to podcasts. I’ve vegged out listening to podcasts. While working in someone’s home, cleaning my home, making dinner, grocery shopping, driving…I can put in my earbuds and learn something new about myself or “unplug” and be brought to tears of laughter listening to my favorite comedian. The more I listen, the more I’m introduced to a new podcaster that teaches and inspires. Podcasts excite and reignite my passions in life, motherhood, blogging, or in myself. It’s true – can’t believe how much I’ve learned about myself by listening. I’ve discovered new people that are paving the way in the blog world too or am made aware of new books for my list of what to read next.

Told you, obsessed over here!

Real quick, if you aren’t familiar with how easy it is to listen to podcasts, thanks to the iOS update a few years ago (I think it was the 4 update), this app is now a native function on your iPhone. The app makes listening to podcasts not only easy but positively addicting…


For years, this app sat pages and pages back in my iPhone. Now? This gem has moved on up to my front page. And is opened daily…especially the days when a favorite podcast is due for a new show. I’ll check many times a day, refreshing and hoping their show is available. #crazymuch Podcast One is also a good app for finding interesting podcasts. They have an app of their own.

The reason I wanted to share my favorites isn’t only because I’m hoping to inspire you to give podcasts a shot…but also to find out what you may be listening to. Generally, you’ll find out about podcasts via word of mouth. The percentage of folks listening to podcasts is small. It takes someone actually hearing to one and sharing it in order for me to learn about it. For example, while listening to Jess’ podcast, I decided to search using the keyword function to scan for fun new shows. Of course, my first keyword attempt was “organization”. Ha! Just a few popped up in that category, many being outdated or no longer posting new shows. (I’m on it, guys!) I also typed in other keywords of interest but the scroll of pods didn’t grab my interest. Finding a new podcast typically involves hearing about it from someone else. Even better yet, though, I’ve discovered my new favorites come to me while listening to podcasters I love. In general, a podcaster will mention they heard something here or there or they will interview someone that has a podcast of their own. It’s been interesting to dive in and there are thousands of podcasts available…in every niche possible. I think I’ve landed in this particular galaxy of podcasts, if you will, but there are likely many others that are intertwined…if that makes any sense. ??

To be honest, my subscribed list is getting a little out of hand. I couldn’t possibly listen to everything, but for the sake of not losing them or forgetting they’re here and amazing, I stay subscribed.

Ok, ok – enough chatter…here’s my list of current faves!

Truth & Iliza

Yes, I’m sorry – first pod out of the gate is from my favorite comedian. She had to come first. If you love laughing and enjoy comedy – especially about relatable topics (pet peeves) – you’ll love her! When I mentioned the need to constantly refresh for newly loaded shows, this would be one of them. Each episode is a precious gem of laughter for me – so much so that I have a hard time directing you to which episode to start. So maybe begin at #1 with Joe Rogan and work your way down the list? Jay Mohr was an extra funny show. And one of my favorites, where I think Iliza’s personality shines, is her interview with best friend, Jodi Miller. I’ve been working in someone’s closet or walking down the street and burst out laughing. Surely people think I’ve lost my mind.

Happier with Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen Rubin is the author of several books, but you may recognize her name from her best seller The Happiness Project. On her podcast, she and her sister team up to chat about good habits and happiness. I learn something new each espisode. One of my favorites is episode #41 where they chat a bit on the topic of impulse buying. She’s also been interviewed on several of the podcasts I’m sharing below. So if you love her, be sure to poke around to find those because she shares great new ideas and tips in those interviews as well.

Sorta Awesome

I discovered Gretchen after listening to Megan’s podcast, Sorta Awesome. And discovered Megan by listening to another. Told you, that’s the way it works! Anyway, Sorta Awesome is an upbeat, light-hearted show with fun topics and hosts. Megan was a blogger for 8 years and closed her blog last year to focus solely on the podcast. She’s a Myers-Briggs expert of sorts. With my background in counseling and the line of work I’m in, this is right up my alley.

For those unfamiliar, although I’m sure at some point in your life you took the test (take it again if you can!), the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a self-report questionnaire designed to indicate your preferences in how you perceive the World and make decisions. I’ve enjoyed hearing her talk about various topics while also keeping in mind someone’s preferences. I think the World would be a gentler place if we all came to understand how everyone leaned. You know?

Many of the podcasters shared on my list have or have had a blog. Podcasting seems to be a natural fit in this community and feel like it’s opening my eyes to bloggers I wasn’t familiar with…but yet I can now listen to them which is awesome! Or….sorta awesome. Ha! I love when Laura Tremaine’s on the show – she’s a funny gal. One of my favorites, and how I ended up venturing over to the search function to locate Megan, was because I heard about the episode on anxiety. I live with anxiety and was excited to listen. It’s episode 26 and found it to be honest, real and compassionate. It helped to know I wasn’t alone in my struggles. This morning in fact I listened to her show on podcasting in general…very informative and down to earth.

The Portfolio Life with Jeff Goins

This one got addictive pretty fast. In Jeff’s podcast he shares his thoughts and ideas that will help you pursue work that matters. This is for those who want to make a difference in their work. Hello, that’s me! I’ve only just started listening and have jumped all over the place, not listening to each show in order. But one of my recent favorites is his interview with Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom. I read her blog years ago so it was a nice surprise to see her on the episode line-up. The episode about giving a speech piqued my interest too as I’m giving one in April…speeches never seem to get easier for me so I love hearing new tips. I’m looking forward to hearing more from Jeff!

Heather Dubrow’s World

I know, I know! You’re probably stunned to see this one…but I was equally surprised to find my love of her and her podcast. Yes, she’s a Bravo housewife – but if you can set that aside, you’ll admit she’s probably the most sane in the franchise. And she has some great tips, ideas, beauty suggestions and interviews! I’ve enjoyed listening for a couple weeks – she’s new to podcasting so the episodes are limited for now, but still worth the time. One of my favorites was her most recent interview with Holly Robinson Peete. Holly’s son has autism, like my middle guy, and it’s important for me to connect with fellow moms on the topic…even if it’s a one-sided “me listening in on the conversation” thing. It was a great interview and learned more about the 2 books she’s written as well.

The Simple Show

Here’s one I’m sure you would see coming on a “Sam list”…the simple show. Of course this is something I can align with. Simplicity! Here I’ve been blogging about simple organization for 4 years and had never heard of Tsh’s blog, The Art of Simple. Her podcast is focused on conversations about passions, projects and living simply. This is a brand new pod on my list and am already loving everything about it! She had a great short 10 minute-ish podcast about social media and found myself literally responding to her. Here I am driving to a client consult saying, “yes!” and answering her questions. When my car stopped in front of my client’s house, I listened to it again and took notes. These podcasters are inspiring – I didn’t want to miss one point she made so I could share it with some of my friends and YOU. Later this week I’m writing about social media and this podcast couldn’t come into my ears at a better time.

Beyond The To-Do List

If that pod title doesn’t get you, don’t know what else will. We strive to live beyond the every day lists of things to do, right? On this show, Erik Fisher talks to people behind the productivity….about the aspects of productivity, getting good work done, and living a good life. He interviews real people who share their experiences – both good and bad – about implementing strategies in their professional and personal lives. I love hearing real life struggles and how people overcame those struggles. One of my favorite episodes is on the topic of busyness. You know that whole FOMO thing, trying to keep up with the Jones’ on social media, living in the “busy” mode all the live long day. It’s about breaking busy and directed at those who are running in different directions. Sound like someone you know? It’s the episode with Alli Worthington and it’s one you shouldn’t miss.

The Accidental Creative

The Accidental Creative shares how to build practical, everyday practices that help you stay prolific, brilliant and healthy in life and work. Host Todd Henry (author of the books The Accidental Creative, Die Empty, and Louder Than Words) interviews artists, authors and business leaders, and offers tips for how to thrive in life and work. This is a new pod for me and have only listened to a couple episodes but I’ll admit the first one to catch my attention was learning how to hug your haters. I work in the public eye – on social media and with the public in my work – and this means I’m subjected to criticism. I’m ultra sensitive so putting myself and my work out there on the blog and social media doesn’t exactly mesh well. Not everyone is going to love what I do or say … and they make sure I hear it. Thankfully, negative comments and messages have been limited…but still, it’s hard to hear the haters. Especially when their negative message come across in ways other than someone telling me. Sometimes it’s someone I know pretty well unfollowing me or simply not replying to a message I’ve sent. I so needed this episode!

How They Blog

This great podcast, which has been on hiatus for a while, takes you behind the scenes with amazing bloggers. The topics discussed share how to maximize your online impact. Blog topics range from knowing your audience to attending conferences to making money to virtual assistants….it’s all great and useful! Especially for those that blog, because we can stand to learn something new from our fellow blogging community.

48 Days To The Work You Love

Dan Miller is the nation’s leading authority on work, career and business start-up. He specializes in creative thinking for increased personal and business success. He believes that meaningful work blends our natural skills and abilities, our unique personality traits and our dreams and passions. Dan is active in helping individuals redirect careers, evaluate new income sources, and achieve balanced living. Balanced living, friends! This is a new pod for me so I’m slowly making my way through his great archives.

Not all of the podcasts mentioned may be of interest, but if one caught your eye and you’re looking for more within that niche here’s a tip! While viewing or listening in iTunes, scroll to the bottom of the page for recommendations based on that podcast. For example, if you were interested in Gretchen Rubin’s podcast, Happier…

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Scroll down to the bottom, past reviews, to find recommendations…

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Are you already a podcast listener? If so, please share your favorites! Not that I need more to subscribe to. Heh. I’m sure some of you are already listening to serial…I haven’t not started listening to that one. And although I know how many rave about it, not sure that’s something I could get into. But would love to hear your feedback!

(Cover image courtesy of Ashley Ella Design)

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  1. I have just discovered podcasts. I agree with you, they are great. Normally I listen when out walking, but now listen when cooking and cleaning. It is really great. I mostly listen to anything to do with books, writing and organising yourself and your ‘business’. I will try out some of your suggestions. I am also a blogger!

    • Samantha says:

      Hi Lisbeth!

      Aren’t they great?! Makes me want to start one because they are fun yet full of great info. Thanks for letting me know you’re a blogger too…I’m going to hop over to your site next!


  2. Rachel says:

    This was a great post! I’ve never listened to podcasts before, and now I’ve added some that you have recommended to my list. This will be great to play in the car during my commute and when cleaning the house. Thanks!

    • Samantha says:

      Hi Rachel!

      Thank you, so glad you liked my post and that you’ve added some to your list. Be careful…as I said…they’re addicting. In the very best way! Podcasts are so great while driving / cleaning. Be sure to let me know what you think!


  3. April says:

    I follow or have followed a few of the ones you mentioned. Your list is definitely more work-related than mine is. I mostly follow parenting/Christian living/mothering type podcasts but I have several that I love. I also follow a few camping/vacationing podcasts that are really great. Here is my list in no certain order. I will check out some of the ones you mentioned.

    God Centered Mom (she has very inspiration guests)
    Inspired to Action (more inspiration guests)
    The Big Boo Cast (hilarious friends in different Southern states that talk football, beauty and Amy Grant)
    The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey (lots of goodness, definitely check out her interviews with Jen Hatmaker)
    RV Family Travel Atlas
    Girl Camper
    Campground of the Week
    Focus on the Family daily broadcast
    Mom Struggling Well
    One Extraordinary Marriage
    What Really Matters
    Around The Table podcast

    • Samantha says:

      Hi April!

      OMG, this is a fabulous list! I’m too curious to not check them all out. See….vacationing! I never would have thought to venture over to that niche to listen in, but it’s a fabulous idea!

      Thank you so much for sharing these with me…can’t wait!


  4. Pat says:

    I’ve just started listening to podcasts. I started out with Marriage is Funny, and now I listen to Gretchen Rubin’s podcast as well as The Minimalists.

    • Samantha says:

      Hi Pat!

      I’ve listened to The Minimalists on occasion too – they are so great! Looking forward to their documentary coming out soon!


  5. Ginger says:

    LOVE this post! I’m so glad you’ve discovered the joy of podcasts! I love so many but I’ll just mention my top favorites… Stuff You Should Know, The Popcast with Knox and Jamie, Big Boo Cast, The Minimalists, Criminal, Death Sex and Money, The Great Debates, The Healthy Moms Podcast, Invisibilia (on hiatus), Serial (listen to all of last years) and Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin. I cannot wait to try all the ones you’ve listed today! Happy Listening! 🙂

    • Samantha says:

      Hi Ginger!

      WOW, what a list…and I have to admit I’ve heard of several you mentioned but haven’t added them yet b/c I have a feeling I’ll be a total junkie. I’d go underground – haha! I’m so glad you shared the list here though b/c I’ll be coming back to reference when I need to add another to my list.

      Love love podcasts! Do they make a shirt that says that?! ha!


    • Jami says:

      These are so many on the ones I like, too! I’d add Lore–scary history bites and TedRadio–excerpts & thoughts about TEDtalks. There are sooooo many out there! I love to listen while I walk in the summer!

      • Samantha says:

        Hi Jami!

        Thank you so much for the comment – and I’m def going to take a look at the ones you mentioned b/c I’ve heard about them too. There really are so many pods available…it’s endless!


  6. Megan says:

    This is a great list and luckily I already listen to some of them. I easily fall down the slippery slope when it comes to blogs and podcasts. I can never remember who recommended which one or how I get to the ones I do. I wish I had more time to listen to them. Thanks for adding a couple new ones to my list!

    • Samantha says:

      Hi Megan,

      Isn’t that funny…sometimes I don’t remember how I ended up on a given podcast too. It totally is a slippery slope. I wish I had more time to listen as well…just too much great info out there!


  7. Erin says:

    I think you’d love the being boss podcast:)

  8. Jenn says:

    I love finding new podcasts, thanks for the recommendations! Here are my favorites: This American Life, Slumber Party With Alie and Georgia, Mystery Show, offcamera, The Big Boo Cast, The Popcast With Jamie and Knox, The Nerdist.

  9. I’ve been a podcast listener for a long time and I love them. They are so good when I’m gardening or working on project. I tend to listen to a lot of NPR podcasts. My favorites are Ask me Another, Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, How to Do Everything and All Songs Considered. I also like the Ted Talks podcast although I pick and choose on those rather than listening to every episode. Great suggestions on your list. I’ll check them out!

    • Samantha says:

      Hi Erin!

      I’ve heard so many suggestions to listen to the Ted Talks and NPR anything (I guess they have a few offerings). Thank you so much for the other suggestions! Am really enjoying checking them all out.


  10. Shannon says:

    Thank you for this post! I’ve recently added long walks/hikes back into my workout after a foot injury. I’ve been bored with trying to find the right music and thought about podcasts but didn’t know how to get started. This is perfect timing and a great list to get started! After looking at a couple I can see how you could easily get sucked in! And cleaning would be so much easier with something great to listen to!

    • Samantha says:

      Hi Shannon!

      Yes, cleaning and doing chores around my home (or while working in someone else’s home) has been made much more fun while listening to podcasts! I am a music junkie too, but sometimes it gets old and I’d like to listen to something stimulating in another way – this has been my answer!

      Let me know what you think and I have a feeling you’re doing to love listening on your walks / hikes!


  11. Kris M. says:

    Love Jess Lively too! Thank you for a fabulous post!! Do you know how to delete a podcast off your list if you don’t want that person anymore?

    • Samantha says:

      You’re so funny! So glad you figured out how to edit. Jess’ podcast is great!…and I’m so glad you liked me post – thank you!


  12. Kris M. says:

    OMG…I’m so stupid.. Hello the edit button..just looked!

  13. Sara says:

    Oh my gosh! I love your list, mostly because I have only heard of two 🙂 Love finding new podcasts to listen to. I listen to a lot!! My day job allows us to listen, so I get HOURS of listening time per day. I’ve done two blog posts listing out my favorites, but a few of my absolute favorites are:

    *The Fizzle Show
    *Storywonk – they have multiple series! I’ve listened to one, listening to another and will be starting a third soon!
    *TED RadioHour

    I have a ton more that I listen to, but if I had to narrow down the list, those would be it!

    • Samantha says:

      Hi Sara!

      Wow – you’re so lucky! I’m grateful to have a job that allows me that same luxury! 🙂 haha! And thank you for the recommendations – will check them out. I’m heard of TED, but not the other 3. Thank you!


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