Block out the noise and tune into one of these podcasts to boost your productivity and even motivate you to pursue your goals – big or small.
There’s something about the start of a new season that makes us feel like we should be busying ourselves with doing more, seeing more and generally being better people. Perhaps it’s a subconscious attempt to do banish any lurking feeling of guilt, having spent the former months doing little more than sitting around ordering in and dissecting other peoples vacations, wedding photos and the like from behind our screens.
You might be ready to embark on that stack of books you picked up in various airports but never actually brought down to the poolside; you might be attempting to re-engage with an old hobby; or you might just feel the need to put your brain back in gear after devoting evening after evening to that Netflix series. If it’s the latter that’s the case, let these podcasts ease you back into mode: self-improvement. Promising everything from business advice courtesy of the people who’ve been there, to digested self-help books and current affairs to inspiring stories of self-made women, it’s enough to make you feel productive and informed by the power of osmosis (or so we like to tell ourselves!).
Scroll for 9 podcasts that will instantly make you feel more productive:
The Guilty Feminist
This weekly series fronted by Aussie comedian/conference speaker/improv expert Deborah Frances-White is a must-listen for anyone who has uttered the immortal words “I’m a feminist, but…”, which is also the opening line of the podcast. Recorded in front of a live audience, it’s a refreshingly honest take on the complexities, contradictions and insecurities that make up modern womanhood. First Deborah and her guest will delve into an issue that “all 21st-century feminists agree on,” before moving on to all the things that might hypothetically make them “bad” at feminism.
Whether you’re already working in the creative industries or fancy making a career out of your Instagram side hustle, this podcast telling the stories behind the social media account is a must-listen. Aside from being a true multi-hyphenate, photographer, writer and creative coach Sara Tasker is a warm, engaging host with a knack for coaxing fascinating anecdotes and insights from her interviewees.
Call Your Girlfriend
Each week, long-distance best friends Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman call each other up to dissect what’s happening in the worlds of pop culture and politics and share the odd in-joke. The resulting conversation recorded over Skype spans the high and the low brow: you’re essentially eavesdropping on a catch up between two old pals, while also getting a weekly news digest.
Author, speaker and director Janet Mock (who’s most recently stepped behind the camera for the groundbreaking FX series Pose) hosts this 11-part series of intimate and in-depth conversations with some of the boldest figures in the public eye, from celebrity matriarchs Kris Jenner and Tina Knowles-Lawson to Congresswoman Maxine Waters and Moonlight writer Tarell Alvin McCraney.
Grazia Life Advice
Dropping every Tuesday, Grazia‘s weekly Life Advice podcast probes some of the smartest women of today, so we can hear the intimate – and often hilarious – stories and experiences that have got them where they are today. Previous guests include supermodel Natalia Vodianova, broadcasting legends Fi Glover and Jane Garvey and Queer Eye‘s Fab Five.
Formerly known as The Double X, the podcast from US site Slate is a weekly conversation about news and culture, explored through a feminist filter. Expect in-depth, incisive discussion of everything and anything from Netflix’s internet-breaking teen film To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before to the fallout from Omarosa’s tell-all book to Big Dick Energy.
By The Book
Before diving into the sea of self-help books claiming to know the secret of being a better, more rounded person, consult with By The Book. Described by its presenters Jolenta Greenberg and Kristen Meinzer as half reality show, half self-help podcast, each episode sees the pair attempt to live by the rules of one self-help bible, in a bid to figure out whether those precepts are actually worth your time.
How To Fail With Elizabeth Day
Writer Elizabeth Day is convinced that, counter-intuitive as it might initially seem, embracing our failures can actually lead to our biggest successes – and after listening to her podcast, you’ll be inclined to agree. The first season of How To Fail saw the writer grill the likes of Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge, journalist Dolly Alderton and activist Gina Miller about the things that didn’t go right for them. It’s by turns funny and insightful, with a second round hopefully coming soon.
How I Built This
We’ve all heard the apocryphal tales of businesses that started in sheds and ended up the toast of Silicon Valley, but what actually happens in that gap in between? How I Built This presenter Guy Raz asks entrepreneurs to share the stories behind some of the world’s best-known companies, from the woman behind US beauty disruptor Drybar to the origins of Wikipedia. As you’d expect, it’s inspiring stuff – plus it’ll surely see you well equipped for your next pub quiz.
Words: Katie Rosseinsky
Photos: Getty Images, Supplied
This article originally appeared on Grazia.