Whether you’re seeking a fun pick-me-up to past the time or wanting a deeper dive into your personal and professional development, there’s definitely a podcast to provide that fix. The challenge? The medium has grown so much it can be overwhelming to filter and find what works best for you. To take some of the pressure off, and to also help you start your own unique playlist, I’ve listed eight pods I recommend (and a couple of bonuses, too) across the health/wellness, education and business categories. I’m sure they’ll quickly become go-to’s in consistent rotation for stress relief, self-care and inspiration.
The Art of Money – Financial Therapist, Bari Tessler’s book The Art of Money was chosen as a Phoenix Book Pick last year, and the podcast was mentioned because it doesn’t disappoint either. It’s an engaging and thought-provoking extension of the book (which is not required reading in order to understand the podcast). The Art of Money’s holistic approaches and practices for building and sustaining financial wellness and happiness provide a very refreshing take on helping you connect the dots with how you think about money. There’s no shaming or judging about money matters but a commitment to “ushering in a new wave of compassion, gentleness, and unshaming” to gain deeper understanding about your relationship to money (past and present). Some episodes feature special guests in financial therapy, management and planning.
Episode Suggestion: Money pioneer Saundra Davis opens up about race, the wealth gap, and what real change takes
Food Heaven – These powerhouse women in wellness, Wendy and Jess; both registered dietitian nutritionists and best friends, have been sharing healthy living tips, nutrition facts and recipes for a long time, so it was a given that as their platform grew it would eventually include a phenomenal podcast, one that’s compassionate and inclusive on so many levels. It’s health food education and wellness discussed in an encouraging and loving way. You’ll be able to relate no matter where you are on your journey. There’s no talk about restrictive diets and fast food fixes; Food Heaven’s topics include health at every size, food and culture, food justice, body acceptance, balanced eating on a budget, and intuitive eating.
Episode Suggestion: Our Tips for Navigating Stress Eating
Get Loved Up – When you’re in the mood to listen to something with a focus on mental, physical and spiritual health make Get Loved Up with Koya Webb a go-to. What makes this wellness-related podcast different from some others (in a good way) is it doesn’t jump on the what’s-trendy-in-the-field bandwagon to keep your attention; the content is authentic and original. The wide range of guests add to its authenticity. Koya’s positive energy puts her guests at ease so they are more open to sharing personal stories along with useful tips on subjects like overcoming fear, healing trauma, spiritual awareness, reproductive health and meditation.
Episode Suggestion: Pull Yourself Out of Your Pain and Be In Your Own Game with Tina Lifford
Good Ancestor – There are so many great things to say about this podcast. It’s a thought-provoking, intentional, and empowering breath of fresh air. Curated by Layla Saad, author, speaker and podcast host, Good Ancestor is all about heartfelt conversations with women changemakers and culture-shapers who are authors, coaches, healers, educators, midwives, therapists, etc. Conversation topics are diverse, and spiritually and socially conscious. The deep dialogue on everything from motherhood to race/culture to self-care is much needed for personal growth, healing and transformation. Layla begins each episode by asking her guests, “Who are some of the ancestors living or transitioned, familial or societal, who have influenced you on your journey?” She ends the episode by asking, “What does it mean to you to be a good ancestor?” These questions uncover how her guests will use their talents and purpose to, as Layla puts it, “create a legacy of healing and liberation for those who are here in this lifetime and for those who will come after I’m gone.”
Episode Suggestion: Good Ancestor Jennifer Arnise on Healing the Black Mother Wound
Meditation Minis – In a nutshell, this podcast takes the pressure off when it comes to meditation, especially if you’re a beginner and want more guidance. The mini meditations are guided by Chel Hamilton and are perfect for either jump starting your day or preparing to relax at night. Put it this way, if you’ve had a very long day at work and need to decompress, listen to a mini episode like Cozy Relaxing Sleep to put your mind at ease. Each meditation starts with focused and doable prompts that help you push through the what-if-I’m-not-doing-it-right feelings and support you in building confidence, relieving anxiety and stress, and also having a restful sleep. This is one the kids can enjoy, too. (FYI: Her voice is very soothing! Get ready to be very relaxed.)
Episode Suggestion: Calm + Be + Ease (No matter how anxious it all seems)
On Purpose with Jay Shetty – This is one that will consistently keep you interested and inspired; you’ll look forward to the episodes, especially the 30-45 minute tips and how-to’s. On Purpose is all about empowering personal growth and transformation so you can mindfully live in your unique purpose; and, if you haven’t quite figured out your purpose or it’s changing for whatever reason, Jay Shetty, provides on-point support and to-the-point advice and wisdom you didn’t even know you needed. It’s one ah-ha moment after another on relationships, motivation, self-care, etc. You’ll definitely walk away with newfound revelations and be invigorated to apply new tools to persevere.
Episode Suggestion: The Shocking Ways We Spend Our Time and 8 Ways to Invest It Better
Therapy for Black Girls – A Phoenix favorite for sure! Therapy for Black Girls is a weekly conversation with Dr. Joy Harden Bradford on mental health and personal development. It can be an extremely daunting task to find a therapist, and even more challenging when you want her to be a woman of color. Joy has made it easier by creating a platform that centers the voices and expertise of WOC in the field and ensures the community of listeners is affirmed, supported and heard when it comes to mental health issues and concerns. The podcast doesn’t replace therapy, of course, but it’s a helpful and accessible resource; plus, it inspires those who’ve never had professional help to take the leap. There’s even a therapist directory to help you find licensed mental health professionals in your neck of the woods!
Episode Suggestion: Shedding Your Superwoman Status
Unlocking Us – Three words: Dr. Brenѐ Brown. She’s giving it to you straight, no chaser as usual about what it means to be vulnerable. Right out the gate with the first episode she talks about the discomfort of trying new things (like her podcast) and how it’s important to embrace discomfort in order to grow. Brenѐ shares an unforgettable acronym, FFT, to break down why most people are afraid to try something new. (No spoiler on the acronym! Go listen.) The beauty of Unlocking Us is the presence of vulnerability while in heartfelt conversation with guests about various aspects of vulnerability, e.g. grief and finding meaning, permission to feel, loneliness and connection, and anxiety and over/under-functioning to name a few. Get your journal ready, because each episode is full of lessons you’ll be able to apply to your daily life.
Episode Suggestion: Alicia Keys and Brenѐ Brown on “More Myself”
Support is Sexy with Elayne Fluker – Professional women from around the world share the ups and downs of their entrepreneurial journeys. Episode Suggestion: Tiffany Dufu on Dropping the Ball and Dumping Your Good Girl Burden
Snap Judgment – Phenomenal real-life stories from everyday people; storytelling that makes you want to know more. Episode Suggestion: How Estee Got Her Zumba Back
(Are you already an avid podcast listener? If so, what are a few of your favorite? Share with us in the comments.)
Ayanna Jordan is founder of The Phoenix Rising Collective. She is a personal development coach creating and facilitating dynamic women-centered, self-care workshops with a focus on how putting self-love into action can transform your life. She also creates training programs and group coaching that empowers women’s professional growth in authentic leadership, entrepreneurship, and passion-filled work. Her interactive, holistic approach inspires action and creates a non-judgmental, safe and supportive space for women to truly explore and affirm who they are, what they want and how they want to do it.