28 Best Motivational Podcasts 2021

No matter what you’re going through in life, there’s bound to be a podcast for it. Whether you’re navigating a big career transition, trying to live a healthier lifestyle, quitting alcohol, taking a new step in your relationship, or simply looking for some spiritual inspiration, there’s a podcast out there to keep you motivated. And if you think that motivational podcasts are all a bunch of bro-y guys with big egos talking about how successful they are, think again. Some of these podcasts feature people talking about difficult things, like job loss, grief, and mental health challenges, and how they’re getting through them. Others tackle topics like career ambitions and success and the steps you can take to get there. But if this sounds like *a lot*, don’t worry—many of these podcasts are actually funny, too. Even if you just need a lil motivation boost to do simple things like organize your house or go for a jog, there are podcasts specifically for that, too.

These motivational podcasts can help you think about your goals in an approachable way. I mean, no one said you had to actually change everything all at once! You can start small, with little changes to your personal habits that ultimately make a difference in your mental health, career, finances, love life, or whatever else. There are a ton of motivational podcasts out there, so I’ve gone ahead and rounded up 28 of the most inspiring podcasts to get you started on your goals (hello, New Years’ resolutions!).


Too Smart for This with Alexis Barber

In Too Smart for This, Alexis Barber tackles everything from self-empowerment to influencer culture, personal finance, navigating the corporate world as a Black woman, and so much more. She interviews influencers, business owners, and creators about how they’ve overcome various challenges and built a life they’re proud of. Listening to this one is like having an inspiring chat with your coolest, most ambitious friend.



TED Talks Daily

So, unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably seen at least a few TED Talks in your time. The TED Talks Daily podcast is basically the same thing but in podcast form. Important questions about the world, our communities, and ourselves are explored by some of the smartest writers, scientists, artists, and thinkers. It’ll motivate you to start working on your passion projects, whatever they may be.



Happier with Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen Rubin is the author of The Happiness Project, and in this podcast, she shares some of her practical advice about happiness and how to maintain good habits that can help anyone feel happier.



Unlocking Us with Brené Brown

Researcher and author Brené Brown dives into what it means to be human and to form connections. She has conversations with activists, writers, psychologists, artists, celebrities, and other people doing interesting things with their lives and careers. She also answers questions from listeners and shares some of her own research. It’ll definitely motivate you to seek out deeper connections in your own life.



Redefining Ambition

Each episode of Redefining Ambition highlights a female leader and dives into both her career path and her personal journey. They talk about everything from the things that inspire them to the sacrifices they’ve made to get ahead in their career to what their future plans are. It’s the perfect listen for someone looking to amp up or redefine their career goals.



How to Fail with Elizabeth Day

Many motivational podcasts feature interviews where successful people are talking about their success. And that’s great, but there’s also value in hearing successful people talk about their failures. Each week on How to Fail, Elizabeth Day interviews guests like Gloria Steinem, Glennon Doyle, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and other interesting people about what their failures taught them. It’s a good reminder to stay motivated even when you get knocked down.



Good Life Project

This podcast explores what it means to lead a “good life” in terms of relationships, work, love, purpose, meaning, and more. It also examines how things like race, privilege, and class impact our ideas about what it looks like to have a good life. Listening to this will give you the motivation to think about what a “good life” looks like to you and how you can start building it.



Side Hustle Pro with Nicaila Matthews Okome

If you’ve got a passion project and need that extra push to turn it into a profitable, maybe even full-time business, look no further. Side Hustle Pro highlights Black women entrepreneurs who have scaled their businesses from side hustles into profitable businesses. You’ll pick up valuable advice, and maybe even get motivated to take the plunge yourself.



Food Psych

While there are many health and fitness podcasts out there, this one stands out for its unconventional approach. Host Christy Harrison focuses on body liberation, intuitive eating, fat acceptance, and recovery from disordered eating, among other topics. Rather than play into diet culture, she and her guests (including activists, writers, psychologists, and others) call it out, and it’s super interesting. It’ll motivate you to actually think about what it means to be healthy and how you can engage in truly healthy behaviors, not restriction.



More Money

If you feel overwhelmed by the topic of personal finance, you’re definitely not alone, and you should listen to this podcast. Host Jessica Moorhouse talks to experts, celebrities, and entrepreneurs about personal finance topics in an approachable way. The show covers everything from investing to credit cards to saving for your wedding and more.



The Glow Up Podcast

The Glow Up Podcast, hosted by Casey Carter and Naomi Raven, dives into entrepreneurship, art, relationships, and what it means to be successful. You’ll definitely feel inspired to glow up after listening to this.



Switch, Pivot, or Quit

If you’re at a career crossroads and wondering what to do next, this podcast is for you. Ahyiana Angel shares stories of women who have navigated career transitions and discusses practical tips for helping you make decisions about your own career path.



Ali on the Run

Each week, host Ali Feller talks with inspiring people like professional runners, doctors, fitness instructors, and entrepreneurs. While many of the conversations revolve around running, Ali and her guests also talk about overcoming challenges, navigating relationships, and life in general. If you need motivation to get yourself out there for a run or even a walk (it’s hard sometimes!), give this podcast a listen.



The One You Feed

If you’ve been feeling like you’re in a funk and you need something to get you back on track, this podcast might be helpful. It focuses on big life topics like anxiety, depression, addiction, recovery and more. Host Eric Zimmer and his guests focus on how people can overcome some of life’s challenges and create good habits using mindfulness practices.



Stuff Mom Never Told You

This podcast is sure to inspire your inner activist. It’s all about what it means to be a woman and feminist in today’s world, and episodes cover everything from domestic labor to colorism to the impact social media has on teenage girls.



How’s Work? with Esther Perel

I would actually trust psychotherapist/New York Times bestselling author Esther Perel with my life. If you’ve already binged Where Should We Begin?, then let me introduce you to How’s Work?, a podcast where Perel examines workplace relationships through therapy sessions with colleagues. These conversations can help inspire you to improve your workplace communication skills and advocate for yourself when it comes to your career.



The Michelle Obama Podcast

This podcast is all about relationships. Former First Lady Michelle Obama has conversations with friends, family members, experts, and celebrities about their careers, marriages, children and more. She shared on Instagram, “I hope that our conversations—whether about being married, being a parent, being a citizen, or just being—inspired you to reach out to the people in your life and share how you feel.”



How I Built This with Guy Raz

Get ready for a big dose of career inspiration. Host Guy Raz talks to creators about how they built their companies or movements from the idea stage into something real. Some of the people he’s interviewed over the years include Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe, Ben & Jerry cofounders Ben Cohen And Jerry Greenfield, and Spanx founder Sarah Blakely.



Black Girl in Om

Hosts Lauren Ash and Deun Ivory bring together words of affirmation, guided meditations, and interviews with wellness experts and activists in this podcast created by and for Black women. Listening to it will make you feel renewed and inspired to really focus on yourself.



Beyond the To-Do List

If you feel generally overwhelmed by life (I’m right there with ya), this is worth a listen. Host Erik Fisher talks to productivity experts about tips and tricks for managing your personal and professional life. But more importantly, this podcast also explores the real goals of productivity and whether being “productive” is helping you live a meaningful life.



Terrible, Thanks for Asking

Host Nora McInerny asks real people to share their stories and how they’re *really* feeling. The result is this interesting, compelling podcast where people share personal stories about grief, loss, accidents, illness, and more. It doesn’t sound motivational on the surface, but hearing other people talk about how they got through (or are still getting through) the biggest challenges of their lifetime might make you feel like you can tackle yours, too.



Recovery Rocks

If you’re trying to quit drinking or even just cut back, check out this podcast for a little extra motivation. Hosts Tawny Lara and Lisa Smith talk about everything from sober sex to finding friends to support you in your alcohol-free lifestyle.



Goal Digger

If you’re trying to level up in your professional life, this podcast can provide some extra inspiration. Host Jenna Kutcher explores topics like building your dream job, marketing your own small business, growing your social media following, and more. Each episode offers actionable steps, which is so useful if you’re looking to make big moves anytime soon.



The Science of Success

This podcast looks at the psychology behind success: how to form good habits, why we make the decisions we do, how we react to challenges, and other similar questions. Host Matt Bodnar interviews psychologists, writers, professors, and other experts about what factors contribute to a person being successful.



A Slob Comes Clean

Need a little extra motivation to tackle that messy closet or finally give your baseboards a good scrub? A Slob Comes Clean is here for you. Host Dana K. White shares organizing, decluttering, and cleaning tips that real people can actually use, so you can finally get your home feeling clean and peaceful.



The Habit Coach with Ashdin Doctor

The Habit Coach offers practical advice on how to create good habits when it comes to sleep, productivity, relationships, relaxing and more. Best of all, most episodes are less than 10 minutes long, so it’s perfect if you’re short on time.



Hurdle with Emily Abbate

This wellness-focused podcast is all about people, from CEOs to elite athletes, who have overcome challenges in their lives and gone on to do incredible things. Many of the episodes focus on running, but you definitely don’t have to be a runner to get some inspo from this podcast.



The Endless Honeymoon Podcast

Comedians Natasha Leggero and Moshe Kasher get real in this relationship podcast, where they offer advice on love and dating while also analyzing their own relationship. It’ll give you the motivation to look at your relationships differently, AND it’ll make you laugh. What more could you ask for?



Super Soul with Oprah

And because no motivational list is complete without Oprah, her Super Soul podcast is a must-listen for inspiration and enlightenment. Featuring conversations both new and old with everyone from Deepak Chopra to Beyonce, Super Soul takes a deeper dive into living more meaningful lives and awakening your soul.


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