As Black History Month comes to a close, we invite you to take a listen to these Meditative Story podcasts from Black thought leaders and public figures. Each storyteller will take you on a journey to a pivotal moment and place in their life. 

As you listen, mindfulness prompts and soothing sound design are seamlessly woven into the story. Meditative Story is about empowerment, giving you the ability to unplug, disconnect from the day-to-day stresses of the world, and be transported to another time and place. We hope you enjoy!

Larry Jackson (Season 1, Episode 4)

Despite his success at Apple Music and as a music producer, Jackson felt he didn’t really control his destiny. He’s sharing his story of how he learned to visualize what he wanted and achieve it.

Zenju Earthlyn Manuel (Season 1, Episode 14)

Writer, artist and Zen priest Zenju Earthlyn Manuel tells a story from her girlhood, a road trip from LA to Louisiana through the segregated South in 1957. From her parents and from the trip, Manuel now believes she’s learned how to find her way in the world, in her skin.

DeRay Mckesson (Season 1, Episode 25)

DeRay Mckesson believes in magic – the magic that is being human and being part of a community. He tells a story about running for class president, and turning his college campus into a community.

Jule Hall (Season 2, Episode 32)

Upon his release from prison after serving 17 locked-up years, Hall recounts the moment he first sets eyes on a smartphone. His novice observations about the technology we wrap our lives around reveal a truth that perhaps we can no longer see ourselves.

Thomas Chatterton Williams (Season 2, Episode 33)

American cultural critic Thomas Chatterton Williams loses agency over his life when he and his wife move to Paris. When words fail, it’s his six-year-old daughter who builds the bridge to her father and helps expand his own sense of self — in language, in life, and in love.

Pastor Otis Moss (Season 2, Episode 39)

As Senior Pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, Otis Moss carries the torch for generations of church and civil rights leaders. Pastor Moss shares a timely, deeply personal story about the American jazz narrative  — how a disparate and diverse people who are not supposed to make music together do — and do so beautifully.

Mickey Guyton (Season 2, Episode 45)

As a young girl raised on the gravel roads of central Texas, Mickey Guyton falls in love with country music — but as a Black woman in a traditionally white industry, her authenticity is constantly questioned. Mickey’s breakthrough comes when she leans in to what makes her unique — and finds her true voice

Ghuan Featherstone (Season 2, Episode 47)

Ghuan Featherstone is determined to go his own way, but growing up in a neighborhood rife with gang violence, the forces marshaled against him feel beyond his control. After visiting a little-known horse stable in South Central LA, Ghuan discovers a path to honor on the back of a horse.

Nadia Owusu (Season 3, Episode 51)

As the daughter of UN diplomat, Nadia Owusu grows up straddling several worlds and identities. But when Owusu returns to her father’s village in Ghana, she finds an unexpected and affirming answer to who she is.

Kaya Henderson (Season 3, Episode 52)

Kaya Henderson has spent a career reimagining urban education, but Henderson’s faith in her own potential is tested during her first semester at a top-tier school. When she falls well short of her own standards, Henderson’s exacting mother helps reframe her perspective on failure.

Franklin Leonard (Season 3, Episode 62)

Filmmaker Franklin Leonard encounters plenty of dramatic moments as he seeks to follow his creative dream. But those big moments aren’t what will change him into the person he truly wants to be; change happens not in an explosion or a sudden shift of scenery, but slowly, in moments of reflection.


  • Jordan Hutchinson

    Associate Editor of Content Development at Thrive

    Jordan Hutchinson is an Associate Editor at Thrive. She started at Thrive as a Content Fellow in 2021, and is now supporting the development of new content and curriculum across the company. She is also a recent graduate from George Washington University with backgrounds in English literature, creative writing, French language, and psychology.