Whether you’re looking for an entertaining conversation to listen to at the gym or a talk that stimulates your brain on your commute, podcasts can help you learn something new, immerse yourself in a story, or simply have a good laugh. 

With so many podcasts out there, we were curious to hear which ones our Thrive community loved this year. Which of their recommendations will you start listening to in 2020?

How I Built This

“So often, we label companies as overnight successes, but there’s always so much that goes into the creation. That’s why I love this podcast. Hearing which challenges entrepreneurs face is so refreshing, and hearing how they’ve overcome them is incredibly inspiring.”

—Rachel Finger, founder and co-president of Gryph & IvyRose, Miami Beach, FL

Idea Cast

“I really like ‘Idea Cast’ from the Harvard Business Review. It gives you new ideas for your business, and advice on how to be a forward thinker. I feel like it gives you a way to go back to school to learn in a quick episode.”

—Molly Sims, actress and model, Beverly Hills, CA

Armchair Expert

“I love this podcast because it humanizes a lot of Hollywood actors, directors, and producers in a way you rarely see. It’s a fun listen, and the host is very engaging — which is everything I want to be in my career as I grow as a host and thought leader.”

—Dale Moss, NFL player and Special Olympics global ambassador, New York, NY

The Secret History of the Future

“This podcast has made me realize that any problems our society is encountering now have already been solved in the past. History repeats itself, and we should take advantage of the answers that have already been given to us.” 

—Cassey Ho, health and fitness influencer and entrepreneur, Los Angeles, CA

This Land

“I’ve absolutely loved listening to ‘This Land’ by Crooked Media. It’s inspired me to know more about the untold history of the United States!”

—Jessamyn Stanley, yoga instructor, body positivity advocate, and writer, Durham, NC

Living the Dream

“My friend Rory O’Malley started this podcast, and it’s my favorite. He interviews friends and coworkers, talks about show business, and discusses what it takes to stay sane and on top of your game. It’s a really fun listen, and you walk away with some cool life gems.”

—Carly Pearce, singer, Nashville, TN

Philosophize This!

“This is one of my favorite podcasts because it’s educational, and has encouraged me to deepen my understanding of the world in which we live.”

—Madeleine Arthur, actress 

The Ed Mylett Show

“He is the real deal. He gives tangible and tactical strategies to overcome situational, habitual, mental, and emotional roadblocks, laying a personal foundation for a better quality of life. In the past year, I have used so many of his tips and tactics to improve my own life!”

—Chris Powell, personal trainer, Mesa, AZ

WEST Podcast

“The WEST – Women Empowered Stronger Together — Podcast has been my favorite of 2019. Kiersten McIntire digs deep into conversations that are geared towards healing some of our society’s toughest issues. After listening to a new episode, I always feel uplifted, inspired, and hopeful that we can create impactful change in our world.”

—Heather Reinhardt, author, Los Angeles, CA  

The Daily

“I love The Daily from the New York Times. Each segment is less than 25 minutes and brings you up to date on current news in the most interesting storytelling. It is hosted by Michael Barbaro, and the guests tell interesting and creative stories about our world.”

—Andrea Lambert, life coach, San Diego, CA

Myliek Teele‘s Podcast”

“This podcast helped me change my career with four words: Create your own opportunity. Myliek Teele, the creator and host, provides the tools to help other women become the best version of themselves. Her advice has helped me secure a position with a great company in my dream career field. Her podcast is great for anyone looking to take their career and their overall mindset to the next level.”

—Tawanda Carlton, account executive, Atlanta, GA

Meditative Story”

“I really love that the Meditative Story podcast adds mindfulness to my days in such a creative, heartwarming, and powerful way. It has taught me so many beautiful perspectives about life, grief, identity, relationships, and our view of the world that I feel it’s consistently making me a more positive person. I highly recommend it to anyone who’s on the edge about meditation and just wants to dip their toes into being more mindful!”

—Smriti S., social media director, New York, NY

Wild Ideas Worth Living

“I love Shelby Stanger’s podcast because it gathers a great group of diverse individuals with unique backgrounds to share their stories. Her podcast is sponsored by REI, and all of these really different stories somehow relate to the great outdoors, which I love. If you want to be inspired to live more wildly, it’s worth checking out.”

—Danielle Wolter Nolan, CEO, Nashville, IN

The Tim Ferriss Show

“I discovered Tim Ferriss’ podcast last year, and I am completely obsessed. He chats with world-class athletes, decorated military personnel, politicians, chess champions, entrepreneurs, and everything in between. He dissects excellence and finds out what these leaders read, eat for breakfast, and the daily patterns that help them achieve their dreams. Tim’s advice has encouraged me to lose 23 pounds, and feel better than ever as I face my forty-seventh birthday this month. There is nothing like learning about the little things you can do to change your life.”

—Siobhan Kukolic, author, speaker, and life coach, Toronto, CA

Women at Work

HBR’s ‘Women at Work’ podcast shares a very real conversation between three down-to-earth cohosts interested in helping women thrive. It has inspired me to examine my responsibilities at work, and make sure I continue to advocate for myself. I am preparing to go back to work after maternity leave, so these conversations are important to have!”

—Jenn Chaney, physician practice management, Pittsburgh, PA

Coaching for Leaders

“As a solopreneur, I look for podcasts that cover logic, intellect, and leadership. ‘Coaching for Leaders’ with Dave Stachowiak is one of my favorites. From team building to leadership and communication, his podcast is brimming with wisdom for business and leadership. His podcasts inspire me to constantly improve my leadership skills in practical ways.”

—Luisa Molano, transformation and leadership coach, Denver, CO 

TED Talks Daily

“I enjoy ‘TED Radio Hour’ and ‘TED Talks Daily,’ and I love to listen to them on the way to work. I can relate to many stories featured in these podcasts. and I feel like going to therapy, with the ability to self-reflect and take action in my own life.”

—Isabelle Bart, marketing director, Irvine, CA

Unbeatable Mind

“My favorite podcast is ‘Unbeatable Mind’ with Commander Mark Divine. He is a Navy SEAL commander who has an authentic way of combining a warrior’s mindset with ancient teachings. His take is unique in the space. His guests bring deep knowledge of mind, body, and soul — and explain how to optimize all three.”

—Patrick J. Sweeney II, author, Boston, MA

The Anxious Achiever

“This year I had the pleasure of discovering Morra Aarons-Mele’s new HBR podcast, ‘The Anxious Achiever.’ If you don’t already know, anxious achievers are highly successful individuals who struggle with anxiety, depression, and other mental health challenges. Each episode focuses on a business leader who has been there. The fact that Morra has managed to get so many leaders to speak out publicly about their mental health struggles is amazing, and so are their stories. It will change how you think about leadership, resilience, and mental health in the workplace.”

—Camille Preston, business psychologist and founder and CEO of AIM Leadership, Cambridge, MA

Good Life Project

“Led by award-winning author Jonathan Fields, this is one of my favorite mid-week inspiration boosters. His down-to-earth approach to interviewing interesting people makes you feel like you’re sitting in your living room with a cup of tea, enjoying a rich, curious, and always inspiring conversation.”

—Margalit Ward, Thrive Global executive coach and facilitator, Los Angeles, CA, US

Ellevate Podcast

“Hosted by Ellevate Network’s CEO Kristy Wallace, this podcast features interviews with women in business who share their stories of climbing the ladder, and the work they are doing. It’s always interesting to hear the challenges they’ve experienced, and how they overcame them.”

—Jennefer Witter, CEO and founder, New York, NY

Mind Vitamins

“This podcast is meant to shift your mindset and provide mental nourishment, and it has immeasurably enriched my life. Quite often, I want to share the joys and nuggets of wisdom with others, and I have secretly been waiting for someone to ask me what my favorites are!”

—Kate Carey, owner of A Blissful Life, Flagstaff, AZ


“This podcast is hosted by four smart, hilarious women: one in her twenties, one in her thirties, one in her forties and one in her fifties. They dive into candid conversations about topics ranging from mortality to menstruation and everything in between. Coming from very different perspectives, their banter is intelligent, raw, and off-the-charts funny. But the best part is learning from them as they learn from each other.  Every woman could use a group of girlfriends like this!”

—Thea Andrews, producer, Los Angeles, CA 

Retirement Wisdom

“I’m in my early sixties and starting to think about when I might retire. I’m also realizing how little I know about retirement. But I’m getting wiser, thanks to this podcast and the various thought leaders who are interviewed. I’m learning the importance of having a purpose in retirement, why having one increases longevity, and the value of ‘breaking up with busy.’ While I still don’t know what lies ahead, I do know I’m both wiser and better prepared to thrive in the future thanks to this podcast.”

—Bev Bachel, freelance writer, Minneapolis, MN

Do you have a podcast that helped you thrive in 2019? Tell us about it in the comments!

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  • Marina Khidekel

    Chief Content Officer at Thrive

    Marina leads strategy, ideation and execution of Thrive's content company-wide, including cross-platform brand partnership and content marketing campaigns, curricula, and the voice of the Thrive platform. She's the author of Thrive's first book, Your Time to Thrive. In her role, Marina brings Thrive's audience actionable, science-backed tips for reducing stress and improving their physical and mental well-being, and shares those insights on panels and in national outlets like NBC's TODAY. Previously, Marina held senior editorial roles at Women's Health, Cosmopolitan, and Glamour, where she edited award-winning health and mental health features and spearheaded the campaigns and partnerships around them.