Activities Cultural Exploration Traveling Tips

My Favorite Podcasts

I have been a podcast listener for quite some time and find it to be a great way to fill my head with positive and inspirational ideas that help me become a better blogger and a better version of myself. The nice thing about podcasts is that they allow you to multitask, which I do a lot because you can listen while driving to work, exercising, or working outside in the yard.

Recently, I underwent surgery so I had to spend some time at home recovering. It was difficult trying to force myself to rest and enjoy lounging on the couch. I found this a bit challenging because television programs just didn’t have anything worth watching and my social media feed started to repeat itself as a scrolled through the posts day after day. Therefore I decided to spend more time reading and listening to a podcast.

For those of you who are not familiar with podcasts or how they even came about, please allow me to explain. Podcasts are an episodic series of digital audio files which can be listened to on-demand or downloaded to be listened to later, kind of like an audiobook. The word podcast came about from two other words combined together; “iPod and broadcast.” Listening to podcasts is a lot like the old days when you would listen to stories on the radio before television came about. Today you can find podcasts for almost any topic you can think of!

Sometimes I listen to a quick pick-me-up episode if I had a hard day at work or whenever I have energy deficiency. Other times I listen to podcasts that provide information on how to operate a nonprofit organization or even how to improve my running methods and techniques. When I’m on the road for long trips, I listen to podcasts about investigative reporting and unsolved crimes and mysteries. Many of the podcasts are more like interviews of guests about certain topics. One thing is for sure though, podcasts have enlightened and enriched me beyond my expectations and because of them, I have become a book junkie, as I have purchased books to learn more about the topics I heard on the podcasts.

Here are some of my favorite podcasts. I hope you will email me and share some of your favorites, too!

Oprah’s Super Soul Conversation

Oprah Winfrey encourages her audience to think bigger than yourself, to inspire others, and to find meaning in life. She interviews guests to discuss various topics, all of which are centered on doing good for others and yourself. Oprah has many best-selling authors, spiritual luminaries, as well as health and fitness experts to guide you and offer you ideas of how to improve yourself. My favorite part of this podcast is that she typically interviews her guests in her backyard where you can hear the birds chirping and it always sounds so peaceful. Most of her guests have either written a book or recommend a book and this is how I became a book and Amazon junkie.  

**Side Note** Oprah just started another podcast called Oprah’s Master Class. Here you will hear from a number of actors, musicians, public figures and athletes about the most significant lessons they’ve learned and how it changed their lives.

Magic Lessons with Elizabeth Gilbert

I am not sure if you have read or seen the movie Eat, Pray, Love, but it is one of my favorites. Elizabeth shares a lot about herself in each episode of her podcasts about being accepted for who she is and then also trying to justify what is “normal” for a woman. Her primary focus is to inspire the artists and show them that through others’ trials and tribulations, that they, too, can be successful. Her episodes are interesting but in one of the episodes she addressed the struggles of one of her listeners and then she consulted with an expert in that field. She then connected the two for further consultation. I listened to all 22 episodes and I am eagerly waiting for her to come up with more.

Two Inboxes: Interviews with the Side Hustle Generation

Since I felt like my blog was my new side hustle, I thought this podcast would shed some light on struggles of other successful people working a full-time job and doing what they love in their creative life on the side. Molly Ford Beck interviews various guests who are all climbing the ladder in the corporate world and are able to manage an entrepreneurial venture on the side. I have met some fascinating ladies through her side hustle interviews. We share and follow each other on Instagram now. What inspires me most about this podcast is that so many of the women are so creative and talented! I get lots of positive energy from these episodes. It also inspires me to do more in my own side hustle.

Don’t Keep Your Day Job

Cathy Heller is the host of this exciting podcast which tells the stories of very successful people who took that leap of faith: they quit their day job to start their very own business. Here you will find practical steps, guidelines, and hands-on ideas to help you launch your business. I have always had a dream to own my own business and to provide a service that people would enjoy and love. Cathy interviews so many successful entrepreneurs who share lots of suggestions on how to make that first step.

The Goal Digger

One of my most admired bloggers is Jenna Kutcher. I am not sure how I found out about her but she is a photographer who quit her corporate job and moved to Hawaii to start a photography business. She inspires you to design your dream career and shares productivity tips, social media strategies, business hacks, inspirational stories and so much more. She interviews various guests on her show who provide countless resources to help you become successful. I always find myself listening to each episode more than once because there is so much information to absorb.

In the Dark

This is one of those long trip podcasts that you want to listen to for hours and hours. Reporter Madeleine Baran examines unsolved cases. Season 1 is about the case of Jacob Wetterling, who was abducted, raped, and killed. For 27 years his case went unsolved. Through the vigilance of his parents, the national registry for sex offenders was created and implemented nationwide. The case has been finally solved and this podcast examines all the things law enforcement failed to do and look into…it’s a gripping podcast! Season 2 starts soon and I can’t wait!

Beyond the To Do List

Do you ever feel like you just aren’t being very productive? This podcast talks about all aspects of productivity. I am notorious for creating lists but I somehow find it difficult to accomplish all the tasks on these lists. Erik Fisher is the host of this series and brings on some very exciting guests to the show. I am new to this podcast but I think others might enjoy it as well.

Become a ProBlogger

This is an excellent podcast for those learning to blog. Darren Rowse wrote a book about ProBlogging which I bought and realized that when I couldn’t read, I could listen to him. Darren has been blogging since 2002, so he has a lot of insights and is kind enough to share lots of valuable tips. His podcasts are packed with advice and information, so much so that you almost need a pen and paper to write them all down. Again, I typically have to listen to each episode more than once because there are many useful tips.

For the Love with Jen Hatmaker

Jen Hatmaker is a best-selling author and the star of HGTV’s “My Big Family Renovation”. In her podcast, she shares information about shoes, travel, food, culture, and so much more. One of my favorite episodes is Episode 81: Undoing the Same of Our Body Image Struggles. This episode is a great discussion with Hillary McBride about how women talk about their bodies. What if two women were together and one said to the other “oh, I just love my body. It is so healthy, and strong. I enjoy spending time working out or going for walks because it feels wonderful.” We would think this person is either a narcissist or crazy! She goes into a more in-depth discussion about her research on body images of women in the USA and shares some ways to help educate our daughters on loving their own body.

Nonprofits Are Messy by Joan Garry

Joan Garry is known as the “Dear Abby” of the nonprofit world. Joan discusses a variety of issues nonprofits face in this corporate world. She interviews managers of successful nonprofits that shed light on their own struggles as well as how they were able to overcome various challenges. In her show notes, Joan often will leave behind worksheets or other materials you can use for your own organization such as Board Orientation Agendas, New Board Member Orientation Ideas, Board Contact Lists, etc., She has addressed every area of the nonprofit: fundraising, board membership, staff, marketing, social media, events, training, etc., you name it, she has discussed it on her show

The variety of podcasts are endless and I’m certain you’ll find topics to satisfy your curiosities.   

I hope you find my suggestions useful and I invite you to share with me your favorite podcasts. Please email to me at or post at @travelinglensphotography.

Enjoy listening!


One Comment

  1. Allen T Coffey

    Thanks for all the suggestions for podcasts, Lanell.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *