I’ve discovered podcasts a few years ago when I was at university and was looking to something to listen to, in order to feel like I was making the most of the time spent cleaning my room or running errands. I first started by streaming radio online, but soon realised I wanted to listen to more interesting things than chats and talk shows. I cannot remember exactly how I started looking for podcasts as I don't even think I knew what the word "podcast" meant at the time. BBC seemed like a good source where to find trusted audio content, so I was so happy when I discovered that BBC featured many podcast channels and that's how I came across two of my all-time favourite podcast channels (#1 and #2 below).
I listen to this podcast nearly every day, particularly in the morning when I commute to work. Each episode is a round up of the world’s key business or economic affairs with a focus on one or a few major developments from the previous day. I love it, as it helps me to stay up to date with what’s going on in the world - especially since I don’t dedicate much time to reading the news. I’ve also learnt a lot about economics and finance just by listening to these episodes, as the information in each episode is very well conveyed and easy to understand. It also puts into context many things I’ve learnt in my business degree at university.
This was the first ever podcast that I started listening to. Its title caught my attention as soon as I saw it, whilst scrolling through the vast list of podcasts episodes on the BBC site. I've always been fascinated by mathematics, but never quite got to understand how the different concepts and formulas came into being and how their invention or discovery drove so many scientific discoveries or useful applications. For me, listening to this podcast channel has given maths the purpose and meaning I did not get from school. A truly fascinating listening experience given by professor Markus du Sautoy.
3. Beyond the To Do List by Erik Fisher
I cannot remember exactly how I came across this podcast channel, probably while looking for productivity podcasts, but am so glad I found it. Erik has cultivated this great platform over the years where he invites book writers, entrepreneurs, innovators, experts in various fields, to share their productivity nuggets. I’ve learnt so much just by listening to their life stories and best practices. Erik is a great moderator, even the adverts that he narrates during the show are captivating.
When Cosmopolitan emailed me the top 50 podcasts to listen to, I was so excited, as I am always on the lookout for new things to learn and listen to. Even though I found most of their podcast recommendations to be outside of my interest, there was one which stood out: GirlBoss. This channel was created by Sophia Amoruso, the founder of fashion retailer, Nasty Gal, and I just love how it brings together successful women entrepreneurs from various fields to share the journeys that led them to success. The shows are infused with advice to enable self-discovery and self-improvement and I love hearing how these great women got to where they are now.
I’ve been admiring Deliciously Ella for a long time, for the fact that she has found a way to turn a negative (her illness) into a positive (healing, plant-based recipes). Not many people I know have the power and creativity to find solutions to overcome a major illness and build a solid business on the back of it. She was at the forefront of the plant-based movement, as one of the first people to come up with creative ways to enjoy vegetables and make plant based dishes that are tasty and good enough to substitute normal meat and dairy dishes. I was so happy when she launched her podcast channel, as it gave me the possibility to reconnect with her while listening to each of her episodes and learn from her inspiring guests, like well-being gurus, successful business entrepreneurs and people that have something interesting to say.
6. Coffee Break
This is a great podcast for learning new languages. I listened to all the French and Spanish series and even some of the German episodes. For me, these episodes were such a great audio companion during the times when I had a long solitary commute to my workplace in central London. Most episodes are in the form of a dialogue between the learner and the native speaker. Due to the easy to follow conversation style, they make learning a new language seem so easy: like something you could do in your coffee break. And the best part is that the episodes are free, if you don’t mind listening to a couple of ads at the beginning of the episode. If you want to see the written version of each episode with notes on the grammar and vocabulary used, you can access the premium content.
I love listening to French radio (it’s great for brushing up on my French) and, in my opinion, France Inter is the best channel out there. But, I find that I am not always interested in some of the live shows they are broadcasting, particularly when they involve politics. So, I was so glad when I came across the podcast episodes and pre-recorded shows of France Inter, which make for a great listen, particularly if you want to improve your spoken French. If you have a basic understanding of French, just by listening to these episodes, you get to make connections between words and understand how to say certain things, just by listening to them. The topics of these podcasts are also quite interesting, evocative of French culture.
8. Happier by Gretchen Rubin
I remember I was out skiing in the mountains 5 years ago when I was looking for something to listen to during the tedious task of getting all my layers on, in order to go out on the slopes. I was feeling so happy and content with my life and somehow I wanted to expand that feeling, by listening to something that would echo with my mood. Googling fun podcasts, I found “Happier“.
This podcast channel is run by two sisters (Gretchen Rubin and Elizabeth Craft) and is like a recipe for cultivating and maintaining easygoing happiness in your daily life. It focuses on providing strategies for finding your happiness in the small things in life, like the “1-min rule” for tackling chores (if something takes you just 1 minute to do, just do it and get it out of the way) or giving yourself a gold star for any small accomplishments. It goes even deeper by encouraging you to identify the tendency of your personality and behaviour (e.g. Upholder, Obliger, Questioner and Rebel) in order to understand how to manage yourself better.
I like the fact that the episodes have a trivial nature, which make for a good listening while doing something else. I’ve become so attached to each of these podcast episodes, that I got to the point of looking forward to my next session of errands to be able to enjoy yet another one.
I love the idea of cultivating the relationship between sisters to create content, bounce off ideas from each other and in this way keep in touch and cultivate their relationship. The “Happier” podcast was the spring-board that made me want to follow in their footsteps and launch my own podcast channel with my sister. That is how Gloriously Good podcast came into being. After my sister moved away, I had to find other collaborators and that is how I evolved the channel into interview-style, whereby I chat to entrepreneurs and people I find interesting with a view to inspiring myself and my audience with their gloriously good ideas and practices.
This is more than a podcast, it’s a platform for immersive learning online, as it encompasses tutorials and pretty much any subject that you would like to learn about, like photography, foreign languages, how to learn different music instruments, film-making, social media, well-being, interior design, cooking and many others. They are all in the form of video classes filmed by people like you and me. I love this platform for making it so fun to learn new things. The people delivering the masterclasses are really good teachers and I feel that I am learning and being entertained at the same time. The reason why I included Skillshare in this list of favourite podcasts is because I mainly listen to it, while doing something else like cooking, cleaning the house, or pursuing other hobbies. It’s great for multitasking and, if you would like to try it, you can get 2-month free trial when you first sign up on their website.
10. Tim Ferris Show
Just by listening to Tim Ferris gives me such a kick in my productivity. It really fires up my desire to be productive. For me, Tim Ferris is like a titan of efficiency, who has cultivated a culture of productivity and happiness around him - the happiness that comes from knowing and doing the right thing to enable you to lead a good life, a life where work is easy and doesn’t take over you. I really enjoy listening to all the tips and tricks that Tim has come up with and applied on himself to achieve his desired results, in his work or fitness, in the least amount of time possible (e.g. “The 4-Hour Work Week” and “The 4-Hour Body”). I have learnt so much by listening to his podcast episodes, in which he “deconstructs“ world class performers from various fields (ranging from sports, to arts, to business, to show-biz and many others) to give us inspirational insights into what it takes to get to where they are: their routines, morning rituals, their diets, their workouts, their habits, their favourite books, tools and techniques that enables them to be the best at what they do.
These are my top 10 favourite podcasts. I hope I’ve inspired you to listen to them, if you haven’t done so already. Keep to hear what are your favourite podcast channel. If you would like to share them, please post them in the Comments section below.