Podcasts are one of the most valuable free resources of audio to help you reach your potential and entertain yourself while on-the-go. Here are the top personal development podcasts out there, in rough order of priority. I’m well-plugged into this universe, so you can rest assured about these recommendations.
Note: This is not a list of all possible personal development podcasts. While I’m familiar with what’s out there, some podcasts are not quality enough to be mentioned.
In terms of brand exposure and traBest Personal Development and Positive Thinking Podcasts of 2019ffic, Todd Herman is not well known. However, behind the scenes, he is a superstar. Todd works directly with many top influencers and entrepreneurs on the web, including Kimra Luna, Pat Flynn, Ryan Lee, Amy Porterfield, and Jeff Walker. He is well known to the audience of these influencers since he coaches them as well.
Todd started his journey as a mentor to the well known motivational speaker Jim Rohn. From there, he started and grew his coaching program for athletes. He has helped Olympians and billionaires reach higher levels of mental toughness and performance.
Todd has a podcast called the Grit ‘N’ Hustle Show where he brings on successful people to interview. You can find more content from him on his blog http://toddherman.me/blog/. Todd’s current focus is on helping entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs improve their goal-achieving ability, productivity and mindsets. He has a flagship program called the 90 Day Year.
Joel Brown of Addicted 2 Success
Joel started his site addicted2success.com on the side while working a full-time job. Slowly but surely, it became one of the most visited self development sites in the world. He was even offered $1 million for it, which he declined. Joel runs the site and his podcast with the same name. He has many high-hitting guests on his podcast, including millionaire entrepreneurs and meditation gurus. Joel’s content has a flavor of general self-development advice, covering everything from habits to vision boards. There is an entrepreneurial flair to this content, as most of the role models and podcast guests are successful businessmen (Steve Jobs, Grant Cardone, etc.), though he does occasionally add in other big figures, like Gandhi.
If you’re interested in interview-style podcasts that will teach you how to perform at a higher level, optimize your body, and get rich, you’re in the right place. His interviews are more long-form, stretching up to two hours.
If you want cold, hard truth and advice to smack you in the face, this show is for you. Yes, it’s another interview-style podcast. The difference is that the guests are unfamiliar figures you’ve never heard of before that are performing well in their business and/or life. London Real has a “medicine you need to take” vibe to it, with one to two hour interviews with men forged through the fires of life, think Navy Seals and real start-up entrepreneurs.
Iraki Nutrition Podcast
Personal development is more than improving mindset or wealth. Your body is a key part of top performance. The Iraki podcast is a lesser-known fitness and nutrition podcast that has some of the top names in the scientific community come on as guests to discuss the best tips for sculpting the body of your dreams, while optimizing your diet, flexibility, and life to look attractive, feel fantastic, and have more energy.
There is no fluff or opinions here. All the guests are established, verified scientists.
Andrew started with humble beginnings. He was completely broke and emotionally affected from a breakup with his girlfriend. The podcast he ran on the side, Knowledge For Men, saved him. He grew a large audience and leveraged that into a business to help men become the best, masculine versions of themselves.
His podcast is one of the top podcasts in the world for that market. Every episode, he interviews an expert in the men’s dating or self improvement industry. Andrew’s flavor of personal development is has a focus on a dating, relationships, and returning to your masculine, ancestral self. Lately, he’s branched out to interview many established experts in wealth creation, peak performance, and health. The under-tone of his content centers around all the areas of self-growth. But expect most of the content to center around love and relationships.
The Art of Charm
For over a decade, the Art of Charm has been dropping podcast episodes filled with advice and expertise about succeeding in career, relationships, and love. It started as a dating podcast and has morphed into a networking, and now, personal development podcast. With hundreds of episodes and guests to choose from, you have a library of free content.
The Art of Charm is most known for its networking, social skills, and body language tips. While the show does cover other so many other areas like focus, wealth creation, building a social following, they’re most revered for their social skills tips, which is why they offer in-person boot camps as well.
The Jordan Harbinger Show
Recently, Jordan Harbinger one of the hosts of The Art of Charm, split from the show and began his own podcast. Thanks to his mastery of networking, he launched with a library of guests. While you may see an A-list or B-list guest once in a blue moon, the majority of his guests are established individuals that you’ve never heard of but have established success in their industries. They may have low-profiles, but they have value to offer — think professors of universities, vice editors of publications, navy seals, and other podcast hosts.
Mike Dillard of Self-Made Man
Mike Dillard is a wealthy business owner who brings on hundreds of guests to his podcast to break out their story on how they achieved a life they can be proud of. While focused on business-building, Self-Made Man is a podcast that also covers overcoming internal demons. Often, your inner psychology with shame, validation, or masculinity is what’s holding you back.
Mike walked into work one day and told his boss he wanted to quit to start his company. Although his boss doubted him, he became a wealthy entrepreneur. Mike runs a podcast called The Self Made Man, which interviews some of the world’s top CEOs. His mission is to empower men who can change the world. The podcast is business-focused, but any man can benefit from the general lessons of mindset, happiness, and goal-setting that are also discussed. I like how the show often dives into Mike’s personal life, mistakes, and struggles because you learn how money does not guarantee happiness and what healthy mindsets you should have to stay resilient no matter where you are in life. You can find more at http://selfmademan.com/.
10% Happier with Dan Harris
Dan Harris, an ABC correspondent, wrote a book with the same name. The podcast aims to help everyone get a little happier every year — because isn’t happiness what we’re all ultimately after?
The podcast centers around meditation and meditation-like practices as a key theme. As detailed in his book, Dan went from an extreme atheist skeptic to a fanatic of the science-backed benefits of meditation over several years. His content is great for fellow skeptics who want to live happier, healthier, more focused lives where they’re in more control of their emotions and behavior.
Happier with Gretchen Rubin
Gretchen has built a following of hundreds of thousands of readers through her best-selling books and blog on her quest to become happier with experimentation. As an Ivy League grad, former lawyer, and a woman with over a decade of experience trying out what works and researching why, you can learn a lot about what works for building habits that bring happiness.
The Minimalist’s Podcast
Have you ever felt that having more stuff in your life has made you feel less happier rather than more happier? The minimalism movement has. They’ve set out to help declutter your living space, lifestyle, and mind so that you can live more focused, organized, and happier days.
James Swanwick of The James Swanwick Show
James runs a personal development podcast that focuses on more broader range topics including health, wealth, love, and happiness.
Thanks to his background in sports reporting and interviewing celebrities, he has gotten interviewees including doctors, retirement experts, relationship coaches, nutritionists, fitness experts, New York Times best selling authors, and millionaires.
Andrew Warner of Mixergy
Andrew is a successful entrepreneur who sold his company for millions of dollars. After getting tired of retirement, he returned to the scene with his interview site Mixergy.com. Thanks to his network, he has interviewed over 1,000 entrepreneurs, ranging from startup founders to CEOs of billion dollar companies. Andrew offers his interviews as videos or audio podcast episodes. He has covered interviews on nearly every topic related to entrepreneurship, from copywriting to scaling. He also offers a library of premium interviews for a monthly price.
Even if you are not an entrepreneur, there is plenty to learn from his hundreds of free interviews that can improve your earning potential, mindset, habits, productivity, or goal-setting.
Don’t expect to find A-list actors, athletes, and musicians on this show. Instead, you’ll find thousands of entrepreneurs you’ve never heard of from every industry you can think of. They drop knowledge on how they did it and how you can do the same. This one’s more focused on starting and growing a business, which may not be the best fit for employees content with their job.
Entrepreneur on Fire
John Lee Dumas has been doing a daily podcast with 30-minute interviews. With thousands of interviews in the can, you can find a vast library of guest entrepreneurs that you can learn from. He always asks the same questions to everyone, and the episodes are short. This is a great spot if you want bite-sized knowledge from a range of different up-and-coming or established business leaders.
John erupted onto the podcast scene with a new style of podcast: a daily interview series. With thousands of episodes created, they forged one of the largest beginning entrepreneur tribes online. Their personal development content has a focus on male 9-to-5 employees who want to start a business. While there is a lot of business strategies, Entrepreneur on Fire also has a lot of general self help advice as well, including goal-setting journals like The Freedom Journal and advice on building habits.
Brendon Burchard of the Brendon Show
Brendon Burchard has a following of millions when you factor in his Facebook, YouTube, blog, and newsletter fans. A sought-after speaker, NY Times #1 best-selling author, and high performance coach, Brendon has spent over a decade coaching some of the world’s top achievers and analyzing what makes someone successful.
This is your one-stop shop for constant positivity, energy, and actionable tips. While useful to anyone, his following is made up of an older demographic, which you may pick up from his communication style. If you’re older than a millennial, this show may be a good fit.
Brendon has a large presence on YouTube and his blog Brendon.com. He runs a million dollar training company and the site Growth.com as well. Brendon covers a wide range of general personal development principles in his content. This includes everything from habits of millionaires to how to stay positive to how to bounce back from depression.
Jaime Masters of Eventual Millionaire
Jaime runs an audio and video podcast called Eventual Millionaire where she interviews millionaires. She has already interviewed over a hundred millionaires and is still going strong. You can learn a lot about how to make money from these interviews, but that is not all you will learn. The millionaires interviewed often talk about other tips, like productivity, mindsets, goal-setting, happiness, purpose, fulfillment, and setting up automated systems.
Jaime started from scratch with no connections to any millionaires. Over time, she grew great networking skills and a rolodex network of influencers and entrepreneurs. Therefore, you may see her mentioned often by other influencers online.
Kwik Brain with Jim Kwik
As a memory and learning coach, Jim has worked with every A-list celebrity and CEO under the sun, from Elon Musk to Will Smith. His podcast reveals how to optimize your brain performance in every possible way, from what you eat to how to approach memorization and reading. Each episode is a short ten minutes long.
Tim is the undisputed heavyweight. His name and his 4-Hour Work Week brand is the most well known in the self development and tech entrepreneur communities. Tim’s book The Four Hour Work Week launched him into the scene from nowhere. Its focus is on optimizing your life and business to get the most return in the least time possible. An interesting fact is that Tim’s book was not an instant success. It was turned down by a dozen publishers and it required a lot of smart networking to spread the word.
Tim is known as the “human guinea pig.” He tests weird techniques, supplements, pills, and drugs to optimize his sleep, performance, energy, and fitness so his audience knows what’s best. Tim’s style of personal development content is more focused on lifestyle design, outsourcing a business, medicines, and weird techniques.
Tim’s podcast is one of the most downloaded of all time, hitting over 100 million downloads. His podcast, The Tim Ferriss Show, started as a fun experiment to document the conversations he was having with top performers, thanks to his connections as a tech investor. Over time, his guests have gotten increasingly interesting, including Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Foxx. His podcast is focused on deconstructing the performance of high achievers so you can optimize your life. Each episode is usually a long form (one hour) interview or question-and-answer session.
The Investor’s Podcast
Wait! You’re not an investor. That’s okay. The Investor’s Podcast does have a subtle focus on those looking to invest in companies, markets, and stocks. That said, many of its episodes are useful to anyone with dreams of making a massive fortune in any way. In particular, many of the episodes feature at least two hosts discussing a new book they wrote written by a billionaire.
With over 170+ to choose from, books by billionaires can feature anyone from Oprah Winfrey to Sheryl Sandberg to Sam Walton. You’re bound to learn some interesting quirks about business and communication that you never would’ve considered. With over a million downloads, this podcast is a useful resource.
The Gary Vee Audio Experience
Gary Vaynerchuk is a successful tech investor and CEO of VaynerMedia, a large 500-person social media marketing agency in New York. This podcast is great for any young people, hard workers, or marketing professionals. He breaks down the proper mindset to succeed (work your face off, stop complaining, have empathy, have tons of patience, deliver massive value, stay positive, etc.).
This show is a must-listen for anyone who feels lost in life, feels negative about how their life is going, or wishes they can have that dream life of luxury but doesn’t know how to start. If you’re a workaholic who is willing to do what’s necessary to succeed, this show will be your guiding light and Bible.
The episodes contain a mix of solo rants, clips from his keynote speeches, interviews with guests, and business meetings. This show is the most consistent out there. Expect hours of content daily.
Gary burst onto the Internet scene a few years ago and has become one of the most followed social media influencers with the most engagement. He mainly gives entrepreneurial-themed advice and his main topic of interest is emerging social media platforms. Topics cover everything from staying motivated, productivity, growing a business, and growing a following.
He primarily operates on YouTube, Facebook, and Snapchat. But his team creates offshoots of his content on Instagram, Tumblr, podcasts, and every other social media or blogging platform.
The Joe Rogan Experience
Joe Rogan needs little introduction. He runs one of the most downloaded, well-known podcasts of all time. If you’re looking for a more informal, diverse, and entertaining interview format, this is the show. Joe has smoked weed with Elon Musk and has asked Dan Bilzerian about his craziest drug-filled adventures. Don’t expect every episode to feature someone who is successful or credible in their field. He’ll have a crazy assortment of guests.
Lewis Howes of The School of Greatness
Lewis has been in the online business space for several years. He became a millionaire by teaching other entrepreneurs how to sell more products by leveraging webinars. Lewis started his podcast The School of Greatness early on to help listeners become the best at what they do. Although his business is for entrepreneurs, his podcast, and the book with the same name, helps anyone with success.
The show interviews everyone from successful entrepreneurs to billionaires to Youtube stars to scientists to coaches. There are also episodes with just Lewis talking to you on self improvement concepts.
Interspersed with solo commentaries, Lewis has many interesting A-level and B-level guests on thanks to his connections through California and Instagram. While Joe Rogan and Tim Ferriss will have on big names like Musk and Jamie Fox, Lewis has his own flavor of guests, from Kobe Bryant to Julianne Hough to lesser-known online business owners.
With a current of positivity, Lewis can occasionally get vulnerable. Look out for solo episodes where he exposes his struggles with anger, rape, abuse, or ego.
Topics you will hear about in the show include earning more, motivation, generosity, self-belief, taking time for yourself, burning out, mental shifts, persistence, and standing out. There is a focus on more psychological and “internal game” topics.
Will’s Personal Development Podcast
Available on Apple, Spotify, and everywhere else, Will’s Personal Development Podcast is my podcast!
I take a slightly different approach to delivering value. Interviews make up a minority of my show. I’ll have guests on, such as biographer Matthew Polly of 2018’s Bruce Lee and Asian American model and life coach, Kevin Kreider.
But the bulk of my episodes are solo episodes where I break down a reader question (improving focus, finding your passion, habits of billionaires, defeating procrastination, etc.) with extensive detail based on scientific studies and/or patterns correlated from studying thousands of successful people.
I’ll draw out themes of success you’ve never heard of before based on my extensive study. For example, did you know that most of the world’s most successful, influential people achieved the bulk of their success many years after marriage and one of their key traits is the willingness to be okay with many people disliking them in their pursuit of their goals?
How To Decide Which Podcast To Listen To For Advice
So I was reading Chapter 5 of The Boron Letters, a collection of letters from a copywriting legend named Gary Halbert. He said something that stuck with me. He said that you must become a student of markets. Not products. Not copywriting. Not advertising.
The most important lesson is to learn is what people buy. Not what they say they buy. But what they do buy. Because people buy different stuff than they say they buy.
He gives two points to illustrate this:
A survey was ran that found that 80% of people preferred premium beer. But the numbers showed that 80% of people bought regular beer.
This one I’m iffy about because maybe they still prefer it but just can’t afford the better beer.
The second one drives the point home. When he’s teaching, he’ll ask the class how many people prefer going to plays versus movies. Most people will say plays.
But then, he’ll ask how many people went to a play last week. Zero hands go up.
Then he’ll ask how many went to a movie last week. A ton of hands go up.
Here’s the point:
The average person is more likely to tell you that they are the type of the person they hope to be rather than the person they actually are.
Gary says to distrust surveys and quizzes for this reason. Listen to numbers. If a survey says that no one buys movie tickets but the numbers show that 10,000 were just sold… listen to the numbers, not what people say.
He gives the examples of mail order products and the National Enquirer as billion dollar industries despite no one claiming they have ever bought anything from these industries. And it’s because people are too embarrassed to admit it.
If you’re coming up with a new product, stop trying to come up with something so innovative that no ones ever bought anything like it. You can if you want to be the next Steve Jobs or Henry Ford.
But it’s a lot easier to observe to see what people are already buying. And make a simple tweak to make it better for the customer.
Martha Stewart gave a ton of examples in her book on rules for success, titled Martha’s Rules. Dominoes didn’t invent pizza. They just made it easier to deliver to more people in a shorter time.
So let’s do this right now. After observing many young people around my age, I have found that they buy:
- Fast food
- Restaurant food
- Electronics, like Phones
- Accessories like watches
- Concert tickets
- Gym memberships
- Video games
- Travel and lodging
I didn’t come up with this list based on what I buy. I came up with it based on what I observe others buy.
You have to acknowledge that your specific preferences may be different from the average person, especially for me since I tend to be more frugal and into self-help.
Find out what other people buy. Get even more specific and observe what your target demographic buy. Not what they say they buy, but what they actually show up with the next day.
It could take a Herculean effort to try and convince this group to buy something “out there” like a $1000 self-development Mastermind program. It could be easier selling them a t-shirt or free burger though.
So how does this apply to choosing who to listen to for advice?
There have been plenty of times where I asked someone what they did for fun. They say all these noble stuff like volunteering, going to career-development events, arts and craft, or helping others. But is that true or are these activities what they aspire to? In that vein, is the person you’re listening to knowledgeable in the domain or demonstrated at least three worthwhile achievements in the field they’re giving advice in?
Have you ever given someone an image of yourself that isn’t completely realistic? Do your Instagram and Facebook photos display a completely different lifestyle? If it’s not something you like, change it.
As you can see, personal development comes in many flavors. Differing interests, personalities, and delivery create different content. Choose who you think will help you and suits you best.
Did I miss anyone? If you know of a huge personal development influencer that is not mentioned, leave a comment to let me know.
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