Three self-help podcasts that are actually worth listening to

How are those resolutions holding up? Hopefully awesome. And awesome could mean that they’re failing brilliantly. Take, for example, John Oliver’s recent definition of what makes a goal, resolution, life change, et al, successful:

“Deep down we all know, the key to a successful resolution is not hard work and dedication,” Oliver said. “It’s managing disappointment and that’s it.”


Success is all about bouncing back. Because you’re going to fail. How reassuring! Really. Here are three podcasts I’ve been listening to lately that should be tagged in the non-annoying self-help category.

Take a listen and fail less! Or fail better. Either way, happy new year. <3

ram dass quote

Ram Dass’s “Here and Now”

This dude’s a spiritual teacher with a Timothy Leary connection but fear not! He’s fun and interesting and the lectures feel very modern and relatable. “Here and Now” delves into topics such as parenting, self-awareness and romantic love, non-prophetically approaching each subject with an honest and loving lens. Life’s hard, man. But don’t make it harder than it has to be.

Recommended for: Ex-Catholics

Sample episode:

Ep. 78 “Awakening and Relationships”

“The more we individually have our shit together, the less that we are groping in the dark with a partner and having gigantic expectations and wanting to change each other.”

The Productivityist

Just don’t try to say this podcast’s name 10 times fast. Buh dum chi. The host, Mike Vardy, is a comedian (not nearly as cheesy as I) turned podcaster whose show looks into realistic ways to be more productive in your daily life.

This podcast is really approachable and not intimidating, which some of the podcasts about productivity can be (“WORKOUT AT 4 AM! DOWNLOAD THESE APPS! YOU COULD DO MORE! BUY THE FIVE NEW BOOKS I WROTE YESTERDAY!”). I mean, he has blog post topics such as “The Three Things Seinfeld Does That I’ve Built Into My Workflow.”


Life’s a real balancing act. HEY-O!

From The Productivityist’s interviews, I’ve picked up some really helpful strategies for managing everything from my email and time to my negative thoughts.

Look no further than Mike’s first episode of 2016, “Deep Work with Cal Newport.” This episode really made me think twice about the way I spend my time and how much of it is lost doing things like getting sucked into the black hole of Facebook. I love the tips on how to focus your time on one task, and I can definitely see the value and rarity — workplace or otherwise — of concentration. Sometimes you have to catch yourself slipping away and just do the work and keep doing the work. No, really, go do the work. This is how you get those dreams done, people!

Recommended for: Recovering Perfectionists

Sample episode: “Deep Work with Cal Newport”

Creative Pep Talk

The wonderful illustrator Andy J. Miller is the “person who does this podcast.” He doesn’t like the word host, which is indicative of how unpretentious this show is. Andy talks about how to make a living as an artist or tips on becoming unblocked — generally patting creative people on the tookus. These are fun to listen to as you’re doing chores while you put off the creative work because you’re scared! Meet your creative coach during self-imposed halftime.

Recommended for: Freelancers

Sample episode: “Ep. 27: How to Stand Out”

“Sometimes pessimism is just a grieving process for things you lose.”

2 thoughts to “Three self-help podcasts that are actually worth listening to”

  1. Jackie….thanks for shining a spotlight on The Productivityist Podcast! I’m really grateful and am glad you get quite a bit out of the show. That episode with Cal Newport is one my favourites as well.

    I also want to thank you for giving me a new demographic to market to: “Know you’re not perfect because you’ve tried and are now in recovery? Well, The Productivityist Podcast is the virtual equivalent of a weekly meeting of Recovering Perfectionists Anonymous” 😉

    Thanks again!

    1. I could definitely get behind that marketing approach! 😉 Thanks for the note. Keep up the motivating work.

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