I spend 45 minutes in the car every morning. The daily commute to work is so time-consuming and congested that it is a miracle I have not given up driving altogether — traffic makes me stir-crazy. That is until I discovered podcasts.
Now my mornings are not only bearable but enjoyable. I look forward to the traffic. And call me crazy, but as a recent college grad, I get nostalgic listening to a podcast each morning — podcasts cover a wide array of topics (just like college), completely free (unlike college) and allow you to learn on the go (kind of like college).
It is so easy to reach stagnancy, but you can stimulate your mind by listening to something new each day. And the best part about the world of podcasts is that you are able to directly hear from people you will likely never be in a room with. CEOs of major companies, comedians, A-list actors, the best medical professionals and more.
I have listened to a podcast every morning for the past year, so I guess you could say I am a genius. Or at the very least, that I know what I am talking about.
Here are five episodes across every genre that really stuck with me — and you should add to your que next.
Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations — Michelle Obama: Becoming
You would be hard-pressed to find someone who isn’t in awe of Oprah — plus, her soothing voice is the perfect juxtaposition to the harsh sounds of honking cars. And this episode on Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations featuring Michelle Obama is the gift none of us deserve. It is a raw and authentic two-part series that leaves you ready to conquer the world. The former first lady candidly shares stories from her upbringing, the challenges faced in her marriage, and life in the oval office. As someone who is the poster child for #couplegoals, it was refreshing to hear that even the best go through difficulties — the Obamas often saw a Chicago psychologist together to talk out the “knots” in their relationship. This episode was great for anyone who read her memoir, “Becoming,” and craved more.
Armchair Expert With Dax Shepard — Experts on Experts: Esther Perel
Dax Shepard, the armchair expert, is an A-list actor with a degree in anthropology who is on a mission to discover human truths — and he has taken this mission to the podcast airwaves. In this particular episode, he brings in Belgian author and psychotherapist Esther Perel (who I can’t say enough good things about) to discuss the nature of relationships, covering everything from cheating and eroticism to unrealistic expectations. By redefining what it means to be in love, and what the “perfect” partner looks like, you come out of the episode an emotionally mature woman — she has completely reframed the way I view relationships. I no longer look to one person to fulfill every part of me, for it is an impossible task. The idea that you will find someone who satisfies you emotionally, sexually, intellectually, etc. is an unrealistic standard spoon-fed to us by Netflix romantic comedies starring Noah Centineo.
Second Life — Raissa Gerona: Revolve Chief Brand Officer
Revolve is making headlines — the Los Angeles-based retailer recently IPO’d at the New York Stock Exchange. And thanks to her clever use of influencers early on, Raissa Gerona was pivotal in making the brand what it is today. She reshaped the way we look at traditional marketing — Revolve Fest or #revolvearoundtheworld anyone? This episode on Second Life hosted by Who What Wear co-founder Hillary Kerr gives you the inside look at how she used Instagram and influencers to turn to Revolve into a $1.2 billion brand.
Raising The Bar with Alli and Michael — Anine Bing: Influencer-Turned-Designer
Danish model-turned-designer Anine Bing launched her namesake fashion empire seven years ago while pregnant with her first child. From her Los Angeles garage to 11 brick-and-mortar stores worldwide, this is simply the beginning of Bing’s domination. A true #girlboss, a bored Bing posted her flea market finds on her blog and all 100 pieces sold out within the hour. A great episode for those of you who get turned on by founder stories, Bing goes into detail about the perfect boot, starting a business with her husband, and her rock band past with the hosts, Drybar founders (and siblings) Alli Webb and Michael Landau.
TED Radio Hour — Simply Happy
TED Radio Hour is a narrative journey that condenses popular TED talks and combines them with follow up interviews with the speakers. Guy Raz, the podcast king (the first podcast creator to have three shows on the Top 20 Apple Podcast Charts simultaneously), gives us practical advice on how to be happier human beings. This episode is perfect for anyone looking to brighten up and restructure their lives — and learn the secret(s) to happiness. How variables like who we spend time with, exercise, how much we sleep, how we think about ourselves and others actually matter. Other popular TED Radio Hours touch base on jumpstarting creativity, becoming wiser, courage and forgiveness.