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I’m not afraid to admit that I’m totally embarrassed by self-help books. I’m even nervous to be seen in the self-help section of a bookstore; what if someone I know sees me?! I’m forever grateful to the internet and blogs so that I have somewhere private to look up ways to get over all my insecurities.
When I first discovered self-help podcasts, I was a little freaked out by how serious some of them were. I don’t have huge issues or trauma to overcome; I’m just looking for tips on how to get through some of life’s daily challenges and to be inspired along the way.
Here are three self-help podcasts (and a bonus mention at the bottom!) that help me put things into perspective, motivate me to make changes, and provide honest-to-goodness tips you can implement.
Top 3 Self-Help Podcasts
1. Operation Self Reset
The host of the Operation Self Reset podcast, Jake Nawrocki, is unbelievably energetic, which almost turned me off of his podcast the first time I listened to it. But then I remembered that he’s exactly who I (and probably you) need to motivate me to make a change in my life.
Nawrocki acts like he’s on stage speaking to a room full of people about how to improve their lives. He focuses on mindset, and shares anecdotes that provide perspective. He encourages you to “play along” as he walks through scenarios, so that you can immediately put his tips to work.
He also encourages you to throw your head back and scream “I’M FREAKING AWESOME!” which I did (more than once) and kind of enjoyed.
To date there are over 200 episodes that include thoughts, tips, and expert interviews about public speaking tips, changing your eating habits, making more money, setting goals, making decisions, the power of willpower, and much more. There’s an episode or two for just about everyone and every problem.
This is a great podcast to listen to in the car on the way to anywhere. It’s super motivating and inspirational. The Operation Self Reset podcast is suitable for teens and adults, although there aren’t any episodes marked “explicit”, so you can probably listen with kids in the car.
2. By The Book
This podcast is perfect for anyone who likes the idea of self-help books but doesn’t want to spend time reading them (or thinks that they’re a crock of s— but can’t help wondering if they’re not…)
The podcast (which was originally part of Panoply’s Pilot Project and is now scheduled to be a full-fledged series) is described as “half reality show, half self-help podcast, and one wild social experiment,” which I find to be spot-on.
Before each episode, hosts Jolenta and Kristen, both read the same self-help book (in the pilot episode, they read The Secret). Then they describe the basic points and concepts of the book. Both women then put the tips from the book to use in their real lives to tell you how it worked out for them.
Having never read The Secret myself, I absolutely loved getting the crib notes version of the book and hearing a first-hand account of someone who followed its advice. The hosts have unique and hysterically funny takes on the book, and even record themselves discussing the results with their husbands, which I found endearing.
Most importantly, I found myself implementing some of the steps from the book while listening to the podcast. I didn’t do the mantra chanting, but I did smile for 60 seconds, which felt GOOD! I actually think it changed the course of my afternoon that day, since feeling goofy relieved some of my stress.
The next episode will cover the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, another title I’ve been hearing about (FOR FOREVER) but still haven’t read. I cannot wait to hear the hosts discussing whether or not a pair of socks brings them joy.
The pilot episode of By The Book contained some swearing, so keep that in mind when listening with children.
3. Optimal Living Daily
I started listening to the Optimal Living Daily podcast because its iTunes description says it is for “those looking to improve their life one step at a time: lifelong learners, life hackers, and life optimizers.” I love the “life optimizers” part. And I like that they are modern and use “life hack” instead of “self-help”.
The concept of the show is that the host, Justin Malik, reads aloud the latest and greatest blog posts for life-hacking a problem. At first I thought his voice was a little monotonous, and that it was weird to hear some guy reading someone else’s (sometimes personal) blog content. But when I really focused on what the blog was about, I realized that I was getting something out of it. The blog posts he reads have real, helpful advice and tips.
Episode titles include: 9 Things Happy People Do To Stress Less; Why “Being Present” is So Difficult; Why Kids Need Minimalism; and 10 Types of Friends Worth Fighting For. There are over 500 episodes of the Optimal Living Daily podcast (you can find them all on the show’s website), so there’s something for everybody.
Episodes are released daily and are between 5-10 minutes, which I think is the perfect length for a daily podcast. The podcast is most suitable for adults and teens (with 500 episodes, some topics are bound to be too heavy or mature for kids.)
Related Post: 3 Best Advice Podcasts for Real-Life Problems
Bonus Podcast Recommendation
I really like the Run, Selfie, Repeat podcast, which is a running-themed podcast but is really a podcast about life. The host speaks super candidly – and in a positive manner – about her grief over the sudden death of her brother, the challenges of being a runner, and all the self-doubt that comes with being human.
Are you embarrassed to read self-help books? Do you listen to self-help podcasts instead? Leave a comment below so we can discuss!