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The Weekly 5: Transformational Personal Development Podcasts

In Balanced Achievement’s ‘The Weekly 5′ series, we aim to present you with five ideas, products or tools that you can utilize to enhance the quality of your life. In this week’s article, we look at five transformational personal development podcasts that are sure to promote life-affirming growth.


When considering the ways in which the vast majority of Americans spend their awoken time, it becomes clear to see why only 33% of U.S. citizens consider themselves to be very happy with life. Various statistics tell us that the average individual watches T.V. for upwards of five hours each day and browses social media websites for another two hours, all the while a yearning to learn, grow and improve themselves eats at them inside. Additionally, instead of productively using the unavoidable time spent commuting to work, which averages to be over 50 minutes a day, most people allow their minds to run on autopilot or choose to judgmentally watch others.

It was in the mid 1900s when the likes of Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers, two of history’s most celebrated psychologists, developed the therapeutic approach of Humanistic Psychology which is based upon the belief that, at the core of our beings, what we most desire is to reach our fullest potential. The two iconic thinkers told us that it’s only by maintaining a sense of purpose and unrelenting pursuing one’s dreams that individuals are able to live fully satisfied with themselves. Maslow famously advised us:

If you plan on being anything less than you are capable of being, you will probably be unhappy all the days of your life.”

If the foundational principles of Humanistic Psychology holds even a bit of truth, it’s not difficult to realize that much of America’s life-dissatisfaction results from the many unproductive ways individuals spend their time. Fortunately, by transforming our limiting habits with powerful tools such as personal development podcasts, we can vastly increase our levels of happiness and greatly improve the quality of our lives.

Balanced Achievement’s Top 5 Personal Development Podcasts:

An image shows a young woman commuting on a train with headphones on as she looks out the window with a slight smile on her face. This image represents the idea that personal development podcasts can transform our lives.Since the early 2000s, there has been an ever-expanding collection of digital audio podcasts, which resemble radio shows, that users can download on their computer or smartphone and listen to on the go. While there is a seemingly endless variety of podcasts that focus on a similarly diverse set of niche topics, many of the most celebrated programs fall within the category of self-help. When creating our list of the Top 5 Personal Development Podcasts, we aimed to not only illuminate the best of the best but also to shed light on the immense variation of life-affirming topics that are the focus of individual podcast series. Furthermore, because only focusing on five of the best doesn’t adequately portray the many options available to you, we’ve included a brief description of five additionally inspiring personal development podcasts at the end of this article:

1.) On Being with Krista Tippett

An image shows the icon for the On Being podcast which is one of Balanced Achievement's top five personal development podcasts.It was in 2001 when award-wining broadcaster and bestselling author Krista Tippett created her thought-provoking podcast On Being, which originally aired as a public radio show called Speaking of Faith, that aims to answer life’s most meaningful questions. During the hourlong weekly shows, Tippett focuses on questions such as ‘What does it mean to be human?’ and ‘How do we want to live?’ while interviewing a diverse set of noteworthy individuals whose backgrounds are in the fields of religion, science, art and education. Some of the most eminent figures to be featured in the podcast’s 300-plus episodes include His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, Daniel Kahneman, Jonathan Haidt and Maya Angelou. For those of you who desire to live with a greater appreciation for the immensity of life, On Being with Krista Tippett stands alone as the best.

2.) TED Radio Hour

An image shows the icon for the Ted Radio Hour podcast which is one of Balanced Achievement's top five personal development podcasts.Every since the innovative media giant TED began posting their highly inspirational and educational video speeches known as TED Talks online in 2006, the personal development world has been buzzing about various iconic speeches and the life lessons they come with. It wasn’t until 2014, however, when TED began partnering with National Public Radio to produce what’s become one of the most transformative personal development podcasts. In the weekly episodes of TED Radio Hour, celebrated journalist, correspondent and radio host Guy Raz takes listeners on an hourlong journey into TED’s many ideas worth spreading. Each week, Raz focuses on a single topic, such as the source of happiness or crowd-sourcing innovation, and brings it to life by calling upon the most notable TED Talks given on the subject. For individuals who love learning about a wide range of topics and are looking to improve themselves in variety of different ways, the TED Radio Hour podcast may be just what they’re looking for.

3.) The Mindful Kind

An image shows the icon for The Mindful Kind podcast which is one of Balanced Achievement's top five personal development podcasts.The newest podcast to make our list of the Top 5 Personal Development Podcasts comes in the form of The Mindful Kind by Rachael Kable. Since launching her podcast in 2015 with the goal of inspiring listeners around the world to live more mindfully, The Mindful Kind has surpassed one million downloads and risen the iTunes charts to become one of the top ten health podcasts in the world. In the short weekly podcast episodes, which last around ten minutes long, Kable illuminates the many life-affirming benefits of meditation and guides listeners through simple yet transformative mindfulness practices. If you are one of the many individuals who’s recently discovered the immense power that comes from living mindfully and want to further cultivating your practice, The Mindful Kind by Rachael Kable is the podcast for you.

4.) The Tim Ferriss Show

An image shows the icon for The Tim Ferriss Show podcast which is one of Balanced Achievement's top five personal development podcasts.Over the past decade, there have been few, if any, inspirational icons who’ve accomplished as much as celebrated author and entrepreneur Tim Ferriss. Not only has Ferriss published numerous bestselling books such as The 4-Hour Workweek and The 4-Hour Body, but he’s also created one of the world’s best personal development podcasts. On the weekly Tim Ferriss Show, which served as the basis for his most recent bestseller Tools Of Titans, the self described ‘human guinea pig’ explores the success strategies, tools and routines of world-class performers from a variety of different fields and industries. Since launching the podcast in 2014, the man who’s been described as ‘The Oprah of Radio’ has interviewed the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie Foxx, Tony Robbins and Maria Popova while seeing his podcast be downloaded over 100 million times.

5.) Happier with Gretchen Rubin

An image shows the icon for the Happier with Gretchen Rubin podcast which is one of Balanced Achievement's top five personal development podcasts.From the author of New York Times bestsellers Better Than Before and The Happiness Project comes this thought-provoking and inspirational personal development podcast. In the weekly episodes of Happier with Gretchen Rubin, which typically run for 30 to 45 minutes, Gretchen and her younger sister Elizabeth Craft chat about inspirationally uplifting stories while offering listeners life-affirming happiness advice. Since launching the show in 2015, the duo whose been described as the ‘Click and Clack of podcasters’ has seen their heartening show receive numerous awards while consistently maintaining it’s position as one of the top podcasts on iTunes. For anyone looking to cultivate a little more blissful joy in their lives, Happier with Gretchen Rubin is undoubtedly a good place to start.

5 Other Personal Development Podcasts That Inspire:

An image shows a smartphone sitting on a table with earbud headphones wrapped around it. This image represents the idea that by using our smartphone devices more effectively, doing things such as listening to personal development podcasts, we have the ability to transform our lives.While we’ve featured our five favorite transformational personal development podcasts in this article, it is certain that our list just scratches the surface of the many life-affirming digital audio series available to you free of charge. Regardless of if you’re taking a broader approach to your personal growth or are focused on enhancing your skills and capabilities in a particular area of life, it is certain that there are motivational podcasts that’ll help you reach your goals while increasing your levels of life-satisfaction. If you’re looking to make your own podcast too, you can even find podcasts that will help teach you how to get started making your own! We had no idea until speaking to a creator that there is so much that goes on behind the scenes of making a podcast. It takes a lot of time to get it perfect yourself, or there are comapnies out there like https://lowerstreet.co who can take the weight off your shoulders to get it perfect. Anyway, for now we’re going to stick to the listening side, but maybe one day we will give it a go! Here we’ve included five additional personal development podcasts that’ll stimulate your mind and inspire you to take charge of your life, but if you still can’t find what you’re looking for, we recommend checking out the podcasts stores on your Apple or Android devices:

Invisibilia: In this thought-provoking podcast, co-hosts Hanna Rosin, Alix Spiegel and Lulu Miller creatively bring scientific research on invisible psychological concepts such as ideas, beliefs and emotions to life by integrating riveting narrative storytelling into the show.

The School Of Greatness With Lewis Howes: Similar to his personal development peer Tim Ferriss, best-selling author and entrepreneur Lewis Howes interviews iconic business, sports and entertainment figures in this podcast which aims to uncover the secrets of greatness.

The Minimalists Podcast: Over the past decade, a minimalist movement has taken place in the personal development world and in this thought-provoking podcast, co-hosts Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus tells us why living with less is actually more.

Optimal Living Daily: In what is unquestionably one of the most unique personal development podcasts, Optimal Living Daily creator Justin Malik reads short inspirational passages from highly acclaimed writings that revolve around a variety of different self-help topics.

Good Life Project: In this engaging podcast, award-winning author and entrepreneur Jonathan Fields interviews both imminent self-help leaders figures, such as Elizabeth Gilbert, Brene Brown and Seth Godin, and regular everyday individuals with the goal of uncovering the inspiration that can be found in every story.

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