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By now, most of you have probably caught on to what podcasting is, even if you've never listened to one before. I describe podcasts to people as a cross between a radio show and an audio book, except in conversation form. You'll find podcasts on nearly any topic you can imagine and, with the rapid advance of smart phones, listening to them has become more convenient than ever.

If you're new to podcasting, let me take a quick moment to explain how they work. Podcasts are recorded audio broadcasts that get stored online. They are aggregated by platforms like iTunes, so people can easily search for the episodes and topics they are interested in. You can play podcasts on your phone or computer using dedicated apps such as Overcast. They are then stored on your device and you can listen to them at your leisure, while driving in the car, working out at the gym, or relaxing in bed.

Now that you know what a podcast is, here are four I recommend for the positive impact they can have on your daily life.

1. The Good Life Project

Hosted by Jonathan Fields, the Good Life Project features a different guest each week. During these interviews, Fields asks pointed questions about how the guest achieved success in his or her life, and what lessons were learned along the way. These conversations are upbeat and inspiring, as Fields does his best to elicit takeaway moments that will resonate with listeners.

Past episodes worth checking out include Seth Godin, Mark Nepo, and Brene Brown.

2. Ted Radio Hour

If you check out any list of the most popular podcasts, they will inevitably be littered with NPR shows. You can't go wrong listening to Fresh Air, This American Life, or Prairie Home Companion. But if you're looking for a show that can both educate and inspire, the Ted Radio Hour is the way to go.

Hosted by Guy Raz, the show takes the best TED Talks and adds additional interview material. Each episode is based around a theme, and includes several speakers, so you'll get a well-rounded take on topics such as creativity, animals, and innovation. The show explores ideas such as astonishing inventions, fresh approaches to old problems, and new ways to think and create.

Some can't-miss episodes include Simply Happy, Quiet, and The Meaning of Work.

3. Tara Brach

Hosted, appropriately enough, by Tara Brach, this podcast focuses on meditation, emotional healing, and spiritual awakening. Brach is a leading teacher of Buddhism, and each episode starts out with a 30-minute guided mediation session. She then speaks for close to an hour on key themes associated with Buddhist teachings.

This podcast is especially useful for helping to stay relaxed and centered, if only because of her soothing voice. There's no need to recommend a particular episode. Just start with the most recent, and I think you'll find it easier to achieve peace and mindfulness if you make this podcast a part of your regular routine.

4. Daily Boost

The Daily Boost aims to help you discover what makes you happy, reduce your stress, and become inspired. The show helps listeners to master the life skills they need to balance their life and achieve greater success. Host Scott Smith specializes in motivating people with his straight-talking style that is both fun and effective. The Daily Boost has been iTunes' most popular Self-Help podcast since 2006.

As its name proclaims, episodes are released Monday through Friday. Again, no one podcast stands out, but you'll probably find that its upbeat tone will become an indispensable daily listen.

Whether you are new to podcasts or an old veteran, these are shows you won't want to miss. And don't forget that if you find yourself in need of more attentive instruction, you can contact me about being your personal life coach. You can learn more about my coaching services and packages here, as well as read client testimonials.


 


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