On my quest to be healthy, I’ve found myself exercising (mostly running) for too many hours without a good playlist. Streaming playlists hasn’t been working to fill the gap in my workouts, and the music on my phone isn’t cutting it. So instead I’ve stumbled into the world of podcasts!
The first season of Serial kept me going through many runs my senior year of high school, but this time I didn’t want a story. I found that what worked best for my workouts were longer podcasts, generally between 40 and 75 minutes, because then I didn’t have to worry about finding another episode. The best part of podcasts is that you can download them for free before your workout so they travel well. If I run outside, I don’t have to worry about how much data is left on my phone the way that I do when streaming music.
I’m a big believer in being mindful in every part of your life, so when I stumbled into the Health section of the Podcast App on my phone, I had a good feeling. Listening to these podcasts, I was conscious of how I was improving myself both physically and mentally during my runs. Here are the four I’ve stumbled into this month.
Happier with Gretchen Rubin
Happier with Gretchen Rubin is a podcast that offers pragmatic advice for being happier. Gretchen and her sister Elizabeth Craft talk about their experiences trying to live happier lives filled with good habits. In each 30-45 minute episode, Rubin and Craft cover 2-3 topics ranging from personality tests to relationships. They answer questions they receive, and always end each episode with a happiness hack, a quick and easy change you can make to make your life happier.
I listened to episodes 99 (Take Personality Quizzes), 97 (Start Your Own Happiness Project), and 93 (How to Survive a Break-Up). The episodes were engaging and kept me distracted while I was running. It wasn’t overwhelming, but rather made it fun to keep running. Rubin and Craft transition easily between topics, without becoming boring. I highly recommend listening to an episode or two.
Good Life Project
Host Johnathan Fields focuses on the stories of guests to find meaning, happiness, inspiration, and more in his podcast Good Life Project. He has had a broad range of guests covering topics from luck to love. Many of his episodes are much shorter than my desired work out length, and the pace is a little slower than I would like. The podcast is a part of the greater content and community surrounding the Good Life Project, which consists of courses and events as well.
I listened to “To Succeed at Anything, Do This,” which was in a different style than the rest of his podcasts. This episode didn’t have a guest, but rather consisted of Fields’s musings about his Success Scaffolding technique. The whole 54 minutes consisted of him breaking down this process with short examples. Although the content was interesting, often I felt Fields was a little long winded in his explanations. The episode didn’t move as quickly as those with guests, and I got a little bored.
The Minimalists Podcast
I couldn’t make it through the Health section of the Podcast App without listening to The Minimalists. Joshua Fields and Ryan Nicodemus have a small empire of books, classes, events, and now even a documentary dedicated to helping others create a meaningful life with less. Their podcast episodes are long (generally a little under two hours), but somehow manage to still be captivating.
I listened to episode “042 | Creating,” which focused on making creative content and was driven by their story starting their blog and other projects. They used listener questions to switch from topic to topic. Unlike the other podcasts, the Minimalists didn’t have outside advertisements, but rather used users questions as a way to promote their own products. I would listen to them again, but perhaps for only half an episode.
The Balanced Blonde // Soul on Fire
The Balanced Blonde is Jordan Younger’s podcast where she interviews various guests and discusses topics such as wellness and friendship. It supplements her YouTube Channel, blog, and store. Her episodes are a little over an hour, in a very casual style. Her production value is lower than that of the other podcasts I listened to, and matches the voice of a Vlogger rather than a podcast.
I listed to “Ep. 10 ft. Sarah Pendrick- Girl Talk, The Power of Good Energy & Manifesting the Life of your Dreams,” in which Younger interviews GirlTalk Network founder Sarah Pendrick. Younger’s questions were interesting and Pendrick’s answers kept me listening. However, there were periods in which the casual style took away from the content. It was interesting to listen to, but I didn’t learn anything particularly poignant.
Listening to these podcasts took my workout to the next level, and I would recommend trying them out. Whether you take them on your runs like I did, or listen to them on your way to work, podcasts can be a great way to make the most out of time where your mind is wandering.
If you listen to any of these or have other recommendations for me to try next, please let me know in the comments.