My top 5 podcasts for personal development

My top 5 podcasts to help you to become a better you in 2019

itunes podcast imageThis time of year is always a good time to stop and reflect a little.  We are always generally thinking about how we can do better but something I was thinking about was -what worked out well for me last year?

One thing I think, that has really had a positive impact on me over the last year or two is  getting into podcasts, particularly in the areas of health and personal development.

Here are my top 5 podcasts in terms of lifestyle, health and generally feeling better.

  1. Optimize with Brian Johnson 

(got to be my top one as I’ve been listening to this for a couple years )

What is it –  It features the american entrepreneur Brian Johnson who reads key books in personal development and health and puts together a “Philosophers note”  a succinct summary of top themes and ideas from that book.  These summaries are available online, on videso and in podcasts.  Brian also offers shorter clips of themes in his ‘plus ones’ and longer content in his Masterclasses.
Key areas include: nutrition, focus, sleep, mediation, goal-setting, habit-forming etc.

Why I like it  – Brian is articulate and obviously smart and I really like the way he distils the books he reads and pulls out the key ideas.  And because he reads all the books himself, he is constantly building on previous knowledge and pulling together the key ideas not just from the book but from the topic itself.  This means as a listener you feel you are accessing the most relevant up-to-date ideas on a topic.  And Brian does seems like a nice guy who is genuially committed to his cause of helping people optimise “every facet” of their lives. do have a paid subscribtion service but there are lots of free resources too.

A couple of my favourite episodes  (can be accessed via his app too)


2. The Happiness Podcast by Dr Robert Puff

What is it –  Dr Robert Puff is a practicing clinical pyschologyist and his Happiness Podcast focuses on “ways for all of us to live a happier life”. In this podcast Dr Puff gives us his thoughts and strategies on how to be happier and kinder to yourself and others.
Key areas include: keys to be happy, dealing with addictions , stress managment and how to be happier in areas such as work and family.

happiness podcast image

Why I like it – As a practicing therapist Dr Puff seems to have gathered many key insights into human nature over the years.  He offers over 200 podcasts with practical  advice and strategies on how to be happier.  For me, some of the topics resonate more than others but i enjoy listening to them as they are short and well put together. And Dr Puff has a lovely soothing voice which calms me down as soon as I start listening.  And its free.

A couple of my favourites (on iTunes podcast too)


3. Feel Better Live More with Dr Rangan Chatterjee

What is it –   Dr Chatterjee is a British medical doctor who is interested in a holistic approach to health and wellness.  According to his website, he takes “a 360° approach to health by focussing on my 4 pillars of health: Food, Movement, Sleep and Relaxation”.  In his podcasts, he conducts interviews with experts and thought leaders  in various health fields.
Key areas include: Fitness and running, better eating habits, stress relief etc.

image of rangan website

Why I like it – I find Dr Chatterjee easy to relate to as reminds me of ‘your friendly neighbourhood GP’.   He has some really interesting and thought-provoking interviews.   I like his enthusiastic manner and his down to earth practical advice and I have changed (or am in the process of changing!) several of my eating habits after listening to him.  The podcast is free and there are also lots of other free resources on his website too.

A couple of my favourites (on iTunes podcast too)


4.  Insight timer

What is it – According the web it is “the largest free library of mediations on earth and the top meditation app on the Android and IOS stores”.  Insight timer offers mediations on an array of subjects and themes and can be organised by topic, length of time you want to meditate, theme or teacher etc. It all also offers music, chanting and chimes among other things.
Key areas include: Meditation, breath, sleeping, gratitude etc.


Why I like it – the app is really well organised, I can follow teachers, topics or set bookmarks or playlists etc.    And unlike some of the more popular mediation apps like Calm or Headspace, Insight Timer  seems to have a lot more free stuff  available   (though it does have paid features too).  And most importantly I think, as its so easy to use, it has really helped me make meditation a regular part of my routine.

A couple of my favourites (available in the app)


5. The Model health show with Shawn Stevenson

What is it – Shawn’s mission is to “to help you become the strongest, healthiest, happiest version of yourself”. His podcast deals with similar topics such as but unlike that product where Brian distils books into phislsophers notes or podcasts, Shawn conducts interviews with leading people in topical health and wellbeing fields.
Key areas include: fitness, sleep, nutrition, physical and mental health.

5 star review from app store on how it changed his life

Why I like it – The topics are very interesting and Shawn gets some great people on  the show.  Not only does Shawn come across as very knowledgable himself but he is also fun and has an engaging way of talking to people he interviews.  Not to mention those lovely dulcet tones of his! Sometimes I think he focuses a little too much on the promo. stuff but overall, his passion and his intent to help others comes across.  And he does seem to be helping alot of people.


A couple of my favourites (available in the app)

Forming good habits feels good.

Swapping out a Netflix show to listen to the odd podcast or getting into the habit of listening to them whilst out walking or in the car, is becoming more a habit for me.   And it feels good to learn more about how to live well.

And Aristotle purportley said – ” we are what we repeatly do” and listening to these podcasts has certainly  helped me create a more healthy and happy lifestyle.



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