Your Podcast Listening List for 2021

The best podcasts to get you through the year

Photo by Tommy Lopez from Pexels

After being around for more than 15 years, Podcasts are definitely having their day.

Fun fact; the term ‘podcast’ was first coined by Guardian journalist Ben Hammersly in an article for The Guardian back in 2004, not by Apple the creators of the iPod.

Fast forward to 2020 and we’ve seen a scramble to acquire the best content creators. In May, Spotify signed a $100 million deal for exclusivity on the back catalogue of ‘The Joe Rogan Experience’ Podcast.

This was the latest in a string of major investment that Spotify made into podcasts. In 2019 they paid $196 million for The Ringer, the podcast and media company founded by ESPN alumni Bill Simmons as well as podcast networks Gimlet and Anchor for $340 million.

The Spotify Q3 2020 report states that the company had 1.9 million podcasts on the platform, up from more than 1.5 million podcasts in Q2.

An impressive 22% of their active users engaged with podcast content. That’s 70 million people listening to a podcast at least once a month on Spotify alone.

Throw in the other major podcast platforms of Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Castbox, Stitcher and others, the total Podcast market was valued at U$D 9.28bn in 2019 and is expected to grow at 27.5% for the next decade.

With this explosion in content, how can you find the best podcasts to listen to in 2021?

I’ve helped you find the best by listing my top 3 podcasts from each of my favourite categories of;

  • Fitness & Wellness.
  • Money & Investing.
  • Entrepreneurship & New Business.
  • Marketing.
  • Creative Writing.
  • Productivity
  • Thought Leadership

Fitness & Wellness

1. Feel Better Live More

‘I want to empower you to become the architect of your own health. Because when you feel better, you live more.’

Hosted by Dr Rangan Chatterjee, this podcast has grown since its launch in 2018 to become the number 1 health and wellness podcast in the UK and Europe on Apple podcasts.

As a result, Dr Chatterjee attracts top guests such as Ariana Huffington, Matthew McConaughey and Jay Shetty.

2. Deliciously Ella

‘The Podcast delves into the world of physical and mental health, well-being, the realities of building a business and a brand and staying positive in a busy world.’

Hosted by food entrepreneur Ella Mills, this podcast covers a wide range of health and wellness topics such as mental health, self-care, nutrition and dealing with stress.

3. The Happiness Lab with Dr Laurie Santos

‘You might think more money, a better job, or Instagram-worthy vacations would make you happy. You’re dead wrong. In “The Happiness Lab” podcast, Yale professor Dr Laurie Santos will take you through the latest scientific research and share some surprising and inspiring stories that will forever alter the way you think about happiness.’

Following the huge success of her Yale University course on the Psychology of Happiness, Prof Santos teaches us about what really makes us happy.

Money & Investing

1. Naked Money

The Naked Trader is Robbie Burns, a self-made multi-millionaire who’s done exactly this all by himself. This is easy to understand, jargon-free, stripped-back, bite-sized bits of knowledge delivered in 30 minutes or less.’

A relatively new podcast, series one is an easy to follow step by step guide on how to invest your way to a million. Much of this content is specific to UK finance and investing laws, for example making the most of stocks and shares ISAs, but the principles are universally applicable.

2. My First Million

‘Unlike other “business” podcasts, hosts Shaan Puri and Sam Parr aren’t here to criticize entrepreneurs or tell you why making money or business building is evil. My First Million aims to do the exact opposite. Celebrate builders, even if they fail. And give you the tools to help you turn your scheme into a reality.’

This podcast has been running since 2018 and is now on its 6th series. Puri and Parr brainstorm business ideas between them and often with guests from the start-up community.

3. Sound Investing

‘Every Wednesday, Paul releases a new Sound Investing podcast, free and advertiser-free, to give you sound ideas to grow and protect your money. Driven by a passion for financial education, Paul has been podcasting weekly even before retiring in 2012 from the Seattle-based investment advisory firm he founded in 1983. Sound Investing has received numerous recognition’s including “Best Money Podcast” by Money magazine.’

A podcast for investment advice that is relevant to your life stage. The decisions that you make in your 20s are different than if you are in your 50s — all covered in this long-running podcast.

Entrepreneurship and New Business

1. Indie Hackers

‘Courtland Allen interviews the ambitious indie hackers who are turning their ideas and side projects into profitable online businesses. Explore the latest strategies and tools founders are using to discover new trends, escape the 9-to-5 grind, and create their own personal revenue-generating machines. The future is indie!’

Courland Allen interviews a fascinating range of guests who have gone it alone to set up their own successful businesses using an ‘indie hacker’ philosophy.

Full of great tips and advice for anyone thinking of starting their own business.

2. How I Built This

‘Guy Raz dives into the stories behind some of the world’s best-known companies. How I Built This weaves a narrative journey about innovators, entrepreneurs and idealists — and the movements they built.’

Like Indie Hackers, this is another great podcast series of case studies on how businesses are built from the ground up, together with the lessons learned along the way.

3. The James Altucher Show

‘On my podcast, I get to talk to some of the greatest Choose Yourselfers, innovators, and peak performers in the world, including Mark Cuban, Sir Richard Branson, William Shatner, Coolio, Arianna Huffington, Ray Dalio, Tony Hawk, Tyra Banks, Peter Theil and 500+ more of today’s leading peak performers.’

A controversial figure, James Altucher dives into the mistakes as well as the successes of his entrepreneurial guests he interviews each week.

Marketing

1. The Digital Marketing Podcast with Tim Cameron-Kitchen

‘Listen in as Head Ninja Tim interviews some of the World’s smartest Digital Marketing minds, from business owners that have transformed their companies with effective marketing to thought leaders in SEO, conversion, PPC and websites.’

Useful tips and advice on how to optimise your social marketing strategy no matter what how big or small your business is.

2. Social Media Examiner

‘Social Media Examiner offers two weekly audio podcasts and a weekly live video talk show to help boost your marketing skills and keep you up-to-date with the ever-changing world of social media.’

A podcast focusing on social media strategy, which can be difficult to keep up to date with while you are focused on building your business.

3. Marketing Over Coffee

‘Marketing over coffee is a weekly discussion of what’s new in marketing.’

An informal chatty podcast diving into the world of marketing. A bit like listening in an office conversation of clever marketing people.

Creative Writing

1. Beautiful Writers

‘Listen in as author Linda Sivertsen (aka Book Mama) brings together the world’s most beloved authors for monthly chats on writing, publishing, deal-making, spirituality, activism, and the art of romancing creativity.’

This podcast is for anyone who wishes that they could quiz their favourite writers to ask them everything about their process, where they get inspiration from and how to stay motivated as a writer.

Top guests include Tom Hanks and Brene Brown.

2. The Copywriter Club

‘What if you could hang out with seriously talented copywriters and other experts; ask them about their successes and failures, their work processes and their habits; then steal an idea or two to inspire your own work? That’s what Kira Hug and Rob Marsh do every week at The Copywriter Club Podcast.

This podcast is for anyone wanting to grow their copywriting into a serious business. Full of useful tips on how to grow your income from writing.

3. The Writing Life

‘We’re a weekly podcast for anyone who writes. We talk to writers about their writing journeys and techniques, from early-career debuts to self-publishers and narrative designers.’

Successful author guests have included Margaret Atwood and Sara Collins. The series also interviews debut authors to learn about their path to publishing their first novel.

Productivity

1. Deep Questions with Cal Newport

‘For over a decade I’ve been writing about work, technology and the deep life in my bestselling books and national publications such as the New Yorker and New York Times. Now it’s your turn to drive the conversation!’

The productivity guru, Cal Newport answers questions from his listeners each week on how to put all his productivity tips into action. Newport is a proponent of time blocking and deep work as a way of becoming more productive.

2. The Tim Ferris Show

‘Each episode, I deconstruct world-class performers from eclectic areas (investing, sports, business, art, etc.) to extract the tactics, tools, and routines you can use. This includes favourite books, morning routines, exercise habits, time-management tricks, and much more.’

The author of ‘The 4-Hour Work Week’ interviews a wide range of guests to unpack their methods for productivity and success. Past guests have included Tony Robbins, Peter Thiel and Malcolm Gladwell.

3. Getting Things Done

‘Our GTD podcasts are here to support you at every stage of your GTD practice. You will hear interviews with people from all walks of life about their journey with GTD, from beginners to those who have been at it for years.

The Podcast from Dave Allen, author of “Getting Things Done, The Art of Stress-Free Productivity’. Here Allen delves deeper into the concepts he is renowned for.

Thought Leadership

1. The Michelle Obama Podcast

‘The Michelle Obama Podcast features the former First Lady diving deep into conversations with loved ones — family, friends, and colleagues — on the relationships in our lives that make us who we are.’

The thought-provoking podcast from America’s former first lady. She starts off the series with a bang by interviewing her husband.

2. The Next Big Idea

‘Ideas are coming at you every day from all directions. Where do you even start? Hosted by Rufus Griscom, and featuring thought-leaders Malcolm Gladwell, Susan Cain, Adam Grant, and Daniel Pink, THE NEXT BIG IDEA brings you the most groundbreaking ideas that have the power to change the way you live, work, and think.

A fantastic and thought-provoking podcast covering a range of ideas from what poker can teach us about luck to solving problems upstream before they happen.

3. The Rich Roll Podcast

‘Each week Rich delves deep into all things wellness with some of the brightest and most forward-thinking, paradigm-busting minds in health, fitness, nutrition, art, entertainment, entrepreneurship & spirituality.

I’ve said the best to last. This is my favourite podcast by far. Each week, Roll interviews a guest who he selects on the basis that they’ve lived an interesting life in some way. From legendary surfer Laird Hamilton to actor and broadcaster Ravi Patel.

Each episode is both highly educational and entertaining. Rich Roll makes you want to live a better life as a result of his inspirational interviews and personal reflections.

Curious Creature. Voracious learner. Scientist turned writer with lots in between. Obsessed with running and personal growth. www.lifebydianne.com

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