This post was originally written for and published on Forbes.
Let’s face it: we all have our normal routines. Most days follow the same structure… and for most of us, we probably even share that structure.
It’s probably some variation of get up, get out the door, get to the office, get to work, get home, get stuff done, get to bed… and repeat.
It’s not hard to see where things can become sort of a grind, and it might be tough to find things that spark new ideas or fresh perspectives.
Sound familiar? Lacking inspiration, or just want a new take on the same old topics?
Try turning to these podcasts that might help you shift your mindset or give you a little insight that helps you see the world just a bit differently.
At the very least, queuing up these shows will make your commute a little more interesting tomorrow morning. Here’s what to check out:
1. Revisionist History, Hosted by Malcolm Gladwell
There hasn’t been an episode of Revisionist History that I haven’t been fascinated by. Gladwell is, of course, a masterful storyteller, and that’s part of what makes this podcast so compelling: it’s very much a story that hooks you from the beginning and keeps you engaged the whole way through.
Gladwell takes topics that are “overlooked or misunderstood,” and walks listeners through them in granular detail. He compiles a mountain of facts, information, and data and weaves it all into a fascinating look at what we think we know — but the light he shines comes from a completely new and unexpected angle, exposing all kinds of facets we didn’t know about events, phenomenon, and society.
What I appreciate most about Revisionist History is that, even though I don’t necessarily agree with all of Gladwell’s points or arguments, he creates a path to considering things from a different perspective. I like feeling challenged to examine things in a new way, and even if I don’t change my mind or have a big a-ha moment, it’s still enjoyable to stretch my mind a bit.
2. Hidden Brain, Hosted by Shankar Vedantam
What better way to change your thinking than to understand how you currently think? Hidden Brain will help you do just that, with episodes that dive into the what, why, and how of human decision-making and information-processing.
Better understanding our own thought processes and how our brains work is a great way to get more insight into your own thoughts and why you do (and think, and believe) what you do. It can help make you more aware of what’s really running the show… which is a great first step to take to start making changes if you’re interested in choosing a different way of thinking.
Like Revisionist History, Hidden Brain is grounded in facts and data — but Vedantam does a stellar job spinning all the science into engaging stories that make you want to keep listening after each show ends.
3. Beyond Finances, Hosted by Kali & Eric Roberge
It’s easy to find podcasts that talk about money and investing. It’s even easier to find ones that talk about boring basics like budgeting and dealing with debt. It’s hard to find anything that takes a meaningful look at how money actually impacts your real life day after day, year over year.
Beyond Finances changes that — although, admittedly, I’m a little biased with this one as this is the podcast I co-host with my wife, Kali Roberge. But you don’t have to take my word for it alone: as one reviewer put it, “If you want to make smarter, values-based choices in how you spend and invest your money, listen to Beyond Finances.”
So what makes the podcast different than the usual personal finance advice show? It exists at the intersection between self-awareness, personal development, and financial success. It’s what you need to listen to if you want to make a meaningful impact on not just your finances, but your life in general.
4. Entrepreneurs On Fire, Hosted by John Lee Dumas
This is a must-listen if you have even the smallest inkling that you might like to strike out on your own and start your own business or become a freelancer. Entrepreneurs On Fire features hundreds of interviews with entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, and freelancers of all kinds.
The variety of businesses, industries, niches, backgrounds, success stories and tales of massive failures is pretty amazing — which makes the common threads you start to see in most entrepreneurial journeys even more remarkable. It’s somehow both comforting and inspiring to know that, no matter where you’re coming from, there are some universal things we all deal with as entrepreneurs.
And of course, the diversity of the interviews is also helpful in helping you shift your mindset and see what’s possible for making working for yourself a reality.
5. Akimbo, Hosted by Seth Godin
Anyone who is a fan of Seth’s daily posts will enjoy this longer-format variation of very similar topics, where he takes deep dives into the kind of content he skims in his blog. While there’s certainly a focus on marketing here, the podcast is certainly for more than just people who identify as “marketers.”
Akimbo is interesting, insightful, and thought-provoking for professionals in any field who want to make a difference and and impact; who want to stand up and influence their surroundings.
While I’ve sometimes found myself wondering “where is he going with this?” when I listen to shows, I’ve also found that Godin’s topics help me think about things I might not have considered on my own. If you’re looking for a push to make changes, this podcast might be a good one to queue up and try out.