Best Podcasts About Life Purpose 2020
There are thousands of them, in categories ranging from mental health to comedy and anything in between, depending on what kind of purpose you are looking for. While you might not find all the answers you are looking for, your list of favourites can give you valuable clues about your own priorities, so it's worth sampling a few, noting what resonates and what doesn't. Please email us your favourites, so we can expand the list.
The Partially Examined Life; Philosophize This! Philosophy Bites and similar podcasts give a overview of Western philosophy and its most respected thinkers. The Daily Stoic, for example, draws on the ancient wisdom and aims to bring in present-day parallels. Plenty of others, like The Philosophy Guy, combine philosophy with modern day spirituality, psychology and altered states of consciousness, which might be fascinating or confusing, depending on what you are looking for.
If you are approaching your life purpose from a spiritual, but not a religious, perspective, here are some podcasts which focus less on the "ultimate why" and more on your own state of mind, your relationship with life, etc.
The Oprah Winfrey Show: The podcast is the 2020 project releasing the highlights of the of the original TV show on Apple Podcasts. Oprah's pioneering self-help TV show with popular authors, life coaches and motivational speakers goes back to the 1980s. Turned into 30 minute podcast episodes, they remain relevant today. Similarly, Oprah's SuperSoul Conversations is the podcast version of another one of Oprah's TV shows.
The Work with Byron Katie ("Let's do the work"). An original method of dismantling negative thought patterns is illustrated in this podcast, a companion to the free resources available on the website. Byron Katie's work goes well beyond searching for a purpose and questions the ego. Spoiler alert: if you do the work you might find that you don't need a life purpose at all.
Mooji, a Jamaican guru influenced by Indian spirituality, publishes his talks as a podcast.
Sounds True with Tami Simon ("Waking up the world")
A series of interviews with book authors primarily. Guests offer insights and self-improvement techniques. The host has a clear interview plan and asks the right question at the right time, always on behalf of the audience, cutting out any self-indulgent chat. Among my recent favourites "F...ck like a goddess" has to stand out.
On Purpose with Jay Shetty ("Making wisdom go viral")
A highly popular podcast on spirituality with a touch of glamour, hosted by a successful entrepreneur and a motivational speaker, with similar guests. The content varies, although the host does his best to highlight spiritual takeaways. Scrolling through the episode list, you will find the hosts of many other popular motivational podcasts, including Vishen Lakhiani, Joe Dispenza, Ed Mylett, etc.
Russel Brand's Under the Skin. This is a popular podcast with great guests and in-depth conversations. While the full audio version only available on Luminary on subscription, you will find short extracts on Apple Podcasts. The recent interview with Eckhart Tolle was posted in full on YouTube and has been widely shared.
Deepak Chopra, a popular self-improvement and an alternative medicine advocate has several short podcasts intended as daily inspirations.
"Aspirational Listening": pods about other people's lives
You may find these inspirational, soothing and encouraging, and at times your own purpose will seem not so far away... It's worth a try.
The Tim Ferriss Show. Lots of successful content creators, mainly from the USA, appear on this popular podcast, and some of them might resonate with you. A recent highlight is the episode with Jim Dethmer, a leadership coach.
The Good Life Project. Interviews with best selling authors and other successful people including, of course, Tim Ferriss. The four best episodes are listed on the pod's website.
The Knowledge Project is a fortnightly show which aims to help you think and reflect on the world we live in. Interviews on things like intuition, emotional intelligence, conscious leadership, goal-setting and avoiding failure.
Life on Purpose has coaches, entrepreneurs, spiritual teachers and authors discussing their books, online courses and consultancy work.
Realistic advice on careers, money and starting a business - for "people like us":
The Dave Ramsey Show and related podcasts offer financial and career advice, mostly applicable to the US. Down-to-earth, common sense suggestions in response to phone-in questions about financial worries.
The Minimalists' podcast ("use things and love people, because the opposite never works"). From the simple idea of having less, the minimalists have managed to create "something out of nothing": a surprising amount of high quality content, touching on philosophy, the meaning of life, relationships, letting go of careers and whole identities. The content focusses on the core message rather than their own extraordinary success as content creators. Audience feedback is at the heart of each show. The minimalists eschew advertising ("because advertising sucks") and have launched a private podcast to complement the free show.
Life Skills that Matter ("Create work that works for you"). This podcast gives you a real life picture of what it takes to start your own business. The guests are passionate entrepreneurs and share their experience in an honest and open conversation, anything from assessing your financial needs, to developing your business idea, creating your business plan, attracting investors and running your business without burning out.
Many life coaches, career coaches and purpose coaches in the US have their own podcasts. For example, Robin Sharma's podcast series promote his services as a success guru. Even if joining his 5 am club is not for you, you might occasionally find inspiration in his motivational audio essays.
The Meaning Movement interviews business and career coaches, discussing the world of work from different perspectives, and has a comprehensive website with further resources. A recent highlight is an interview with career coach Stephen Warley.
The Portfolio Life. This is the podcast about "creativity and how the lives of creative people actually work". If you see yourself as a creative person, you will appreciate advice on how to nurture your gift, stop comparing yourself to others, keep your creativity fresh and deal with insecurity and fears. My favourite episode is with Chase Jarvis.
Next Economy Now highlights entrepreneurs who use business as a force for good. Lots of inspirational ideas, as well as business training on offer.
Choose Unstoppable. A business coach interviews "ordinary people doing extraordinary things", most of them women, and unpacks the lessons we can learn from them, to help us "live our wildest dreams".
Knowledge for Men - a podcast promoting coaching courses and interviewing other coaches about how to "become the most powerful version of yourself". The emphasis is on actionable tips and insights. A recent takeaway: meditation is a growing trend among high performers because it's no longer seen as "feminine".
Unbeatable Mind is another podcast interviewing authors and coaches and focussing on high performance.
"Aspirational listening": interviews with billionaires, influencers and others "who have already made it":
The idea behind these podcasts is that if you want to be a billionaire, you need to hang out with billionaires, in the hope that their talent for "attracting wealth" might rub off. If you want to be a "peak performer", hang out with peak performers. If you don't know any just yet, these "listen and grow" podcasts are a good place to start.
The School of Greatness, The Ed Mylett show, Achieve Your Goals and other shows interview successful people so that you can learn from their success. More likely than not they live in California. Most overused expressions are: "the number one" (author/coach/motivational speaker); "the best version of yourself"; "attract" and "manifest" (wealth and success).
Shows like For the Love of Money will motivate you if you love money, or if you are afraid of "ending up among the have-nots".