What are the best podcasts for self-growth? What is the best motivational podcast? What are some podcasts that inspire you? Here’s a list of 30 Podcasts that can change the way you think.
A podcast can be inspiring and can make you change the way you think. More than ever, many of us are looking for an escape from the clamor of our anxieties, and listening to podcasts via our earbuds can be a powerful remedy.
When the world feels like a perpetually cold place, your boss is breathing down your neck, the kids seem possessed by demons, and nothing goes your way, you need a good laugh. One of those can’t stop, can’t breathe, can’t speak, lose time for a few minutes kind of laughs feels like a workout for your soul.
But if you think you’ve got to save the merriment for a special occasion, you’re clearly not listening to enough podcasts. Our favorite comedy podcasts deliver those moments while commuting, when you need a distraction from mindless tasks, at the gym, or really any time you can pop on those headphones and get out of your own head.
Despite an initial drop in podcast listenership at the start of the pandemic, it appears more and more listeners have returned to the medium in recent months—and more people are exploring it for the first time. This is encouraging news—podcasts are the very thing that might bring us some relief and much-needed levity right now.
Though the pandemic still rages and fewer of us are getting smushed alongside sweaty strangers on trains or fighting the urge to scream at every other car on the road while stuck in rush-hour traffic, podcasts still have the ability to take us out of our wallows and away from our present-moment struggles.
Some of the funny podcasts compiled in this article by TheVibely are by courtesy of comedians you may already love, like Nicole Byer and Sasheer Zamata, Marc Maron, and Jason Mantzoukas. Others are basically audio versions of your favorite TV shows, complete with zany sound effects and theme songs.
Then there are those that cover not-so-silly topics in more lighthearted ways. Of course, not everyone has the same sense of humor. What makes me cackle won’t even get a snicker out of you. That’s why we found a wide selection of hilarious podcasts, so every funny bone gets the same chance at a tickle.
Below are 30 self-improvement podcasts, podcasts that will make you laugh I would recommend you can find more time for comfortable listening.
I don’t think anyone is funnier off-the-cuff than comedians Michelle Buteau and Jordan Carlos. On Adulting, the hilarious pair tackles all of our questions about growing the hell up. Each episode features conversations with other comedians, actors, and entertainers about their own process of learning to “adult,” and every ep will make you feel less alone (or behind) in your own adulting accomplishments.
Most episodes are (were) taped live at Union Hall in Brooklyn, which also allows for perhaps the best segment of all—the answering audience member questions about adulthood. Questions range from “How can I be a good best man when I’m broke?” to “How often should I actually be changing my sheets?”
Listen to Adulting here, or wherever you get your podcasts.
2. Why Won’t You
Nicole Byer is an absolute freakin’ delight. If you haven’t already seen her stand up, watched her on Nailed It, or listened to her other podcasts, then you’re in for a treat. Why Won’t You Date Me? is based on the premise that Nicole is perpetually, perplexingly single, and is on a journey to find out why. But really the show is built on conversations between Nicole and other thoughtful, funny, and interesting people as they discuss everything from dating advice to hair maintenance to plant babies.
If you’re hungry for more Nicole after bingeing this podcast, she also has a new book out, #VERYFAT #VERYBRAVE: The Fat Girl’s Guide to Being #Brave and Not a Dejected, Melancholy, Down-in-the-Dumps Weeping Fat Girl in a Bikini.
Listen to it here.
3. Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend
After more than 25 years of Late Nights, Conan O’Brien has decided to take a swing at podcasting, and he is hitting it out of the park. Though the ostensible premise of the show is to see if Conan can make friends with his big-name guests, it plays as the host has finally found a way to turn his typical Late Night interviews into real, honest, and fantastically funny conversations. Assistant and cohost Sona Movsesian and producer Matt Gourley also add a lot of hilarity to the show.
If you enjoy Conan O’Brien or the charm and entertainment of any late-night TV show, you’ll love Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend.
Listen to it here.
4. 2 Dope Queens
It was a sad day for many of us when this amazing show ceased to be a podcast and turned into a series of HBO specials, but their extensive episode archive is still around for you to dig into whenever you need a laugh. For those not yet familiar, in every episode of 2 Dope Queens, comedians Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams host a stand-up variety showcase, often featuring an array of lesser-known and incredibly talented comics (though sometimes they feature big names like Tig Notaro, Jon Stewart, and, that one time, Michelle Obama).
Though Phoebe and Jessica’s careers may have skyrocketed far past the humble podcast, the episode archive will always be there for us.
5. Comedy Bang Bang
If you’re new to the world of comedy podcasts, start with this oldie but goodie. Every week, host Scott Aukerman and a full slate of comedians and guests gather for candid interviews that often devolve into part improv show, part live character study, and all hilarity.
6. Best Friends
This podcast by best friends about being friends and — as friends do — making fun of best friends is as hilarious as its hosts Nicole Byer and Sasheer Zamata. They offer listeners advice about life, love, and all of the little things that go into our daily existence.
7. My First Million
8. Where it Happens
A community-driven podcast focused on innovation in business & tech.
9. Square One
Most founder interviews get boring, but not these. The Square One podcast is hosted by Romeen Sheth
10. Founder’s Journal
A short-form podcast that helps you get building – whether it’s your business, a team, or better habits. This podcast is hosted by Business Barista.
11. How to Take Over the World
Learn from the best leaders in history so you can be the greatest leader today. Host: @Ben Wilson.
12. Attitudes! (formerly Throwing Shade)
This raucous podcast, which recently changed its name from Throwing Shade to Attitudes! after jumping from The Maximum Fun Network to Earwolf, is equal parts informative and hysterical. Each week hosts Erin Gibson and Bryan Safi talk about important issues affecting women and the LGBTQ community. Even when the conversation turns to some of the darkest news, they always manage to bring the mood back to absolutely ridiculous. They’ve since gone on to make some spin-off podcasts, but the flagship show is always bold, goofy, and great.
13. My Dad Wrote a Porno
The title of this one says it all. When James Morton found out his dad wrote an erotic novel, he didn’t change his name and moved to Siberia (like most of us would). He gathered some friends and turned reading it into a podcast. This one is (obviously) a little NSFW.
14. WTF with Marc Maron
If you like interview shows, you’ll love this OG podcast hosted by comedian Marc Maron. Pretty much everyone who’s anyone has come on his show, including President Barack Obama, Anthony Bourdain, Sara Jessica Parker, and so many more.
15. How Did This Get Made
Some movies are so bad, they’re great. If you love bad films, you’ll also get into this gut-busting podcast from comedians Jason Mantzoukas, Paul Scheer, and June Diane Raphael. You don’t have to watch the movie to enjoy each episode; the hosts’ banter is great on its own.
16. This is Branchburg
Take a short dive into the fictional world of Branchburg, NJ with a bizarrely funny podcast from duo Brendan O’Hare and Cory Snearowski. It packs a lot of small-town silliness into 10 episodes, so it’s perfect to binge on a long drive or if you need a quick and easy listen.
17. The Dollop
The Dollop is a podcast formula that is so original and it leaves other comedy podcasts jealous. In each episode, host Dave Anthony reads a wild and lesser-known tale from American history to his friend, Gareth Reynolds, who is unfamiliar with the story and reacts in real-time. The result is a hilarious retelling of history too wild to seem true and leaves you laughing along with them.
18. Yo, Is This Racist?
Yo, Is This Racist? is a veteran comedy podcast by Andrew Ti that has evolved a lot in its nine-year history, but its titular question is (unfortunately) forever relevant. Co-hosted by comedian and musician Tawny Newsome, this show answers listener-submitted questions about the racially insensitive in very honest, thought-provoking, and often hilarious ways.
It’s unfortunate that we live in a world where this question so often needs to be addressed. But if we’re doing it anyway—why not make it funny?
19. Laughing With Myself
Comedian and SNL cast member Melissa Villaseñor to bring all of her charm, humor, and outstanding celebrity impressions to this short and sweet podcast. Every episode can be loosely described as “Melissa talking about the silly things that are making her laugh this week,” but really it feels more like getting to hear a private performance of her wonderfully silly, original standup.
Laughing With Myself is simple, intimate, and really funny.
20. The Daily Mastery
Podcast 5-minute bombs of wisdom that helped create some of the pioneers in business and sports today. This podcast is hosted by Robin Sharma.
Trust us: Grab a snack before you hit “play” on this addictive podcast. Comedians Mike Mitchell and Nick Wiger invite special guests to review fast-food and chain restaurants with them, and then share the results in each episode. The hosts frequently go on long tangents outside the actual restaurant in conversational episodes that will definitely make you hungry.
22. Forever 35
Authors and journalists Doree Shafrir and Kate Spencer started this beauty and wellness podcast because, as women over 30, they didn’t see themselves represented well in the mainstream media. They wanted to talk about the things that mattered to them and their friends with a wider audience, so they started a podcast that does just that.
23. Beach Too Sandy, Water Too Wet
If you’ve ever cackled at the wonderful poetry of one-star Yelp reviews, you’ll also love this podcast. Siblings and hosts Alex and Christine Schiefer read the reviews in the kind of dramatic fashion they deserve in a podcast poke fun at the epitome of “first world problems.”
24. Masters of Scale
A member of the PayPal mafia breaks down the biggest growth stories from Silicon Valley. This podcast is hosted by Reidhoffman.
25. Huberman Lab
A neuroscientist helps us understand and unlock the potential of our brain. This podcast is hosted by Huberman lab.
26. The Daily Stoic
Daily lessons on life inspired by great Stoic thinkers like Marcus Aurelius. This podcast is hosted by Ryan Holiday.
27. Hidden Brain
Demystify the hidden patterns and mechanisms that drive our decisions. This podcast is hosted by Shankar Vedantam.
28. Creative Elements
Decrypts how the leaders of the creator economy produce such quality content. Host: @jayclouse
29. Keep It
In this day and age, pop culture and politics collide pretty much constantly. Writer and host Ira Madison III brings on celebrity guests to talk about the news in a way that might make you feel a little better about the wild ride that’s our world today.
30. Terrible, Thanks For Asking
When terrible things happen, sometimes the only effective balm is humor. Host Nora McInerny learned that when she lost her father, husband, and unborn child within a month. On this podcast, she invites her guests into candid and often darkly funny conversations about their lives after grief and loss.