This post was written by an external contributor. Susannah Keogh looks at the best podcasts to listen to when you find your motivation is a little lacking.
We all know the struggle – sometimes when work and responsibilities start to pile up, our motivation can actually begin to drop. When things get too much it can be very easy to sit back and decide that it can wait, when in reality, you need to focus and be productive.
However, in order to do that, sometimes you need to give yourself a little space and time to get your thoughts together – so here it is, a definitive list of the best podcasts to listen to during those times when motivation is at an all time low. Simply pop on one of these and feel your motivation begin to soar.
The High Low
Ex-Sunday Times style magazine journalists Dolly Alderton and Pandora Sykes present this pop culture type podcast, which deals with everything from events in the news, to what television they’ve been watching. It’s on this list for the advice segment in every episode though, where the duo answer a question sent in by a listener. Dolly and Pandora give great measured advice on issues like handling a toxic friend and navigating difficult family relationships.
Also worth mentioning is the fact that despite the sometimes serious subject matter, this podcast really does have a mixture of the ‘highs’ and the ‘lows’ we all face.
Listen to: The Response to Charlottesville and the Curious Tale of Chloe Ayling
Call Your Girlfriend
Anyone who’s at university will know the struggle of missing friends back home, and those long distance conversations where you talk about all the world’s problems for hours. Call Your Girlfriend is that and so much more. Two long distances besties, Aminatou and Ann phone each other once a week and talk about everything from Trump, whether women can have it all and empowerment. Listen once, and you’ll be picking up the phone to your own long distance best friend.
My personal favourite is the episode with Hillary Clinton’s former aide, Huma Abedin, as the guest star in a rare interview with the private political staffer.
Listen to: Episode 45, Right Hand Woman.
Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People
The premise of Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People is simple: a listener phones the host, comedian Chris Gethard, and just talks. Sometimes the mystery caller has something to get off their chest that they can’t confide to anyone they know, or sometimes they phone in for just a casual chat. The twist? They have to be anonymous, and Gethard can’t hang up.
Gethard’s witty, engaging form of questioning often leads to beautiful conversations, with the caller revealing their innermost secrets and fears. The tales they tell are often insanely inspiring, and really remind you to get motivated and reach for your goals.
Listen to: Episode 14, Jack Mormon.
Desert Island Discs
Now, until recently I’d never bought into the Desert Island Discs hype. Honestly, I thought the show was probably something only middle-aged parents listened to, but after reading journalist Dolly Alderton’s passionate article describing the joys of the show, I thought I’d give it a listen.
How glad I am that I did. There’s something truly moving and inspiring about listening to these famous, talented people often describe the failures in their lives; how Emma Thompson’s first television series was hated by critics or how Happy Valley writer Sally Wainwright didn’t land her first job effortlessly, but instead spent a year working as a bus conductor after graduating. Hearing how they still succeeded despite numerous setbacks will 100% motivate you.
Listen to: Emma Thompson
It is the only podcast you have to pay for in this list, but Headspace is definitely worth it, counting Emma Watson amongst its celebrity fans. A mindfulness meditation app, Headspace offers a range of mindfulness exercises, all presented by ex-monk Andy Puddicombe, who possesses quite possibly the most soothing voice ever. Listening to a session absolutely helps calm me down when I’m feeling stressed or anxious and the app sends you daily notifications to remind you to get some headspace, which is always a helpful reminder in your busy life to stop and take a breather.
It reminds you what’s important in your life, and by creating a calm mood it sets you up to succeed. You can sign up and get the basic programme for free, but you’ll have to subscribe to receive the meditations targeted at specific problems, like sleep and anxiety.