There comes a time in every man’s life when he looks around, takes stock of his successes and failures, and wonders: Where do I go from here? Feeling lost, stuck, or even just apathetic about the state of your life is something most everyone experiences at one time or another, and when you feel that wave of existential angst curling up around you, it’s incredibly easy to get pulled under. Whether it’s financial woes, a creative void, too much clutter, or too little confidence, there’s likely something in your life that you wish you could change. We’ve rounded up a list of podcasts to help you dig out of that rut and pave your own path.
After the death of his mother and the end of his marriage, Joshua Fields Millburn’s high-paying career, fancy car, and accumulated material possessions began to feel less like the American Dream and more like a complex, convoluted nightmare. That’s when Millburn discovered minimalism and began to simplify his life by trading in all that stuff for a little fulfillment. When his best friend of over 20 years, Ryan Nicodemus, noticed how much happier Millburn seemed with so much less, he jumped on board and the duo became The Minimalists. Today, their podcast (along with their memoir, website, documentary, and live tours) serves up tips for focusing on simplicity, living with intention, and finding joy. The genuine affection between the two hosts is obvious as they share stories and strategies from their own lives, and this feeling of gentle kinship spreads to the listener. Millburn and Nicodemus spend the bulk of each episode turning listener-submitted questions into actionable advice. You’ll never catch either host insisting that you live by their rules; instead, the show is focused on providing all the information you’ll need to create your own minimalist lifestyle “recipe” that nourishes your goals. Even if you aren’t feeling especially overwhelmed by your current status, you’re likely to find something in The Minimalists’ archives you didn’t even know you were looking for.
The Nice Guys on Business
Anyone who’s dipped a toe into the business world lately has probably found themselves wondering what ever happened to the good old fashioned kindly customer service and compassionate company culture we used to hear so much about. Doug Sandler and Strickland Bonner, aka the Nice Guys on Business, are bringing friendly back with a podcast that focuses on kindness as a means for success and growth in the business world. Laced with humor, levity, the occasional f-bomb — and a dash of self-deprecation — The Nice Guys on Business offers tangible advice and invaluable interviews on topics like building meaningful relationships, effective training practices, and making smart investments without ever feeling like a boring business seminar. With a humble balance of corny jokes and critical thinking, The Nice Guys on Business podcast proves that you really can succeed in business without being a big jerk.
Creative Pep Talk
If you’ve been dreaming of getting your creative venture off the ground but can’t seem to strike the right balance between business and art, you should be listening to Creative Pep Talk. Hosted by illustrator Andy J. Miller (aka Andy J. Pizza, a pseudonym that should be enough reason to give the podcast a go), the podcast blends Miller’s personal anecdotes and wide-ranging interviews with creative professionals into a delicious, artsy smoothie of real-world advice. Although Miller’s career is in the world of design and visual art, his advice is valuable to anyone pursuing or perfecting a creative career, with topics ranging from building an audience to dealing with creative burnout to effective goal-setting. In one episode, Miller compares creative people who have missed their potential to under-nourished plants that never get the chance to flourish into their life-giving final forms, and this level of passion for helping his fellow creatives never wanes as the podcast moves from topic to topic. Most episodes run about an hour long, so this is a perfect listen for your commute to that pesky day job.
Important as paying attention to your money may be, even thinking about your financial health is boring at best and completely mortifying at worst. Stacking Benjamins, a financial advice podcast hosted by Joe Saul-Sehy, is on a mission to make those eye-glazing, migraine-inducing money conversations fun, interesting, and actionable — and we’ll be damned if the podcast doesn’t pull it off. Saul-Sehy peppers succinct, smart tips in with bits, characters, and sports-announcer-style interviewee introductions to create a show that is so well-rounded and unique that you’ll feel more like you’re participating in a game show than receiving financial advice. Instead of focusing on a single topic, each episode is broken into 10-15 minute segments on a variety of topics, so there’s something to take away regardless of your financial knowledge or situation.
The Tim Ferriss Show
If you don’t know about Tim Ferriss yet, you’re not paying attention. The self-proclaimed self-experimenter burst onto the guru scene with the 2007 release of his book The 4-Hour Work Week, and hasn’t stopped exploring every facet of human potential since. His podcast, appropriately called The Tim Ferriss Show, eschews any specific niche and focuses on in-depth interviews with a massive range of subjects who all have one very important thing in common: success. Past guests have included Arnold Schwarzenegger, Malcolm Gladwell, and universal fountain of #lifegoals Terry Crews, to name a few. Ferriss uses his time with them to delve into all the tools, tricks, habits, and routines that have paved their pathways to success. The ultimate goal is to find the common traits that connect successful people so that you, the listener, can use those tools to find your own fulfillment wherever your passion lies. Fueled by raging curiosity and a never-ending love of learning, Ferriss acts as a sort of Sherpa of success, guiding interviews toward applicable information without ever disrupting the conversational tone or attempting to make himself the star of the show. You never know for sure what you’re in for when you dive into an episode of The Tim Ferriss Show, but you’re guaranteed to walk away with something useful.
The Art of Charm Podcast
What began as a humble, relatively niche podcast to “help men excel in business, love, and life” has now transformed into The Art of Charm, a compendium of interviews so varied and wide-reaching that there may literally be something for everyone. Host Jordan Harbinger sits down to chat with entrepreneurs, celebrities, psychologists, authors, and more, diving into topics that cover every facet of confidence and charisma to unpack tips that will help you live a better life. Past conversations have revolved around ideas like toxic insecurity, confident decision-making, radical curiosity, romance, small talk, side-hustles, asking great questions, and even a particularly interesting discussion on freeing yourself from addiction with Russell Brand. No matter the topic at hand on any particular episode, The Art of Charm’s goal remains the same: to help you work towards a life full of confidence, serenity, success, and the knowledge that it is, in fact, okay to be human.
If you burn through all of these, you should check out the best podcasts for road trips, the most entertaining fiction podcasts, our top overall picks for 2018, or The Manual’s own podcast. Need more podcast suggestions? Here are some of our favorites for men’s fashion, craft beer, and true crime.
Featured image courtesy of The Minimalist/Joshua Weaver.