What do you do on your morning commute—listen to music, scroll through social media, or yell at the cars dodging in front of you? Maybe you’ve heard of podcasts, but don’t actually subscribe to them, or maybe you’re part of the 36 percent of the population who doesn't even know what a podcast is.
Here’s what you should know: a podcast is like a radio show. There’s always a host and theme. It can be live or pre-recorded, short or long, daily or weekly. Each is different. You can listen to anything from “Beards, Booze, and Bacon” to NPR’s popular “This American Life” to the comedic “2 Dope Queens”. If you have a spare 30 minutes, you have time for a podcast.
No matter your interests, there is a podcast out there for you—and best of all, the content is almost always free. There’s no up-front payment, though there are often ads that can usually be skipped.)
Not sure where to begin? Here’s a list of 10 podcasts every working woman should consider listening to.
Who hosts it? Amy Bernstein, Sarah Green Carmichael, and Nicole Torres, all editors at the Harvard Business Review
What is it? Produced by editors at the Harvard Business Review, this podcast focuses on women in the workplace, particularly in corporate America, and what exactly that means. Topics explored? How dual-income couples thrive, how to speak your mind at work, and gender inequality in the workplace. Each episode is approximately an hour long and includes a variety of statistical evidence to support the ideas explored, as well as personal anecdotes that relate to listeners.
Why listen? This podcast provides unique insights from experts and studies while taking a journalistic approach to the question of what it means to be a working woman in the U.S. today.
Who hosts it? Anna Runyan, founder and CEO of Classy Career Girl, an e-learning platform for women in career transitions.
What is it? This podcast contains career success stories, Q&As, and focused advice on topics like tax tips for entrepreneurs, brand awareness, networking, authentic marketing, and more. It also explores the host’s personal struggles, obstacles, and career announcements and features a variety of interviews with business-owning women. The content is useful for women of all industries and career stages.
Why listen? If you’ve considered starting your own business, this podcast can help you pursue the right career path.
Who hosts it? Ahyiana Angel, author and Chief Encourager at Life According to Her, an online platform for women. She has also worked in publicity for the National Basketball Association, created a popular jewelry line, and written three books.
What is it? In this podcast, Ahyiana Angel interviews women who have successfully switched careers in the hopes of encouraging others to follow their passions (even if that means quitting). Already following your dreams? There are still lessons for you in these dozens of intimate, empowering, and relatable episodes, which include book features, interviews, 7-minute Sunday chats, and more.
Why listen? Angel is approachable, honest, and eager to give working women practical advice. This is an informational and motivational podcast for any woman who wants to avoid the Sunday Scaries, grow her business, and overcome stress-inducing obstacles.
Who hosts it? Stephanie Dennis, who combines her passion for helping people with her background and expertise in the Human Resources and Recruiting spaces in this podcast.
What is it? This podcast isn’t glamorous, but it sure is helpful, providing concrete advice on how to write a LinkedIn profile and resume, evaluate your career, or maximize internships. The episodes are short and focused so you can weed through them to find ones you like or binge-listen while you take a midday walk. Dennis gets straight to the point, so pay attention, take notes, and start building up your resume.
Who hosts it? Linda Sivertsen, award-winning author; New York Times bestselling co-author; TEDWomen talker; creator of the Boyfriend Log app; and blogger at bookmama.com.
What is it? This podcast provides writers (and all creators) with inspirational words of advice and wisdom from a wide-range of authors including Tom Hanks, Maria Shriver, Mary Karr, and more. Typically, the episode begins with an overview of the guest and a prayer. On top of the detailed and intimate interview, there is a fun, rapid-fire questionnaire for the guest author(s).
Often, co-hosts contribute to the lively dialogues about life, creativity, publishing, and the writing process. The episodes last about an hour each. The goal? To “dig deep and go for the light.”
Why listen? If you’re looking for a podcast that combines spirituality, creativity, and discussions on overcoming hardship in one discussion, you’ll find it here. This is an inspirational podcast for writers, readers, artists, and creators (which, really, is all of us).
Who hosts it? Zeb Welborn, founder of Welborn Media and The Tutoring Solution, author of The Social Golf Course, and creator of the Sharing Your Passion Essay Scholarship contest.
What is it? With over 100 episodes, each focuses on an interview with a successful individual eager to share advice. The goal of the podcast? To discuss the definition of success and how to surpass failure, build a brand, grow a business, and thrive.
The host, Welborn, asks all the right questions and lets his guests dive deep when answer the questions: “If you could do it all over again, is there one thing you would change or do differently? What are your plans to grow your business?”
Why listen? If you want to know how others have attained success and overcome failure, this is a great podcast. You don’t have to be famous to be successful, and that’s what makes this podcast so relatable.
Who hosts it? Elizabeth Cronise McLaughlin, the CEO and Lead Executive Coach of Gaia Project Consulting, LLC, and Founder of The Gaia Project for Women’s Leadership.
What is it? This podcast centers on women’s leadership, equity, advancement, and success. Listening to it feels like reading a good book (think Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In or Arianna Huffington’s Thrive). McLaughlin isn’t afraid to talk about tough topics like politics, open up about her own background, and explain her desire to help women grow. She offers an eye-opening discussion about women in the workplace and how best to achieve goals.
Why listen? If you’re looking for an honest (and intelligent) approach to the work/life balance, women’s leadership, and what it means to advance and thrive.
Who hosts it? Gretchen Rubin, author and former law clerk for Sandra Day O’Connor who has sold more than three million copies of her bestselling books in more than 30 languages, and has published various work in medical journals, and her sister Elizabeth Craft, a TV writer and producer living in Los Angeles, host the podcast.
What is it? This podcast emphasizes that our personalities, personal choices, and daily habitts affect our happiness and success. It focuses on anything from menial topics like snow days and reading memoirs to more profound subjects like debunking happiness myths and overcoming the desire to be perfect. It will give you encouragement, support, and insight into the world of happiness and human nature.
Why listen? This insightful, award-winning podcast can help you determine the meaning of happiness and how to attain it.
Who hosts it? Hosted by Cyran and Mel, both successful lawyers and social media influencers.
What is it? This podcast offers productivity hacks so women can keep hustling, thriving, and “having it all.” Often, we wonder how we make the most of our time (and balance work, family, and side gigs, all while taking care of ourselves). The hosts are eager to help listeners find more time in their day to be productive, to make the most of their time, and actually accomplish their day-to-day tasks (both personally and professionally).
Why listen? If you struggle with time management, you’ll be happy to learn there are strategies and tips to paving out time in your day for things like self-care, side businesses, family, and the not-so-fun parts of career advancement: networking, returning to work after having a baby, and dealing with stress.
Who hosts it? Jess Lively, business coach, blogger, and jewelry maker who grew her small online jewelry business to a million-dollar business.
What is it? Inc. called it the No.1 podcast that all female entrepreneurs should listen to—and here’s why: the host, Lively, explores how to live more consciously and live a better, healthier life. The interviews feel more like intimate conversations, and because of that, these episodes are relatable, inspirational, and reflective. With over 200 episodes, Lively dives into the topics of personal habits, relationships, spirituality, health, science, and setting intentions.
Why should you listen? Want to be more intentional during your day? Looking for motivation on your morning commute? You won’t be disappointed by these hour-long episodes that focus on inspiring, uplifting, and helping you set better intentions.
By Sarah Sheppard
Sarah Sheppard is a professional writer and editor. She worked as a senior manager at an independent publisher in Boston, earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Lesley University, and currently resides in the Midwest. She is working on her first novel. You can find her at sarahsheppardwriter.com, @writershep on Twitter, and @sarahsheppardwriter on Instagram.