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Podcasts to build a brand new you

Amrita V Nair | Updated on January 22, 2021

Humble beginning: The start of a new year is a reminder that we are all works in progress   -  ISTOCK.COM

Each new year millions of people around the world resolve to change their lives for the better. These self-improvement podcasts are just the encouragement one needs to not throw in the towel — at least not just yet

* Since 2018, at the start of each year, Rubin has also encouraged listeners to make a list of concrete goals to accomplish by the end of the year. Such a list, she says, is an alternative to those who find new year resolutions limiting or burdensome

* Hosted by writer and productivity expert Laura Vanderkam, the podcast provides pithy and actionable advice on making the most of one’s time while also advocating for self-compassion and flexibility in one’s efforts

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For most of us, the start of a new year is a time of optimism and hope. Opening up the pages of a crisp new planner or hanging up a new calendar brings forth a sense of promise — a feeling of determination to fill the upcoming year with meaningful actions that will change our lives for the better. The first step towards realising the promise of the new year is, of course, the setting of a resolution or two.

Every January, millions of people around the world resolve to make changes that will better their lives in the new year. Commonly held resolutions include pledges to live healthier or more active lives, to invest in self-improvement, to practise better time management and to become financially responsible. Here are four podcasts that offer advice and insights to aid these popular aspirations:

FoundMyFitness

Most of us know that when it comes to health and fitness, finding reliable sources of guidance online is no easy feat. There is a lot of contradictory information available and sometimes, even seemingly reliable sources may advocate biased or inadequately tested health tips and remedies. In this context, FoundMyFitness is a welcome breath of fresh air. Hosted by American cell biologist Dr Rhonda Patrick, the podcast centres on physical and mental health-related topics such as nutrition, fitness, stress management and meditation. Patrick takes pains to provide evidence-based and scientifically validated advice on health and wellness. Some episodes feature advice and health tips from Patrick based on her synthesis of existing scientific and medical research, while others are in the form of interviews with expert physicians, scientists and health practitioners. All through, Patrick makes sure to break down complex scientific concepts so that non-experts can follow along. Episodes have covered questions as diverse as the effectiveness of exercise in mitigating the progression of Parkinson’s Disease to the impact of sleep on learning, immunity and overall health. Listen at: https://www.foundmyfitness.com/

Happier

Created and hosted by bestselling author Gretchen Rubin along with her younger sister Elizabeth Craft, Happier is a podcast that seeks to provide advice to help listeners live happier and more fulfilled lives. First launched in 2015, the podcast has over 300 episodes today, offering advice and ideas on self-improvement. Episodes feature advice on managing stress, questioning limiting beliefs, and even tips on locating misplaced objects more easily. Presented in a friendly and conversational style that intersperses such advice with the hosts’ own personal stories, the podcast is a great source for ideas on incremental changes that one can make towards creating a better life. Since 2018, at the start of each year, Rubin has also encouraged listeners to make a list of concrete goals to accomplish by the end of the year. Such a list, she says, is an alternative to those who find new year resolutions limiting or burdensome. In their first episode of 2021, Rubin and Craft share their own “21 for 21” lists and also provide tips and tricks for those who may share goals similar to theirs. Listen at: https://gretchenrubin.com/podcasts/

Before Breakfast

Of the whole slew of productivity podcasts out there, Before Breakfast is my favourite due to its bite-sized, practical, and empathetic approach to time management. Released daily, the podcast features episodes that are five to seven minutes in length, making it the perfect accompaniment to your morning cuppa. Hosted by writer and productivity expert Laura Vanderkam, the podcast provides pithy and actionable advice on making the most of one’s time while also advocating for self-compassion and flexibility in one’s efforts. In a December 2020 episode, for instance, Vanderkam encourages listeners who have trouble making exercise a long-standing habit to try and build short bursts of activity into their daily lives — such as walking or jogging to run an errand rather than driving — to cut back on guilt about lacking the time or energy to devote to a full-blown workout. Listen at: https://lauravanderkam.com/before-breakfast-podcast/

Paisa Vaisa

Created and hosted by writer and financial expert Anupam Gupta and produced on the IVM podcast network, Paisa Vaisa is a fantastic resource for listeners seeking to improve their financial health in 2021. This weekly interview-style podcast explains financial concepts in a detailed and accessible manner, and seeks to empower listeners to make well-informed saving and investment decisions. Gupta talks to analysts, journalists and leaders of traditional financial institutions and newer technology-enabled financial service firms to give listeners a better understanding of the options available to them. Episodes have focussed on products and concepts such as gold loans, cryptocurrency, and things to keep in mind while saving for retirement. Listen at: https://ivmpodcasts.com/paisavaisa

The start of a new year is a reminder that we are all works in progress; that even small steps compounded over time can reroute our lives. It is easy to forget this while caught up in the quotidian. Listening to these podcasts may help us remember and sustain the sense of possibility that inspires us to be better versions of ourselves.

(Active Voice is a monthly column on podcasts)

Amrita V Nair   -  The Hindu Business Line

 

Amrita V Nair is a freelance writer, public policy specialist and podcast enthusiast

Twitter: @amritanairv

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Published on January 22, 2021
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