These podcasts are not just a random collection. All of these are on our smartphones. I listen to them on my daily walks or runs. Sandra tunes in to them when we travel between destinations. These podcasts keep inspiring and teaching us, and we hope they will be a great resource for other (aspiring) minimalists too.
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Ten Percent Happier
In 2004, Dan Harris, an ABC news anchor, had a panic attack on live television. An experience that made him take up meditation (something he was always sceptical about) and inspired him to write a bestselling book, Ten Percent Happier. But not only that: he also started an app, Ten Percent Happier: Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics.
Now, in his weekly podcast, Dan explores whether you can be an ambitious person AND strive for enlightenment (whatever that may mean). I prefer the book, but the podcast is still worth checking out especially given the quality of his guests. On his website, you can also sign up for the Ten Percent Happier Podcast Insiders Feedback Group. The weekly episode feedback helps them craft an even better show.
Do you prefer documentaries over podcasts?
Check out my list of curated documentaries relating to intentional living, minimalism, less waste and more.
As part of my research into minimalism and intentional living, I have watched a lot of documentaries on television and YouTube, so this list is based on my preferences and recommendations. It is more selective than exhaustive. If you have watched other documentaries that have inspired you to change your lifestyle, please feel free to contact me. If you liked my recommended documentaries, I would appreciate it if you could share them with your friends and family.
Happier with Gretchen Rubin
Gretchen Rubin is the number one bestselling author of The Happiness Project and Better Than Before. In her weekly thought-provoking podcast, Happier with Gretchen Rubin, she provides hands-on advice on a broad array of topics to help you establish (and maintain) good habits and ultimately, live a happier life.
We really enjoy the comprehensive show notes she provides with each episode. It saves us from making notes as we listen.
Live Happy Now
In their seasonal podcast, the editors of Live Happy Magazine interview thought leaders in positive psychology and mindfulness, providing ideas and scientifically proven tips that help you live a happier, more meaningful life. Some episodes are better than others… but with such a variety of people interviewed and so many different aspects covered, you will find answers to questions you didn’t even know you had.
One thing I really like about their website is the ability to explore the podcast episodes by category:
Season eight started in 2023, but you can easily catch up on previous seasons. Like the others so far, you can sign up for their newsletter to get happy news, tips and things that make you smile.
Mama Minimalist / The Sustainable Minimalists
At some point on your minimalist journey, you are likely to want to explore another, closely aligned topic: sustainability. They blend well together – as we and Stephanie Seferian have found out.
The Sustainable Minimalists Podcast is a combination of aligned topics such as sustainability, minimalism, zero-waste living, decluttering and conscious consumerism – all taking into account the specific needs of families. Learn more at MamaMinimalist.com.
Subscribe via Apple Podcasts – first episode: 06 March 2018.
Minimalist Moms Podcast
Mother of three, Diane Boden’s approach to minimalism is to be realistic and attainable. Each bi-weekly episode of her Minimalist Moms Podcast is with a guest from a different background, making her podcast series one of the most varied, far-reaching ones out there.
Optimal Living Daily
If you’re after a daily digest of blog posts you’d otherwise have no idea existed, this podcast might be for you. With permission from the authors, Justin Malik provides an audio version of blog posts, covering various topics including personal development, minimalism and productivity.
Each episode has its show notes page, allowing you to subscribe, download, share, rate and review it. To simplify it, you can sign up for Justin’s weekly newsletter for life tips, quotes, and free tools to optimize your life.
Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus need no introduction… at least not to the aspiring minimalists among you. In their podcast on minimalism, the two discuss different aspects of how to live a meaningful life with less. It’s always great to hear their thoughts on a variety of topics.
The show notes page includes a brief description, and the ability to download the specific episode, quotes, and mentions. All are very succinct. As you would expect from these wordsmiths.
If you want to comment on the podcast, you can leave a review on Apple Podcasts. And if you have questions, you can leave a message at a voicemail (do these still exist?) or send a voice memo (modern technology) to [email protected] or leave a message at +1 937 202 4654. In an attempt to really connect with their audience, they also answer lightning-round questions on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Subscribe via Spotify, Google Play, and YouTube – first episode: January 2016. And if you want more, here is a selection of books written by The Minimalists.
The Slow Home Podcast
Has the rat race gotten to you, and you’re looking for a way out? Well, good news: There is a growing number of people who are fare-welling life in the fast lane and are opting to slow down, simplify and focus on the things that truly matter to them.
One of them is Aussie Brooke McAlary, the founder of Slow Your Home and author of Slow: Live Life Simply and Destination Simple: Everyday Rituals for a Slower Life. In her podcast, she chats to others who have adopted a similar approach to life, exploring what makes people change, how life can be different, and what their advice is to anyone looking to slow down.
Brooke’s is another example of a podcast that really follows through with a great show notes section that asks questions and leads you on a path of thought-provoking action. You can also subscribe to a weekly email newsletter called The Slow Post, where they share slow living inspiration, podcast updates and some behind-the-scenes shenanigans.
The Tim Ferriss Show
If the name Tim Ferriss doesn’t ring a bell, The 4-Hour Work Week likely will. In his podcast, the self-confessed experimenter chats to a variety of people well-known in their respective fields (and beyond), digging deep to uncover the tools, tactics and tricks that work for his interviewees. Some episodes are more applicable to the average person than others, but they are all entertaining, and we’ve always learnt something new (even if it’s what not to try).
Because there is so much great content in the episodes (that normally last more than an hour), the show notes are comprehensive – from great descriptions of the topic or guest to op-eds, videos and people mentioned, as well as related posts. You can also subscribe to Tim’s 5-bullet Friday email newsletter – his weekly dose of tips, tricks and things he enjoys.
Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify and Overcast – first episode: 22 April 2014. And if you want more, here is a selection of books written by Tim Ferriss.
Desirae Endres is a new-ish mum who learned what minimalism and simple living can do for her and her family. As a self-confessed life-long learner and a former English teacher, she has combined her passion and her newfound knowledge to share her thoughts in her podcast called With Intention (was Minimal-ish).
On her weekly show, she talks about moving towards a more intentional, lighter life and motherhood. She also has a variety of guests, from fellow parents to experts, who help dive into the various topics of the week. Desirae’s enthusiasm to share her knowledge is infectious, and her faith is guiding her journey.
Subscribe via Apple Podcasts or Stitcher – First episode: 31 August 2018.
Thom Walters makes your commute to work or your errands peaceful and motivational with his short podcasts. Daily from Monday to Friday, he talks about a topic geared toward helping you progress on your life journey. Balance, stress relief and self-confidence are just a few of the topics that he has been covering to date.
Subscribe via Apple iTunes – first episode: 22 April 2014.
What podcasts on happiness, minimalism, simple living and like-minded philosophies have changed your life?
Just like my research into the intentional and simple living documentaries, I have listened to a lot of podcasts over the years (and continue to do so). My list above was based on my personal preferences. If you listen to other podcasts, I’d love to hear about them. Or perhaps, you produce your own and would like to be considered for addition to this list. Either way, get in contact. There are definitely no guarantees I’ll add your podcast – unless it is one I think our audience will truly get value from.