Looking for informative, relaxing or merely entertaining podcasts to plug into your ears this upcoming year? There are tons of mainstays out there, as well as newer podcasts that are emerging as must-listens.
But how do you choose from the over 525,000 active shows boasting over 18.5 million episodes? You're spoiled for choice when it comes to top podcasts, but here are 17 of the absolute best podcasts to listen to in 2019.
Description: That's right: Fairygodboss has its very own podcast. On top of offering career advice articles, a maternity leave and work-life balance database, and company reviews, Fairygodboss boasts podcasts that inspire working women. The podcast features career advice from other empowering working women such as Laura Peterson, senior client account leader at Accenture and Cindy Robbins, president and chief people officer of Salesforce.
Description: Aaptiv is an audio fitness app that offers listeners unlimited access to thousands of workouts and programs, created and guided by the app's very own world-class certified trainers. Aaptiv's 15 trainers appeal to different personalities because the team behind the app understands that there’s intimacy in finding the “right” trainer. Their classes run as quickly as three to five minutes, while some span longer than an hour — and there are always new ones, with 30 new classes coming in every week.
Description: Tim Ferriss, the author of the acclaimed New York Time's bestseller, The 4-Hour Workweek, has one of the best business podcasts out there. In fact, it's often the #1 business podcast on all of Apple Podcasts (rated "Best of" for Apple Podcasts for three years running), and it has been ranked #1 out of more than 500,000 podcasts. It is the first of its kind podcast to pass 100,000,000 downloads. To date, it has more than 300 million downloads.
Description: Amanda Boleyn of the She Did it Her Way podcast spent two years in Corporate America before becoming a full-time freelancer turned into a full-time business owner.
"When I started She Did It Her Way it was just a podcast," she writes on her page. "Now because of what She Did It Her Way has grown into I get to coach women who are starting businesses and who left their corporate job to pursue their business full-time."
Her podcast covers topics like "How to Easily Hire a Virtual Assistant to Help Scale Your Business (and Life!) with Bonnie Fahy" and "Learn How to Run a Full-time Business in Part-time Hours by Working Smarter, Not Harder with Ashley Gartland."
Description: On Entrepreneur on Fire, John Lee Dumas interviews inspiring entrepreneurs every Monday and "drops value bombs" every Thursday.
"If you’re tired of spending 90 percent of your day doing things you don’t enjoy and only 10 percent doing things you love, then you’re in the right place," he writes on his page. "My goal with Entrepreneurs on Fire is to deliver the inspiration and strategies you need to FIRE UP your entrepreneurial journey and create the life you’ve always dreamed of."
Dumas has interviewed over 2,000 entrepreneurs, including Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Gary Vaynerchuk, Barbara Corcoran, Tim Ferriss and many more.
Description: Food Heaven, released every Wednesday, is a podcast favorite among foodies. Podcasters Wendy and Jess are both registered dietitians and certified diabetes educators with master’s degrees in nutrition.
"The simplest way to describe us is as BFFs who love to eat, cook and nerd out about anything nutrition related," they write on their page. "In each episode, we cover tips and tricks for making lifelong sustainable healthy living change to upgrade your diet and health. We also interview leading experts in the field of nutrition to pick their brains on how you can cultivate a healthy life that you love."
The duo started Food Heaven in 2011 as a creative outlet for them to spread the word about nutrition and healthy eating, and it quickly evolved into a popular podcast for everyday foodies and nutritionists alike.
Description: Jordan Younger is the blogger behind the wellness and lifestyle blog, The Balanced Blonde, where she hosts her own podcast, Soul on Fire, "where real conversations meet wellness, spirituality, high vibes and authenticity," according to her page. Her episodes, which average about one to two hours long, cover tons of topics related to mindfulness and keeping balanced despite juggling a million projects. She covers young entrepreneurial blogging life, wellness hacks, friendships in the blogging world, branding a business, nutrition tips, keeping passion alive and balancing it all in the process.
From A Deeper Dive into Human Design to All Things Aryuveda, her podcast is a must-listen for podcast fans interested in their own self-care and wellness.
Description: Body Kindness is a podcast run by Rebecca Scritchfield, HAES dietitian nutritionist, certified exercise physiologist, well-being and body image advocate, and author.
"This is not a weight loss show — this is about redefining what it means to pursue health, where your well-being matters more than your weight," she writes on her iTunes page. "When you practice Body Kindness, you create a more satisfying life by being good to yourself. Learn how self-compassion and acceptance help you cultivate a 'caregiver' voice and quiet the 'inner critic.'"
Her podcast episodes include Creating New Habits Takes Serious Effort. Here Are Your Tools, Ditching 'Diet Brain' for Body Kindness, and How Mindfulness Helps You Handle Bad Emotions.
Description: Well Now is a podcast powered by Saje Natural Wellness that features conversations with doctors, wellness experts and healers of all kinds. Its intentions are to help listeners find their way from basic health to empowered personal wellness.
"Fuelled by a desire to help us all achieve health and wellness, Well Now is never prescriptive and always empathetic," its page reads. "On each episode, we open a dialogue about what it means to be well, and how that meaning is different for each one of us. Health and wellness practitioners of all kinds weigh in with their thoughts on treatment solutions, and — more importantly — the root causes of disease."
Description: "Science Vs is your team of friendly fact checkers that blow up your firmly held opinions and replace them with science," the podcast page reads. "Wondering whether you should drink detox teas like an insta-celeb, or believe your drunk uncle's rant about gun control? Science Vs has an ep for that."
Science Vs' episodes span guns, climate change, abortion and more controversial topics. A recent episode, "The Wank Worm: How NASA Got Hacked," for example tells the story of how Australian hackers infiltrated NASA, just months after the country was hooked up to the internet in 1989. Joel Werner, host of Sum of All Parts, helps tell the story with cybersecurity researcher Dr. Suelette Dreyfus.
Description: Modern Love, an NPR-produced podcast, features the New York Times column of the same name, with readings by notable personalities and updates from the essayists themselves. Host Meghna Chakrabarti and "Modern Love" editor Daniel Jones discuss stories of love, heartbreak and redemption, often welcoming performances from famous faces such as Kate Winslet, Uma Thurman, Angela Bassett, Jake Gyllenhaal, Sterling K. Brown and more.
Description: The Always #LikeaGirl podcast, including Alesha Dixon and YouTuber Hannah Witton, delves into topis such as confidence issues and the fear of failure. The podcast is an empowering one for women, with four weekly episodes featuring personal stories, advice and tips.
Description: The Sleep with Me podcast is a must-listen for anyone who suffers from insomnia. The podcast touts itself as "bedtime stories to help grown-ups fall asleep in the deep, dark night."
"Sleep With Me combines the pain of insomnia with the relief of laughing and turns it into a unique storytelling podcast," the podcast page reads. "Through Sleep With Me, Drew Ackerman [creator and host] has dedicated himself to help those who feel alone in the deep dark night and just need someone to tell them a bedtime story."
There are more than 700 bedtime story episodes on Sleep With Me to date.
Description: Motivated is a podcast that ABC News correspondent Mara Schiavocampo hosts. After struggling with her weight her entire life, Schiavocampo finally discovered the keys to living a healthier, happier life and lost 90 pounds doing so. In her podcast episodes, she shares her journey.
The podcast compliments her bestselling weight-loss memoir, Thinspired: How I Lost 90 Pounds: My Plan for Lasting Weight Loss & Self-Acceptance.
Description: The Brainy Business podcasts explores the psychology behind consumers' purchasing decisions. The podcast is an ideal listen for anyone working in the retail or service business, as Melina Palmer, founder of The Brainy Business, points out: "Ninety-nine percent of buying decisions are made in the subconscious brain. And while it is very illogical, it is also very predictable when you know what to look for."
"I help companies of all sizes to incorporate behavioral economics into their businesses to make them more 'brain friendly' (increasing conversions and ROI)," Palmer writes on her podcast page.
Description: This NPR-produced podcast hosted by Guy Raz dives into the stories behind some of the world's best-known companies. Recent episodes cover companies like Burton Snowboards with Jake Carpenter, Glossier with Emily Weiss, Whole Foods Market with John Mackey, Rent the Runway with Jenn Hyman and Door Dash with Tony Xu.
Description: Kathleen Shannon and Emily Thompson, self-proclaimed "business besties" and hosts of Being Boss, have curated over hundreds of episodes with more than six million downloads to date about launching your own business and being your own boss in work and life.
The duo launched the podcast in 2015, and with their weekly episodes, it's since become one of the most popular business podcasts out there. They've interviewed tons of experts including Brené Brown, Melissa Hartwig of The Whole 30, Jasmine Star, Lisa Congdon, Ramit Sethi and more.
AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreportand Facebook.