Relationship problems. Work stress. Burgeoning traffic. The state of the world. No more ice cream. Whatever’s causing your pessimistic perspective, you could use a boost. And for good reason—having a positive outlook can affect your productivity, happiness, and chances of hitting your goals. So when you need to tilt the scales fast, look no further than our list of positive podcasts.
Why podcasts you ask?
- You can listen to on-the-go, which means you can turn around your mood anywhere at any time.
- They’re free.
- They offer insight into some of the world’s most brilliant minds from the comfort of your couch. Or office. Or car. Or…you get the point.
So grab your headphones and get ready. Whether they offer sound advice about life, or silly anecdotes to get your mind off a bad day, here are our top mood-boosting podcasts.
The Best Positive Podcasts to Uplift You Now
Below you’ll find a list of the most positive podcasts in 2019 that can elevate your mood fast and the episodes that’ll really make you smile.
A sloppy kiss from man’s best friend is sometimes the cure to a bad day. The next best thing? Talking about dogs.
Listen to all things pups in this weekly podcast, whether it’s stories about the hosts’ own pets, dogs they’ve met along the way, or dog news you might’ve missed that week. The hosts even attend dog events just to tell you what it was like. (Spoiler alert: They’re always a blast.)
Try this episode: Happy 200th and Allegra is Back, Baby!
If you’re a dog person, really every episode in this podcast will put a smile on your face (even the intro is enough to boost your mood). But in this particular episode, hosts Renee Colvert and Alexis Preston celebrate reaching 200 episodes, and that calls for an appropriate theme. Not sure how to connect the number 200 with dogs? How about sharing the oldest dog breeds from earlier than the year 200 BC? We’re already feeling better.
Sometimes venting can help lift your spirits—but other times the solution is simply to embrace the suck.
Nora McInerny started Terrible, Thanks for Asking after she lost her husband and father and endured a miscarriage all within weeks. She couldn’t bear to respond to “How are you?” with, “I’m fine” anymore. And now she finds comfort in finding even a little humor in the worst situations.
Try this episode: Happy(ish) Holidays
Nora and her family recount the first Thanksgiving they spent after their big losses. The emotions are real and raw, and yet somehow they’re still able to find the humor in things. You’ll come away with a better, truer perspective on life.
With so many terrible stories on the news, we need a reminder that not all is bad in the world. That’s why this uplifting listen makes our list of positive podcasts.
Your hosts Colleen and Neil, of the Cards Against Humanity studio, weed out the sad news to bring you the good—and fun. From senior dogs being saved to the new creation of biodegradable candy wrappers, there’s always something to smile about here.
Try this episode: Meoooow Big Cat Love
This episode dives into how zoos across the country are providing cheetahs with emotional support dogs. The reason is what killed us: Apparently, cheetahs are anxious animals and are too nervous to make babies. The dogs help them relax and hopefully procreate. Are you smiling yet?
Bonus second choice: Joy and Happiness
It’s hard not to break a bad mood in this 9-minute episode, where the hosts consider the difference between joy and happiness and how to go about creating moments of each—whether that means blowing a bubble or ordering sprinkles on your ice cream.
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Some of us turn to snacks when our moods are low. Valid. But if that’s not working for you, learn about your favorite foods instead—with a twist.
Hosts Molly Wizenberg and Matthew Amster-Burton choose a food—anything from peanut butter cups to pineapple and stinky cheese—and see where the conversation goes. Sometimes it trails off so far, it’s nearly impossible to remember why you were upset in the first place.
Try this episode: Seaweed Snacks
As the hosts munch on these healthy snacks, the conversation leads to methods of tantrum prevention, childhood freak-outs, and rude dentists. It’s the perfect mix of entertaining and random to get your mind off things. Promise.
Genuine Joy tops our list of positive podcasts because, well, how could it not? Even the title of this podcast makes us smile.
Food blogger and mom Kelsey and her husband Matt chat about how they continue to stay happy through hard times. They dive into everything from marriage to self-care to food freedom and much more—and they laugh the whole way.
Try this episode: Our Genuine Joy
In this very first episode of their podcast, Kelsey and Matt take a step back to reflect on the past and how far they’ve come. Why? They believe that’s one of the best ways to find joy in your lives.
You’ll learn that a few years ago, they barely had any grocery money, but they’d go for a bike ride or have a dance party—free things that made them happy.
If you’re someone who finds camaraderie in other people’s problems, then this is the podcast for you. Listen to comedy judge John Hodgman sort through and solve issues. Keyword: Comedy judge. You’ll find the problems aren’t the most serious—from a wife wanting her husband to be more affectionate to their dog to a lady who can’t stand how her friend sneezes.
As Balif Jesse Thorn asks in each episode: Who’s right and who’s wrong? And really, does it matter?
Try this episode: Misappropriation of Funs
In this episode, one man argues that his sister never spends the birthday money she gets from their parents on fun purchases—just boring things, like home décor. This really annoys her brother, but that’s no trouble for Judge John Hodgman. Get the laughs you need to shift your perspective in this fun episode.
High workload? Dealing with a micromanage-y boss? Trying to find your career purpose? If your bad mood is coming from work stress, perhaps Working can help you sort it out.
Each week, Slate Magazine interviews a real person about their job—from a from Monopoly’s Senior Director to an MC at the Comedy Cellar and more. You’ll learn not only what they do each day, but also why they actually like their job.
Try this episode: How Does the Editor in Chief of Bon Appétit Do His Job?
This episode introduces us to Adam Rapoport, editor-in-chief of Bon Appétit, and gives us insight into his daily life at work. (Disclaimer: We’re writers and editors over here, but feel free to pick the job that most interests you.) Just one episode can give you a new view on work and help you find the courage to take the next step in your career.
Maybe you just need an uplifting way to start each day. In that case, Scott Smith is your go-to. Just as its name suggests, each episode of The Daily Boost offers some type of motivation aka 9-minute tips and tricks to help you conquer the day, be it how to finish that report at work or finally tackle the kitchen tile grout.
Try this episode: How to Change Your Life in 30 Days or Less
We all want to change something about our lives, and Smith says that you can make it happen in just 30 days. The best part: His simple tips and tricks for getting there are totally accessible. Win.
What’s a best positive podcasts list if we didn’t mention the queen of inspiration herself? In SuperSoul Conversations, Oprah chats with all the role models you could think of—thought-leaders, authors, spiritual celebs and more—to bring insight and guidance into how to stay positive.
Try this episode: The Best Relationship Advice
This episode offers guidance from Dr. Maya Angelou. She once gave Oprah some pretty solid relationship advice that she’s now sharing with her listeners: “When people show you who they are, believe them.” Hear them chat about what this means and how to apply it to your own life.
Your turn: Do you have any favorite positive podcasts to add to the list? Let us know in the comments.
For more ways to uplift your ears and your mood, try our list of happiness podcasts.
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