In 2017, we’re resolving for more self-care in the form of mental stimulation. While we’ll never say no to a spa day, we’re big proponents of instant “me” time activities that pack a big punch. Podcasts being one of them. Think about it, these audio wonders were practically invented for modern mothers—a hands-free, portable activity, they require zero commitment and can be done while doing virtually anything. If you’re a beginner to the now cult-favored pastime, don’t worry. Below, we’ve hand-chosen our favorite inspirational podcasts that are sure to kick-start your own 2017 resolutions. All you have to do is press “play.”
1. Re-ignite your creativity
The Podcast: Magic Lessons
Need a pep talk to get that project you’ve been sitting on jump-started? Let Elizabeth Gilbert be your new guru. Yes, that Elizabeth Gilbert. Known for her bestseller-turned-movie, Eat, Pray, Love, the author knows a thing or two about slaying fear and taking action. A mix of practical wisdom and interviews with her favorite creatives, she digs deep to help you rediscover your passions and put your creativity to work. What began as a spin-off of her latest book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, has taken on a life of its own—now in its second season, we dare you not to be inspired.
Press Play: Cheryl Strayed to Moms – Pursue Your Passions Like a Mofo (16:02 mins)
2. Read more books
Podcast: The Lit Up Show
100x better than a book club, join former Cosmopolitan editor Angela Ledgerwood as she goes beyond the page, interviewing authors in a fun, light-hearted conversational manner and getting to the core of what makes them tick. If you’re a bookworm at heart, but don’t have time to read (guilty!) this one’s for you. Sidenote: Ledgerwood’s Australian accent is easy on the ears, too.
Press Play: Jessi Klein on Growing Up (45 mins)
3. Start a business
Podcast: How I Built This
In this NPR podcast, host Guy Raz follows the ground-up narratives of the most innovative entrepreneurs who have built the most successful companies in the world, from Instagram, Airbnb, Clif Bar, and more. Your future business plan will thank you.
Press Play: Spanx: Sara Blakely (28 mins)
4. Sleep better
Podcast: Sleep With Me
Isn’t this on everyone’s 2017 wish list? For those moments where you’re too revved up from the day’s events to unwind, this podcast is the new sheep-counting. Purposefully droll and droning, Drew Ackerman narrates in a voice so dull, falling asleep is child’s play.
Press Play: The Lulling Analysis of the Great Pumpkin (1 hour, 7 minutes)
5. Laugh more
The Podcast: Mortified
2016 was pretty heavy—we’d like to start off the new year with a little levity. Try Moritified, a show featuring people reading embarrassing things they’d written in their youth. The perfect escape from the everyday.
Press Play: Katie: Saving Katharine Hepburn (18 mins)
6. Use your time more wisely
Podcast: Happier with Gretchen Rubin
Turn your frown upside down in the new year: Happiness expert Gretchen Rubin (who is the author of four books on the subject) and her sister, Elizabeth Craft, delve into the big and small changes you can make in your life on a daily basis to make your life simpler and happier. A change in perspective is sometimes all you need to start a domino effect of positive changes, from productivity to organization hacks that really work.
Press Play: The One-Minute Rule (20 mins)
7. Work on your relationships
Podcast: Modern Love
We love the New York Times column, Modern Love, which features relationships of every type, from arranged marriages to accidental parenthood. The column’s editor, Dan Jones, created a new show in which his column’s essays—which explore all types of relationships, love, loss and redemption—come to life on a weekly basis. Read by notable personalities, you can file this under “read more” and “conversation-starters.” Bonus points for multi-tasking.
Press Play: One Last Swirl (24 mins)
8. Be a more present parent
Podcast: The Longest Shortest Time
When host Hillary Frank had a difficult delivery and found herself traumatized with a birth injury, she set out to make parents feel less isolated through her show. No subject is too taboo—from a gay couple who “accidentally” adopt their niece and nephew to how friendships evolve after childbirth to a clown’s advice on how to trick your kids out of tantrums (listed below). Knowing you’re not alone in this thing is worth its weight in gold.
Press Play: How to Parent like a Clown (37 mins)
9. Make time for girl talk
Podcast: Women of the Hour
Our time with our girlfriends is precious, and always makes us feel uplifted afterwards, but the reality is, it’s not always possible to fit it in. While at times controversial, Lena Dunham’s podcast, featuring women we love, is like a long conversation with your besties on issues we think about while we lie awake at night. This one’s like hitting the reset button on your day.
Press Play: Body (57 mins)
10. Get your finances in check
Face your credit card bill once and for all this year: a funny-yet-informative podcast focusing on money matters, journalist and comic Lindsey Godwalt helps you motivate to get your accounts in order with her real talk on debt and finances. Guests include experts and people who have made big money mistakes and lived to tell the stories. Start this year with a new understanding behind the psychology of making bad decisions, and get on your way to a clean slate.
Press Play: Why Are We So Bad With Money? (39 mins)
Have shows you love that we missed? Please let us know your favorites in the comments.