The 7 Best Podcasts for a Little Inspiration

  • Katie Gavenda
  • 30 Jul, 2019

Here at Mata, we spend a lot of time collaborating, brainstorming, and meeting about fun projects. But, when it comes down to it, we're creative people who need desk-time downtime and doses of inspiration however we can get them. While focusing on the plentiful to-dos, popping in headphones and pressing play can boost creativity.

inspiring podcasts from Mata Traders

While we used to turn on the tunes and foot-tap our way through our work, many of us are using our free eartime as a way to absorb some audio motivation. Our water cooler ( ...ok, coffee maker) talk is all about what podcasts we’re listening to, and today we’re sharing our faves with you!

7 Inspirational Podcasts

1) Our Favorite: Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations

We can’t speak for everyone, but this popped up on several people’s must-listen lists. It has been 8 years and too many days since The Queen of All Media has graced us with her talk show presence, but listeners can get their Oprah fix (without the dish soap commercials) from her podcast. Her chats with inspiring guests give you a little guidance, a little “I should try that,” and a lot of motivation. Since it was our top choice, we have some favorite episodes:

- Marianne Williamson: The Spiritual Purpose of Relationships
- Dr. Brene Brown: The Anatomy of Trust
- Shawn Achor: The Life-Altering power of a Positive Mind
- Iyanla Vanzant: You Matter
- Mark Nepo: 7000 Ways to Listen


2) Short & Sweet: Before Breakfast

The name of the podcast is its essence: a quick, 5-7 minute episode, released daily. Author Laura Vanderkam’s immensely popular 2016 TED Talk “How to Gain Control of Your Free Time,” has led to this newly launched podcast, inserting Laura’s productivity tips in your everyday morning routine. They say it best: the podcast’s main mission is to give listeners practical tools to feel less busy—while getting more done.


3) For the Deep Diver: 30 for 30 - Season 3

30 for 30 is an ESPN run podcast that focuses on famous sports figures. ...Yeah, right? Unexpected! The sports world is no stranger to competition and sacrifice, and ESPN has mastered its compelling documentation in the 30 for 30 formats (films, series, and podcast). Season 3 of the podcast is a multi-part expose into the life and exploitations of Bikram Choudhury, the man who founded Bikram yoga. We couldn't stop listening.


4) Girl Power: Hysteria

A feminist podcast (“51% of the population, 100% of this podcast”) from comedy writer and political commentator Erin Ryan. Her female guests join to discuss politics, culture, and current events, and Mata staffer Carly says “every episode makes me LOL, literally.”


5) Surprisingly Fascinating: Decoder Ring

Decoder Ring is a Slate podcast about “cracking cultural mysteries.” Chuck E. Cheese pizza, “Baby Shark” and the origins of an earworm, and the irritation of laugh tracks – that’s right, things you never thought you cared about until you gave an episode a listen.


6) #2 for the Deep Diver: The Dream

An entire season dedicated to the underbelly of pyramid schemes and multi-level marketing? Count us in. Host Jane Marie (a This American Life vet – Chicago love!) traces participation across the country and gives a closer look into a Get Rich Quick world that’s been expanding since the ‘80s.


7) A peek at life in the spotlight: Pretty Big Deal with Ashley Graham

Model and body-activist Ashley Graham sits down with famous females in all arenas – from athletes to celebrities to activists. Her chats cover culture, beauty, business, fame, and leave you wanting more. Plus, anyone who can get Kim Kardashian West to be on the very first episode of their podcast deserves a listen.


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