Favorite and Life Changing Podcasts

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Are you a podcast listener? I LOVE podcasts. My addiction started slow, but once I found ones I loved I became hooked. There are podcasts for any niche thing you are into. I find I would much rather spend time listening to something that really resonates with me or be learning something over most (not all) of the mindless shows on television.

I have many favorites that have either helped me in some way, or I’ve learned something from or I just flat out find them entertaining! I thought I’d share some of my favorites.

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Personal Development/Health and Wellness

Happier with Gretchen Rubin/Happier in Hollywood
Goes without saying that I’m a huge fan of her work. This show has all three of things I was talking about. I learn little tips and tricks to use in my life, it’s helped me to focus on what is important and it’s super entertaining. It’s where I began my second Happiness Project that sent everything in motion for me and how I started my “18 for 2018” lists and every year after.

Happier in Hollywood is Gretchen’s sister Elizabeth’s podcast that she does with her TV writing partner Sara Fain. In the same vein as Happier but with the twist of life in LA as TV writers.

Balanced Bites
This one is no longer producing new episodes but you can still access all the previous years of content. This was PERFECT for me when I began my paleo lifestyle. Diane SanFilippo and Liz Wolfe are just a fountain of knowledge when it comes to clean eating.

The Doctor’s Farmacy with Dr. Mark Hyman
This took my knowledge of wellness and food to a whole other level. His guests are top-notch! He goes beyond just “what should we eat”. He dives into climate change, farming, mindfulness, mental illness, social justice and list goes on. He has truly opened my eyes to the BIGGER picture and has inspired me to get involved with food advocacy. Future project!

Infinite Potential with Deepak Chopra
Another teacher/mentor I have learned so much from . With all of his 21-day Meditation Experiences I did, this was a no brainer. Every week Deepak interviews a guest to discuss everything mind, body, spirit and beyond.

Ten Percent Happier
If you are familiar with Dan Harris from ABC News you are probably already aware of this podcast. Every week he interviews a mediation teacher or leader. I always come away inspired and motivated and I learn something new every single time.

Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations
It’s Oprah! What’s not to love? I’m a fan of SuperSoul Conversations on TV but if I miss the episodes, I can always find them here.

The Sheri and Nancy Show
If you are a woman 40+ I guarantee you will find this show not only relatable but entertaining! Sheri spent most of her career as Oprah’s producer and now with her friend Nancy they are working on their “pillars” for all of us to hear and learn from. This show is great. It’s all about the second half of life. Sheri is 60 and has no intention of slowing into retirement. What keeps you alive are all the things I talk about on my blog and on this show they are sharing what happens as they work on all of those things. This show gave me a total mindset shift. When I was approaching 50, I kept thinking, I can’t believe I finally figured out how to live and it’s almost over. I was sad about that for a while, but after listening to this podcast I have a whole new attitude. When I tell people my age I also add that “I’m only half way” and that’s how I view it. I’m in the second HALF. When I reframed it, I now think, “ wow, there’s SO much I want to do and I have the time to do it. Life is good”. But it doesn’t magically happen on it’s own. If you don’t work on all aspects of your life you won’t get there or if you do you probably won’t feel so great and will be force to stop “living”. See my post on my Wellness Wheel to see the areas I’m working on for longevity. Another way I’ve heard it described is “training for the centurion olympics”. I love that. If you want to get to 100 AND feel good you absolutely must train NOW. Ok, that was a lot on one podcast! Update: This podcast is no longer producing new episodes, but the old ones are there for you.

Being Well with Dr. Rick Hanson
Think of Dr. Hanson as a kind of Mr. Rogers for adults. He is SO CALMING. And extremely knowledgeable. His show focuses on mindfulness, compassion and happiness and all the science behind it. I find it fascinating.

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Personal Finance

HerMoney with Jean Chatzky
You may know Jean Chatzky from the Today show or Oprah. When I decided to truly get our finances in order I began listening to MANY personal finance podcasts. Some stuck and some didn’t. This one stuck. It’s informative and practical and she always has interesting guests. I needed a lot of help in this area. I knew NOTHING about personal finance and money in general. I was starting at ground zero. I’m so much more literate now. This podcast was only a very small part of my learning. I went to our local library and checked out every basic personal finance book and read them all. I found a budgeting method that works for me and now I work on our finances every single day. But the podcast keeps it in the forefront of my mind.

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Music (aka podcasts that makes me happy)

Disgraceland
Stories of rock stars behaving badly told by Jake Brennan. Not for the faint of heart. Some of these stories are just outrageous. But that’s what it is to be a rock star. Personally, I can’t get enough.

My Favorite Album with Jeremy Dylan
Great concept for a music podcast. Jeremy invites a musician to discuss their favorite album song by song. A lot of fun to hear what these artists favorite albums are and why.

27 Club
Another darker podcast from Jake Brennan. This focuses an entire season to one artist that passed away at 27 years old. I love a podcast that takes a deep dive and this one definitely does.

Rolling Stone Music Now
From Rolling Stone magazine. The best interviews and music journalists in one place. I love their conversations and find myself laughing all the time.

80’s Music Exposed
This is a fun one! Especially if you grew up in the 80’s like me. This is a monthly podcast where they discuss the albums that came out in the 80’s in order by month. It’s really fun to hear some of this music again and to hear the critiques. The two guys are musicians and also around my age so I like hearing their opinions about what they liked then and now and what holds up and what doesn’t.

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Random

You Must Remember This
Probably the most well done, entertaining, informative podcast I listen to. Karina Longworth hosts this podcast about old classic Hollywood. These stories are FASCINATING! The best part about this podcast and what makes it unique is that she doesn’t just pick random stories. She selects a subject and then goes deep. Truly better than anything on TV. This podcast along with Disgraceland have won a couple of awards and you can tell why when you start listening. They are just on a different level and it’s obvious the work that went into them.

The Librarian is In
The New York Public Library has a podcast of book recommendations and what I love about this podcast is how it’s relaxed, but intelligent. I’ve tried other book related podcasts and they are either stuffy or just someone reading a list of recommendations and info off the book jacket. These are two employees of the library who come to discuss one book that each of them read. The conversation always takes a turn into something else. It’s just conversation. I love it. It’s funny, emotional and educational. And very New York.

Clear and Vivid with Alan Alda
I’ve always liked Alan Alda. Smart and funny, just seems like a great guy. And loved watching him on MASH. I didn’t know until recently about his interview podcast. All the guest are well know and when Alda interviews them, it’s a sincere, thoughtful and intelligent conversation. Reminds me of BBC’s Desert Island Discs if you’ve ever listened to that podcast.

Lost at the Smithsonian
Assif Mandvi takes us to the Smithsonian Museum to explain the importance of one object in the museum per episode. He interviews the staff as well and those who are knowledgeable about the history of the object. This one is so fun to listen to partly because Assif is so funny. One of my favorites was Henry Winkler’s Fonzi jacket from Happy Days. His interview with Henry Winkler was just heart warming. Another favorite was Dorothy’s red ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz. Give it a try!

Listening to podcasts about things you are interested in or want to learn from can help you achieve all your goals. By listening regularly you will keep everything that is important to you at the forefront of your mind and help you stay on track. Win-win.

I’d love to hear your podcast recommendations! Thanks for being here!


Make Every Moment Matter

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Day 14-16

Making every moment matter was the next focus of my 21 Day Meditation. Deepak says that the present moment is the only real time that exists. Meditation takes you to the “now.” I have a much better understand of this these days and I no longer let future worries steal time away from me. Being in the flow means I can “feel” my way through life instead of the constant stress and worry.

Here I had to come up with activity where it felt like time stood still. For me this is being at the beach. I find, like many people do, being at the beach to be incredibly relaxing. The sound of the waves, the hot sun and the feel of the sand. Obviously, I can’t be at the beach everyday! But the point is to understand the feeling of time standing still, when you are in the flow and there is no stress and worry.

On the other hand, now I had to come up with anything that made me feel the pressure of the clock. I had three.

Getting older
Kid’s activities
Having dinner ready every night

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At the time of doing this 21 day meditation I really did feel a lot more pressure about my age and where I was in life. I felt like time was SHORT. Part of me was so excited to do all these new things and the other part of me was like, “well it’s great you figured all this out, but it’s too late to really do anything productive with it.” I look at that much differently now. Partly due to a podcast that I absolutely love called The Sheri and Nancy Show (formally know as “This is 50”) You can find it here. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-sheri-nancy-show/id1271868787 At the time of writing this I’m coming up on my 50th birthday. The entire idea behind this podcast is that 50 is truly the halfway point. It’s about working on all the health and wellness areas in our lives and making the best life we can and this includes following your dreams and pursuits. This is not a time to slow down or retire as previous generations did. Now is the time to use all your wisdom, focus on yourself and move forward into the next 50 years. This is exactly how I view the rest of my life right now. I’m working all the areas of my life to make it the best it can be with the goal of another 50 years of health and happiness.

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The other two areas of pressure of the clock were not as serious, but still some things that needed to be solved. When my kids were a younger, I spent a lot of time getting all there accessories together for whatever activities they were off to at the time. What needed to change was more responsibility on their end in getting all their belongings together instead of me. They certainly were old enough, and honestly I never asked them to do it before. I took it on when they were little and then never let it go! That changed with me finally telling them it was time for them to take over these duties and the fact that they were older and actually wanted to do everything on their own.

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The third was the never ending need to have healthy dinners ready for my family. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE cooking. And I’ve also always enjoyed meal planning and grocery shopping. But I was feeling the time crunch every night of getting even the meals I had planned onto the table. I didn’t solve this until recently when I discovered Cassy Joy Garcia’s “Cook Once Eat All Week” cookbook. If you follow me on Instagram you would have seen all my posts of the dinners I make out of this cookbook! I post my cooking regularly because I’m genuinely excited about the meals! This book is full of gluten free and paleo friendly recipes that are broken down into weeks with a prep day at the start. The idea is to dedicate one or two hours of time to cooking once a week and then when it comes time to cook the meals for the week you are only assembling and heating the food you have already prepped. It’s genius. There are a lot of meal planning cookbooks out there but NONE of them are paleo friendly (that I am aware of) and so good! The food is just delicious! So much better than most cookbook recipes I’ve made over the years, paleo or not and I have an entire collection of cookbooks going back years. Not only am I saving a TON of time, I’m saving MONEY because I’m no longer buying 5 different proteins for the week. I buy ONE and use it for all the meals for the week in different ways. I can’t say enough about it! Buy it!! You can get it here. http:// https://amzn.to/2N7xJZB

If you would like to start making every moment matter, start thinking about the ways in which you feel time. Try the following:

Think of a way a time when time seemed to stand still. Remember this feeling. You are working towards staying in the present moment to eliminate stress and worry!

List a few ways you are feeling the pressure of the clock. How can you make changes in your life to eliminate these pressures? It may take asking help from others or just making some adjustments in your day to day schedule.

I can’t wait to hear your feedback! Thanks for being here!



Becoming an Optimist

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After reading Learned Optimism and understanding how to use the ABCDE method to start changing my pessimistic views and to overcome fears, I wanted to continue with this theme and made it my next resolution, which was:

My Quotation: “You can’t live a positive life with a negative mind.”

Daily/Weekly Actions:

Problem Solve

Pick a Time of Day to Think

Listen to the Happier Podcast

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So, the first action was to problem solve.  Not my strong suit.  It was rare that I actually would attack a problem going on in my life.  I would skirt around it or make small changes but never the big sweeping action steps it would take to actually solve a problem all the way.  If you remember, problem solving was part of my “How to Improve Coping Skills” list as well.  Here’s more on why problem solving is important. “Work out what you need to do now to get over what is happened to you.  Talk to people and think about taking practical steps, such as finding a support group.  Sympathy feels good, and sometimes it’s tempting to be a victim and tell people how bad your troubles are, but problem-solving will be more constructive in the long run.”  This sounds very much like something a child should have learned.  Something I should have learned along the way at some point.  But, I did not.  I have notes written next to this action that say “budgeting – research in the fall.”  Money was at the forefront of my mind.  We’ve always had plenty of money.  My husband works very hard and is very successful, which we in turn thought the money never ended so we could spend and charge as we please.  Not the case.  That does catch up with you.  I also had MOUNTING medical bills.  Thousands of dollars with no end in site.  It was incredibly stressful.  These notes, were the very first time I ever thought about taking control of our money situation.  My son would be leaving for college the next year and there was money put away for him but not enough.  And the thought of taking on any additional debt just made my stomach turn.  Even though I did not take action on this immediately, I eventually did.  I woke up to the fact that we could not continue this path.  And I was adamant that no one was going to have debt, not my kids with student loans and not us either.  So for the first time in my life I started a budget.  I did my research, found a few extremely helpful podcasts such as HerMoney with Jean Chatzky and How to Money.  I took it all in, started my budget, attacked the debt, and started seriously saving not just for college for my kids, but for everything that would be coming our way in the next 5 years.  I sold a ton of stuff, I cut expenses, but mostly I PAID ATTENTION to where the money was going.  I discovered we were wasting money EVERYWHERE.  Literally throwing it away.  Having a budget, at first, seems restrictive, but it’s not.  I’ve never felt so free to spend in my life.  Not an ounce of guilt with any purchase, because it’s all accounted for.  I’m happy to say we are just about debt free now and the college savings are building. 

Until I had this project in writing and actually wrote down my resolution and took action, I would have never started this process. It just would have been another source of stress in my life, which was the LAST thing I needed at the time.

My second action of Pick a Time of Day to Think was straight out of Learned Optimism (Which you can purchase here if you’re interested. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1400078393/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=myawakenedwel-20&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=1400078393&linkId=f5121b37228bba3162df147b18ecf86b) The idea is to use this time not to be anxious, but to use the time for problem solving and solutions. This forced me to stop stressing out every time something came up. I would put it aside and have a time, for me, usually in the evening, where I would sit down and sort through all the issues that have come up. Even though I might not come up with a solution immediately, I haven’t spent my whole day in a state of worry. Read more about this strategy here. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/stop-worrying-anxiety-cycle_n_4002914

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My third action was to Listen to the Happier Podcast with Gretchen Rubin.  When I started this Happiness Project, I started looking into the work Gretchen Rubin had done since I had read the original Happiness Project eight years early.  I found she had written several more books! (yay!) and had a weekly podcast (also yay!).  I DEVOURED these episodes.  I had about two years worth to listen to. So to catch up,  I listened whenever I could.  So many fun tips and hacks that I will go into more later.  But for the most part just having this in podcast in my ear all the time kept some of my priorities in order and kept me on track.  I can say the same about the personal finance podcasts.  Podcasts are my new favorite thing! I rarely watch tv anymore.  Podcasts are where it’s at.  Any niche you are into, there is a podcast for it I promise.  I’ve learned SO much.  I can’t recommend them enough.  Also, it’s just so easy to have them on while I’m getting ready in the morning, doing chores around the house or driving. 

One more note about becoming an optimist.  I just want to share another piece from Learned Optimism.  Here Seligman provides the case against pessimism:

Pessimism promotes depression.

Pessimism produces inertia rather than activity in the face of setbacks.

Pessimism feels bad subjectively (blue, down, worried, anxious).

Pessimism is self-fulfilling.  Pessimists don’t persist in the face of challenges, and therefore fail more frequently – even when success is attainable.

Pessimism is associated with poor physical health.

Even when pessimist are right and things turn out badly, they still feel worse.  Their explanatory style now converts the predicted setback into a disaster, a disaster into a catastrophe.

Who would want to live this way?  Not me.  I decided I never wanted to live like this again.  My health was and is my number one priority and this was part of being healthy.

Do you feel like you are a pessimist?  Try the following:

Start problem solving.

Pick a time of day to think.

Find a podcast that will keep you on track that align with your goals.

I can’t wait to hear all about your progress! Thanks for being here!