Hey, friends! Let’s talk about the magical world of podcasts—where you can tune into your favorite content creators while conquering your to-do list, going for a run, or even pampering yourself with a face mask! Now, sometimes you might be feeling an entertaining podcast (we ALLL love those), but other times you’re looking to expand your mind or learn something new. Plus, just like everything else, there’s a podcast for that! 

So, today, we’re sharing a curated roundup of podcasts that will not only entertain you but also ignite your curiosity, broaden your horizons, and challenge your thoughts. Also, from uncovering the mysteries of human behavior to exploring the hidden stories of history, these podcasts are sure to please your intellectual side. Here are our top thought-provoking podcasts

Podcasts That Make You Think

13 Podcasts That Make You Think

UNLOCKING US with Brené Brown

Brené Brown’s award-winning podcast is a gem for those seeking to explore vulnerability, courage, and empathy. As a renowned researcher and storyteller, Brown’s insights on human behavior and personal development will leave us with PLENTY to think about. The conversations with the guests will challenge you, teach you, and even confuse you at times (but in a good way). 

Our recommendations: Accessing Joy and Finding Connection in the Midst of Struggle and Masterpieces and Messes 

The Nicole Walters Podcast with Nicole Walters

Hosted by the hilarious and inspiring Nicole Walters, this podcast is a life-affirming journey of entrepreneurship and self-discovery. And with her infectious energy and trademark humor, Nicole tackles topics like mental health, balancing work and life, and achieving financial freedom. With a lighthearted approach that’s guaranteed to make you think about your life and inspire you to change it (and maybe laugh a little about it too). 

Our recommendations: Moms Matter Too, Do MORE by doing LESS!, and All This GUN Talk


Krista Williams and Lindsey Simcik host this empowering podcast that focuses on self-improvement, wellness, and navigating adulthood. With candid conversations about personal struggles and triumphs, Almost 30 will leave you feeling connected and ready to take on the world. 

Our recommendations: How To Both Accept Yourself and Change Yourself, If I Slow Down, Will I Fall Behind? and How To Stop Caring About What Others Think 

Real Pod

As the name implies, the Real Pod is a hardcore self-help podcast about REAL life. The successes, failures, struggles, and strife that we ALL deal with. Think mental health, body image, eating disorders, health and wellness, and just life in general. Join Victoria Garrick, mental health and body-image advocate, each week for BFF-quality advice that will remind you that we’re all in this together. 

Our recommendations: How To Find Purpose in Your Life, 8 Reasons To Stop Caring What People Think, and Becca Tilley on Finding Love, Owning Who You Are, & Surrounding Yourself with Good People

HIDDEN BRAIN with Shankar Vedantam

Hidden Brain is a public radio podcast that explores the unconscious patterns that drive human behavior. (Maybe this podcast can tell us why you know who won’t text you back???) Hosted by the brilliant Shankar Vedantam, this show gives us the 411 on why we do what we do. You may be asking, “Do I really want to know? The answer is yes. Yes, you do. It’s sooo interesting!!! 

Our recommendations: The Path To Enough, The Paradox of Pleasure, and Remember More, Forget Less

The Papaya Podcast

The best words to describe The Papaya Podcast are real, inspirational, candid, and direct. Hosted by Sarah Nicole, each episode is just under an hour and full of bits of the best advice and wisdom for living your most fulfilling life. As well as super relatable stories and personal anecdotes she covers topics like grief, entrepreneurship, sex, motherhood, trauma, and more. 

Our recommendation: The One About Asking Yourself Why and The One About Creating Boundaries & Trusting Your Intuition with Yasmine Cheyenne

I Am America

I Am America is a podcast hosted by Tracee Ellis Ross that seeks to expand our sense of community and our understanding of identity while inspiring us with the possibilities of our country’s future. 

Each episode is an “audio portrait,” highlighting the journey of one American free thinker and the cultural issue they’re working to mend. Plus, you’ll learn about systemic issues and injustice from all over the country—and you’ll be empowered to do something about it!!!

Our recommendation: Ethics of AI with Timnit Gebru, Ph.D., Nurturing Masculinity with Kier Gaines, and Identity and Disability with Conchita Hernandez Legorreta

Podcasts That Make You Think List #1

The Art of Being Well

If you want to expand your mind and think deeply, it’s best to listen to experts. Dr. Will Cole is a leading function medicine expert and best-selling author who helps people all over the world heal from their ailments. 

This podcast is such a breath of fresh air because Dr. Will Cole breaks down exactly what is going on inside your body in a way that’s totally approachable and even light-hearted. It’s not heavy-handed or all about the doom and gloom. Plus, his methods are holistic and modern for a contemporary audience. So, no matter your health situation, this one is a must-listen!

Our recommendation: How To Have The Best Deep, Restorative Sleep Of Your Life, These SURPRISING Nutrient Deficiencies Make You Feel Like Crap, and TCM Deep Dive, Acupuncture Myths + Truths, Tongue Diagnostics + Understanding Your Element Type For Optimal Health 

Summer of Gold

The Summer of Gold is a history podcast collab between Dear Media and TOGETHXR. It tells the story of the trailblazing Olympians who paved the way for female athletes today. All you need to know is that it’s about the 1996 Summer Olympic Games where women DOMINATED and how that set the stage for the global phenomenon that is American women’s sports. This one’s for women everywhere to feel proud of our past and empowered for our future! 

Our recommendation: You need to binge all of these episodes to get the whole AMAZING story.

The Shine Series

We can learn so much from legendary change makers like Behnaz Ghahramani, Serena Williams, Chriselle Lim, and so many more. The art space is full of people breaking barriers, making statements, and creating something new. The Shine Series hosts discussions about the struggles and successes of some of the fashion industry’s biggest trendsetters. Learn a thing or two about entrepreneurship, confidence, and perseverance with The Shine Series!

Our recommendation: Designer Edmundo Castillo on the Power of Shoes, Pride, and More and Director Quentin Jones on Art, Fashion, Advice to Her Younger Self, and More 

The HEAL Podcast

Kelly Noonan Gores has a HEAL documentary, book, and now podcast. Her mission is to uncover the true extent of human potential and healing by interviewing doctors, scientists, and spiritual teachers from all over the globe. You can learn so much about not only holistic medicine, but culture, history, and mindfulness. The HEAL Podcast will make you take a good look at your mental, physical, and spiritual health. And it’ll inspire you to make big changes. 

Our recommendation: The Power of Breathwork and Understanding Your Human Design, Mold 101: The Impact on our Health & Homes with Jason Earle, and Nathalie Kelley: Harnessing Indigenous Wisdom to Regenerate our Future

REVISIONIST HISTORY with Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell’s thought-provoking podcast dives into historical events and uncovers the hidden patterns that drive human behavior. Basically, he covers that old quote “history repeats itself” in a super fun way. He’s a crazy good storyteller and always seeks to challenge the same-old, same-old perspectives on big historical moments. It makes you think long and hard about what you thought you knew! Get a download of historical facts and wisdom with this stellar podcast!

Our recommendations: The Mystery of Mastery with Adam Gopnik and A Treat For The Die-Hards

Dear Gabby

Life-changing transformations, personal growth, and spirituality are the main topics discussed in Dear Gabby. Each week, Gabby Bernstein sits down with unique and interesting inspiring guests to share experiences and advice for how to handle life’s toughest challenges. Though we love the subject matter, our fave part of this podcast is What you are bound to love the most is Gabby’s unscripted and free-flowing conversational style. Get comfy and tune in each week for an hour of life-altering content.

Our recommendations: 4 Secrets to Abundance and Uplevel Your Belief and Manifest More 

Podcasts That Make You Think List #2

Feed your brain with wisdom and inspiration, one podcast at a time. 

So, there you have it! Eight podcasts that will get you thinking and open you up to a world of possibilities. These are podcasts that will change your life—or at least give you some fun facts for trivia night. Whether you’re interested in human behavior, personal growth, cultural issues, history, or health, these shows offer something for everyone. So fill up your Adult Sippy Cup, connect your AirPods, pull out your Slay Era journal, and get ready to take notes and have your mind blown!

We also encourage you to check out our blog, where we talk about everything from self-help to pop culture. Just like these podcasts, the Dear Media blog will feed your fun side and your intellectual side!