What I’m Listening To: 50+ Podcasts To Download Now

It’s no secret. Podcasts are so hot right now. 

When I discovered the world of podcasts about four years ago, I felt like I stumbled upon an amazing secret. 

I promptly ditched the radio playing the same crappy song over and over again, and filled my morning commutes, workouts and general errand-running and lounging around the house with podcasts, podcasts and more podcasts.

I mainly listened to business/entrepreneurship-related podcasts, and the content inspired me as I worked on my side hustle preparing to quit my job to start JL&Co.

I was hooked.

And now, several years later, podcasts have exploded even more. Which is great! Because that means there’s even more awesome stuff to listen to. And my listening taste have certainly expanded, too.

Before we get into the podcast recommendations, let’s talk logistics. 

How I Listen:

There are many ways to listen to podcasts, but I listen on my phone through Apple’s podcast app.

It’s easy to search through the iTunes Store to browse different shows. From there, I subscribe to the podcasts I’m most interested in and am alerted when new shows are published. Because I don’t want to use my data, I “download” the specific episodes I want to listen to when I’m not on wifi (i.e. in the car) so I can still access them. At any given time, I usually have 2-3 podcasts downloaded to my phone to save space. The rest live in the app and I can access them when I’m on wifi again. This process has worked pretty well for me!

I’ve heard good things about the Stitcher app, along with Soundcloud for those who can’t or don’t use Apple’s podcast app.

When I Listen:

When I started working from home, I was worried I’d stop listening to podcasts since I essentially gained back two hours in my day previously spent commuting. However, I find I listen to podcasts even more now! Running a solo business can be incredibly lonely and listening to podcasts as I go about my day makes me feel a little bit less alone. I generally throw on a podcast as I’m getting ready in the morning (brushing my teeth, making breakfast/coffee, etc.) and while I do chores (dishes, laundry, etc.), along with while I run errands and when I do drive various places. I probably listen to even more shows now than I did before!

Without further ado, here are 25 podcasts I listen to religiously…and 25ish more, recommended by you!

Podcasts are so hot right now. Here are 50+ podcast recommendations, some I listen to religiously...and many more, recommended by you!

Guilty Pleasures: Reality TV & Pop Culture

Listen. The world is complicated enough. Sometimes you just need a light, fun, no-brain-power-necessary listen…and these podcasts are perfect for just that. Most of these podcasts center around entertainment…and you’ll see I’m noticeably addicted to Bachelor/Bachelorette-adjacent shows.

1. Off The Vine with Kaitlyn Bristowe

Former Bachelorette star Kaitlyn Bristowe is EVERYTHING: she’s hilarious, down-to-earth, beautiful, witty and entertaining. Her podcast is also all of those things. I particularly love the episodes she brings on the people closest to her: fiancé Shawn B. has appeared twice, as as her childhood best friend. 

Must-Listen: Spencer Pratt & Heidi Montag

2. Mouthing Off with Olivia Caridi

You may have seen “villain” Olivia Caridi on Bachelor Ben Higgins’ season, but this gal is so much more than what you saw on your TV. With a broadcasting background, Olivia interviews fellow reality TV stars — and she does it super well.

Must-Listen: Michael “The Situation” Sorrentino & His Girlfriend Lauren Pesce: Best/Worst Jersey Shore Moments & Getting Sober

3. The Ben and Ashley I Almost Famous Podcast

Bachelor/Bachelorette alums Ben Higgins and Ashley Iaconetti pair up in this weekly pod to talk all things Bachelor. I particularly like their dynamic since their personalities are starkly different from one another.

Must-Listen: All Things Dean Unglert

4. Reality Steve Podcast

If you’re like me and read Bachelor spoilers, you know the name Reality Steve. Well, now he has a podcast! I like this one because he interviews lots of past (think: many seasons ago) contestants from the franchise. It’s fun to take a trip down memory lane, especially since these former contestants are off-contract and can speak freely.

Must-Listen: Interview with Lesley Murphy

5. The Ringer — Channel 33

The Ringer isn’t just for Bachelor fans — they have other weekly shows (including a Game of Thrones show if you’re into that), but I’m particular to Juliet Litman’s Bachelorette Party. She gets interviews with recent winners (think: Nick and Ben), along with high-profile ABC execs like Rob Mills.

Must-Listen: ‘Bachelorette Party’ — With ABC Executive Rob Mills

6. Here To Make Friends — A Bachelor Recap Show

This Bachelor recap pod was my very first, so it holds a special place in my heart. Each week, Emma and Claire recap the show and detail the week’s aptly-named “feminism fails” (of which there are many). 

Must-Listen: Bonus: ‘Bachelorette’ By The Numbers

7. The E&G Podcast — Bachelor Nation’s Favorite Podcast

The guys who host the E&G Podcast interview probably the most Bachelor contestants of any podcast I listen to, including contestants kicked off on night one. It’s fun to get to know these people we only saw on TV briefly. Get ready though — sometimes this show publishes up to four times a week. I typically skip the recaps and fantasy league episodes and stick to the interviews.

Must-Listen: Packing for The Bachelorette

8. Hey Julie! A Big Brother Fan Podcast

Moving on from The Bachelor! I also looooove me some Big Brother! This show hilariously recaps each episode and predicts what will happen next.

Must-Listen: Each show is a recap of the previous episode of Big Brother, so I recommend getting started based on whichever episode you just watched!

9. The Russell Hantz Show

I don’t watch Survivor (though I’m considering jumping into the next season), but past winner Russell Hantz chats with contestants on both Survivor and Big Brother, so I’m newly into this show. 

Must-Listen: Casting Big Brother

10. Betch Slapped

The ladies behind Betches.com bring you Betch Slapped, a weekly podcast covering topics ranging from reality TV to dating to politics. 

Must-Listen: There’s No Filters In Real Life

11. Girl With A Podcast

Is there anything Girl With No Job doesn’t do? She’s everywhere…and she does a damn good job of making herself known for having “no job.” Her podcast delivers her signature snark I’ve come to love on Snapchat and Instagram Stories.

Must-Listen: One-On-One Date With Olivia Caridi

Hanging Out With My Girls: Your New BFF in the Form of a Podcast

Working from home can be lonely, but when I listen to these podcasts, I feel like I’m hanging on the couch with a glass of wine and one of my best gal pals. 

12. Chatty Sisters Podcast

Ugh! I’m biased because I’m friends with host Caroline, but I love, love, love this podcast. As their intro states, “we hope you feel like part of the family” and you definitely will as you listen to these two sisters chat each week. 

Must-Listen: Friends in Different Life Stages

13. I Don’t Get It

There are A LOT of things I don’t get when it comes to relationships, dating and being a twenty-something in 2017, and it appears I’m not alone. Ashley Iaconetti from the Bachelor/Bachelor in Paradise, her sister Lauren and former Bachelor producer Naz Perez chat weekly about all the things they just don’t get. A new series on the show calls out guys who ghost! You gotta listen.

Must-Listen: To Freeze or Not to Freeze w/ Whitney Bischoff & Carly Bass

14. Eliza Starting at 16

Eliza’s a bit younger than most of the audience likely reading this blog (she just graduated from high school) but she’s wise beyond her years. The daughter of author Gretchen Rubin, Eliza’s super short podcast (think: 7-10 minute episodes,) cover a wide variety of topics, and give insight into the world of being a teenager.

Must-Listen: On Being a Sucker for Marketing

15. The Shepod

Hang out with Rachael and Sara over a boozy brunch each week as they talk all things TV, 90s nostalgia, dating, workouts, food and more. The best part of this podcast though is the super fun Facebook community they’ve built.

Must-Listen: Winternet is Coming

Learn Something New

Prior to starting my business, I listened to A LOT of entrepreneurship-related podcasts. Now, I skew more toward the lighter side of things since I breathe business day-in and day-out. However, these podcasts always make me feel just a bit smarter after listening!

16. Stuff Mom Never Told You

Gold. Pure podcast gold. Hosts Emilie and Bridget tackle a variety of topics surrounding the challenges that face women today. I love that their show is extremely research-driven, so they present the facts and then share their thoughts and insights. 

Must-Listen: Women and Pyramid Schemes

17. The Managing Editor Show

As a managing editor myself, I find myself nodding along to almost everything host Jess Ostroff laments about as she talks about what it means to work in this new world of content.

Must-Listen: Why Intuition Matters for Managing Editors (Shameless plug! This episode features me)

New to My Queue 

I’m always on the hunt for new podcasts! I typically give them a “trial” period where I listen to a few past episodes and keep tabs on the new episodes being published. If I continue to enjoy the show, it gets a permanent spot in my downloads! Here are some new-to-me pods I’m auditioning now. 

18. The Goal Digger Podcast

I learned about the Goal Digger podcast just a week or so ago after doing some research on Instagram pods (see episode below). I can’t wait to dive into the archives of Jenna Kutcher’s workshop-style business podcast for girl bosses.

Must-Listen: Why Instagram Pods Might be Hurting Your Business

19. LadyGang

After hearing the LadyGang on Kaitlyn Bristowe’s podcast (there’s a lot of cross-podcast pollination going on in these worlds), I decided to give them a try myself. Each week, the LadyGang invites a celebrity guest for brunch and a chat.

Must-Listen: Whitney Port

20. Reality Life with Kate Casey

Further fueling my thirst for reality TV gossip, Kate Casey recaps shows and chats with former TV show contestants, all with her signature sense of humor.

Must-Listen: Jon Gosselin

21. The Bitch Bible

This is brand new to my queue (as of yesterday), but the name alone had me hooked. Described as, “a podcast that dares to say what many are thinking, but only a bitch would say,” I can’t wait to dive in.

Must-Listen: Just downloaded after learning about the podcast on Spencer Pratt’s podcast! Haven’t had a chance to listen quite yet.

Retired From My Downloads, But Still Keeping Tabs

Change is inevitable, right? It’s only natural to grow out of a podcast you may have once loved. These are podcasts I’ve listened to over the years that for one reason or another have been retired from my downloads. However, I’m still keeping tabs on most of these lovely podcasters — and pop in for an episode every now and then when something really grabs me!

22. The Lively Show

The Lively Show used to be my very favorite podcast, but as the host Jess took a new direction in life, so did her podcast. If you’re like me and don’t quite connect with the new direction, I highly recommend digging back into the archives — Jess did tons of insightful interviews with creative entrepreneurs. 

Must-Listen: Wardrobe Remixing and Closing a Business with Kendi Skeen

23. Chasing Creative

I’m online buds with hosts Ashley and Abbigail (and they even had me on the show once!) The podcast is currently on hiatus until season four begins.

Must-Listen: Creative Breaks

24. Starr Struck Radio

I miss this podcast so much! Mary Catherine and her husband Ben put on a great show, but took a hiatus when they had a baby. Fingers crossed this pod returns soon!

Must-Listen:  Demystifying + Destigmatizing Therapy

25. The Smart Passive Income Podcast

Pat Flynn’s podcast inspired me for many years when I was rocking my side hustle. It was one of the very first podcasts I started listening to, in fact! I stopped listening because I cut out most business-related podcasts when I started JL&Co.

Must-Listen: The Art of Rejection with Jia Jiang

Readers Recommend: Here’s What YOU’RE Listening To These Days

I listen to A LOT of podcasts, but I can’t listen to ’em all. Noticeably, I don’t listen to a ton of crime, politics or news-related podcasts. So I took to Facebook and Twitter to get a pulse on what everyone is listening to these days, and let’s just say, I have a long list of shows to add to my queue.

Here’s what you recommended, broken down by category.

Get Smarter:


Stay Informed:

Fun/Girl Chat:

True Crime/Mystery:


Pop Culture:

Looking for even more? This Facebook thread is a wealth of awesome recommendations — there were so many I couldn’t include them all here!

Help me add to MY must-listen list. What podcasts are you loving these days? Share in the comments below.

*Photo via Pixabay

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To The “Haters”: You Never See The Full Picture, So Please Stop Judging

Last week, The Penny Hoarder, one of the largest personal finance websites in the world with more than 16 million readers, published a profile on me and shared the story of how I quit my full-time job to start my business Jessica Lawlor & Company.

The piece (which has been viewed more than 23,000 times in under a week!) is flawlessly written and edited — shout out to author Jamie Cattanach and the editing team over at The Penny Hoarder. 

I’ve been included in many news articles (especially over the past few months as I’ve ramped up my own PR efforts), but I’ve never been so proud of a media placement. It’s a dream come true to have my story shared on an outlet I love and respect in such a beautiful, raw and transparent way.

The reaction from my community has been nothing short of incredible! From the overwhelming response on my Facebook profile to the flood of traffic to my blog to the nearly 50 new subscribers I’ve welcomed to my email list, plus countless personal emails and messages, I’ve been blown away. (Not to mention grateful.)

One place the response hasn’t been nearly as positive? The Penny Hoarder’s Facebook page

The Penny Hoarder shared the article on their very active Facebook page last night, and already, as of this writing, the post has 500+ likes, 400+ shares and a stream of comments. 

Don’t get me wrong; I’m glad The Penny Hoarder shared my post (the visibility to the article has *way* increased thanks to their posting), but I knew that when they shared, I’d be opening myself up to LOTS of opinions — good, bad and super ugly.

You might even say I have…haters.

A message to the "haters": An online article never tells the full story, so before you judge or leave mean comments, please consider what you don't know.

Some of the comments are upsetting. They make me want to scream, “You don’t even know me! You don’t know my story! Stop judging me!”

It’s easy to get defensive, and I’ve definitely been there. 

However, instead of getting mad, I’ve decided to address some common misconceptions from the article…and share important reminders about the stuff you read on the Internet. 

A 1,000 word article doesn’t tell the whole story

No matter how well-written an article is (and this one is on-point), there simply isn’t enough time or space to fully dive into the nitty-gritty, behind-the-scenes details and background that paint the whole picture of anyone’s personal story.

One Facebook commenter quoted a line from the piece, “First of all, she was able to save up a $40,000 backup fund in case her plans fell through…” and added, “So let’s all get right on that…”

Another wrote, “Guessing she had a boatload of money to live on as she pursued her dreams.”

Fair judgement…sort of.

These commenters immediately dismissed my successes (and struggles) based on one figure they read in a piece. I get it; it’s a big number, and may seem out of reach for some.

So for those wondering, here’s how I was able to save up a $40,000 backup fund, some of which was shared in the story and some of which was not. It wasn’t a pretty process.

  • I’ve been working since I was 16 years old. I’ve almost always worked more than one job at a time, including as I worked my way through college. I’ve worked as a lifeguard, swim instructor, writing tutor, recreation center supervisor, freelance writer, PR professional, yoga teacher and more over the past 13 years I’ve been able to work.
  • I saved my money! My day job salary went to my bills, student loans and every day living) while my freelance earnings went into an account that I didn’t touch for four years. My parents taught me early on the value of saving. They taught me to have goals and to spend wisely. They also taught me a lot about keeping your credit score high, so I’ve thankfully never been in debt.
  • I lived at home leading up to quitting my job at age 27. 

Just remember: an article, book,  TV show, documentary, song, etc. never tells the whole story. Always assume there’s more you don’t know.

What’s luck got to do with it?

Another commenter wrote, “Think some ppl are also just incredibly lucky.”

My friend and fellow writer Blake Atwood reminded me of this quote from Thomas Jefferson:  “I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.”

Amen, TJ!

I am a firm believer that we create our own luck.

My story is not that of an overnight success. Those who have followed me know that I’ve been at this freelancing thing since 2011. It has been a slow and steady climb over the past several years, and there have been countless moments I’ve wanted to give up and wondered why it wasn’t happening faster.

But here’s the thing: you keep working.

There were early mornings. There were late nights. There were Fridays and Saturdays my family and friends were out and about and I was at home working. There were smart, but difficult choices made like the one to live at home with my family while I saved money. 

So yes, I do count myself lucky. However, more than that, I count myself prepared. I count myself a go-getter with an unstoppable work ethic. I count myself strategic; ready to jump on opportunities as they arise. 

Does luck play a part? Sure, but it’s certainly not the only factor.

Timing is everything

I started my first blog and got on board with social media way back in 2008, when this whole online marketing thing wasn’t what it is today. In fact, I kept that initial blog a secret because I was afraid my friends would think I was weird for writing online! Imagine that.

I’ve been at this a long time — I’ve made some invaluable connections over the years. Yes, this has helped me immensely. 

Being one of the first to do something often presents a unique advantage. 

In regards to me saving money before I quit my job, one commenter wrote, “For some this might be an option, but others have children and families that all their savings go toward.”

To that, I reply: I totally hear you! That’s your situation, and your story, so you’ll need to adapt your goals and milestones accordingly.

But for me? I don’t have any kids right now. The article clearly explains I’m a single 29-year-old woman, so I happen to have timing on my side at the moment. And I’ve had that timing on my side as I initially grew my freelance business, too, since I started at a pretty young age.

Will there be a day I won’t be able to save as much for my personal rainy day fund? Absolutely. And when that day comes, I’ll adapt too.

But for me, that day isn’t today.

“Hug your haters”

Jay Baer wrote a book called Hug Your Haters, and I couldn’t agree with his sentiment more. 

While I absolutely love the kind words from my community and am so grateful for the support they give me, I also thank my haters. Weird, right?

These comments fuel me. They drive me. They push me to keep going.

To keep authentically sharing my story.

The story I’m insanely proud of.

Everyone’s path is different

My story is not your story. And that’s what makes life beautiful.

It appears some folks turn to stories like this one hoping for a blueprint or an all-encompassing step-by-step guide to quitting your job and starting your own business.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that.

We all need to create our own paths. It doesn’t look the same for everyone.

Sure, let yourself be inspired by the stories you read. Let these stories motivate you to take action.

But, please, don’t judge. 

The next time you read an article on the internet and want to share your opinion, by all means, go for it (healthy debate is awesome!), but first, take a step back.

Ask yourself, “Is my comment coming from a place of jealousy? Is it coming from a place of ignorance? Do I understand the full scope of this article? Is something perhaps missing here?”

And if you can’t confidently answer these questions, why add your voice to the fire?

Because really, life is too short to be mean. And it’s certainly way too short to hate on others. 

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