Lori’s Podcast Picks for the Holidays (and beyond)

As we approach the season of road trips (traffic) and flights (delays), consider picking up a podcast. They are quick, easy and free to download and they will surely arm you with interesting conversation nuggets at the holiday table. Here are my top 5 right now:

1.      Hidden Brain—NPR’s thought-provoking episodes center around human behavior and will change the way you see yourself and the world around you. Host Shaker Vedantam’s smooth storytelling arms you with interesting topics that encourage conversation and debate.

My husband and I spent half of our Valentine’s Day lunch discussing “You 2.0: When Did Marriage Become So Hard”.

2.      Serial (Season One) – This American Life’s award-winning podcast was my first love and changed the way I felt about rush hour in D.C. It chronicles the gruesome murder of a high-achieving high schooler and the ex-boyfriend who was convicted on questionable evidence. If I could invite one person to dinner this holiday season, it would be Sarah Koenig, the brilliant investigative journalist who narrates each episode.

3.      The Happiness Lab – My latest obsession is from Yale Psychology professor, Dr. Laurie Santos. She explores the human mind, our emotions and how an understanding of both can help us in the age-old pursuit of happiness. I have forwarded Episode 10. Making the Grade to several mom friends and hope it lands in the hands of FCPS or even better, U.S. Department of Education.

4.      Up First My car radio rarely leaves NPR so it’s no surprise that their daily digest is my preference for unbiased news from around the world. Most podcasts are under 15 minutes, perfect for that doughnut run or the guilt-ridden trip to the gym that follows.  When you return to work in January, you might even keep it around for your daily commute.

5.      The GaryVee Audio Experience – Best-selling author of business bibles Crush It, and Jab, Jab, Jab, Right HookGary Vaynerchuk shares valuable advice for entrepreneurs who want to build their brand on social media platforms. Enthusiasts find so much more than business advice in Gary’s podcasts. They find philosophy, comedy, inspiration and trend spotting. His clairvoyance with the Adidas brand and his candor turned my 16-year old son into a fan.

Like recipes, podcasts are easy and fun to share. Please reply with your own favorites and let me know if you love or hate any of mine.  Happy holidays!

Photo by israel palacio on Unsplash

podcasts on your commute

5 Productivity Boosting Podcasts for Your DC Commute

Lets talk about podcasts. For many in the DC Metropolitan Area, your commute is plagued by lines of traffic or crowded metro carts. Rushing into your workday with an overstuffed, over stimulated mind can make getting started in the morning extremely difficult! By the time you get to work, you’re already burnt out, impatient and grumpy. But what if your commute could pose as a sort of warm-up for the day? Science proves that having a morning routine might not be such a bad idea after all. Giving yourself the ability to make decisions in the morning like making your bed or going for a run helps improve your internal locus of control. But if you catch yourself with an abundance of free time during your commute and need something that’s hands-free, consider listening to a podcast!


In recent years, Podcasts have exploded into the scene. Born from the era of TED talks and NPR, podcasts now come in all shapes and sizes. You can find podcasts about murder mysteries, digests on your favorite TV shows, or even comedians! But as the saying goes, ‘Everyone has a podcast’ so how do you choose the one right for you? We’ve assembled a list of 5 of our favorite productivity boosting podcasts you can take on the road.


1. Gary Vaynerchuck

If you haven’t heard of GaryVee, you should check him out. Author of the book “Jab, Jab, Right Hook” and a witty comedian, Gary’s podcasts lay down innovative and personal approaches to marketing and growing your business. His podcast features interviews with celebrities, guest speakers, founders and investors all with advice on how to better reach your audience.


2. Startup

We learn a lot from success, but even more from failure. Startup is a podcast covering the stories of founders and their journey in creating their business. The folks at Gimlet Media do a great job of bringing in entrepreneurs who can adeptly dissect their process of creation and how they handled the end result. This podcast is an invaluable resource to those looking for a little inspiration and a change in perspective.

3. Founders Nextdoor

Hosted by DC local Natasha Che,  Founders Nextdoor focuses on the entrepreneurial small business scene in DC, discussing trends in the market and how to utilize them to impact your community. The challenges of starting or maintaining a business often echoes the same challenges we encounter in our lives; fear of the unknown, a struggle to connect, and the strain of staying relevant in the noise of competition. Natasha’s work helps ease the pressure by offering tips, tricks and hacks you can use in your everyday life and in your business.

4. Stuff You Should Know

Sometimes the best way to understand a problem is to look at it from the inside out. From the creators of HowStuffWorks, Stuff You Should Know explores the function and design about…well, just about anything! Each episode covers the process of creation, the circumstances that led to invention, and the ingenious of design.

5. Dispatches

A bit of a different direction, but a gripping selection nonetheless. Dispatches, hosted by Morgan Givens discuss the challenges with identity, culture and relating deeply with other people all in the service of revealing universal truths about us all. Another DC local, Given’s podcast is thought provoking, inspiring and offers a wealth of insight about ourselves and how we operate.


But this is just a start! Hundreds of new podcasts launch everyday covering anything and everything. Start your morning off on the right foot with a podcast and you’ll be amazed how much energy you have left in your day. It’s a small change, but listening to ideas, stories, or learning about different processes can help inspire a whole new approach to working.