We are our mornings, so what we do in that small window of time to set the tone for the day is crucial. And don’t get me wrong, a perfectly curated playlist can come in handy with the task of putting an extra pep in your step. I have one aptly titled “Morning Grind” that has been known to get me by in the couple of hours leading up to arriving at work. However, sometimes morning rituals need a bit of a shakeup.
With the influx of podcasts and the fact that one in six millennials that you meet seem to have one (not a real statistic), you’re bound to find at least one or two that you subscribe to – literally and figuratively. I’ve found ten. Some mornings, I need a little more than that shuffle and the conversations of unfiltered like-minded individuals spreading the wealth of knowledge and opinion fits the bill. Here are ten podcasts that will elevate your work commute – and maybe even your life.
1. The Read
The Read has been around for a minute is a staple for most black millennials and arguably the first of its kind. Before the recent wave and rise in popularity of podcasts, 1/2 of The Read duo, Kid Fury, is the person that drew me to give the platform a listen. He was hilarious and witty on his YouTube channel and brought that and then some to airwaves on a weekly basis with his partner in crime Crissle who joins him in a rapport like no other. The pair talk pop culture in an unapologetically woke way. Listening to them, hilarity and laughter is bound to ensue.
Start here: Holleration In This Hillary
2. Good Life Project
Navigating through the uncertain murky waters of twenty-something adulthood is hard. And sometimes, holding on to your wide-eyed naivety and optimism feels like it’s outdated AF. Enter: self-improvement. I love self-improvement anything and luckily on this medium, there is no shortage of self-improvement podcasts. Good Life Project is one of them. It’s a mecca of inspirational and intimate conversations with people who have managed to make a good life for themselves in whatever way that means to them. It’s the daily dose of motivation everyone needs.
Start here: What Would I Tell My 20-something Self?
3. Heart + Hustle Podcast
Heart + Hustle plays to a lot of my interests. It is created by women of color entrepreneurs so it addresses aspiring and budding entrepreneurs who might not otherwise have knowledge of what they want, how to get it, and what to expect. They focus on branding and interview other women on similar life paths who took the leap of faith and made their heart their hustle. With the hashtag #BossSoHard acting as a motto, there is no doubt you’ll leave the weekly spot feeling more aligned with your purpose.
Start here: Embracing Your Expertise
4. BGP (Black Girl Podcast)
I was introduced to these ladies through a write-up on xoNecole. They are five media mavens whose paths crossed when they all worked for popular hip-hop station Hot 97. Together Scottie Beam, Bex, Gia Peppers, Sapphira, and Alysha P. share hilarious conversations that transcend any particular subject or topic. They talk about life, pop culture, love, life, sisterhood, etc. And it’s great because it is so real. What I like about it are the debates that happen as a result of differing opinions and at the same time, that chemistry and that bond that can be felt among women who vibe with each other like sisters.
Start here: Ex Factor
5. The Therapy for Black Girls Podcast
This weekly chat is just the dose of mental health that a black girl who is often told by the world that she is hated or not enough needs. I don’t want to isolate anyone when I say that statement, but it feels so validating when someone sees you, understands you, and tries to help you through the emotional turmoil that can be your state of mind, especially in times like these. Dr. Joy Harden Bradford offers tips and strategies to help elevate your mental health. But no matter how helpful her sessions are, she always emphasizes that her podcast is not a replacement for therapy. Since she’s Atlanta-based, I might have to give her a ring one day.
Start here: What are Boundaries & Why Do I Need Them?
6. 2 Dope Queens
I've been in love with Jessica Williams since she became a standout for the satirical Comedy Central program The Daily Show. That girl is funny. Add her equally hilarious best friend Phoebe Robinson to the mix and you have hit comedic gold. The chemistry is on 10. 2 Dope Queens is a live comedy show in Brooklyn and features open and candid dialogue on romance, race, sex, hair, living in NY - and anything else that demands to be talked about.
Start here: #17 Fifty Shades of Matthew McConaughey
7. Mattie James
How could you not be enamored with someone who coined the phrase "David Your Goliath"? Mattie James is an Atlanta-based style blogger that has taken the world of blogging and branding by the reins and created a brand that she lives and loves. Her podcast gives you insight on how she was able to do that. If her partnerships with American Express, Macy's, H&M, etc. are any indication, she is a woman about her business that knows what she's doing. I always feel like I leave her podcast having learned something.
Start here: How to Balance it All
8. hey, girl.
I’m unabashedly obsessed with all things Alex Elle. If you’ve found a post or two featuring her around this blog, you might have already been aware of that fact. When she started her podcast, I was so happy because not only am I a lover of her words, I also love how soothing and melodic her voice is. You are the company you keep and I admire the fact that Alex highlights that in her hey, girl podcast chats. She invites a friend to talk about a specific subject manner and acts as a moderator/interviewer to pull out these women’s stories. It’s so fascinating how people come from all walks of life but can still connect through shared experiences. I’m a fan for sure.
Start here: Denisio on Identity
9. Still Processing
Still Processing features two culture writers for the prestigious The New York Times, Jenna Wortham and Wesley Morris. The pair talk all things society and culture, offering unique perspectives on TV, art, movies, music, and all things the internet. They discuss the things that move them and from that perspective, often leave listeners equally moved. I fell in love with them after listening to one episode in particular and have been an avid weekly listener ever since.
Start here: We Got Bodied Talking Jay-Z and Beyonce
10. BGIO (Black Girl in Om)
Another self-care podcast entry for the win! Black Girl In Om is created by Lauren Ash and Deun Ivory, who are the creators and cultivators of an online movement of the same name, which includes a site and social media platforms. The shared nature of all of the platforms is that it feels like exactly that, it feels like, om. The podcast acts as an informative affirmation where guests share their stories that seek to uplift and heal. It is a gentle reminder that there is beauty, there is pride, and there is love in us all. We can do anything because we are everything.