Inspiring podcasts for your summer listening

Whether commuting, dog walking, exercising or just enjoying some down time, there’s been an explosion of podcast listening in recent years.

The podcast phenomena was already on a steep upward trajectory before the pandemic but all those lockdowns have birthed a new wave of hosts – and an audience looking for something fresh to listen to.

Spotify alone now carries more than two million podcasts on its service. That makes finding your way through a seemingly never-ending stream of choice a tough ask. So Merrick Life has done the hard listening for you and come up with 10 that are definitely worth a go.

We’ve stuck to a broad theme of well-being and inspiring podcasts, though some are well worth a download just because they’re a damn fine listen.


inspiring podcasts: Happy Place

Happy Place

Fearne Cotton’s top-ranking podcast unleashes a top line-up of guests discussing life, love and loss and finds out how they manage their mental health in a bid to help listeners find their own happy place.
There’s more than 100 episodes of insightful and interesting conversations, and each episode leaves listeners with actionable self-care tips.



Feel Better, Live More

Dr Rangan Chatterjee is well known  for his ‘four pillar plan’ to health and happiness, focusing on food, movement, sleep and relaxation. In his podcast he talks to like-minded experts – and the occasional celebrity – about how to counter modern-day assaults on our health and the hacks they use to live better lives.



inspiring podcasts: Courage & Spice

Courage & Spice

A motivating podcast from Sas Petherick, a self-doubt researcher with a Masters in the subject. Sas uses both academic insights and case studies to inspire and grow self-belief.
Perfect fodder for those who are doubting their next move. She’s coached hundreds of people how to develop self-belief to help with relationships, careers and creativity.



The Dry Life

This podcast is hosted by Kayla Lyons who set up the movement 1,000 Hours Dry during the first lockdown to encourage people to go 42 days without alcohol.
Each episode explores the ins and outs of an alcohol-free lifestyle. Started January 2020, new season coming in September. Described as a podcast for the sober and sober curious.



Confessions of a Modern Parent

Loose Women panellist Nadia Sawalha sits down with husband, Mark Adderley, to discuss the modern issues that face our teenage kids… and the style in which we parent them.
Recently featured an episode on one of the biggest taboos – Do you regret having become a parent?



inspiring podcasts: The Adventure Podcast

The Adventure Podcast

If personal adventuring is still on ice (no pun intended!), then vicariously living through other people’s may be the next best thing. The podcast has spoken to filmmaker Emma Crome about her documentary following the last English poachers, Sir Chris Bonington on A Life in the Mountains and journalist George Monbiot’s early career covering land seizures in the heart of the Amazon.



It’s Complicated

Tanya Goodin is back for a fourth season of her digital detox podcast series. In each episode guests discuss their phone habits and sharing tips for living a more screen-balanced life. Easy? Well, it’s complicated.



Get Sleepy

This one’s for anyone who struggles to switch their brain off to fall asleep. Get Sleepy is a twice weekly story-telling podcast with the goal of helping you get a great night’s rest. It’s a combination of sleep meditation, followed by a calming story that hopefully lets you drift off to a peaceful slumber.



Humans of XS Manchester 

A podcast that celebrates a collection of brilliant Mancunian minds from musicians to politicians, footballers to scientists.
Each guest discusses with Clint Boon how their musical tastes, careers and lives have been shaped by the Manchester community. Maxine Peake, Liam Gallagher and Masterchef winner Simon Wood are just three of the star names.



inspiring podcasts. Manchester Arena Bomb - Stories of Hope

Manchester Arena Bomb: Stories of Hope

BBC Radio Manchester’s sensitive four-parter brings together survivors of the 2017 terror attack. They talk about how they’ve rebuilt their lives and the connections they’ve made with each other.
Usman Ahmed, who was working his last shift as a steward on the night of the bombing, found strength in his faith. While Martin Hibbert, paralysed by shrapnel wounds, hopes to raise a million pounds for the Spinal Injuries Association by climbing Kilimanjaro.



→ Looking for a motivational read? Here’s a previous selection of page turners.