9:00 am EDT, September 21, 2019

Feel-good podcasts for your morning commute

Trying to stay awake and full of positivity at the start of the day? Here are the best feel-good podcasts for your morning drive.

There’s a wide variety of great podcasts out there, covering any manner of topics, but sometimes the most renowned podcasts are also the most depressing. Sure, Serial and This American Life are masterpieces — but they can get heavy. At the very start of the day, you want to be filled with curiosity, positivity and excitement!

So (based on personal experience) here are five feel-good podcasts to surprise you, make you laugh, and fill you with love for the world as you start your day.

Overheard at National Geographic

Are you into nature, history, geography and anything in between? National Geographic only started this podcast this year, to showcase what their staff talks about behind the scenes. And the podcast is an absolute delight to anyone who wants to hear fascinating stories about new discoveries in the natural world, and what they mean for us.

Peter Gwin, the host of the show, shared with Hypable the main purpose of the podcast:

“The overall goal for Overheard is to take people behind-the-scenes at Nat Geo headquarters and let them in on the storytelling process that really makes this 131-year-old institution tick. With the podcast, we’re gathering up the rough gems of science, archaeology, exploration, and natural history stories that we hear around the office every day and turning them into palpable narratives that take listeners on journeys that are both meaningful and unforgettable.”

From whale vocabulary, to the pyramid tombs in Sudan archaeologists refuse to explore, to the surprisingly impressive abilities of rats, Overheard at National Geographic makes you feels exactly like its name suggests: like you’re overhearing amazing stories by the people who know these topics best. Each episode is only about 20 minutes, and touches on a different topic. (Mind you, the host changes a few episodes in, so don’t be surprised!) Season 2 comes out on October 15th, 2019, and will have a special focus on women whose work has changed the way we think of ourselves and of the world around us.

The Anthropocene Reviewed

John Green meant for this feel-good podcast to remain hidden from the ears of those who don’t closely follow his fandom, but sorry, John. This podcast is too great for it to stay a secret. In The Anthropocene Reviewed, John (the bestselling author of novels such as Looking for Alaska, Paper Towns and The Fault in Our Stars) “reviews different aspects of the human-centered on a five-star scale.”

He picks two topics, like “Gray aliens” and “Rock Paper Scissors” and reviews them, 10 minutes apiece. But there’s a reason John is a bestselling author: he has an amazing, inspiring way with words. Sometimes he’ll tell you about the history of a thing, or why that thing means a lot to him, or something completely random… but it’ll always make you feel something positive.

John’s review of the Lascaux paintings — which I did not know about before this podcast — moved me to tears of happiness and love for the planet… which is always the best kind of media.

The Endless Honeymoon

Here’s the marriage advice podcast you didn’t know you needed. Not married? No problem, neither am I, but I’m endlessly entertained by Natasha Leggero and Moshe Kasher’s new podcast, The Endless Honeymoon. In each 50-minute episode, they offer funny but real advice to people at various stages of their relationships, and take anonymous confession calls that are both shocking and hilarious, but always fun to listen to.

The best part of the show is listening to Natasha and Moshe draw on both their skills as comedians and their own experience as a great couple. It’s lovely to hear from a couple that handles issues with maturity, loyalty and a sense of humor, and that’s the kind of energy you want to absorb as you go out into the world.

Rough Translation

The podcast industry overwhelmingly features United States-centric stories, and sometimes we miss out on the big picture. So Rough Translation seeks to give you a more global picture, showcasing stories from people around the world engaged in their own efforts, such as Ghanaian teachers trying to change their preschool teaching style, or a dating coach for refugees in Germany, or a young woman who started to clean the streets of war-torn Mosul.

Each episode is 50 minutes long, and while it may not always be a feel-good podcast, because there are references to war and social issues around the planet, you’ll come away from listening feeling refreshed and hopeful. You’ll also feel like you’ve gone on a journey yourself, listening to voices speaking different languages, and hearing footage from distant countries. There are amazing people all around the world, doing amazing things, and Rough Translation wants to remind you of that.

My Brother, My Brother and Me

The parent of all advice podcasts, My Brother, My Broth and Me is the kind of chaotic energy you need to stay awake at the start of the day. The McElroy brothers Justin, Travis and Griffin McElroy release an hour-long podcast every week where they offer advice in response to emails sent by listeners, and the randomest of Yahoo questions. They have one policy: no sad or intense questions.

The hilarity that ensues from their imaginative responses is one of the best things ever captured on audio, and the McElroys are unapologetic in their silliness. Prepare yourself for the answers to questions such as “Can a man knock out a gorilla using only hand to hand combat?” or “Can you grow a rose with the waters of your tears?” If you want to start your day laughing, this is the feel-good podcast for you.

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