There are times–like this morning–where I wake up underwhelmed by my own goals and ambitions.

I look at my watch to see the time, and I think to myself: these little numbers are trivial, and unwrapping myself from the safety of my covers is trivial, and tip-toeing across the unrelinquishingly squeaky floors to clamber into my cold running clothes is trivial.

It’s the funk. The unjustified blues. The melancholy damper.

I find myself–against my better judgement–still slogging out the door for a run. Because it’s not about being motivated, it’s about being driven; and that is a stronger force against these raging internal dialogues.

In these moments, disassociation is my best friend.

I snuggle the bluetooth earbuds into my ears and podcast that puppy out, allowing my feet to dance and bounce from step to step without ouvert instruction or attention, my arms swinging rhythmically on their own account.

I zone into the podcast; I get lost into other thoughts besides my own. My tumultous mind is exfoliated and replaced with a clever host and a clever guest walking me through what it is to be great. Telling me stories. Talking to me. Talking to me so that I don’t talk to me.

I am betting that the funk, blues, damper–whatever you refer to it–happens to you sometimes, too. Maybe when you’re struggling to eject yourself out of a toasty bed on a frosty morning. Maybe when you’re sore or the internal demons are particuarily vocal.

I have a top-nine list of recent funk-reducing damper-rejecting podcast episodes. These are such that have encouraged me, empowered me, enlightened me–in some way, any way, to get myself out from my own mind.

  1. 5/25/16: Lewis Howes talks about surviving, thriving and ‘The School of Greatness’ | The Unbeatable Mind Podcast with Mark Divine
    1. “Lewis Howes, former football player, currently on the US Olympic handball team and an entrepreneur, speaker and author of the bestselling book based on his own podcast, The School of Greatness…Lewis and Mark speak frankly about the role that adversity can play in success in addition to determination and an underlying dedication to principle and gratitude”
    2. Howes is an incredible storyteller. He crafts his past into visual and relatable moments to latch onto and follow closely. His voice is filled with energy and excitement, and he has a profound belief in what he is saying.

  2. Aug 20th, 2017 : Ben Gibbard | The Forward with Lance Armstrong
    1. “Ben Gibbard is…best known as the lead vocalist and guitarist of the indie rock band Death Cab for Cutie….he talks his music career…and trading in alcohol for running trail ultras.”
    2. Ben has a raw passion for running trails, and he’s not afraid to openly voice struggles getting to the point in running that he has. Him and Lance have an open and beautiful conversation about music, about life, about living free.

  3. 10/09/2017: Sir Richard Branson — The Billionaire Maverick of the Virgin Empire | The Tim Ferriss Show
    1. “Sir Richard Branson founder and chairman of The Virgin Group, is a world-famous entrepreneur, adventureer, activist, and buisness icon.”
    2. This conversation is riddled with stories of adventure and the brash tacks of living life as fully as possible without regard to fear.

  4. 10/01/2017 : Chris Guillebeau On Why You Need a Side Hustle (Even If You Love Your Job) | The Rich Roll Podcast
    1. “Chris is a widely acclaimed author, blogger, entrepreneur, and modern-day adventurer. Ripe and wanderlust after a 4-year stint as a NGO volunteer executive in West AFrica, he embarked on a multi-year quest to travel to every country in the world, all 193, before his 35th birthday.”
    2. Guillebeau is authentic; he tells stories of success that make one believe anything is attainable. He is positive and hopeful–but realistic at the same time to make it plausible.

  5. 04/23/2017 : Louis Cole is Living the Life of Adventure | The Rich Roll Podcast
    1. “With almost 2 million subscribers on his “Fun For Louie” YouTube channel, this brittish-born dreadlocked globetrotter was one of the first daily travel vloggers to break out — and internet personality so sensational, YouTube crown prince Casey Nesitat dubbed Louis the godfather of daily vlogging”.
    2. He screams attainable adventure. It’s brilliant.

  6. 09/12/2017 : Brene Brown: Create True Belonging and Heal the World | The School of Greatness with Lewis Howes
    1. “Brene Brown has changed the face of emotional intelligence, relationships, and self-acceptance for millions of people. But her area of expertise is one that not many people are willing to talk about — shame and vulnerability.”
    2. Again, a level of authentic conversation that actually matters.


  7. 03/05/2017 : Jesse Itzler | The Forward with Lance Armstrong
    1. “Jesse Itzler is an entrepreneur, author, endurance athlete, former rapper, and one of the owners of the Atlanta Hawks in the National Basketball Association.”
    2. This conversation between Jesse and Lance was fluid, and empowering, and mesmirizing…really everything necessary to take one out of one’s own mind.

  8. 09/01/2017 : Who is Dean Karnazes? | Trail Runner Nation
    1. “Many of us owe Dean for informing and encouraging us to get into Ultra or Trail Running via his books and adventures”.
    2. Dean Karnazes is CRAZY. He has finished the Western States 100 Mile Trail Run 15 times, the Badwater 135 10 times (those two races being only WEEKS apart). He has run on every continent, across the entire country of America, through Greece, around the South Pole….he once ran 350 miles in 80 hours. The best part is how much he genuinely love running; this podcast made me want to keep going for ever and ever.

  9. 01/02/2017 : Navy SEAL David Goggins Is The Toughest Athlete On Earth — Thoughts and Mindset, The 40% Rule & Why Purpose Always Trumps Motivation | The Rich Roll Podcast
    1. “When you think you’re done, you’re 40% done”.
    2. If ever you have ANY problems getting out of your head or knuckling down to some discipline, just listen to this podcast and then imagine Goggins running besides you. You will never stop. It is the only motivation you need, really.

I hope these help you as much as they helped me.

Peace and Blessings,


3 Comments on “Unmotivated? Underwhelmed? Podcast Recommendations!

  1. Wow, absolutely great list. I bloody love podcasts, they’re genuinely one of my greatest joys. Hadn’t come across Lance Armstrong’s one before but I’ll definitely check it out. I can recommend having a scan through Joe Rogan’s backlog – they’re all on YouTube, and I think he has well over a thousand now. But loads of the people you’ve mentioned above (like Rich Roll, Tim Ferriss) appear, and they have such chilled out, wide ranging conversations over 2-4 hours, it’s a great chance to hear a slightly different perspective. Thanks for sharing!


    • Ahh, great call. I’ve heard so many podcasters mention Joe Rogan…I’ll take a look at his! Thanks Joe!


  2. Pingback: What Goes Between the Ears on a 6-Hour Run – Kissing the Earth

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