I listened to my first podcast a year ago. Between raising two kids, work, housework, attempting to have a social life of my own, etc.—I didn’t think I had time for it. Not to mention the options were endless—where to start?  

Then one day I went for it, and I chose Hoda Kotb’s Making Space podcast. I put it on while I was getting ready one morning and after listening to the first episode, I realized:

Podcasts were made for people like me.

People who have every intention of reading that leadership book haunting them on their nightstand every night, but who at the end of the day, are way too tired to pick it up.

Podcasts were made for people like us.

With podcasts, our professional and personal development doesn’t have to be bound by what’s printed on the pages. We can listen and grow during the times that used to be mundane.  

When I’m stuck in traffic, folding laundry, cleaning up the kitchen, you name it…all those times when I used to turn on music or TV, I now flip on a podcast. 

For anyone looking to dip their toes into the water to see what it’s all about, or if you love podcasts already and are looking to switch up your usual rotation, here are my favorites for professional and personal growth. And if you have a recommendation, message me on LinkedIn…I’m always looking for something new!  

1. Dare to Lead with Brené Brown 

In their words: Brené writes, “The Dare to Lead podcast will be a mix of solo episodes and conversations with change-catalysts, culture-shifters and as many troublemakers as possible. Innovating, creating and building a better, more just world requires daring leadership in every part of our daily lives – from work to home to community. Together, we’ll have conversations that help us show up, step up and dare to lead.”  

My take: Believe the hype about Brené Brown. Her words are transformational, and this is one you’ll want to have a pen and paper nearby. Whenever I’m feeling in a rut at work and need some inspiration to breathe life back into me and my teams, I turn on Brené and breakthroughs follow. 

Favorite episode: Armored versus Daring Leadership. This is Brené at her best (although she is an extraordinary interviewer as well!). She reads a portion of her book Dare to Lead and provides insight. If you’re in a leadership role (or aspire to be in one), you’ll want to listen to this one.  

2. Making Space with Hoda Kotb 

In their words: “Where do you draw your strength? Join TODAY’s Hoda Kotb as she continues on a journey of self-discovery and exploration of the resilience of the human spirit. Hoda hears from some of the people she admires most and whose testimonies of compassion provide lessons for how to make space for whatever it is you may be seeking in life right now.” 

My take: This podcast is like a first love and holds a special place in my heart. Hoda’s ability to get her guests to open up and share the lessons they’ve learned from their rawest moments and struggles is such a gift. If you’re going through a hard time or need a little inspiration in your life, turn this on. You’ll be better for it in the end. 

Favorite episode: I have a tough time picking one because every episode hit me in a different place in my heart, but Anne Lamott: “Grace Always Meets You Exactly Where You Are” is a definite favorite. Also Delia Ephron: “Your Writing Is your Fingerprint”  

3. Token CEO with Erika Nardini 

In their words: “On Token CEO, Erika Nardini offers a glimpse into her world as CEO of Barstool Sports. Between meetings and conference calls, Token CEO tracks Erika’s moves in real time, with episodes every week. From current news to business strategy, Erika breaks down a variety of topics with an inside look on what’s going on in Barstool HQ. Featuring weekly guests from the boardroom, the locker room and everywhere in between, Token CEO is raw and candid – just like its host.” 

My take: Say what you will about Barstool, Erika Nardini is one to follow. She tells it like it is, makes no excuses, offers compelling insight into the media industry and gives some of the best career advice I’ve heard. (Check out her Work Like a Girl segments!)   

Favorite episode: As Franco’s consumer gal and retail buff, I loved How Risk Helped Kendra Scott Build A Billion Dollar Company.

4. frankly… with Rachel Burnard and Dan Horn 

In their words: “Frankly, we’re just a couple of communicators in the City of Detroit, talking integrated communications and connection with the best in the industry. Hosted by Rachel Burnard and Dan Horn from Franco, Detroit’s longest-standing independent communications agency, this bi-weekly podcast discusses the changing realities of marketing and communications, what’s needed to succeed in the industry and generally inspiring conversations and connections to improve our businesses and communities.” 

My take: I would have put this at number one, but it seemed a bit too much of a shameless plug! I will say, though, I listened to the first episode to be supportive of my colleagues, but I listen weekly because I love the industry insights. Rachel and Dan strike the perfect balance as hosts, and if you’re in integrated communications, this is a must listen. 

Favorite episode: frankly…It’s Time to Get Integrated with Gini Dietrich, founder and CEO of Spin Sucks and creator of the PESO Model. Also, the first episode where they interview Franco CEO Tina Kozak and President and COO Tina Sullivan can’t be skipped. I laughed so hard I cried. After one listen, you’ll understand why these women are so amazing to work for and with.

5. Daily Detroit with Jer Staes 

In their words: “What to know and where to go in Metro Detroit. Timely conversations and local stories about local topics including autos, bars and restaurants, business, Detroit City FC, development, local government, news, policy, technology, things to do, transit and more. All in about 20 minutes a day.” 

My take: There is so much happening in Detroit, it can be hard to keep up. Jer keeps it short and to the point, and I know I can count on him to keep me apprised of the latest happenings. He also has great guests! 

Favorite episode: Downtown Retail Will Never Be the Same. As the retail landscape changes globally, it’s interesting to hear how it’s being reflected locally in Detroit. 

Cayce Koschis an Integrated Communications Supervisor at Franco. Connect with her onLinkedIn.