The best personal development podcasts according to NRC

1 life kit

From self-help books to advice columns, we always want to know how to live life. How we raise kids, keep work fun, sleep well, etc. Its implicit promise—I’ll read this, and I’ll be a better, happier person—is often irresistible.

The podcast life kit fits into that list, but thankfully no-nonsense, with concrete tips on relevant topics such as how to learn habits, make tough decisions, or relax more and work less. As all the books and columns go life kit certainly won’t change your life, but there’s a good chance there’s a tip that will really help you. And with two or three episodes a week, you can easily skip a few before you think: yes, I’m struggling with this myself.

In addition to the regular podcast, there is also life kitoffer Health, Money and Parenthood.

2All behind the pram

As in almost every facet of our lives, individualization also presents a challenge in parenting. Urbanization, technology, living far away from family: it’s not surprising to sometimes feel lonely as a parent. After all, we no longer live in a big village where your family and neighbors help look after your children. The podcast All behind the pramby author and new mother Daan Borrel, is definitely not just about parenthood.

In the first episode, she talks to future anthropologist Roanne van Voorst about ethical sex, robot children, guilt about taking time for yourself, and how it is normal in many other cultures to let others look after your child, as it is also us before . World War II. A podcast that inspires to think about parenthood and collective care in different ways.

3The Long Time Academy

The Long Time Academy is an idealistic project that spreads awareness of how we as a society handle time. You’ve heard many statements before: we work too much, rest too little, and should we really strive for constant growth? Yet it is The Long Time Academy an addition to the genre of meditation podcasts. Interesting writers, thinkers and scientists give depth to the meditation techniques: you learn not only to rest, but also what its value is.

Key initiators from various fields show that we can “live more slowly” in many ways. For example, by “decolonizing” time; haste is something the West has imposed on other cultures.

Fortunately, through meditation you learn to ‘zoom out’, a technique that would allow you to better understand your ancestors and, a nice bonus, also give you greater empathy for the future inhabitant of the earth. Hopeful insights, that’s what characterizes this beautifully designed podcast the most.

4Light awake

Five journalists from the youngest generation at the Belgian newspaper The standard look into Light awake which keeps them awake at night. For example, Jef wants to know what the arrival of your first child will do to your life, Samira is fascinated by origins and the feeling of ‘being at home’, and Kubra wants to know if it is possible to make nightlife safer without getting started. out boring.

In triptychs, they examine their experiences with scientists and peers. The montages are beautiful: they rhythmically accompany the emotions that float to the surface in the young journalists. Voice-overs support the stories that have already appeared in the tightly edited reports and study discussions.

5Honest about alcohol

IN Honest about alcohol Koos van Plateringen quickly manages to put his guests at ease, perhaps precisely because he adopts such an informal attitude. The friendly RTL announcer talks openly about his own experiences with alcoholism. His guests do the same, all from a different angle. As a former top athlete, Thomas Dekker struggles with a life full of extremes, radio producer Patrick Kicken had a father with an alcohol problem, presenter Evi Hanssen knows all too well how uneven it is to stop drinking.

Sometimes Van Plateringen is a little clichéd, and you don’t need to listen to this podcast for the short intermezzos of scientific information; they stay on the surface. Still, you hear rare honesty about a charged subject.


In the triptych Body Layla El-Dekmak examines how women view their bodies (and thus themselves), how this has developed over the years and what role culture plays in this. She does this in a playful but intimate way.

The podcast is focused only on women’s perspective, but the speakers are very diverse within that category. Young women, old women, fat women, thin women, white women, black women, mothers, daughters, insecure women, and women who make money off of their looks: everyone talks openly about the connection with their bodies. The beautiful montages do justice to the stories and are further assisted by an anthem written especially for this podcast.

7How is the work with Esther Perel

Her popular podcast series Where should we start?, listening to couples in relationship therapy, appealed enormously to the imagination. An insight into the misery of others can provide a lot of insights. But the famous relationship therapist and sexologist Esther Perel has in recent years focused on work relationships in addition to love relationships. IN How is work she examines the conversations we prefer to avoid at work.

The high expectations we have for our work, says Perel, are very similar to the expectations we have for our romantic partners. And the way we approach him or her can be suspiciously similar to the patterns that sometimes cause us to clash with colleagues.

Therefore, every episode she talks to two close colleagues, family members with a company or business partners. Every time something is wrong, and Perel provides a one-time therapy session.

Did you know that Perel was also a guest in The hour, NRC‘s interview podcast? Listen to the episode here or find it in your favorite podcast app.

8Divorce with Stine

“When I’m with dad, I miss you. And when I’m with you, I miss dad,’ says eleven-year-old Vicky, daughter of Stine Jensen. On the podcast Divorce with Stine goes the philosopher and NRCcolumnist in search of the meaning of divorce. She acts as a researcher and questions experts, experienced experts and writers. What does a divorce cost? How often do people break up? Why are we actually breaking up? The power of the podcast lies in the fact that Jensen also examines his own divorce. She wants to discuss this with her ex-husband Jaime. Jensen dares to be admirably vulnerable. It produces honest and sometimes painful dialogues. He: “I think we both experienced that divorce very differently.” Jensen: “Yeah, I think it was a little more of a disaster for me than for you.”

9A thorough investigation

British twin brothers Chris and Xand Van Tulleken, both doctors, investigate why one is overweight and the other is not. Xand is 20 kilos overweight and has (because of it?) a heart problem.

He knows his lifestyle is unhealthy, yet he is unable to eat healthy and exercise more. Chris has a plan: together they talk to nutrition and addiction experts about the effects of processed food and ready-to-eat products in the hope that Xand will gain insight. The conversation between Chris and a therapist in the third episode is surprising and moving. Could it be that Chris is part of his brother’s problem?

In the second season, released last month, the brothers examine the extent to which personalities are malleable and how much is genetically fixed. This topic also provides the two with enough fodder to keep their joint quest fun and informative.

Need more podcast tips? Sign up for the Podcast Club newsletter or take a look at NRC’s podcast page, where all podcast reviews are collected, sorted by topic. Here you will find all recommended podcasts with the theme of ‘personal development’

Leave a Comment