Mental health, diet, and fitness are all interconnected, contributing to our overall wellbeing. It’s really hard to be centered, happy, and healthy without all three of those factors coming together. But as with many of life’s experiences, there are huge gaps in knowledge for how to pursue a genuine sense of “health.” Sometimes what we think is helping actually hurts.
One way to help get the inspiration and information we need to feed our bodies and souls is the podcast. Over the past few years health, diet, and fitness experts have recorded show after show. Suddenly, the average person has access to scientific researchers, dieticians, and fitness coaches. This is a win for all of us. We can download a podcast and one hour later, we’ll know a little bit more about how to get (and stay) healthy.
We decided to break down a list of ten great podcasts that can help your eating habits, fitness regimen, and mental health. Naturally, there’s some overlap between the genres (fitness podcasts will invariably talk about nutrition as part of staying fit, for example), but we’ve tried to highlight three categories: Diet, Fitness, and Mental Health with one Wild Card at the end.
Found My Fitness
Dr. Rhonda Patrick got her Ph.D. in biomedical science from the University of Tennessee. She’s spent her adult life studying how nutrients and micronutrients affect every aspect of our health from our body’s shape all the way down to our DNA. Her knowledge is so deep that calling her an expert on nutrition and health almost feels like an understatement.
Dr. Patrick’s podcast, Found My Fitness, takes extremely deep and scientific dives into health and nutrition. There are 52 episodes available for free on iTunes and Stitcher. So where you dive in is up to you and what aspect of diet and health you’re curious about getting a better understanding of. The most recent episode features Dr. Guido Kroemer who talks with Dr. Patrick about how dietary fasting affects aging and cancer amongst several other topics around autophagy (cell starvation and renewal).
The Paleo Solution Podcast
Robb Wolf has spent his life training top-tier athletes, Navy SEALS, and Olympians. He’s a former research biochemist who spearheaded the modern ‘Paleo’ movement of eating whole, unprocessed foods.
Wolf’s The Paleo Solution Podcast leans heavily into the scientific research end of diet, health, and fitness. And while Wolf’s podcast does fold a lot of exercise into the shows, it’s first and foremost about what you put into your body. Wolf’s podcast also stands out on a very inclusive ethos of each individual finding out (medically and scientifically) what works for them instead of assigning broad brush strokes to everyone about their health and diet.
There are 300 free episodes on iTunes to choose from. We recommend episode 347 where Wolf welcomes Mark Sisson to talk about getting started on the Keto diet. It’s a fascinating and informative look at the fat-based diet.
Melissa Joy Dobbins hovers on the other end of the nutrition spectrum. While she’s not a seasoned researcher or physician with a Ph.D., she’s been working in health and nutrition for over 20 years — in roles with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the National Dairy Council.
Dobbins’ Sound Bites podcast serves as a great place to get a layperson’s take on the hefty issues that researchers and doctors put forth on health, diet, and nutrition. Dobbins hosts some of the biggest names in the health game on her podcast and offers an insight that’s relatable for everyone listening.
A great place to start is Dobbins’ interview with food researcher Dr. Taylor Wallace for a look behind the curtain on how and why food researchers do what they do.
Marathon Training Academy
Angie Spencer is a certified running instructor and registered nurse. Along with her husband, Trevor, they put together the Marathon Training Academy that helps people get into running and then reach the ultimate running goal of completing a marathon. One of the best aspects of the podcast is that it all started with Angie getting Trevor into running and eventually completing his own marathons. So there’s a tactile, real-world experience that lets the listener really feel each step of the process.
There are 50 episodes available on iTunes. It’s really up to you where to jump in. You can start with the most recent episode in which Trevor hits Munich for Oktoberfest and then runs the Munich Marathon. It serves a good travel companion to running marathons around the world.
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Lara Hedin has 20 years of yoga practitioning behind her. And, let’s face it, yoga is a transcendent way to get your body into shape while centering your soul a little. Hedin’s Yoga Peeps podcast takes yoga a step further by diving into the more esoteric aspects of the work out.
Every epsiode features a new guest who offers a new take on yoga and what it means to your body and health. The 30 most recent episodes are available for free on iTunes. We recommend diving in with the most recent episode with yoga expert and cookbook author Tara Stiles. It’s an insightful dive into yoga and how diet and nurtrition plays its part in your health.
The Rich Roll Podcast
Rich Roll is a vegan ultra-endurance athlete. He’s one of the biggest and most recognizable advocates of the plant-based life for the ultra-athlete and he has the accomplishments that prove his vegan lifestyle works even in the most extreme situations.
Roll’s The Rich Roll Podcast primarily focuses on high-level athletic guests that Roll interviews. Each episode is an examination on how the highest goals in fitness can be achieved and what it takes to get there.
The One You Feed Podcast
The one you feed comes from a Buddhist parable about how you choose to live your life — or whether you feed the good wolf or the evil wolf that’s inside all of us. Eric Zimmer and Chris Forbes started their podcast to tackle this issue head on and find ways to keep feeding the good wolf in them to live their best lives.
The One You Feed Podcast welcomes a wide scope of guests to talk about mental health, life, and positive reinforcements through the self and society. The last 257 episodes are available right now on iTunes and there’s really no bad place to start. We recommend jumping in with the recent episode with Florence Williams where they discuss the proven scientific benefits of spending time in nature.
The Mental Illness Happy Hour
Comedian Paul Gilmartin takes a deep and often humorous look at the world of mental health with a long list of friends, celebrities, and doctors on the The Mental Illness Happy Hour. The idea of the podcast is to break down stigma and embrace the reality of mental issues that face so many and maybe find a way to laugh about our problems.
There are nearly 300 free episodes on iTunes to choose from. Gilmartin’s episode with stand up and writer Neal Brennan is a great place to start with a smart conversation about the realities of depression, alcoholism, and anger in the face of success and laughter.
Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus made their mark in Silicon Valley then decided it was time for a change. The Minimalist podcast isn’t about living with less, it’s about making room for more. It’s a podcast that wants to help you live your best life by not weighing yourself down with the unneccessary — thereby creating space for what you really need.
The Minimalist has 101 episodes to choose from. This is a great podcast to literally start from episode zero (it’s only 15 minutes long) and work your way through. Otherwise, you can pick any topic they’ve covered and start from there too.
The Joe Rogan Experience
The Joe Rogan Experience is a podcast that’s literally about anything and everything. Rogan welcomes comedians, film stars, athletes, fighters, politicians, saboteurs, and an array of Ph.D.s onto his podcast for two to three hour long meandering conversations about, well, everything.
One through line that seems to surface most often is health and fitness. Rogan also welcomes a long list of doctors and research scientists on to talk health, fitness, and well-being. Most recently Rogan along with fellow comedians Bert Kreischer, Tom Segura, and Ari Shaffir have been tackling weight loss, going sober, and doing hot yoga in a hilarious set of podcasts that look at their indulgent lifestyles and finds places where they all can improve.
A great place to start with Rogan’s more health-centric episode are his shows with Dr. Ronda Patrick (listed above) as they take deep dives into all matters health. Rogan has the opportunity to ask layperson questions and get follow ups to very specific scientific jargon. There are six episodes to choose from with Dr. Rhonda Patrick. Or you can also pick and choose from all of Rogan’s 1,000+ podcasts on iTunes.