Podcasts and Books for the New Year

Hi guys! I wanted to share something a little different. Lately, I’ve been trying to better myself all around, and wanted to share some great resources that I am exploring, just in time for the new year.


I am someone that is constantly listening to music, I always have it on in the background when I’m at home, at work, commuting somewhere, or really just walking Nala. Sometimes music can really amp me up and I love that, but other times it can leave me alone with my own thoughts and feelings to try and understand things in life. Therefore, I’ve started listening to a lot of podcasts.

Apple makes this super easy with their podcast app and it gives me something to listen to that makes me feel like I’m still being productive with my time. (I have this weird obsession with making every moment somehow productive). When listening to other people talk, it gives me the space to be able to listen to other people’s ideas, rather than think about my own, and enables me to gain a different perspective on things. Plus; some of these people are so called ‘experts’ in their fields and have been spent a lot of time and energy studying and researching what they are talking about. I feel it really gives me valuable information without doing all that work.

Lately, I’ve been loving the NPR podcasts: (1) “TED Radio Hour” – This podcast brings together snippets of about 3 TED talks around a common subject. This has been so inspiring and a great way to get some great insight on topics you find interesting. (2) “How I Built This” – This podcast talks with founders of very successful companies (like Instagram and SPANX). Extremely inspiring if you are a budding entrepreneur or looking for a different way of thinking.


I’ve also been looking to read more books. This is something that I have had a really hard time getting back into mostly I think because of taking the CPA exam. When I was studying, I never wanted to spend my time reading anything other than the test material. Through the help of some of my really good friends, Renee and Gillian, I am sharing some of their recommendations for some good reads depending on what topics you may be interested in.


The unbearable emotional challenges of just BEING can be tough. Aside from expensive therapy sessions and illicit drug use, may I recommend something called bibliotherapy? I ran into this concept a long time ago, when, in the throes of a difficult time, I got lost in a fantastic story about the world of other people (and their problems from a long time ago). I was able to exhale the constrictions within my chest after their story ended. If only temporarily, I felt lighter.

Books mean different things to different people. But if you find one that touches you, it will be an invaluable resource to shore yourself up against, in times when your heart and soul needs it the most.

1) It’s Called A BreakUp Because It’s Broken: Breakups; oh the soul-crushing universal experience of the broken heart. While nothing, I repeat, nothing, can make the ache go away except time (and some booze,) there are certain books that will remind you that others have survived, even thrived, after this experience. Read this book and digest it. It’s a direct and realistic look at your breakup. I read it and re-read it. You might scoff, you might deny, you might protest. However in the end, you’ll realize the authors were right. They also include a 30-day survival guide

2) The Art of Seduction: The Corner Office; the glass ceiling can be a tough thing to break (look at Hillary Clinton.) I like to learn from those who are wiser. The next best thing to being directly under their tutelage is to absorb the lessons they impart via books, either those they penned or those written about them. This book is NOT about how to get a date, this book elaborates on the most subtle and effective form of power, which is how to obtain power. Social manipulation is a fascinating subject because it works so well. If nothing, it will provide you invaluable insight into the human psyche, and how to get what you want.


3) The Miracle Morning: I believe that to change your life you have to change something that you do every day. Throughout high school and college, as most people do, I woke up about half an hour before my obligations – allowing myself just enough time to get ready and out the door. I’ve spent the last year becoming a self improvement junkie – when I heard about The Miracle Morning I had to check it out. I was attracted to the idea of starting my day in an energetic, productive, and intentional way. I’ve been waking up at 6am every day since I finished the book – not only to invest time into myself, but also to prove to myself that I could do it! If you’re looking for a life refresher, read this.

4) The Four Agreements: One of the first mindset books I ever read, The Four Agreements takes you outside of yourself to look deeply into the meaning of life, our relationships with others, and our relationship with ourselves. The insights Don Miguel Ruiz offers are moving, life-affirming, and empowering. They’ve stayed with me. I could never do justice to his profound words in a short synopsis – so you’ll have to check it out for yourself!

5) The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck: Catchy, witty, blunt – described as “the anti-self help book” – The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck will make you laugh, take you off guard, and give you the slap in the face you need. Though the concepts take some mental chewing, it’s a quick read due to Manson’s candid and direct style of writing. Whatever your issues are in life, this book will provide you with a fresh perspective on them. No fluff, no bullshit – this book is great for people who like concrete, actionable advice. You can find samples of his writing on his website, markmanson.net



*Contributed by Renee and Gillian.