(Inside: Best podcasts for teenage boys. Inspire and motivate our teen boys with these awesome podcasts.)
I stepped out of my car and visually took in his house.
Wow. This is more than I could ever afford.
I knew this man (a friend of a friend) had barely graduated from high school. He certainly didn’t have a 4-year degree. Or a 2-year degree. Or maybe not even a certificate of anything. I was there to tutor his high school son in math. As I entered his home, I was equally impressed with the beauty and show of wealth.
Week after week, I came into this family’s home and helped the son get his grade up. Finally, I couldn’t even stand it anymore. I ask the dad, “Tell me your journey to success.”
And the door was open…
He explained that he was working, not making the money he needed, depressed, and overwhelmed with his lack of knowing what he wanted to do with his life. So, he started listening to motivational podcasts. (Back when they were cassette tapes.) He listened over and over to inspirational words until he believed he could achieve his dreams, which was to start his own business…
And that’s what kicked off his drive to build his empire: encouraging words.
Inspirational and Motivational Men for Our Boys to Look Up To
I understand his story. Podcasts to me are life-changing. I listen to them while I walk/jog. I listen to them on my way to work. I soak them in as I create images for this blog. The positive messages they convey are inspiring.
Except, there seems to be an amazing amount of women cheering each other on, but I’ve had more trouble finding male influences that speak to the soul of a young man the same way my women podcasters uniquely speak to my heart. (Of course I think women’s voices are vital in raising our sons, but it was bubbling from inside of me to find strong, motivational men of integrity for my tween/teenage sons to learn from.) So, I asked my students, friends, The Google and listened to a bazillion podcasts…
I wasn’t disappointed – I found some great podcasts and I’m sharing them with you… (As always, I don’t agree with everything everyone says. And not every podcast is right for every listener. But this is a great place to start when you’re trying to find that motivational person who will inspire your family.)
Related article: Frustrated Mom – Your Teen Will Find Success
Best Podcasts for Teenage Boys for Inspiration to Grow into Awesome Human Beings
Eric Thomas, The Secret to Success Podcast
A student recommended this Eric Thomas’ motivational podcast. I’ve seen such growth and maturity in my student over the years, I had to take a listen and it’s good!
Listen to the podcast here: The Secret to Success Podcast
Tim Williams, Inspirational Speaker
Tim started a Thrivehood podcast specifically to mentor and inspire young men through the teen years. With wisdome and humor, he talks about a varietly of topics that help teens thrive through the growth and maturity process.
Check out the podcast here: Thrivehood Podcast
Miles Adcox, Inspirational Speaker
Because this post is about finding strong men of integrity for our boys to learn from, I’m only going to focus on Miles. (Ruthie, you’re awesome though!) Miles Adcox is the “owner and CEO of Onsite, an internationally acclaimed emotional health retreat center that delivers life-changing personal growth workshops, inspiring content, leadership retreats, and emotional health intensives.” Miles hosts a podcast called Unspoken with Ruthie Lindsey. They have meaningful conversations with their diverse guests. They have a unique way of getting people to open up and share with moves them.
I listened to this interview with John Batiste and thought it was great. This is the type of man I want my sons to learn from. Jon Batiste work has included being the Musical Director of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Artistic Director At Large of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, and Musical Director for The Atlantic. His first solo album, Hollywood Africans, was nominated for a GRAMMY.
Find Miles at his podcast here: Unspoken
Michael Hyatt, Expert on Leadership
Michale Hyatt specializes in motivating people to lead. No matter where our sons are in their lives, we want them to be leaders. Meaning, they lead themselves in striving for excellence, they lead in our homes by being motivated to help clean and contribute to the family, they lead in their peer circles by encouraging others to be “includers” and make good choices, and I could forever go on. Michael speaks to men with soul, passion, and faith. He’s one to listen to.
Here’s Michael’s regular podcast: Lead to Win
Alex and Brett Harris, Motivational Speakers
These twin brothers took the internet by storm as “they challenged their peers to rebel against low expectations and do hard things.” So, here’s the bummer – as engaging and inspirational as these young men are – they don’t have a podcast. (And all the moms of teens cry oceans of tears.) But they’re worth a mention because they speak specifically to motivate and inspire teens out of laziness and apathy. (It should be noted here that in all my years of teaching high school, I’ve found that all teenagers want to find their purpose and learn how to use their gifts. Every. Single. Teen.) So, I tracked down this interview to inspire teens.
Here’s the brothers’ website: The Rebelution
Dream Big Podcast with Bob Goff and Friends, Personal Growth
When I started searching for podcasts for my tween/teenage sons to be inspired by, Bob Goff’s was exactly what I was looking for. His website describes his podcast best:
“This podcast is all about guiding you to discover, declare, and take action on the big ambitions you have for your life. Each month we’ll focus on one of the foundational principles of the Dream Big Framework.
Every episode you’ll be hearing from one of Bob’s friends, who’s been learning how to chase their big ambitions, despite the bumps and turns life can throw at all of us.”
Listen to the podcast here: Dream Big Podcast with Bob Goff and Friends
Dr. Phil, Psychologist/Therapist
Parents of tweens/teens fell in love with Dr. Phil’s matter-of-fact, common-sense advice through first seeing him on Oprah. But, our kids don’t know Dr. Phil. So, let me tell you, I was thrilled to see that he hosts a podcast. He’s still at it. Listening to people’s problems and with kindness but firmness, sheds practical and inspiring light onto everyone’s situations.
Listen to the podcast here: Dr. Phil in the Blanks
Richard Nicholls – Motivate Yourself Podcast
Richard Nicholls is a psychotherapist who does these popular 15-minute podcasts to help you get inspired and motivated. (He’s massively popular in the UK.) I liked this podcast on “How to Feel Alive.” After listening – I felt walked with a little more spring in my step.
Listen to the podcast here: Richard Nicolls – Motivate Yourself Podcast
Trent Shelton – Straight Up with Trent Shelton Podcast
My son and I listen to this as we drive to and/or from soccer practice. He just speaks a lot of common sense with passion and conviction. I liked Episode 63: Stop Wasting Time on the 99%. Focus on the 1% who Care. He encourages people to think about the people in their lives who really matter, telling a touching and eye-opening story about the people who showed up when his mom was sick.
Listen to the podcast here: Straight Up with Trent Shelton
Best Podcasts for Teenage Boys for Learning About Money
You might be wondering why I am recommending a financial guru, but I have a high school student who loves him. There are tweens/teens out there who are super interested in money. (I have a middle-schooler at home who is planning out already how to make his fortune. I have another elementary-age son who worked really hard in his school fundraiser because he thought he got to keep the money himself. I laughed so hard when he told me this – but I also beamed at his work ethic. *Now if only he’d apply that work ethic to keeping his room clean.*) Not only does Dave know his stuff, but I’m super impressed with his character. He is a strong man for teens to learn from.
Listen to Dave’s podcast here: The Dave Ramsey Show
Best Podcasts for Teenage Boys for Growing Faith
Tim Mackie & Jon Collins
Tim and Jon dive deep into biblical theology in a way that is profound and thought-provoking. They capture the young minds of our worlds and help them to see Jesus all around them. Their podcasts are something else – in the very best way.
Listen to their podcast here: The Bible Project
Ben Pierce spoke at our church about faith and culture and life – I just can’t really describe what an impact he had on our family. He makes you think in the best of ways, and we talked about his message for days. So, I was thrilled to see that he had a podcast. If you’re looking for a faith-based podcast geared specifically toward teens and young adults, he’s a great one to check out.
Listen to Ben and his team’s podcast here: Provoke & Inspire Pocast
Joshua Debois gained notability as The White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships in President Obama’s first term. He sent President Obama daily devotions, which he later turned into a book. Joshua then started his own successful consulting company. He is an amazing voice in our world. He speaks wisely and inspirationally regarding faith, issues specifically impacting African Americans, and living life well. He doesn’t have his own podcast, but he is featured in the below podcast. Joshua is a strong, hard-working, faith-filled, ambitious man for our young men to follow.
- Joshua Dubois on Leading with Self-Awareness and Empathy (Enneagram 8)
- Joshua Dubois: Don’t Wait for Permission
- Politics, Faith and Open Hearts with Joshua Debois
Best Podcasts for Teenage Boys for Creating Life-Long Learners
Robert Krulwich and Jad Abumrad. Radio Lab Podcasts (Science)
This podcast captured my attention because it’s an engaging and interesting way to get our teens thinking about science and the world around them. The podcast moves through exploring the “big questions” in science, philosophy, and mankind with curious questions, interesting dialogue, and a hold-your-attention speed.
For example, this episode questions where animals go in the winter. The hosts (with an 11-year-old) visit a Bavarian farm where they “follow warblers and wildebeests around the world, and get a totally new kind of view of the pulsing flow of animals across the globe.”
Side note: Naturally in science evolution is discussed. Being a Christian who teaches math at a large public high school, I’m okay with all of the discussions. I firmly believe in creation, but bring on the other theories. Let’s talk about it all!
Listen to the podcast here: Radiolab
Chris Anderson – Ted Interview
One of my most valuable teaching strategies in trying to educate my high school students is storytelling. There’s something about the lesson you learn through a story and how it reaches deep into our hearts and finds a place to connect and stays.
The Ted Talk podcast is storytelling. Their website says, “Head of TED Chris Anderson speaks with some of the world’s most interesting people to dig into the provocative and powerful ideas of our time.”
Listen to the podcast here: TED Interview Podcasts
Dear Hank & John Podcast
Okay, here’s why I like these two. They talk about the things you notice in life like:
- Why does my brain release endorphins for things that are bad for me?
- How do you interject in conversations smoothly?
- How do we know no two snowflakes are alike?
They discuss these thoughts in an engaging, smart, and fun manner. When I think about one of my parenting goals of creating lifelong learners and listening to men who ask smart questions – I like the idea of my sons listening to a podcast like this.
Listen to the Podcast here: Dear Hank & John
How to! With Charles Duhigg Podcast
I first hear Charles Duhigg talk about his podcast here and I was fascinated. He takes smart topics, odd issues, random problems – it all – and helps us all peel back the layers and wonder what is really happening. It encourages us to think analytically and wisely as we solve each other’s problems. There’s a topic that for sure will engage your teen’s brain.
Listen to the podcast here: How to! With Charles Duhigg Podcast
Related article: 146+ Best Chapter Books for Tweens that will also Build Character
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Cheryl is a mom of 3 boys, wife, speaker, high school teacher, and author of Empowered Moms & Kids. She has a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and is passionate about learning and teaching. On www.empoweredmomsandkids.com you’ll find inspiration and encouragement for moms raising tweens and/or teens. Read more in the “about” section of this page.