5 Podcasts To Start Off Your Summer Listening List

by Carly Sotas
Jovo Jovanovic

Summer is a time for self-reflection, growth and exploration. It's a time to lie on the beach, travel to new locations and take some time to relax in the sun.

Each year, I start off my summer by making a music playlist and bucket list of everything I want to create and celebrate before winter creeps up again.

We've all made summer bucket lists, reading lists and music playlists, but what about summer podcast lists?

This is the first summer I'm making a list of podcasts to subscribe to, and I'm more excited about it than I am for my summer reading list and music playlist. To be honest, I've never gotten through my entire summer reading list, because halfway through the first chapter of a new book, I get bored and realize I'd rather be writing instead of reading.

And even though I get excited about my new music playlists, I get tired of listening to the same songs over and over again. To me, a podcast list is the perfect balance between the two; podcasts don't require the commitment and focus that reading does (Who wants to commit to and focus on anything during the summer?) and just like music, I can listen to them during my morning run and when I take weekend trips out of the city.

Here are five of the best podcasts I've started listening to and have on my list!

1. "Shoptalk Radio," by Nick Onken

Nick Onken is an artist and lifestyle photographer who shows you how to create magical moments from behind the lens of your life. His podcast features guests ranging from international celebrities such as Usher and Tori Kelly, to up-and-coming designers and entrepreneurs in the underground arts scene.

Nick is honest, insightful and asks his guests the bigger and more difficult questions that we should all be asking ourselves as we self-reflect and re-asses our priorities over the summer. This podcast will encourage you to live inspiration and keep work toward your dreams.

2. "Dear Sugar," by Cheryl Strayed

Need honest advice? Cheryl Strayed is here to help! As the author of the bestselling book and movie "Wild," which shares her journey as she hiked 1,100 miles along the Pacific Crest Trail after the death of her mother, Cheryl knows how to deal with difficult situations and overcome life's greatest obstacles.

In each episode, she offers empathetic and honest advice to listeners who write to her about their deepest secrets and the biggest challenges they are facing in their lives. Whether you find yourself struggling to make a difficult decision or are dealing with an unexpected turn in the road this summer, listening to "Dear Sugar" will help you get through it and let you know that you are not alone.

3. "99% invisible," by Roman Mars

This podcast will evoke your curiosity and open your eyes. Hosted by Roman Mars, "99% invisible" teaches you to be aware of your surroundings and to pay attention to the details that most people overlook. Each episode focuses on the history and architecture of everyday objects and infrastructure, but in a way that is captivating and relevant to daily life.

You definitely don't have to be interested in architecture to fall in love with this podcast; if you've ever been frustrated by a door that looks like it needs to be pushed open instead of pulled and wondered why it is the way it is (Hint: You can blame design.), then you will appreciate and learn something from this podcast.

It's engaging, educational and will keep your mind sharp when you're relaxing in the sun.

Before you add it to your list, I should warn you -- it's addictive.

4. "The School of Greatness," by Lewis Howes

As an athlete, lifestyle entrepreneur and bestselling author, Lewis Howes knows what it means to achieve greatness in your life. His podcast covers a range of topics that will motivate you to hustle and show you how to achieve your personal and professional goals. His internationally acclaimed guests discuss everything from the power of meditation to the importance of staying true to yourself. This podcast will inspire you to make the most of your summer (and your life)!

5. "TED Radio Hour," by Guy Raz

This is an obvious choice, but it's just too good to leave off the list! I don't always have time to watch TED videos, but love that I can listen to the podcasts from wherever I am. I am consistently amazed by the diversity and intelligence of the people on this planet, and listening to TED is one of the best ways to learn about the change-makers and innovators of our world.

Even though the audio versions don't include the images that speakers use to describe their topics, it will challenge you to use your imagination by filling in the blanks.

So, whenever you're sick of your music playlist and don't have the time or attention span to read a book, you can turn to your new summer podcast list.

These are the top five on my list. Which ones will be on yours?