There’s a certain intimacy to a podcast that envelopes an audience, making them feel like it was made just for them. By creating an ambiance that makes listeners feel like they’re a part of the conversation, the ideas and messages being conveyed resonate deeply. Building that kind of a rapport between a podcast and its audience is essential to its success. This is especially imperative for podcasts aimed at making a real impact on the lives of their listeners.

By encouraging people to explore new avenues of self improvement – not just “getting in touch with” themselves – these podcasts can show listeners how to manifest desired changes into reality. Many listeners carry those insights with them well after the conclusion of an episode. Often, that is just the beginning of their experience, as taking the lessons they’ve learned and applying them to their own lives is a process that is more crucial than simply listening.

Each of these podcasts is aimed at providing men with insight, inspiration, and advice that challenges their conceptions of masculinity.

Nowhere is the importance of fostering this dynamic more evident than in the podcasts The Art of Manliness, Unleash Your Strengths with Eddie Villa, and The Tim Ferriss Show. Each of these podcasts is aimed at providing men with insight, inspiration, and advice that challenges their conceptions of masculinity. The takeaways from each episode aid listeners in recognizing, confronting, and grappling with aspects of their lives to help them grow into more refined, actualized, and improved versions of themselves.

The Art of Manliness

Founded in 2008 by Brett McKay, this podcast has become the most sought after men’s interest channel available online today. McKay originally started the project unassumingly during his law school tenure as an outlet for his eclectic set of interests. Before long, its success transformed his own life, forcing him and his wife Kate to make it their primary focus. Since becoming the driving force of their lives, The Art of Manliness has released over 500 episodes covering topics ranging from individual challenges like building leadership skills, to targeting collective goals such as transforming social cohesion by becoming more of an active member of one’s community.

Additionally, the McKays have cultivated partnerships with long time contributors including men’s style authority Antonio Centeno as well as singer-songwriter-freelance food writer Matt Moore. Their contributions offer listeners insight into a diverse array of topics that can help them externalize their newly redefined self-image in how they present themselves, engage in new habits, and become involved in groups that act as catalysts which continually drive their growth.

No other podcast exemplifies the importance of putting insight into action like The Art of Manliness does. In addition to the podcast, the production team helps listeners practice what they preach through an affiliate project called The Strenuous Life. The name of the program pays homage to quintessential man’s man and former President Theodore Roosevelt. Teddy encapsulated the idea behind this program as a major theme of an 1899 speech that called upon men of his era to benefit the greater good by transforming themselves first and foremost. To achieve that aim, Roosevelt proclaimed:

“I wish to preach, not the doctrine of ignoble ease, but the doctrine of the strenuous life, the life of toil and effort, of labor and strife; to preach that highest form of success which comes, not to the man who desires mere easy peace, but to the man who does not shrink from danger, from hardship, or from bitter toil, and who out of these wins the splendid ultimate triumph.”

McKay originally started the project unassumingly during his law school tenure as an outlet for his eclectic set of interests.

By becoming a member of The Strenuous Life, subscribers can reap the benefits of the platform that include coaching, camaraderie, and task oriented challenges crucial to achieving the goals that The Art of Manliness has inspired them to set. Be manifesting that ambition, members can follow in the footsteps of Roosevelt, a man who famously embraced this lifestyle to overcome the challenges that daunted his own life. By taking that direction, he was able to transform a generation’s perception on what it meant to embody masculinity, exemplifying the potential that listeners of The Art of Manliness can have on eliciting that change in their own lives.

Unleash Your Strengths with Eddie Villa

So often in life, men long for what they don’t have and fail to appreciate the qualities that make them who they are. Constantly being bombarded with unrealistic and often achievable expectations that have created a superficial archetype of masculinity is a conflict that keeps many from a genuine understanding of themselves; they’re simply too distracted by the hollow pursuit of conformity.

The podcast Unleash Your Strengths with Eddie Villa highlights the limitations created by abandoning self acceptance, and challenges listeners to reshape their outlook in appreciation of who they are. Instead of focusing on assuming an identity that meets abstract and stereotypical expectations, Villa encourages his listeners to recognize and accentuate the strengths, qualities, and latent abilities that make them unique. By reinforcing that message, Unleash Your Strengths empowers its audience by helping them gain a better understanding of themselves and harness that appreciation to effectuate the change they desire in life.

Instead of focusing on assuming an identity that meets abstract and stereotypical expectations, Villa encourages his listeners to recognize and accentuate the strengths, qualities, and latent abilities that make them unique.

A hallmark of this podcast is its unique format that offers daily motivation segments, strength building exercises, and topics aimed at nurturing listeners. By confronting his audience with existential questions that they may be too daunted to ask themselves, Villa offers a guided process for self exploration aimed at achieving the individual potential that is dormant within each and all of us, regardless of whether we see it or not.

The Tim Ferriss Show

Tim Ferriss became a vanguard within the self-help movement following the seminal publication of his New York Times’ Best Seller The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (“The 4HWW”) in 2007. The book was received with critical acclaim upon its release, eventually selling over 2 million copies and being published in 40 different languages. Ferriss’ magnum opus has since helped millions by offering readers the closely guarded entrepreneurial secrets that fueled his own success.

By advocating what he refers to as “lifestyle design,” followers of Ferriss have been able to redirect their time, energy, and effort toward reshaping their own lives, bucking traditional professional and social norms in order to take a more active role in defining their lives. Inspiring readers to shift the paradigm of their lives away from the conventional has empowered them to stay true to themselves without sacrificing the pay-offs of their hard fought success.

By advocating what he refers to as “lifestyle design,” followers of Ferriss have been able to redirect their time, energy, and effort toward reshaping their own lives.

Ferriss echoes the message of The 4HWW in his eponymous podcast. Since 2014, The Tim Ferriss Show has released nearly 375 episodes. His guests cover a wide ranging spectrum of topics, giving a platform to experts from different disciplines that help listeners reshape different aspects of their lives. Ferriss’ narrative encourages his listeners to be introspective in order to understand which challenges they must overcome to take strides toward achieving their potential.

Photo: Tim Ferriss / Facebook

Answers to those questions are offered in interviews from guests who are testaments to the impact that process can have on their lives. From Jamie Foxx and Arnold Schwarzenegger discussing which habits has made them successful to self-help gurus like Tony Robbins discussing deeply existential dichotomies such as juggling the delicate balance between achievement and fulfillment in as motivations, Ferriss has been able to use his podcast to galvanize his contemporaries in a way that helps their profound influence reach a massive audience. In doing so, Ferriss’ has created an archive of insightful and poignant episodes that offer counsel to listeners on whatever advice they seek.

These podcasts highlight the resources available to men to overcome the challenges they face at whatever crossroads they find themselves at in life. More poignantly, the massive following of The Art of Manliness, Unleash Your Strengths with Eddie Villa, and The Tim Ferris Show speak to something much greater. Their popularity and the sense of community that has developed around them serve as a message that shows no one is alone in the pursuit of confronting these challenges. Perhaps it is that sense of community that offers the most support of all.