If you’re late to the podcast party and think they’re just about solving murder most foul or catching up with Car Talk, allow us to educate you. Because bobbing around in the iTunes ether are several podcasts with rich and significant info on health and fitness. The wisdom on these shows is the stuff of fitness retreats and nutritional webinars—but they’re all 100-percent free. And here’s another happy thought: They’re “on air” whenever you want. Headed on a cross-country flight? Got a lengthy commute? Need some company on a long run? These podcasts have your back. With that in mind, we’ve rounded up the 19 best podcasts on health, fitness, nutrition, and happiness. The only crime here is if you don’t download them ASAP.

Paleo Peeps

Balanced Bites

Close your eyes and think “Paleo.” What’s the image that comes to mind? If you’re thinking of some dude in Vibram shoes—or a loincloth—you’re in good company (just check Google image search if you don't believe us). But Paleo isn’t a gendered diet, and podcast hosts Liz Wolfe and Diane Sanfilippo are changing the way we see ancestral eating. Wolfe and Sanfilippo wrote the book on Paleo, literally. (Check out Eat the Yolks and Practical Paleo.) Together they dispense down-to-earth advice on how to follow a low-carb life. Plus they’re refreshingly open on their nutritional philosophy, allowing for the occasional treat. We say eat, drink, and be grain-free! A good place to start: The Cod Liver Oil Debate

The Paleo Solution Podcast

Do you have questions about ketogenic diets, creatine, or muscle-ups? Host Robb Wolf is your man. We dubbed him “Chief of the Cavemen” on our list of health and fitness influencers, and this podcast cements his status as an ancestral eating authority. His background is the perfect Paleo combo: He’s both a former biochemist and powerlifting champ. On his show, Wolf lays out deep biological knowledge in layman’s terms. Other big names in the Paleo space like Chris Kresser and Mark Sisson also swing by to talk turkey. (Or sugar-free turkey jerky as the case may be.) A good place to start: Episode 152

Fat-Burning Man

Abel James may be strutting around shirtless here in a display of brawn, but this podcasts really showcases his brains. And it’s his critical thinking about diet dogma that led him to develop his Wild Diet, causing his dramatic physical transformation—20 pounds lost in 40 days. How do you get on the wild side? James advocates shunning the low-fat, high-carb diets that once dominated our food pyramid and grabbing grass-fed beef and butter in a big bear hug. His easy demeanor and smart questions while interviewing nutritional experts have earned him a spot in the who’s who of Paleo celebs. A good place to start: Mark Sission: The Primal Connection

Bulletproof Radio

Bulletproof Radio could be subtitled: It’s not about the coffee. Or more accurately, it’s not just about the coffee. Host Dave Asprey is best known for popularizing the union of butter and java, simultaneously kicking off a new era of coffee consumption and confusing the heck out of baristas. But as his podcast proves, he’s equally interested in examining all aspects of nutrition and fitness. Asprey dropped 100 pounds while refining his diet. And his endless curiosity in hacking his health led to adopting a Paleo-ish approach. As Asprey refines his formula for success, he consults with a parade of A-list authors and experts, and his (weight) loss is our gain. A good place to start: JJ Virgin: The Sugar Impact Diet

Plant-Powered Podcasts

No Meat Athlete Radio

Host Matt Frazier is beloved for giving a voice to plant-powered jocks on his website No Meat Athlete. Like his site, this podcast has become a beacon to athletes and runners. Part of the appeal is Frazier’s humility: Despite qualifying for Boston and running several ultramarathons, Frazier continues to see himself as an ordinary runner with the same struggles. If you’re not on the veg bandwagon, don’t fear. Frazier and his cohost foster an inclusive attitude and welcome the "veg-curious." Plus while some episodes discuss the benefits of animal-free fitness fuel, there’s plenty of material that applies to anyone, whatever your thoughts on pea protein. A good place to start: Get Inspired with Vegan Bodybuilder Robert Cheeke

The Rich Roll Podcast

“The Tale of the Unlikely Ultramarathoner” could’ve been the title of Rich Roll's memoir. (In reality it was Finding Ultra, which we’ll admit works too.) In that book, Roll documents his “come to fitness” moment where he transformed from a 40-year-old burger-snarfing couch potato into a vegan, plant-powered endurance athlete. That alone is material for years of podcasts. But Roll doesn’t use the digital airwaves to restate his accomplishments. Instead, he collects stories, advice, and info from other athletes and experts in the field that show the steps they take to find their own personal “ultra.” A good place to start: Robin Arzon: From Corporate Lawyer to Ambassador of Sweat and Swagger

Realize Yourself Podcast

If the cucumber-focaled face here looks familiar, it might be because Kimberly Snyder has been photographed alongside Hollywood clients like Drew Barrymore and Fergie. But celeb-spotting aside, Snyder’s expertise isn’t in walking the red carpet, it’s in leading a positive, plant-fueled life. And despite the fact that her Glowing Green Smoothie is the drink that launched a thousand Vitamix orders, topics on her podcast go far beyond blended beverages. Subjects like beauty sleep, hydration, and holiday eating pitfalls are all tackled by Snyder in a calm, collected voice. A good place to start: Delicious Winter

General Nutrition

The Nutrition Diva's Quick and Dirty Tips

Maybe you don’t have a road trip or even a long commute where you can enjoy a full hour of primo podcast time. Enter Monica Reinagel, a.k.a. the Nutrition Diva. In her easy, authoritative tone, Reinagel gives smart, well-researched dietary advice in less than 10 minutes. Covering subjects like holiday overeating, whole milk versus skim, or grains in your diet, this podcast cuts right to the nutritional chase. The speedy info imparted here could be covered on an elevator ride, walking around the block, or knocking out a GWOD (if we do say so ourselves). A good place to start: Four Things I’ve Changed About My Diet

Dishing Up Nutrition

If you think having a nutritionist on call is a luxury reserved for Kimye and the like, think again. These days, everyone can have a dietitian handy. (There’s an app for that.) And as this podcast proves, plenty of sound and solid nutritional advice is 100-percent free. The hosts of Dishing Up Nutrition are licensed experts working at the Nutritional Weight and Wellness center, and their call-in show addresses common pitfalls in healthy eating. Gluten, sweeteners, and supplements are all discussed with an eye on the latest studies. A good place to start: Why Can’t I Give Up Sugar?

Fit2Fat Podcast

Don’t judge a podcast by its cover image. While the photo here brings to mind books with bunk science and exclamation points, this podcast couldn’t be further from fad diets. Hosts Russ Turley, Helana Brigman, and Jeff Ainslie are deeply connected to science, debating the formulas used in calorie-counting apps, looking at nutritional studies, or calculating basal metabolic rate. But the hosts are never so far above the subject that they forget the emotional connection to food and what it means to struggle with weight loss. Turley often begins the show with his own weigh-in, revealing that he's on the same path as his listeners. While new episodes are not being produced, the archives are must-listen. A good place to start: Eating Your Exercise Calories

Half Size Me

We have a complicated relationship with shows like The Biggest Loser. And despite our misgivings about the emphasis on the scale and the push-it-till-you-puke attitude, it’s hard to deny that the dramatic transformations can be inspiring. Half Size Me offers similar inspiration from a much more relatable place. Host Heather Robertson lost 170 pounds, but her methods were far from reality TV tactics. Her weight dropped slowly over five years—without superstar trainers. She was just one woman making better choices day in, day out. In her podcast, she interviews other people with similar transformations and talks about their practical steps for pursuing big-number weight loss. A good place to start: Secrets About Reaching Your Goal Weight

TEDTalks Health

Once upon a time back in 1984, TED launched a conference that promoted short, powerful talks of 18 minutes or less. Thirty years and several viral videos later, TED continues to host groundbreaking conversations, and TEDTalks Health is exactly what you’d expect from the brand. Subjects covered by this video podcast are pretty broad (mental illness, vaccines, pooping), but their fitness and nutrition topics are, as they say, “ideas worth spreading.” A good place to start: Sandra Aamodt: Why Dieting Doesn’t Usually Work

Full-On Fitness

Marathon Training Academy

Angie and Trevor Spencer, the hosts of Marathon Training Academy, are cute as all get-out. They’re that adorable couple you picture spending their Sundays walking the dog and baking muffins. And maybe they do that, but only after logging in their long run to train for another upcoming marathon. And they aren’t just fanatics. Angie Spencer is a registered nurse and certified running coach with serious marathon know-how. The hosts tackle all manner of listener questions from marathon fueling to injury prevention to compression clothing. But the best takeaway from this podcast is the mondo dose of can-do attitude; it’s a feeling that lingers long after the theme music stops singing that you’re “well on your way.” A good place to start: Understanding Heart Rate Training

The Jillian Michaels Show

Though she’s no longer on the show, The Biggest Loser is the house that Jillian Michaels built. If you miss her tough love and sage heart-to-hearts every week, you’ll find her at home here. But this show isn’t about cranking out a bajillion burpees or facing down the scale. Michaels talks about pursuing love, forgiving your parents, and taking risks in your professional life, along with the expected health and fitness subjects. But obviously she shines when covering the topics that were her NBC bread-and-butter for 12 seasons. Banter between the podcast’s odd couple, Michaels and her producer Janice Ungaro, give the show a humanity that Loser’s slick production often lacked. A good place to start: Fit Shaming

Ben Greenfield Fitness

Just listing off Ben Greenfield's credentials—Ironman, triathlete, nutritionist, and coach with two masters degrees in exercise physiology and biomechanics, among other accomplishments—would take a full podcast. Greenfield is widely respected as an expert in training methods for elite athletes. Luckily for us weekend warriors and newbies alike, many of the methods discussed can be used and applied to our training too, whether that’s crushing a CrossFit WOD or training for a half marathon. And Greenfield discusses complex biomechanical subjects in plain English, so there’s no need to frantically Google every term you hear. A good place to start: Five Simple Steps to Turning Yourself into a Fat Burning Machine

Katy Says

Is your exercise routine an hour on the elliptical or doing a circuit of weight machines? Katy Bowman will call all that into question. Her philosophy of “restorative exercise” looks at the body holistically. Bowman’s approach is to mimic what the human body did before modern living made us divide our time between sitting hours at a desk and pounding out a hour of repetitive exercises in one plane of motion. If you’re recovering from an injury, Bowman’s smart advice makes a good addition to your recovery program. But everyone can benefit from the info here and the delicious stretch incorporated in each episode. A good place to start: Natural Movement

Happiness and Mental Health

Tara Brach

If your idea of meditation is a blank mind, like you’ve passed a giant eraser over the blackboard of your thoughts, this podcast will offer a better definition. Host Tara Branch, founder of the Insight Meditation Community of Washington, D.C., uses her background in clinical psychology and Buddhism to guide discussions and meditations. After the first episode, it’s easy to see that meditation isn’t about achieving a state of blankness; it’s about connecting with the present and your authentic self. Easier said than done! But Branch is great at peppering discussion with moments of humor, so just when you feel yourself flailing, you can laugh at what it means to be human and forgive any flaws. A good place to start: RAIN—Cultivating a Mindful Awareness

Yoga Peeps

The year was 2011. Kate Middleton and Prince Harry were married, Occupy Wall Street was in full effect, and Yoga Peeps did their last episode. Before you shed a tear while playing Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” (the No. 1 song that year), know that 85 episodes of back content exist. So if you’re new to this podcast, you’ve got more than 60 hours of content to catch up on. Now for a disclaimer: This isn't an instructional to teach you how to perfect crow pose. In true podcast form, it’s a discussion with various experts in the field about how they approach yoga and how they incorporate practice in their lives. Their dialogue serves as a wonderful reminder that, as host Lara Cestone puts it, “It’s all yoga.” A good place to start: Episode 83: Michael Taylor Strala Yoga NYC

The One You Feed Podcast

Of all the podcast titles on our list, this one has the biggest “Huh?” factor. But the moniker isn’t as random as it appears. It comes from a Buddhist parable: A grandfather tells his grandkid, “There are two wolves fighting inside us. One represents negative emotions: greed, guilt, disgust, etc. The other is positive emotions: love, acceptance, kindness.” The kid asks, “Which one lives?” And the grandfather answers, “The one you feed.” This podcast is about finding ways to “feed your good wolf.” Thoughtful topics like willpower, handling setbacks, and switching off envy are discussed by everyone from start-up CEOs to indie spiritualists, proving we’re all looking for ways to let light triumph over darkness. A good place to start: Bonus Re-release: Andrew Solomon

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