A Recipe For Reflecting & Recharging This Summer


In a field that cares so much for others, we believe it is essential that you don’t forget to also care for yourself! Gift yourself time this summer to listen to what your heart, mind, body and spirit are in need of.

Maybe its connecting with others or reconnecting with your inner child through play. Maybe it’s a trip to the market and fresh homecooked meal or perhaps a treat out at your favourite coffee shop. Maybe it’s picking up a new hobby or rediscovering an old passion.

Or maybe it’s Podcasts in the Park!

Podcasts offer us a unique medium to learn, reflect, and hear new perspectives. Not to mention they are a great resource to help you reach your CPL goals! With so many to choose from on just about any topic imaginable, listening to a podcast can support you in taking the lead on your own professional learning journey, following your interests and curiosities while giving yourself the grace to go at your own pace.

The Strive team have carefully curated a list of podcasts that we found inspiring, engaging, and empowering. Some are lighthearted, where others may challenge your thinking.

Being outdoors and in nature is known to boost one’s mood, decrease levels of stress and anxiety, increase physical activity, enhance social interactions and so much more!  So, grab your headphones, tie up those sneakers, lather on some sunscreen and head outside! Take a walk around your block or explore a local park or greenspace.


Early Childhood Education And Care:

The Preschool Project

Are you familiar with HiMama? Did you know they have a podcast series? The Preschool Project provides both practical advice and thought-provoking content related to the field of Early Childhood Education and Care. The Preschool Podcast has over 300 episodes ranging anywhere from 15 minutes to 45 minutes in length.  

One episode we found inspiring and reignited our passions was “Episode #233 / #307: Overcoming Educator Burnout and Rediscovering your Passion for Education” with guest speaker Anisha Grossett. This episode was originally published in 2020 and was republished again in 2022. Having an episode republished speaks to the importance of the theme and how these conversations must continue each and every day! You can’t pour from an empty cup!


Early Childhood Chatter

Hosts Dr. Tisha Shipley and Dr. Stephanie Heald bring excitement, inspiration, and enthusiasm to a variety of topics related to the Early Years workforce including relationships, engaging with families and choosing love. Special guests include Natalie Royer, Dr. Allison Rief, Dr. Teresa Handy, and many more!


Thought Leaders Podcast: Bringing Big Ideas Home

The Thought Leaders Podcast series was inspired and created as a result of the Human Connections event brought to you by the Early Learning & Literacy Alliance (ELLA formerly ELAWR). This series brings together world leading experts and local leaders who share profound wisdom, intelligence and passion for making change. There are multiple ways to engage in this podcast series, including audio only through Spotify or if you’re a visual learner you can watch the recordings on YouTube


“Roses are beautiful, but what if they were the only flower?” 

Elder Porter (Episode #1: The Way Of The Human Being)


The Everything ECE Podcast

Join host Carla Ward and special guests every week to learn tips, tricks and tools to enhance both your personal and professional practice and find that ideal work-life balance. The Everything ECE Podcast is brought to you by Early Learning Foundations which believes in extending learning beyond the four walls of a classroom. The Everything ECE Podcast can be found on multiple platforms including Spotify, Apple Podcasts and much more.

Whether you’re managing an organization, centre or classroom, broadening your knowledge and perspective can help support your role as an advocate. Workforce retention has been an ongoing discussion and ECE specialist and strategic program manager and consultant, Jeron Bailey, dives deeper into this discussion. Highlighting how the importance of recognition and how “every living thing wants connection and growth” (Episode #30: Improving Staff Retention). 


Empowered Parents = Empowered Children

Empowered Parents = Empowered Children is a series hosted by two passionate preschool educators, Joca and Cynthia. In their podcast series they focus on topics such as antiracism, children’s literacy, guidance, growth and so much more! This podcast series can be found on both Spotify and Apple Podcasts.


Well-Being & Self-Care:

The Science Of Happiness

The Science of Happiness is a podcast dedicated to providing strategies for living a happier, more meaningful, and compassionate life. Hosted by professor Dacher Keltnet and co-produced by PRX and UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center. There are guided meditations and practices; some podcast descriptions also include step-by-step ‘how to’ do these practices, as well as resources that can further support you and your journey. Remember you are enough. You are worthy of love and happiness. And you are deserving of kindness and compassion.  


“So often we look to others for validation and affirmation, but all we need is these moments of stillness to reset and remind ourselves that we are enough. We have so many answers within ourselves, so many better angels of our nature, we just need to take a little time to find them” 

– Dacher Keltner  (Episode 3. Happiness Break: How To Be Your Best Self)


Good Life Project

The Good Life Project is a podcast series that explores all aspects of life with leading voices from a variety of industries and areas of expertise. Topics that are questioned and considered in conversation include happiness, work, purpose, friendship, identity, privilege, and so much more! Not only do these episodes offer inspiration, validation, encouragement, and empowerment, they also provide extra resources and, in some cases, worksheets! So, if you find a podcast that you connect with, scroll below the description and allow yourself time to explore more resources and support.

With nearly 900 podcasts available, we have decided to highlight a few that stood out to us. Three guest speakers we enjoyed listening to include Mr. Chazz Lewis (Episode #801: How to Be a Teacher, Parent or Leader Who Changes Lives), Jonathan Fields (Episode #787: 7 Ways to Find Calm [Even in a Storm]), and Cleo Wade (Episode #651: Leading and Creating from the Heart [Best Of] and Episode #451: Heart Talk, Joy and the Power of Expression).


Hygge In The Early Years

Hygge (pronounced hue-guh) is a Danish concept that cannot be translated into a single English word, rather it encompasses an all around feeling of coziness and contentment. Kimberly Smith began the Hygge in the Early Years podcast series back in 2019 and has since written and released a book called “Bringing Hygge into the Early Years.” Kimberly’s most recent podcast series is dedicated to walking listeners and readers through her book step-by-step. The first episode is called “Bringing Hygge into the Early Years: Rebalance you” and identifies that in order to best care for others, we must begin with caring for ourselves. 


How To Be A Better Human

How to be a Better Human isn’t your average self improvement podcast. Join comedian Chris Duffy in conversation with guests and past speakers as they uncover insights and takeaways on how YOU can be a better human both for yourself and those around you. Some topics discussed include uniting through art, curiosity, environmental stewardship and so much more!


Truth & Reconciliation:


Mbwaach’idiwag (they visit with each other), embeds Indigenization and decolonization promises into institutional practice is difficult and nuanced work, join Western’s Office of Indigenous Initiative’s Sara Mai Chitty as she visits with Indigenous Peoples and allies who seek to bridge the long-held divides between Euro-Western and Indigenous communities through their work in the areas of curriculum, research and beyond.


Kuper Island

Hosted by Duncan McCue, this 8-part series tells the stories of four students who attended one of Canada’s most notorious residential schools: three who survived and one who didn’t.


Warrior Kids

Warrior Kids Podcast is a series hosted by Pamela Palmater which focuses on celebrating everything Indigenous and inspiring listeners to be warriors for social justice and earth justice. All are welcome and encouraged to listen in!


Warrior Life

Pamela Palmater also hosts another Indigenous podcast series called Warrior Life which focuses on ‘decolonizing our minds, bodies and spirits while at the same time revitalizing our cultures, traditions, laws and governing practices.’ These podcasts can be found on many platforms including YouTube if you’re more of a visual learner.


Unreserved is the radio space for Indigenous voices – our cousins, our aunties, our elders, our heroes. Rosanna Deerchild guides us on the path to better understand our shared story. Together, we learn and unlearn, laugh and become gentler in all our relations.


The Secret Life Of Canada

The Secret Life of Canada is a podcast about the country you know and the stories you don’t. Join hosts Leah-Simone Bowen and Falen Johnson as they reveal the beautiful, terrible and weird histories of this land.


Matriarch Movement

Shayla Oulette Stonechild hosts Matriarch Movement, using stories to shine light on the issues Indigneous women face and the challenges of the mainstream narrative about Indigenous identity. Matriarch Movement offers up a new category of Indigenous role models, to inspire the next seven generations.


Connecting with Nature:

BirdNote Daily

Escape the daily grind and immerse yourself in the natural world. Rich in imagery, sound, and information, this podcast inspires you to notice the world around you.


The David Suzuki Podcast

Iconic Canadian scientist, broadcaster, activist, author and elder David Suzuki explores how the pandemic can help us refocus on what’s most important in life. David rediscovers some fundamental truths about our place on this planet. Fire, air, water, earth – the basic elements of life – and spirit. Without them, there is no life. Joined by acclaimed guests like Jane Fonda and Neil Young, inspiring Indigenous leaders and youth activists, the podcast builds a clear vision for a better world, leaving listeners with a renewed sense of possibility, urgency and hope.


“COVID-19 has uprooted our lives causing devastation for millions. It’s also forced us to slow down, pause and consider how we might relearn to live healthily and sustainably on this planet.”

David Suzuki (Trailer – Welcome To The David Suzuki Podcast)


Ologies With Alie Ward

Hosted by humorist and science correspondent, Alie Ward, Ologies with Alie Ward asks smart people silly questions and the answers might change your life. From volcanoes to mars missions to anxiety busters and bee drama. You’ll be sure to leave with a pocket full of charming and bizarre knowledge from professional -ologists.


Journaling With Nature

Journaling With nature is for those who want to turn curiosity into wonder, a pencil sketch into a rabbit hole of discovery, a moment of stillness into a life full of joy. Host Bethan Burton invites special guests to share their knowledge, skills and stories and guide listeners on their journey to journal with nature. Additional resources and links can be found in the podcast descriptions.


Brain On Nature

What’s the relationship between nature and the brain? Join, Sarah Allely, as she discovers how nature helped her recover from a brain injury. What’s the science behind her experience? This series returns to the forests and coastlines to immerse you in the sounds of nature that improved Sarah’s focus, concentration and relieved her headaches, lifting her out of depression and anxiety.


TED Climate

You care about the climate crisis but sometimes thinking about it is just too overwhelming. This podcast aims to help with that. Host Dan Kwartler unpacks the problems and solutions behind big systemic issues in bite-sized episodes. You’ll find out which bag is best for the planet, imagine our world without humans, and follow the international journey of the very shirt on your back.  The show seeks to inspire hope through a focus on solutions and share little ways you can make changes in your daily life, in your towns and cities, and at your workplaces to help change climate change.


Strive Team Favourites:

Ally’s Pick:

Young House Love Has A podcast

Not related to our early years sector at all but it is a wonderful, light hearted podcast that focuses on home improvement, design, organization, simplifying and DIY. John and Sherry Petersik are a married couple, authors, and bloggers. They were in the blogging game before it became cool. They are not currently making new episodes but there are over 180 episodes and worth a listen through.

Why I love this podcast… “This podcast helps me detach from my workday and inspires me in my form of self care: power tools. I appreciate their banter, hearing from special guests, and listening to recommendations for all things ‘home’.


Meaghan’s Pick:

Invisibilia by NPR.

Invisibilia is Latin for “the invisible things.”  This show explores the invisible forces that shape human behavior — things like ideas, beliefs, assumptions and emotions.

Why I love this podcast… “This podcast does an amazing job of weaving together incredible storytelling with fascinating psychological and brain science. There are 7 seasons of this show and they are all really great but Season 3 was a real standout for me. I recommend the episode, The Culture Inside about unconscious bias, and the two-part episode on Emotions.”


Bre’s Pick:

It’s Lit (Unabridged) by Princess Weekes

This is the sister podcast to the popular YouTube series It’s Lit!. Hosted by Princess Weekes, this 10-episode podcast spinoff will feature lively conversations with noted authors about their work, discussions about influential novels, and issues related to books and literature. This podcast delivers the conversations you want to have during your book club, but without having to actually sign up for one.

Why I love this podcast… “I just love books. Princess Weekes and her guests examine and unpack literature across genres that forces me to learn, unlearn, and challenge my assumptions and perspectives in a way that reignites my passion for the literary arts. Though this podcast is relatively new (and every episode is incredible, in my opinion), I would recommend “Hope and Rage in Black Literature” with Mikki Kendall and “Comics, Graphic Novels, and Manga” with V.E. Schwab. There is also an entire YouTube series to explore!”


Olivia’s Pick:

Wild Ideas Worth Living by REI Co-op

No two journeys are the same, however you may find yourself connecting with host Shelby Stanger and her guests more than you thought you would. This podcast series interviews world-class explorers, athletes, authors, entrepreneurs and health experts about how they took their wild ideas and turned them into a reality. These podcasts are far more than just the physical aspect of being outdoors, these stories are about the journey, mentally, physically, spiritually, and socially.

Why I love this podcast… “This podcast series never fails to inspire me; bringing two of my passions together, the outdoors and creating change, the guests of this podcast address every topic under the sun. From “Embracing the Unexpected” to “The Power of Nature” to “An Inclusive Outdoors” and so much more. This series is a great reminder that we are all resilient, capable and can do anything we set our minds to!”


Happy listening!


Do you have a favourite podcast?  Drop your recommendations in the comments below!


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