4 Inspirational Podcasts To Transform Your Morning Commute

Inspirational podcasts for commuting - tea flatlay

46 minutes. That’s how long the average Londoner’s commute lasts each morning. It’s the longest of any region in Great Britain. Surprised? Probably not. According to TfL, there are up to five million tube journeys made each day.

While we’re minding the gap on these underground trips, we’ll likely encounter many of the same, tiring situations each day. We’ll experience heavy eye-rolling, plucky people who think they can squeeze into non-existent gaps, visitors creating vast delays on escalators by not observing ‘keep right’ and an invasion of personal space by other people’s limbs, books, smartphones and enormous rucksacks. And that’s all before 9am. Don’t even mention the words ‘signal failure’ or ‘severe delays’…

It’s easy to become one of the eye-rollers, sighing as another person falls into you as they failed to hold on as the tube or bus came to a stop. It’s also easy to see this time as wasted. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. Adding listening to podcasts to your morning ritual could help you arrive at work feeling inspired or having learned something new. 51% of podcast listeners said they listen because they find podcasts interesting and 26% shared that their motive for listening was to learn something.

Eager to put those 46 minutes to better use? Here are four inspirational podcasts for your morning commute.

4 Inspirational Podcasts to Listen To While Commuting

1. Your Dream Life by kikki.K founder, Kristina Karlsson

Founder of Swedish stationery brand kikki.K, Kristina Karlsson is determined to empower 101 million people around the world to live their ‘dream life’. The podcast, which supports her new book and journal, shares inspiring stories from people who followed their dreams, even in the most unlikely of circumstances.

This is the perfect podcast for a Monday morning – it’s uplifting and enlightening. Start with the moving two-part interview with Dr. Tererai Trent, who has been named Oprah’s favourite-ever guest.

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2. Girlboss Radio

“We exist to redefine success for millennial women by providing the tools and connections they need to own their futures.”  – Girlboss’ mission.

Girlboss, founded by former Nasty Gal CEO Sophia Amoruso, is a resource that helps to entertain, inspire and inform women to pursue their aspirations through great content. To support the popular website, Sophia developed Girlboss Radio which features honest conversations with “boundary-pushing women” to offer listeners valuable insight from people who have been there and done it before.

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3. Conversations of Inspiration by Not On The High Street founder, Holly Tucker MBE

Spend a lot of your commute longing to be your own boss? Not On The High Street founder and ambassador for UK creative businesses, Holly Tucker, has developed a podcast that explores the highs and lows of starting your own business. She talks to inspiring entrepreneurs, such as Jo Malone, and shares their insights and advice.

Keep listening until the end – each interviewee reads a moving letter they’ve penned to their younger self.

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4. Deliciously Ella: The Podcast

To accompany Deliciously Ella’s immensely popular app, cookbooks and website, the podcast, hosted by Ella and her husband Matthew, discusses physical and mental health, well-being and what it’s really like to build a brand. Ella’s podcast reminds you of the importance of taking time to reflect on your own self-care, especially in today’s fast paced world. It’s honest and interesting, and will inspire you to live a better life in London.

Those 46 minutes could be put to much better use than counting tube stops and scrolling on your smartphone. Including inspirational podcasts in your morning routine could encourage you to slow down and reconsider your commute as your daily opportunity to learn something new or reflect on your well-being and other thought-provoking issues. What are you waiting for?

Making Time for Slow Moments with SlowBox

Slow Box - Slow living subscription box

SlowBox is a monthly subscription box that challenges the way we live and consume. It’s lovingly curated by Glasgow-based wife and wife duo Gabby and Sally, who decided to slow their own pace of life and pursue a more considered way of living. Originally founded a couple of years back as ‘Hyggebox’, the brand decided to move away from the Danish concept of ‘hygge’ after it started to become over-comercialised, thus diluting its meaning.

Founders Gabby and Sally would arguably agree that slow living is also not something you can acquire with a single purchase. Instead, with SlowBox, they offer more than a monthly delivery of products. SlowBox is a collection of five carefully sourced items that aim to help recipients embrace a slower lifestyle, while at the same time supporting local talent and small businesses. It reminds us to celebrate things that take time to create and in turn, to take our time to enjoy them. After exploring the glorification of busy and stats about just how stressed the UK and Londoners are, it’s likely that many of us could benefit from a few more slow moments.

SlowBox – “Slow down to live well”

“A good life is one where we are fulfilled and make a positive contribution to the world. Many people say they are too busy and stressed a lot of the time. We want to show that there is a better way.” – SlowBox

Every month, there is a new theme to look forward to. For October, Gabby and Sally chose all things Scottish. The products are inspired by Scotland’s wild winters and landscape and aim to invoke cosiness. Inside the box, the items included:

  • Ochre Geometric Paper Vase by Kate Colin Design, Glasgow
  • Wild Gorse Candle by Arran Aromatics, Isle of Arran
  • Sloe Gin Skin Candle by Siabann, Sterling
  • Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate by Shetland Fudge Company, Isle of Shetland
  • Tunnock’s Teacake, Glasgow

Alongside the thoughtful artisan products, a highlight of SlowBox is the ‘mini magazine’ that explains each product in detail and offers tips on embracing slow living during autumnal October. The recipe for Cullen Skink (a Scottish soup) is a fitting touch.

Wild Gorse Candle Arran Aromatics

Standing Out with Sustainability

Entrepreneur reported that of February 2018, there were almost 7,000 subscription box companies around the globe. So, how does SlowBox stand out? Aside from the message that the brand is trying to relay and the personal touch, SlowBox stands out due to its curation of products and sustainable ethos. They lovingly choose artisans and small businesses to support, which are as sustainable as possible. In turn, this ensures subscribers receive good quality products with a stronger sense of heritage or meaning, that hopefully help them reflect on their own way of living. In addition, the monthly boxes are made from recycled materials.

Without a doubt, a monthly surprise delivery of beautiful items that help to support small businesses and promote a slower lifestyle, ticks a lot of the feel-good factor boxes and would make a thoughtful gift for a friend.

*SlowBox kindly gifted their October box for this post.

4 Places to See Autumn Colours in London

Much like blossom in Spring, Autumn enters majestically with an explosion of colour. It’s easy to lament the loss of summer for another year, even if you are partial to a cosy knit and hot chocolate, but slow living is all about noticing more deeply what’s happening around us. Plus, the beginning of a season reminds us of the reassuring pace and pattern of nature. Whatever happens in life, the leaves will fall, the cold will come, the fresh green shoots will appear and the sun will shine brilliantly again. And it’s not just in the country where we can enjoy this natural procession, London has its own leafy hotspots to visit. Discover where to find some of the best autumn colours in London and celebrate the new season.

Where to Enjoy Autumn in London

1. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

With impressive Victorian glasshouses and beautiful landscape design, Kew is a great place to visit at any time of the year, but it’s particularly special when the seasons are changing. With the vast arboretum and the Treetop Walkway that takes you above the canopy, autumn is a highlight at Kew Gardens.

Treetop Walkway Kew in Autumn

2. Kyoto Garden, Holland Park

Part of the 22 hectare Holland Park, the Kyoto Garden was a gift from the Japanese city of Kyoto. It celebrates the relationship between Great Britain and Japan and features relaxing waterfalls and even peacocks. The leaves of the Japanese acer trees turn vibrant shades of red and orange during autumn.

3. Regent’s Park

One of London’s most famous royal parks, Regent’s Park was named after Prince Regent, later known as King George IV who lived between 1762 and 1830. The tree-lined pathways make Regent’s Park a great spot for both spring blossom and autumn leaves.

Avenues of trees in Regent's Park

4. Notting Hill

A walk through Notting Hill’s pastel-coloured streets is uplifting at any time of the year, but during autumn, the area is especially picturesque with crunchy leaves lining the pavement. Get off the tube at Ladbroke Grove and walk down, or start at Notting Hill Gate.

Whether it’s golden hour before sunset or a misty Monday morning, make time to enjoy the colours in all their glory this autumn.

Inspirational Morning Rituals from Deliciously Ella and Other Female Founders

Pear and maple syrup porridge: morning rituals

Over the past few years an increasing number of articles have surfaced around the morning rituals of inspirational and successful people.

When we use the words ‘morning rituals’, we’re describing a set of actions that someone performs every morning that have been prescribed additional meaning. The writing around morning rituals often makes big claims: adopting them could be ‘life-changing’ and lead to happier, more productive days. But, in reality, we’re all different and we’re not all natural early-risers.

Morning Rituals: The pinch of salt

Having said that, habits can be formed. In interview with The Washington Post, Christine Whelan, a public sociologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, gives advice on forming and sticking to a new habit.

She advises to make one change at a time – listing everything you want to do differently and trying to tackle it all at once is, in her words, “a recipe for failure“. Whelan also advises that resolutions should be specific and measurable – a commitment to being a happier person is extremely tricky to measure. Similarly, she also highlights that the change you are trying to make must be something you want to do, not something you feel you ought to do. So, before adopting (or failing to adopt) all of the healthy habits of the world’s entrepreneurs and lifestyle gurus, ask yourself if their goals are truly in line with your own.

If you’re reading this article, you’re probably interested in what else you could be doing in the morning to feel more productive or are wondering how you can start the day with your best foot forward. Perhaps you’re fed up of hitting the snooze button or scrolling through your social feeds in bed, or maybe you just want to try and exercise before work. Whatever your motivation, there’s inspiration in the idea that some of the world’s busiest people manage to adopt morning rituals that they now swear by. Here are three positive morning rituals from some of today’s most popular lifestyle gurus and female founders.

Morning Rituals from 3 Inspiring Female Founders

Waking Up with Deliciously Ella

After developing a limiting health condition at university and finding that medication wasn’t working, Ella Mills, founder of Deliciously Ella, eventually turned to her diet and lifestyle. She taught herself to cook and documented her plant-based experiments and recipes on her blog. Today, her community-led brand is wildly popular and boasts an app, multiple cookbooks and a deli. In essence, Ella works hard to ‘make vegetables cool’.

Although Ella is now an ambassador for a plant-based diet and enjoying what you eat, she didn’t always live this way. Her story is a great example of making positive change in your own lifestyle, even when it seems like nothing will make you feel healthier.

And her morning ritual? Yoga. Today, Ella swears by her morning yoga session from 6.30 a.m to 7.30 a.m. In an interview with The Cut, she explains, “No matter how I’m feeling. I find that it gives me a really good mind-set for the day and a real sense of positivity.” Before finding yoga, Ella would check emails and Instagram first thing and “…go into a vortex of stress at 6 a.m”. Sound familiar?

Founder of Kikki.K, Kristina Karlsson’s Morning Rituals

Kikki.K is a Swedish lifestyle and stationery brand. There is a positivity that runs through the beautiful products which include journals, planners and books centred around dreams, inspiration, wellness and setting goals. Founder Kristina’s new book Your Dream Life Starts Here helps readers follow a road map towards their dream life and is accompanied by her Your Dream Life podcast which explores the stories of inspirational people who have followed their dreams, despite major life obstacles.

Speaking to WGSN Insider, Kristina describes her morning ritual. She rises at 5am and has what she calls her “holy hour”. In this time, she journals. She writes down everything she is feeling and this helps her to explore any fears and risks she is experiencing. Kristina burns her papers after writing as this allows her to fully express herself and write freely, without worrying that someone else will read her thoughts at a later date.

What Arianna Huffington Avoids in the Mornings

Like Deliciously Ella, Thrive Global CEO Arianna Huffington (and previous co-founder of The Huffington Post), hasn’t always lived healthy habits. In 2007, she hit her head on her desk, breaking her cheekbone, after fainting from pure exhaustion and lack of sleep. At this point, she developed an obsession with the importance of sleep and began to take her morning ritual more seriously.

Now, she removes digital devices from her bedroom as she sleeps and tries to be in bed by 11pm. Speaking to My Morning Routine, Arianna summarises, “A big part of my morning ritual is about what I don’t do: when I wake up, I don’t start the day by looking at my smartphone. Instead, once I’m awake, I take a minute to breathe deeply, be grateful, and set my intention for the day.” In this sense, it’s not just about the habits you are adding to your morning ritual, it’s about those that you are taking out.

From yoga to journaling, there are many habits to add to your morning ritual, and ultimately, just because these lifestyle gurus are doing these things, doesn’t make them right for the rest of us. Yet, a bit of inspiration is a good place to start!

Let’s Escape: Luxury Glamping on Croatia’s Istrian Coast

Glamping tent Croatia

It might not be for camping purists, but glamping is rising in popularity and there are many reasons to give it a try. The opportunity to enjoy all your home comforts in a beautiful and remote setting, but without a tent peg in sight – what’s not to like? While cosy shepherd’s huts in the Brecon Beacons or beach huts by the Cornish coast may spring to mind, glamping doesn’t always have to be a staycation. If you’re in need of inspiration for your next slow-inspired escape, discover what’s to love at Arena One 99 Glamping in Pomer, situated along the rugged Istrian coast in northern Croatia.

Arena One 99 Glamping Tent

The Scenery

Croatia is experiencing increasing visitor numbers from the UK. In the first six months of 2018, the country welcomed around 1.4 million Brits – up from just over one million during the same period of 2017. The soaring popularity of Croatia could well have something to do with the beautiful scenery and clear blue-turquoise waters along its coastline, as well as its value for money. The glamping accommodation at Arena One 99 is nestled among a forest of pine trees on a small hill overlooking the Adriatic. You wake to the smell of pine and the sound of the birds – it’s idyllic, as long as you have good neighbours.

Glamping in Pula, Istria

The Spa

One of the highlights of the site is the alfresco spa and wellness area. At the top of the hill, the spa enjoys hot tubs, a sauna with a floor to ceiling forest window, multiple teepees for treatments and a yoga area. It’s an oasis of calm and a great place to recharge.

Spa teepees Arena One 99

Tips for Glamping at Arena One 99

  • If you’re looking for complete solitude, this isn’t the glamping spot for you. While it’s relaxing and well-organised, it is a fairly big glamping site and there is a fairly busy road on the other side of the bay. For a quieter trip, go off season, avoid peak summer, or invest in ear plugs.
  • Bring mosquito spray. Although the tents come with nets, mozzies will always be around, particularly at dusk.
  • Try the truffle dishes and the Italian fusion cuisine. The on-site restaurant and Epulon Food and Wine in Pula are well worth a try.
  • If you can hire a car, do it. Going off-peak has its positives, but abundant public transport is not one of them. This is a fairly remote location and it is doable by taxi, occasional buses and Ubers, but to really explore the region at your leisure, a car (or boat!) would be useful. Having said that, there is something refreshing about working around a bus timetable and getting back to basics; Google hasn’t mapped it yet, so visit Pula Promet.
  • Download the app for the site. It still feels like a work-in-progress, but the ability to check all info you may need in-app and message reception, the spa etc. with any query or question is a really great feature.

If you fancy getting back to nature in sunnier climes, Arena One 99 might just be place for you. If you can’t forego a bathroom and like the idea of on-site bars and restaurants, a larger, luxury glamping experience is a great way to unwind without the hassle of pitching a tent.