Wellness is a weird and wonderful space. There are constantly new ideas being shared, influencers emerging, studies being published, and old “knowns” re-entering the dialogue.

It can be difficult to stay on top of what’s happening, what’s true and trustworthy, and how one can actually apply it all – or even small components of these concepts – to one’s life.

A few years ago, as someone who was making it work in a high-stress, calorie-dense, ladder-climbing job and as someone who was looking to re-connect and learn more about how the food I ate and my overall world view was impacting my health and happiness, I started to dip my toes in the world of “wellness”.

Without a scientific background and being strapped for time, I struggled to find reliable, interesting, and valuable wellness-based information.

Then a friend recommended the Rich Roll podcast. The RRP is a weekly in-depth conversation with someone Roll considers to be one “of the brightest and most forward thinking, paradigm busting minds in health, fitness, nutrition, art, entertainment, entrepreneurship and spirituality.”

Roll’s story and that of many of his guests feels aspirational but also pleasantly familiar; a college swimmer turned successful entertainment lawyer, Roll had a health scare that led to a moment of truth. He decided to leave it all behind – the money, the power, the self-importance – and follow his heart. He changed everything and redefined what was possible for his own life, becoming a vegan and an ultra-endurance athlete.

Now, his reputation as an Ultraman who completed the EPIC5 (five IRONMAN distance triathlons, on each of the five Hawaiian islands in under a week), is being eclipsed by his pursuits as podcast host, public speaker, and author (Finding Ultra and The Plant Powered Way).

He’s also a recovering alcoholic, who – like many of his guests – speaks with honesty, vulnerability and true compassion on many aspects of addiction.

The long form medium paired with Roll’s dedication to empowering listeners to “discover, uncover, unlock and unleash [their] best, most authentic” selves delivers digestible, relevant, and dare I say, life changing content.

As a caveat, Roll is a vegan, and a yogi, and frankly a rich, liberal white guy from California. This is evident in, and supported by, most of his guests. But the diversity of topics explored, and the high caliber of his interviewees consistently presents fact-based, fresh perspectives and actionable advice that I found illuminating, inspiring, and sometimes disillusioning.

There are hundreds of episodes currently available through iTunes and his free RRP app. Here are my recommendations for where to start:

If you’re interested in eating to heal or optimize your health, I’d recommend starting with:

  • RRP 140 • Robert Ostfeld, MD – “Eradicating Lifestyle Disease With Cardiologist Robert Ostfeld, MD”
  • RRP 162 • Michelle McMacken, MD – “Prevent Disease and Thrive: Michelle McMacken, MD On Holistic Lifestyle Medicine and Promoting Optimal Wellness Through Plant-Based Nutrition”
  • RRP 209 • Rhonda Patrick – “Longevity, Epigenetics, Microbiome Health and The Difference Between Eating For Long-Term Wellness Versus Performance”

If you’re interested in our food systems and how we make food choices, consider starting with:

If you’re interested in kicking ass in your career without burning out, consider:

  • RRP 179 • Jason Garner – “From A Life Of Matter To A Life That Matters: Jason Garner’s Journey From Music Industry CEO To Spiritual Warrior”
  • RRP 216 • Jason Wachob – “Jason Wachob On How To Build A Life, Not A Resumé”
  • RRP 174 • Casey Neistat – “Don’t Listen To Anyone: Casey Neistat On Trusting Your Instincts and The Principles That Guide A Creative Life”