The growth of podcasts has been exponential over the past couple years, with many crediting the pandemic for the medium’s rapid ascent. However, there’s more to its popularity than just idle time: Unlimited subject matter, availability and the sheer number of new podcasters popping up every day make it easier to tune in.

It’s like having a conversation with a friend where no topic is off limits — one that you can pause and come back to at any time. Self-help, politics, sports, relationship advice, fashion… Pick a topic and there’s a podcast for it. But with so many options, it’s easy for most to get lost in the fray.

Here, we highlight nine that will motivate you to be your authentic self.

1. “Caresha Please” by Yung Miami

Caresha Brownlee, aka Yung Miami of the City Girls, struck gold when the debut episode of her podcast show, “Caresha Please,” hit a million views in the first 24 hours. She’s since kept up the pace and viewership with celebrity interviews tackling everything from relationship rumors to anxiety and mental health issues.

A major part of the “Caresha Please” appeal is Miami’s raw and unapologetic approach to questioning as well as the show’s formatting, as it isn’t scheduled regularly. Over signature cocktails and beautiful backdrops, Miami has hosted spicy conversations with some of your favorite artists, including Megan Thee Stallion, Saweetie and Summer Walker. Her approach has set forth a new era in podcasting, and her two BET Awards for Best Podcast Show prove fans can’t wait to tune into every new episode.

2. “Run Your Race” by Theo Pinson and AJ Richardson

“Run Your Race” is a sports podcast highlighting the intersections of basketball and business. Hosted by lifelong friends UNC alum Theo Pinson and NCAT alum AJ Richardson, their conversations span the gamut of NBA happenings to a firsthand look at the inner workings of college teams and professional basketball, with steady guest visitors offering similar insight. Most notable is how Pinson and Richardson share their personal stories of wins and defeats throughout their unique journeys while never losing sight of their love for the game.

3. “Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson”

Very few people have lived a life like renowned boxing champion Mike Tyson. In a world full of celebrities, the “baddest man on the planet” is as infamous as it gets. With his podcast, “Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson,” he draws on decades’ worth of experience and fame to delve into the personal lives of his peers.

Notable guests have ranged from artists like Eminem, Swizz Beatz and Lil Nas X to comedians like David Spade and Kevin Hart, and Tyson has even featured unconventional guests like his therapist. The conversations are always authentic and unfiltered with many life lessons sprinkled in, showcasing the podcast’s greatest takeaway: Each person’s unique journey.

4. “Drink Champs” by N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN

Drink Champs,” initially launched in 2016, prides itself on genuine conversation. Where else can you get hourslong, in-depth convos with some of your favorite hip hop artists and cultural icons?

Legendary Queens rapper N.O.R.E. and his co-host, Miami hip hop pioneer DJ EFN, welcome guests over drinks and dig deep into their history to get some unique anecdotes and quotable remarks from them along the way. But besides the funny stories, what resonates the most is their commitment to giving artists and cultural icons their flowers while they’re still alive to receive them. Guests have included Kanye West, ASAP Rocky, Memphis Bleek, Davido and many, many more.

5. “Assets Over Liabilities” by Rashad Bilal and Troy Millings

Assets Over Liabilities” is a much-needed podcast in today’s landscape. Created by Rashad Bilal and Troy Millings of “Earn Your Leisure,” the two hosts talk with entrepreneurs, celebrities, and the like to answer one main question: Are they working with assets or liabilities?

This is an important conversation to have because wealth transparency and monetary health are key to furthering the success of the Black community. With this podcast, you get a firsthand look at what it takes to not only create assets but invest in and scale them. Guests have included Lauren London, Jeezy, Pusha T and many more. Through their talks, you get to see how each businessperson approaches success and investment building. Each one, teach one.

6. “Tetragrammaton with Rick Rubin”

Rick Rubin is one of music’s most enigmatic figures. He not only resembles a wizard with his long white hair and beard; Rubin’s creative approach and interviewing style are magical too. With “Tetragrammaton,” his newly created podcast, the music veteran fosters a calm and low-pressure environment where his subject matter is as varied and serendipitous as his philosophies and way of life.

He’s talked to people like Jack Harlow, Will Smith and Rosalía about their paths to success, creative processes, and lifestyles. Through these open dialogues, you get a sense of connectedness and community. Just a heads up: Some of the conversations can be long-winded, but they’re always worth the time.

7. “A Safe Place” by Lil Yachty and MitchGoneMad

The self-proclaimed King of the Youth, Lil Yachty, and his co-host, MitchGoneMad, have conversations with guests from different backgrounds on their newly launched podcast. It’s a lighthearted take on interviewing that doesn’t take itself or its guests too seriously.

Truth, fun moments and a lot of laughs are what you’re in for with Yachty and Mitch. Only 12 episodes have come out to date, and some of their guests have included Arrogant Tae, Kai Cenat, and J. Cole, with talking points ranging from rap debates to the art of jealousy. Tune in for the laughs and stay for the perspective of the youth and new ways of thinking.

8. “Rap Radar” by Elliott Wilson and Brian “B.Dot” Miller

It doesn’t get more hip hop than “Rap Radar.” From the minds of famed journalists Elliott Wilson and co-host B.Dot, the two talk to a slew of A-listers from hip hop and adjacent industries. In the weekly conversations, guests discuss life experiences, their favorite music moments, and pathways to success. A diverse range of who’s who have been featured on the show, including Steve Stoute, Hit-Boy and Queen Naija, just to name a few. Something that all the guests have in common is their undying quest for self-expression and storytelling.

9. “The Joe Budden Podcast”

Last, but certainly not least, is “The Joe Budden Podcast” because no list would be complete without mentioning it. The rapper-turned-reality star has always had a way with words and controversy as well, if we’re being honest.

His polarizing takes on all things rap, culture and current events are constantly being debated. With his spirited gang of co-hosts and friends, including famed video vixen Melyssa Ford, Budden is the epitome of standing on business and doing things your way. Whether you love him or hate him, Budden’s show is always interesting and gives different perspectives on a wide range of topics.