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Kindness columnist Nicole Phillips' podcast makes Oprah's list of best uplifting listens

"The Kindness Podcast," hosted by Forum News Service contributor Nicole Phillips, was ranked by Oprah Magazine as one of the 16 Best Happiness Podcasts That'll Uplift You.

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"The Kindness Podcast," hosted by Forum contributor Nicole Phillips, was ranked by Oprah Magazine as one of the 16 Best Happiness Podcasts that'll Uplift You.
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FARGO —Sometimes finding happiness is as easy as popping in earbuds and pressing play.

And if you need a recommendation, you turn to the lady that has helped millions of folks choose their next great summer read for decades through her book club. Oprah Winfrey has moved on to ranking podcasts, and one of the Midwest's own has made the list.

In a Feb. 26 article for OprahMag.com, writer Grant Rindner set out a ranking for the " 16 Best Happiness Podcasts That'll Uplift You " — focusing on shows that deal with positivity, creativity and healthy mental and physical habits.

Author, blogger, podcast host and Forum News Service contributor Nicole Phillips' show "The Kindness Podcast" came in at No. 3 on the list.

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The Kindness Podcast / Special to InForum

While getting ranked by Oprah would generally be something podcasters would follow closely, Phillips said she didn't even know her show was on the list.

Well, she didn't, until a guest pointed it out to her.

"It really caught me off guard," Phillips said. "In fact, it came out in February and I didn't know until Tuesday (March 16) when a guest on my podcast said, 'Hey, congratulations!' And I said, 'On what?' And she said, 'You know, on Oprah, on the Oprah thing.' I thought she was punking me."

"The Kindness Podcast" takes a look at how kindness has the power to transform a mundane, passionless life, while also having the extraordinary ability to re-route a bad day. Guests range from musicians and psychiatrists to families and authors, and everyone in-between.

"I interview people who are either experts in the field of kindness or they're people with really cool kindness projects or people with really cool kindness stories," Phillips said. "It's really just a matter of trying to look at the kindness world as a whole and the people who are involved in it and pull some of them in and say, 'Hey, will you tell us a little bit more about this?'"

Since the first episode of "The Kindness Podcast" in 2017, Phillips has enjoyed conversations with a father whose son was killed during the 2014 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the CEO and co-founder of a nonprofit that fights human trafficking across the globe from Fargo, best-selling authors and even multi-platinum singer-songwriter Jason Mraz.

Phillips says she's also had the chance to chat with people who had an impact on her personally, as well. Christian recording artist Micah Tyler spoke with her about his journey to success and what it means to be human.

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Phillips and Carol McLeod, author of "Best Bucket Filler Ever!", spoke about how McLeod's work changed the language that Phillips and her family use in their house when it comes to kindness.

"When I go into an interview, all I think to myself is, 'God, please let me make this person feel good and have a really good experience,'" she said. "It's helped me highlight what's so wonderful about that."

Last year was tough on everyone. But, as Phillips tries to show through her interviews and podcast, there is still kindness in the world. Sometimes you just have to be the one to create it.

"Give what you got," she said. "If what you got is a word of encouragement for someone else today, then give that. If what you got is an extra plate of brownies because you just felt like you had to bake something, then give that. Kindness doesn't require us to have brilliant ideas, kindness just requires us to act on the little ideas."

New episodes of "The Kindness Podcast" are released every Thursday on iTunes, Google Play, NPR and Stitcher. To learn more about Nicole Phillips, visit her website, nicolejphillips.com .

Emma Vatnsdal is a digital producer for InForum and other Forum Communications-owned properties. She earned her degree in multimedia journalism from Minnesota State University Moorhead and joined the Forum Communications team as a features reporter in May 2018.
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