Editor’s note: This is an example of many different podcasts our alumni produce. Visit our Alumni Who Podcast Pinterest page for a full list.
Shawlini Manjunath-Holbrook holds many titles: an actress, UGA graduate, a mother, and most recently, a podcaster. She recently started Feel the Good Podcast, which is a “mix of uplifting and/or reflective conversations with some of your favorite tastemakers, influencers, experts, community creators, fellow podcasters, artists and creatives doing good, spreading good or feeling good,” according to her website.
Shawlini says her podcast is her “personal journal,” meaning she has been able to make her personal podcast exactly the way she wants.
“I bring a lot of myself to it, it’s very authentic to who I am, and the values that I honor and cherish,” she said. “And that’s what ‘Feel the Good’ ultimately is. It’s like, how can we evolve, how can we grow, how can we change together to do the best possible for each other, how can spread the good, do good by learning and growing and evolving together? So that’s something else that I think that I add to my show that is very personal to me.”
This emphasis on positivity that aligns with Shawlini’s personal values and morals is what she calls her “secret sauce” — something that she says every successful podcast needs. From moments of gratitude inserted in the podcast to highlighting main points to help herself and her followers evolve, Shawlini says her listeners resonate with her podcast and often reach out to her on social media to share how they connect with her message.
Through Feel the Good, Shawlini says she’s gotten to “network authentically” with her guests. Because she hand-picks each of her guests, she says she’s able to choose people whose values and goals match her own. This has allowed her to “build that connection around like-minded people,” which is one of the biggest takeaways she’s had from the podcast.
“Podcasting is really great for that if you have that type of show where you are doing interviews because you do develop connections with the people that come on your show and a lot of times, I mean, they do become friends and you start cheerleading each other on and you follow each other on social media or you can reach out about things,” Shawlini said. “I would say probably about 95% of the people that I’ve had on have continued to be in my life.”
After graduating from Grady College with a degree in public relations, Shawlini studied at a conservatory for acting. While acting and raising her daughter, she decided to start her podcasting journey three years ago. A self-described Hallmark movie lover, her first podcast was called Hallmark Channels’ Bubbly Sesh.
Shawlini fondly recalls how this podcast helped teach her everything from editing to filming. Along with her co-host, Shawlini interviewed talent and discussed Hallmark movies from rom-coms to Christmas movies. After the show took off, the Hallmark Channel officially took it on, which Shawlini said was “wonderful.”
While now she says there are plenty of podcasts on the market centered around the Hallmark Channel, at the time Shawlini says Bubbly Sesh was “niche.” This not only helped it stand out to Hallmark, but it also gave her the opportunity to learn how to podcast on her own.
“I really had to teach myself a lot of the elements of podcasting on my own. Now the great thing is for anyone who wants to do it there are so many tutorials and videos online in terms of what equipment you need and what you need to do this and that and hosting and editing and you can find people, freelancers and stuff to work on your podcast if you have a budget,” she said. “It’s a lot easier to get into it now, I think, without any knowledge at all than it was when I started out, so the benefit of that though was I really got to learn how to do it and build one.”