By Kris Crews
Sometimes you need a pick-me-up. Whether that’s working out, watching your favorite comedy, going out with your friends, or more. Sometimes you might not have one of these options available to you, but one way to unwind on the go is by listening to a mental health podcast.
If you’re on the road, working, on a quick walk, or getting ready for bed, consider listening to these five mental health podcasts.
How Can a Mental Health Podcast Help You?
First, what is a podcast? Masterclass describes a podcast as a collection or series of digital audio files that are made available for downloading or listening via the Internet.
Podcasts have always been a fan favorite. There are endless topics to talk about, including mental health. During quarantine and the last few years of COVID, podcasts became more popular as people listened in their homes and had more downtime due to being restricted and unable to go out to do normal activities.
In the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the global prevalence of anxiety and depression increased by a massive 25%, according to a scientific brief released by the World Health Organization (WHO) in March 2022. With isolation at an all-time high, it wore on many people, increased their anxiety, and still has lasting effects today.
Podcasts became a way for people to escape and listen to others talk about similar struggles and provide mental health care tips on how to help with overwhelming emotions. Mental health podcasts became a safe haven for people to hear more about available mental health resources and practical strategies for taking care of their well-being from respected psychologists, therapists, authors, and professors. Many people took what they learned from these podcasts and applied it to their lives to work toward being healthier, more self-aware human beings who see the importance of self-care, emotional sensitivity, and how mental health matters. So what are some of the best podcasts? We’ll share five of them with you.
This podcast has been named one of the best to listen to if you’re struggling with anxiety. Hosts Shann Vander and Ananga Silver dedicate their time talking about everything under the sun relating to anxiety, including PTSD, stress, and more. Their dialogue amongst themselves, along with expert interviews, are eye opening and provide a richness that listeners appreciate and connect with. In addition to their podcast, they also offer free resources, courses, and coaching on their website to help calm your anxiety.
If there is one thing that many of us have in common, it’s creating boundaries and sharing them. It can be difficult to say no when you have the fear of letting someone down or missing out, but the Boundaries.me Podcast helps you feel better about staying firm with your boundaries and encourages you to say no. Host Henry Cloud, PhD, is a well-known mental health professional and has years of expertise on the topic after writing several books on codependency and boundaries.
Mental health in athletes, and the conversation around it, is becoming more and more widespread. Athletes such as Simone Biles, Naomi Osaka, Kevin Love, and others have opened up about their mental health and how they are taking steps to prioritize their well-being, encouraging others to do the same.
Sports can be grueling on the body, and even more so on the mind. Sport Psychologist and host of the Sport Psych Show, Dan Abrahams, uses this podcast to break down sports psychology for players, coaches, and parents by inviting some of the most well-known people in the sports world to talk. He is passionate and on a mission to better understand how sports shape us, our minds, and what the impact of participation in these sports can do.
Brené Brown is a renowned American research professor, lecturer, author, and podcast host. She is best known for her work, exploration, and discussions on shame and vulnerability. Her podcast, Unlocking Us, is available for those who are on a quest to become more self-aware, learn how to talk to themselves in positive ways, and quit negative thoughts. She is intentional about normalizing struggles and sheds light on them in an educational manner.
Host Esther Perel uses Where Should We Begin to examine and differentiate healthy vs. toxic relationships. Perel, a well-known relationship expert, provides a space for listeners to hear their lives and struggles articulated in the stories of others.
Your mental health matters. It’s not always easy doing the work and actively pursuing healing, but it doesn’t mean it’s not possible. Try listening to these mental health podcasts, and during Mental Health Awareness Month, if you have a few favorites of your own, share them with others who might need to hear an encouraging word or two. You’ve got this. Continue being gentle with yourself.