With the pandemic leading to a monumental increase in isolation from other people, mental health has become much more challenging to maintain. As a result, podcasts have increased in popularity and are helping people better manage their mental health concerns. Evidence shows that listening to podcasts can benefit your brain and mood while reducing your screen time. In this article, we curated a list of the best podcasts for mental health.
Why You Should Listen to Mental Health Podcasts
Although many find it worthwhile, seeking help from mental health professionals can be expensive and time-consuming. Mental health professionals can help answer questions and guide you in getting help for forms of depression, anxiety, or other psychological issues.
Although podcasts can’t replace the benefits of a licensed psychologist, they provide positive benefits for your brain by letting you listen to relatable stories. They can offer you practical advice and mental health tips, giving you access to real answers for both your emotional well-being and mental well-being. Better yet, you can listen to them while driving, folding laundry, or working out.
What Makes a Great Mental Health Podcast?
- Host’s Personality and Topics. The host is the person leading a podcast’s discussions. Make sure you like their personality and have researched their credentials. Make sure the podcast you choose deals with mental health issues you want to learn more about. A podcast about OCD might not help someone with depression and vice-versa.
- Target Audience and Frequency. Check to see if you are the target audience. This can be a good clue as to whether or not you’ll relate to the content. Most podcasts use a personal and conversational tone. Podcasts usually release episodes on a regular schedule with a higher uploading frequency often leading to more listeners.
- Triggers. Topics surrounding mental health can often tackle difficult and sensitive issues. If you are sensitive to certain triggers like body image issues or sexual assault, you may want to be careful when choosing which episodes you listen to.
- Podcast Length. You could use this to match the activity and the length of time you have available to listen. Podcasts range from a few minutes to a few hours in length.
- Podcast Format. Podcasts often take the form of conversations about a particular topic. Some are based on content or educational learning. Some shows include taking calls from the public. Choose those you feel will most benefit your mental health needs.
The 10 Best Mental Health Podcasts
1. The Hilarious World of Depression
- Available On: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Radio Public, RSS
- Subjects Covered: Depression, ADHD, connecting with others, and trauma
This is a frank podcast discussing clinical depression through humor. On his show, host, creator, and author of three books, John Moe has funny conversations with top comedians on their experiences dealing with depression. He has written plays, video games, board games, music reviews and is published in several reputable publications, co-creating and hosting the radio show Wits, and more.
2. Terrible, Thanks For Asking
- Available On: iHeart Radio, Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Radio Public, and RSS
- Subjects Covered: Motivation, perseverance, independence as a woman, sleep loss
This podcast asks people to share their honest opinions about how they are really feeling and goes past the typical automated answer we usually give. The show can be sad, funny, and sometimes both. The host, Nora McInerny, is an author, the co-founder of the podcast, and a main-stage speaker for TEDtalk.
This podcast has been named one of the best podcasts by The Atlantic for three years running. The New York Times said it’s “a gift to be able to listen.”
3. Unlocking Us
- Available On: Exclusive to Spotify
- Subjects Covered: The fundamentals of trust, faith, family, fear, love, boundaries, living authentically
This podcast takes an honest look at the extraordinary and disastrous meaning of being human. The host, Brené Brown, is the author of six number-one New York Times bestsellers and a research professor who holds the Huffington Foundation Endowed Chair at the University of Huston. She also hosts another podcast called Dare to Lead.
- Available On: Apple Podcasts, Amazon, Spotify, Acast, and Audible
- Subjects Covered: Grief and death and how various funny people have dealt with this
Griefcast is a podcast that focuses on grief and death with comedians, using humor to make the subject more palatable. Host Cariad Lloyd is an experienced actor and writer who has worked in improv and comedy. This award-winning podcast received acclaim from the 2018 British Podcast Awards and UK ARIAs.
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5. Mentally Yours
- Available On: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Castbox, Apple iTunes, Overcast web, Pocket Casts, RSS, and Podchaser
- Subjects Covered: Symptoms of mental health disorders, online therapy, support groups, women’s mental health
Mentally Yours is a podcast from MetroUK that talks to people from all walks of life who have experienced mental illness to educate, empathize, and object to typical stigmas. Co-hosts Ellen Scott and Yvette Caste use their experience dealing with their mental illnesses to discuss each episode’s subject matter.
6. Bryony Gordon’s Mad World
- Available On: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Acast, Audible, ART19, Radio-uk.co.uk
- Subjects Covered: Mental health, addiction, stigmas, the effects of addiction on families, and suicide
Mad World is a popular podcast from the Telegraph network, hosted by Bryony Gordon. She has insightful conversations with celebrities and frontline workers of the pandemic concerning a variety of mental heal topics such as eating disorders, stress, addiction, and discusses practical self-care advice. She has dealt with obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, eating disorders, and drug dependency and has written several books on the subject.
7. Meditation Minis
- Available On: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Shopify
- Subjects Covered: Anxiety, meditation, negative mindsets
Meditation Minis is precisely that – a ten-minute or less guided meditation to help people conquer stress, anxiety, and negative thinking. Host Chel Hamilton has a degree in Clinical Hypnotherapy, has worked in addiction and rehabilitation, and has DVD publications in meditation that are a bit longer.
8. Checking In with Michelle Williams
- Available On: Apple Podcasts, iHeart, Amazon, Audible, and Podchaser
- Subjects Covered: Toxic relationships, isolation, stress, pain, panic attacks, trauma, and grief
Host Michelle Williams is an author who has dealt with depression and anxiety. She brings her friends, celebs, and authorities in this field onto her show to share their experiences with depression and anxiety. They provide practical self-care advice for emotional well-being.
9. Brown Girl Self-care
- Available On: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Podcast Republic, Listen Notes, and Podchaser
- Subjects Covered: feeling overwhelmed, receiving support, asking people for help, and the “pretty privilege.”
Bre Mitchell is the host and founder of this podcast and blog. She discusses a wide range of topics like the physical, spiritual, and emotional well-being of women of color to help them avoid burnout and help focus on wellness overall.
10. Dear Therapists
- Available On: Megaphone, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, iHeart, and Stitcher
- Subjects Covered: Broken heart, blended families, messy affairs, critical parents, and cheaters
This podcast from iHeart Radio is hosted by authors Lori Gottlieb and Guy Winch. Both are also advice columnists, TED speakers, and therapists in clinical practice. These therapists use real sessions and thoughtful conversation to help us see that we are not alone and gain insight into our own mental health. They also do follow-up sessions with guests to check in on their progress.
The Best Mental Health Podcast Episodes to Get You Started
Now that you know some of the best podcasts, let’s have a look at some of the best episodes to get you off on the right foot and start figuring out which ones suit your needs.
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Lori Gottlieb Has Seen All Possible Sides of Therapy | The Hilarious World of Depression
In this episode, John Moe talks to Lori Gottlieb as she shares her thoughts on what therapy is and isn’t, as well as how to get the most out of it for your own benefit. She shares how putting a UPS delivery man on the spot a few times led her into the world of professional clinical therapy and years later needed therapy herself after her world fell apart.
October 8, 1988 | Terrible, Thanks For Asking
When you are suffering, it’s easy to feel like you are alone. If you look hard enough, you might discover that you are not actually alone. In this story, you see how two girls’ singular tragic experiences on October 8, 1988, would intersect despite only meeting decades later.
You Are Your Best Thing with Tarana J. Burke & Jason Reynolds | Unlocking Us
Featuring two essays from You Are Your Best Thing, led by Tarana Burke, an organizer, writer, activist, and the founder of the ‘me too.’ movement. This episode of Unlocking Us discusses all the things that African Americans go through, whether by choice or not, as well as vulnerability, shame, resilience, and more. This episode is sad, yet insightful and heartwarming.
Ep.86 Griefcast Live with Greg Davies + Barry Castagnola in support of LOROS Hospice | Griefcast
Comedians Greg Davies and Barry Castagnola talk about their experience with grief after losing their loved ones. They speak about their experiences using the LOROS Hospice, as well as why they support them and encourage others to do the same. The episode is littered with comical comments and honesty.
Borderline Personality Disorder | Mentally Yours
Mentally Yours and Rosie Cappuccino discuss Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and the subject’s stigmas, challenges, and misconceptions. They discuss how people with BPD feel, behave, and how they can improve with the right help.
What Is the Best Mental Health Podcast?
Opinions of which mental health podcast is best is subjective. Only you can decide which one is best for you. We have highlighted, in this article, podcasts you can use in your everyday life, whether you need the advice of clinical psychologists, inspiring conversations, or mental health experts offering mental health resources.
After going through this article, you may find yourself wondering if mental health careers would be a good fit for you. If so, you may want to research counseling courses, psychiatrist requirements, and therapist requirements.
Best Mental Health Podcasts FAQ
Mental health refers to the state of a person’s cognitive, behavioral, and emotional well-being.
Yes. Listening to a podcast has positive effects on the brain. Further, podcasts that are provided by licensed professionals and focused on mental health topics can be beneficial to listeners struggling with their mental health.
No. Podcasts can undoubtedly help you navigate your mental health and well-being, but should never act as a substitute for actual professional care from health care professionals.
No. Some are only a few minutes long, while others are an hour or more. You can listen while doing activities like running or folding laundry.
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