Adulting has never been easy, but since March 2020, we’ve all been struggling with additional stress.The pandemic introduced a slew of new things to deal with, from ramped up anxiety to extreme isolation, and even though we’re all pretending things are back to normal, many of us are still struggling to process the past three years.
If you’re dealing with a mental health challenge—from OCD, to addiction, to grief—there are no easy fixes. One of the best ways to help yourself is talking about it in therapy, but listening to others talk about their own experiences can be helpful too. Think of these 10 podcasts as your group-therapy sessions on the go. They definitely shouldn’t replace your weekly appointment with your therapist, but you can think of them as little enhancements to your treatment that can make you feel less overwhelmed, less alone, and maybe even a little more joyful.
Creative people have a lot in common, and as Gil Kruger is discovering on his podcast Mentally Gil, a lot of those things are tied to mental health. On each episode of his show, he invites big YouTube and social media movers and shakers (Grace Helbig, LaurDIY, Maxine the Fluffy Corgi, and more) to take him through their mental health journeys so that together, we can explore the connection between mental illness and creativity. Learn first-hand how these influencers deal with grief, social-anxiety, skin-picking, trauma, and imposter syndrome, among other issues, as they thrive (and falter) in the creator scene. Gil is an amusing host, and open with his own mental health struggles. Even his merch is hilarious. Mentally Gil makes you feel a little more normal and a little less alone.
More Than a Feeling
On Ten Percent Happier’s More Than a Feeling, host Saleem Reshamwala explores emotions like rage, jealousy, and shame, and investigates the ways we all deal with them. Each episode dives into what these emotions really represent, as, through beautiful storytelling and interviews, the show attempts to uncover how people have gotten over fears, learned to be accepted, and experienced “distributed emotion” through music. (Speaking of music, the theme song slaps.) Recently, Saleem dropped a mini-workshop about dread—what it is, tangible things we can do to keep control the places in our lives where we experience it, and even how to hold a healthy grudge. This show takes you on a journey of emotions alongside neuroscientists, historians, philosophers, musicians, therapists, hairdressers, airplane pilots, and everyday people like you.
Amy Choi and Rebecca Lehrer launched The Mash-Up Americans in 2015 to start a conversation about what it’s like to be multicultural and live in a world of hyphenated Americans. Their newest project, Grief, Collected, is an ode to the many dimensions of grief that we experience in our bodies, minds, and souls, and within our communities, our governments, and our cultures. After a punishing pandemic, and as we are all grieving something—the loved ones, jobs, homes, and lives we used to cherish—this podcast couldn’t come at a better time. Amy and Rebecca talk to authors like adrienne maree brown and Alexander Chee, and everyone from therapists, journalists, and rabbis with humor and levity, as they attempt to answer a big question: Can we change the shape of our future by processing our past? You’ll learn that grief is love, and Amy and Rebecca are just the kind of friends you need to help you work through it.
In a world that doesn’t always provide us with a soft place to fall back on, health writer Anna Borges’ Mood Ring has built a friendly space where you can develop your coping skills and figure out how to handle your baggage. With a sense of humor and calming vibes (not to mention a soothing voice), Anna moderates practical and intelligent conversations with authors, therapists, community organizers, and poets, and each feels like a calming meditation even as it teaches you something about mental health. Mood Ring can help you examine your relationships with money, food, judgment, physical touch, self-care, positive affirmations, and more, and help you chill out at the same time.
New Day With Claire Bidwell Smith
Author, therapist, and grief expert Claire Bidwell Smith recognizes that even if we feel like we have a great life—a strong community, meaningful work, food, and shelter—it’s still possible to suffer, and we shouldn’t do it in silence. On New Day, she addresses that nagging feeling that something isn’t quite right, that gap that seems to be forever unfilled. On Mondays and Wednesdays, Claire shares easy actions you can implement to make meaningful changes in your life, and provides tips for those tough situations, like how to curb doom-scrolling habit or how to reconnect with people you’ve lost. Friday episodes end the week with an interview with a guest who has experienced something difficult yet totally relatable, so you can steal their notes on navigating challenging situations. Nobody’s life is perfect and there are no perfect answers, but Claire is offering a place where we can wade through life’s messiness together.
Big Mood, Little Mood
Sometimes the world can feel crushing, and your problems can feel like ones nobody else could possibly relate to. Big Mood, Little Mood, hosted by The Toast founder Danny M. Lavery, will help you feel less alone. He brings on writers, movement builders, sex workers, and nightshift nurses to answer specific questions from listeners about betrayal, caring for loved ones, battling feelings of alienation, and dealing with difficult family members. The questions may seem niche, but they tend to revolve around struggles you’ll recognize from your own life, and Danny is a patient, open, and wide-minded host who is able to make life’s problems feel a little less insurmountable. You’re not alone, and even if everything isn’t going to be OK, you’re stronger than you know—and if you don’t know that, these conversations will help you get there.
We Can Do Hard Things
On We Can Do Hard Things, Untamed author Glennon Doyle, her sister Amanda, and wife (and soccer superstar) Abby Wambach, practice the art of vulnerability by completely opening up about the hard stuff in their lives—struggles in work, family, and boundaries—so that we can work through it together, and maybe even laugh about it. Sometimes the only way to get through a problem is to talk about it, and this show is the most honest and open place to hear about the tough stuff these people are experiencing, and that we all identify with.
From award-winning former co-host of If These Ovaries Could Talk Robin Hopkins, Well..Adjusting is a podcast focused on the problems young people face today, juxtaposed with stories of Robin’s own “crappy childhood.” Every generation faces its own struggles, and Gen Z is staring down new ones when it comes to jobs, finance, and relationships. Robin is here to remind you that as tough as that stuff is, it’s still navigable. These candid and funny conversations make the scary stuff the world hands you feel like a stone in your pocket rather than a boulder on your shoulders. Episodes have focused on breaking up the right way, finding an apartment, and saving a single dime—stuff that isn’t always easy these days, but that never exactly was, either. Your problems are Robin’s, and her entire generation’s, and there are things we all can learn from her.
On every episode of Depresh Mode, John Moe sits down with comedians, musicians, authors, and actors to talk about the many ways we experience depression, anxiety, addiction, and rude internal dialogue. Guests the likes of Jamie Lee Curtis, Justin McElroy and David Sedaris share their baggage and the tactics that worked—and didn’t—as they attempted to handle it. Each guest bring their own spin to the subject of mental health with bravery, honesty, and intimate insight. If you can’t find someone in your life who identifies with your struggles, you might find it in John and his guests.
Diet Starts Tomorrow
Don’t think of Betches’ Diet Starts Tomorrow as a diet podcast. It’s a be-well podcast. (New) hosts Remy Kassimir and Emily Lubin touch upon topics like holiday foods, AI portraits, body shamimg on dating apps, and what being “in shape” even means, but whatever the topic, they approach it with one goal in mind—self-acceptance. It’s a show that will help you give yourself a break, and love yourself for it. It’s a healthy snack for your brain that will empower you to focus on how you feel rather how you look, and it’s so much fun that it goes down like comfort food.
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