Mental health is finally getting the attention it deserves. From increasing daily stressors to more severe issues like anxiety and depression, it's vital to find ways to help improve your mental health for a healthier and happier lifestyle. Luckily, mental health podcasts can help you do just this from the comfort of your couch, car, bed, or anywhere else. Get valuable guidance and inspiration from experts and others going through the same things as you are.
- 1. The Positive Psychology Podcast
- 2. The Trauma Therapist
- 3. The Mental Illness Happy Hour
- 4. The Happiness Lab
- 5. The Hardcore Self Help Podcast
- 6. The Anxiety Podcast
- 7. The Hilarious World of Depression
- 8. The OCD Stories
- 9. WTF With Marc Maron
- 10. Feeling Good
- 11. Cleaning Up the Mental Mess
- Frequently Asked Questions
1. The Positive Psychology Podcast
Use positive psychology to change how you approach the world and how you let it affect you.
- Covers variety of issues
- Focuses on scientifically backed positive psychology
- Often features guests
- Last episode is from June 2021
- Positive psychology doesn't always work for everyone or every type of mental health issue
Instead of just focusing on specific issues, The Positive Psychology Podcast tackles issues by using the positive psychology strategy. This helps give you a foundation to deal with all sorts of mental health obstacles, making it a nice well-rounded podcast.
The latest episode is from 2021, but there are numerous past episodes hosted by Kristen Truempy. Everything's backed by scientific research, but presented in a much easier to digest (and significantly less boring) way.
2. The Trauma Therapist
Better understand how trauma affects you and how to push past it.
- Over 550 episodes
- Features professional therapists
- Focuses on a variety of traumas
- You may need to nitpick episodes based on your interests
- There is a push to subscribe to premium content, such as a newsletter
The Trauma Therapist is one of the best mental health podcasts if you're struggling any type of trauma. The podcast covers addiction, mental health, PTSD, childhood trauma, heartache, loss, and much more.
It's hosted by Guy Macpherson, PhD. Not only do you benefit from his professional advice, but he features other professional therapists who are experts in specific types of traumas to give you more in-depth insights into recognizing and handling trauma.
3. The Mental Illness Happy Hour
Mental illness isn't something to be ashamed about, which is why this podcast normalizes it.
- Takes a sometimes humorous approach to mental health discussions
- Features relatable guests
- Covers a wide variety of mental health issues
- Gilmartin is a comedian and not a medical professional
- The humor might not be right for everyone
What makes The Mental Illness Happy Hour, hosted by Paul Gilmartin, stand out is the way it normalizes mental health issues. Shame is often what makes people hide their issues away, making them worse. Gilmartin talks with guests about their issues, showing listeners that they're not alone.
Of course, it's not just about proving others have mental health struggles. The podcast also dives into how issues affect people differently, treatment options, coping mechanisms, and much more. All types of trauma and mental health issues are covered. PTSD, addiction, assault, anxiety, depression, and loss are just a small sample of what this podcast talks about.
4. The Happiness Lab
Finding real happiness is within your control.
- Hosted by a Yale professor
- Helps you regain control over your emotions and happiness
- Uses scientifically-backed research to help listeners live happier lives
- Tends to have a lot of ads
- Some episodes feel more like platitudes versus useful advice
It's hard to deny that the world is a negative and toxic place, making it hard to find any real happiness. That's what makes The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos one of top mental health podcasts. It's all about putting you back in control of your happiness versus letting external stimuli take it away.
Dr. Santos, who teaches at Yale, uses scientific studies to not only explain the science behind happiness, but how you can change the way you approach being happier. According to Santos, we often do the opposite of what makes us happy. So, by making small changes, such as paying more attention to our emotions, it's easier to find happiness, even when the world seems dark.
5. The Hardcore Self Help Podcast
Mental health discussions for real people without the psychobabble.
- Episodes feature medical professionals
- Makes mental health easier to understand
- Covers a variety of mental illnesses
- Episodes sometimes veer off topic
- The straight-forward style might seem harsh to some listeners
Dr. Robert Duff hosts The Hardcore Self Help Podcast. His goal is to take out the complex jargon and get real about mental health. He takes questions from actual listeners and helps explain the causes and strategies for dealing with various issues.
Discover more about how to deal with trauma, addiction, anxiety, relationship struggles, suicide, mental health myths and diagnosis troubles, self-harm, and much more more. Even if an episode doesn't seem like it applies to you, you'd be surprised at just how much you can learn.
The great part is each episode usually covers two or more questions, which aren't related. So, it's not just focused on one thing, making it more useful to listeners, especially if you're dealing with a variety of mental health issues and life stressors.
6. The Anxiety Podcast
Anxiety doesn't have to rule your life, which is exactly what Tim JP Collins is here to explain.
- Ideal for anyone suffering from anxiety
- Host openly discusses his own struggles
- Makes listeners feel less alone thanks to listener questions
- Collins isn't a medical expert
- Only focuses on anxiety, so not great if you have other mental health issues
In the wake of a pandemic, anxiety is more common than ever. Luckily, Tim JP Collins is here to help with The Anxiety Podcast. As the name implies, it's all about dealing with anxiety. While Collins isn't a medical professional, he uses his show to discuss his own struggles and addresses questions from listeners.
Sometimes just hearing about others' anxiety and how they're dealing is a type of therapy all on its own. With hundreds of episodes, Collins discusses triggers, coping mechanisms, how anxiety affects all aspects of your life, and how to move forward instead of back. It's actually a nice reprieve if you typically listen to medical experts who may focus heavily on lengthy scientific explanations versus just getting to the point.
7. The Hilarious World of Depression
Finding the humor in the darkness of depression, along with finding ways to push through.
- Makes talking about depression feel easier
- Interviews comedians dealing with clinical depression
- Helps reduce the stigma and isolation of depression
- Only one new episode released in 2021
- Host and guests aren't medical professionals
- Mainly focused on depression
Humorist John Moe is a veteran radio host. This makes the podcast seem to flow really well as his comedic guests discuss how depression has affected their lives. Learn how they've used humor to deal and how many jokes and songs you might love often have darker undertones.
It's a refreshingly fresh and frank look at depression. By making listeners feel less alone, it's an empowering way to end the stigma of talking about it and start focusing on fighting back against this particular mental illness.
If you're in the mood to laugh, check out these comedy podcasts.
8. The OCD Stories
A way to openly discuss OCD and guide people on a journey to recovery.
- Puts a spotlight on an often overlooked mental illness
- Helps those with OCD feel more validated
- Offers personal stories and guidance to start recovery and treatment, along with interviews with medical experts
- Some episodes might feel triggering based on certain traumas
- Stories from those still struggling to find recovery options might make listeners feel hopeless
Stuart Ralph wanted to make it easier for those suffering with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) to talk about their struggles and learn how to seek treatment. While the podcast isn't overly focused on treatment, guests explain their issues, triggers, and traumas to help others not feel so alone.
Plus, you'll discover ways to help deal with the illness, what types of treatment are available, and when it's time to seek professional help.
9. WTF With Marc Maron
Candid discussions with well-known figures and celebrities highlight how common mental health issues really are.
- Engaging interviews with a variety of people
- Get to know more about favorite celebrities
- Uncover mental health struggles of celebrities
- Not focused specifically on mental health
- Some interviews don't discuss mental health at all
Marc Maron interviews a wide variety of celebrities, such as actors, musicians, writers, and more, at his home. He always seems to have the perfect questions to go beyond simple surface level interviews and brings out candid responses that often delve into personal and mental health struggles.
From learning more about a favorite singer, actor, or director to learning how others deal with their own struggles, the WTF with Marc Maron podcast is always interesting and sometimes shocking.
10. Feeling Good
Finally discover joy and better self-esteem while overcoming anxiety and depression.
- Host is a certified psychiatrist
- Most techniques use cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Interviews other medical professionals and people dealing with anxiety and depression
- CBT might not work for everyone
- Some discussions might feel too clinical
Dr. David D. Burns hosts Feeling Good, which is one of the top mental health podcasts for anyone struggling with depression and anxiety. As an expert in his field, he uses CBT techniques to help listeners take better control over their mental health. There's also a strong focus on relationships.
Discussions with other experts and actual listeners dealing with mental illness make the podcast both useful and relatable. Listeners can also check out his bestselling book "Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy" or his more recent release Feeling Great: The Revolutionary New Treatment for Depression and Anxiety.
11. Cleaning Up the Mental Mess
Clean up the mess mental illness leaves behind while uncovering how to live a better, more fulfilling life.
- Hosted by a cognitive neuroscientist
- Focuses on understanding your mind to gain more control over your life
- Addresses the emotional and physical aspects of mental illness
- Often pushes her book and app
- Changing your mindset might not be enough for more severe mental illness
Cleaning Up the Mental Mess takes a more unique look at mental illness by looking at both the causes/triggers along with all the mess left behind. Dr. Caroline Leaf uses neuroscience to explain mental illness and why our minds process trauma, stress, and struggles in such negative ways.
Of course, Dr. Leaf also provides in-depth guidance for using Neurocycle (a process) to help improve your mindset. This also gives you more control over your emotional, mental, and physical health. She also has a corresponding book Cleaning Up Your Mental Mess.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I still seek professional help?
Mental health podcasts are ideal for helping you better understand your mental illness and find ways to treat symptoms at home. However, they're not a substitute for professional therapy and treatment. If the advice and techniques you're trying at home aren't working, always reach out to a professional.
Do I have to buy any of the products or subscriptions the podcast recommends?
No. Many of these podcasts are supported solely by sponsored ads/products along with trying to sell the host's own books or premium subscriptions. You can listen to all of the above podcasts for free (a limited number of episodes on some podcasts are only available to premium subscribers).
If you're interested in finding more free podcasts on all topics, find out how Audials can help you find free podcasts worldwide.
Should I start a podcast from the first episode?
You can and many listeners claim it actually helps them more to start from the beginning. However, most episodes, unless they're listed in parts, are stand-alone episodes. Feel free to skip around based on what's most relevant to you.
Is the Podcasts app still broken in Apple?
Apple has fixed the Podcasts app after an issue with iOS 14.5.
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