Mental Health Podcasts
The best Mental Health Podcasts deliver insights and comfort from somber interviews to lighthearted dialogues. For example, comedian Paul Gilmartin uses sardonic humor on his weekly podcast to help people open up about their own experiences with depression and other mental challenges.
2 Dope Queens features high-energy comedians who tackle tough topics like PTSD, imposter syndrome, and binge eating disorder with humor and empathy. Other podcasts cover issues like intersectionality and social justice.
The selection of health podcasts can feel endless, which can be anxiety-inducing. But there are some that can help you regain your strength through straight science, apt advice, and plenty of laughs. For example, therapist Joshua Templ hosts this podcast that serves as an immersive and enlightening exploration of the human mind. With a mix of real-life stories, expert insights, and innovative strategies, Joshua helps you reframe mental health not as a struggle but as an opportunity for growth and self-discovery.
Joy Harden Bradford founded the mental health platform Therapy for Black Girls because she saw that many African Americans weren’t embracing mental health. Then she started this educational podcast to encourage them to seek help and to debunk the stigma surrounding it. The episodes discuss a variety of mental health topics, from dealing with pandemic stressors to the challenges of raising children.
Whether you’re preparing for college, getting your first job, or navigating the awkward transition into adulthood, these episodes will help you cope with the mental challenges that come with these milestones. Guests share their personal experiences and advice to overcome obstacles like depression, adolescence, and relationships. This podcast offers a mix of comedy and serious content that’s geared towards teens and young adults.
It’s no secret that the world can be a challenging place for people of color, especially when it comes to mental illness. This podcast aims to be an ally by encouraging open conversations, encouraging those in need to seek help, and equipping family members with the tools they need to support loved ones. Episodes cover a wide variety of topics, from the legacy of lynchings to covert forms of anti-Semitism in popular culture.
Research professor, speaker, and author Brene Brown is an expert on shame, vulnerability, and courage. She has written five number-one New York Times bestsellers, including The Gifts of Imperfection, Daring Greatly, Rising Strong, Braving the Wilderness, and her latest book, Atlas of the Heart. She also has a popular podcast and a Netflix show about her research, called Unlocking Us.
In the Unlocking Us podcast, Brene explores books, music, movies, ideas, quotes, and stories that reflect the universal experiences of being human, from the bravest moments to the most brokenhearted ones. Her conversations are authentic, honest, and unpolished. This way, they accurately reflect the real-life experience of being human—which is messy, beautiful, and sometimes confusing.
She is a beloved figure in the world of mental health and has a large online following. She has been featured on the podcasts of popular personalities such as Tim Ferriss, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Oprah Winfrey. Her TED Talk on the power of vulnerability is one of the most popular talks of all time.
Brene Brown is a researcher, professor, social worker, entrepreneur, and the author of five bestselling books on the subjects of shame, vulnerability, and courage. She currently teaches at the University of Houston where she holds the Huffington Foundation Endowed Chair in the Graduate College of Social Work and is a visiting professor in management at the University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business. Her work has been recognized by numerous awards and her TED Talk, “The Power of Vulnerability,” is one of the most watched in history. She lives in Houston, Texas with her husband and two children and a weird Bichon named Lucy.
Whether you’re trying to keep your own mental health in check or support a loved one who struggles, the right podcast can help. From comedians to experts, there are many options available. Some of these podcasts are geared towards specific demographics or topics, while others are general and conversational. Before choosing a podcast, identify what you hope to gain from it, including personal stories, coping strategies, or mindfulness tips. Then, choose a host who will appeal to you. Many authors, speakers, and celebrities host podcasts, so it’s worth checking social media to see if there is a show that might suit your needs.
If you need a laugh, check out “2 Dope Queens.” The high-energy comedy duo Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams turned their longtime friendship into an insanely popular podcast. They use their witty banter and humor to tackle serious topics, like depression and body image. This podcast offers both comfort and laughter in equal measure, making it a great choice for those who want to feel understood and supported.
For those who prefer more in-depth interviews and expert advice, try “The Calmer You Podcast.” Host Chloe Rothstein uses her podcast to provide listeners with practical tools to improve their emotional well-being. She draws on her own experiences with anxiety and the wisdom of guests to deliver episodes that offer comfort and inspiration.
Another Psych Central podcast, “Inside Mental Health,” makes psychology accessible. This weekly show covers everything from narcissism to PTSD and includes a mix of celebrity and clinical psychologist guests. Episodes range from short, ten-minute Q & A sessions to hour-long lectures and discussions. Listeners report a strong sense of validation and encouragement from this podcast, which has been especially helpful during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Closer to Fine
Whether you are looking for a way to zen out or want to learn more about the brain, there is a podcast for everyone. The Psych Central Podcast makes psychology and mental health accessible by interviewing thought leaders in the field, including therapists, psychologists, and behavioral scientists. The podcast also offers helpful tips on how to incorporate mindfulness into your daily life.
For a more lighthearted approach to mental wellness, check out Closer to Fine. This podcast features two wildly different but perfectly matched best friends who share their struggles with depression and anxiety with candor and humor. Each episode of this podcast covers topics that most people would shy away from at the dinner table, but Mary Katherine Backstrom and Sara Farrell Baker bring a fresh perspective to these issues that are relevant to a wide range of listeners.
One of the Indigo Girls’ most popular songs, “Closer to Fine” evokes joy, hope, and validation set to music. It has resonated with the duo’s loyal fanbase for decades, and it is now a part of the cultural zeitgeist as evidenced by its appearance in the 2023 Barbie movie. The song is a musical cue in the film, representing Barbie’s journey and her acceptance of life’s confusion.
The newest podcast on our list, Huberman Lab takes a closer look at self-help culture and how it influences human behavior. Neuroscientist and professor Andrew D. Huberman delves into the science behind self-help and discusses how neuroscience affects our everyday lives. He also explores ways to better understand our emotional and physical wellbeing by examining the science behind common practices such as meditation, mindfulness, and exercise. This podcast is sure to keep you entertained, informed, and inspired.
Podcasts are a great way to get insights and inspiration on a variety of topics, including mental health. They can also double as self-care by allowing you to practice mindfulness, learn new strategies, and focus on your mental well-being. They are versatile, easy to digest, and can accompany you on a flight, run, or work trip.
If you are considering subscribing to a mental health podcast, consider its frequency and content. Some episodes are frank, candid, and heartfelt and may include sensitive topics like depression, body image issues, and suicidal thoughts. Other episodes may be more scholarly or scientific. Others may cover a broad range of mental health topics or be more focused on specific areas, such as spirituality, entrepreneurship, mindfulness, personal development, and recovery.
For example, The Daily Meditation Podcast is an incredibly popular series with over 2,000 episodes that offer short mindfulness practices designed to help sleep better, manage stress, and feel more peaceful. In contrast, FX Medicine focuses on functional and integrative medicine with expert interviews that inspire healthy habits.
In addition to discussing topics related to mental wellness, many of the Huberman Lab podcasts cover neuroscience. The show explores the inner workings of our brains and how they interact with the organs of our bodies to influence our perceptions, behaviors, and health.
Despite the wide range of topics covered, some of the podcasts are overly long and can be overwhelming for listeners. To combat this issue, it is important to choose a podcast that has a clear structure and identifies key takeaways for each episode. It is also helpful to select a host that you find relatable and engaging. The best podcasts combine a passion for science and the ability to communicate it in an accessible and entertaining manner.