10 Podcasts to Listen to If You Have Depression

10 mental health podcasts that help make struggles with depression, grief, autism, and other conditions easier to manage

10 Podcasts to Listen to If You Have Depression

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Between pandemic fears, political unrest, social conflict, economic instability, and, you know, the basic stresses of everyday life, we have no shortage of reasons to feel mentally and emotionally overloaded this year. Aside from the 51.

5 million Americans living with diagnosed mental illness conditions, 78 percent of adults state they've felt stressed over the past year, 61 percent reported feeling lonely, and 48 percent have felt down and hopeless, according to various surveys and studies conducted in 2020.

What's more, nearly two-thirds of Americans say they aren't getting sufficient support for their mental health, according to an American Psychological Association survey.

In addition to the burden that puts on your daily wellbeing and relationships, this increase in negative mental states also significantly affect your physical health as well: Studies found that those who experience mental health issues for long periods of time are at greater risk of developing cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and inflammatory conditions arthritis.

Sure, there are plenty of avenues for someone to seek help. Therapy, journaling, and daily exercise can all help to lower stress, anxiety, and depressive symptoms. But an oft-overlooked and simple aid come via listening to a podcast, whether you tune in on a long car ride, during a slow workday, or even just while you sit on the couch and decompress.

How can podcasts help mental health?

«In the busy world we live in, we can forget the basics of connecting with ourselves, other people, and the community,» chartered psychologist Dr. Juliet Anton, who has a doctorate degree in counseling psychology and psychotherapeutics from the University of Surrey, UK, told Insider.

Listening to podcasts, though, offers many ways to connect and, in turn, maintain or even improve our mental wellbeing.

Tuning into any kind of episode is an opportunity to connect inward as you listen, and to focus on the words and form connections with more unfamiliar areas of the world.

But listening to an episode that particularly hits home — be it about the struggles of depression , creative solutions for anxiety, reaching the end of your emotional rope at work — has the additional benefit of allowing you to associate with others as they relay experiences similar to your own. And that can change your whole outlook:

«Other people's stories can be very important in understanding and maintaining our own mental health,» Dr. Anton said. «Listening and sharing experiences gives people the confidence that they don't have to manage things on their own, and [that] there is a reason behind the thoughts, emotions, and behaviors they're experiencing.»

But with over 1.5 million podcasts offering more than 34 million individual episodes, it's understandable if you're unsure where to begin. To help, I listened to a host of podcasts dedicated to improving and maintaining good mental wellbeing and handpicked some of the best for your ears (and mind) to enjoy.

Here are 10 podcasts to support your mental health: 

Mental

We commonly think of mental health as revolving around anxiety, depression, and maybe even eating disorders.

In reality, it involves much, much more: Factors such as identity, relationships, sex, empathy, and shame all play their part in our mental state.

We as a society need to expand our outlook and award each of these factors equal consideration — which host Bobby Temps aims to inspire in this award-winning podcast.

In each episode, Temps and a guest delve into a different psychological health condition and the factors that influence it — including unexpected players such as the arts, sex, and gardening.

Mental covers a spectrum of topics, and there's an episode for everyone to identify with or relate to — whether from your own struggles or to better understand the battles your family or friends face.

Listen at the Mental website.

Mental Health Alliance

Between the emotional rollercoasters of puberty, pressures of school, and venturing into the world of dating, your teenage years can really tax your mental state and push your boundaries of resilience. But it is possible to navigate this time and come out the other side in one piece — as the five high school seniors who host The Mental Health Alliance aim to demonstrate.

Each episode covers common issues low confidence, external (and self) judgment, and uncertainty, as well as how to (realistically) tackle them and why it's ok to feel exhausted by it all.

Although still in their teens, the hosts seem, at points, wise beyond their years.

Whether you're a teenager looking for moral support or an adult seeking true-to-life perspectives on challenges Gen Z is facing, this has you covered.

Listen on Spotify.

In the Barber Chair

For most men, 'feelings' don't rate too highly on the list of popular discussion topics. But when it comes to mental health, reluctance to open up means they are less ly to seek professional help and be at greater risk of suicide.

It's time for change, and this podcast from the folks at Movember, an organization that works to raise awareness of key health issues in men, is on a mission to start essential conversations.

Episodes feature guests in sports, TV, comedy, fashion and tech openly discussing issues they've personally faced, including suicide, cancer, PTSD, imposter syndrome, social media negativity, and career pressures. Frank and candid accounts instill a sense of camaraderie between guest and listener and affirm that it's okay — maybe even helpful! — for men to talk about their problems.

Listen on Spotify, Stitcher and Apple.

Thoughty Auti

As the number of autism diagnoses rises rapidly, there's a good chance you've had direct experience with the condition yourself or know someone who does. Yet, in spite of this, stereotypes and misinformation prevail.

For those with autism, things many of us don't give second thought to can pose obstacles: maintaining friendships, reading social cues, spending time in crowded places.

In this podcast, autistic r Thomas Henley and guests provide empathetic support to those facing autism-related challenges.

Meanwhile, frank yet enlightening discussions set the record straight and offer guidance on how we can become more inclusive of individuals on the spectrum.

Whether you're looking to hear that you're not alone in your experiences or wanting to understand the mindset of a friend or family member better, Thoughty Auti is an egaging and informative listen.

Listen on Spotify, Apple and Google.

Grief Cast

There are four things we often feel uncomfortable talking about: politics, religion, sex and death. Yet there's no escaping them, and the latter in particular can wreak havoc on our mental health as we muddle through the emotional fall a loss. So what better approach to rouse discussion than by ditching the doom-and-gloom and taking a more genial stance?

Led by Cariad Lloyd, this podcast does exactly that. Each episode sees a different comedian, writer, or broadcaster discuss a significant loss and how they rode the waves of sadness. Some tales are hard-hitting at points, but laughter-filled anecdotes bring lightness to proceedings and, most importantly, help us reevaluate our own approaches to coping with grief.

Listen on Acast.

Chantelle Pattemore is a freelance writer based in London, UK. With a primary focus on lifestyle, health, beauty, food and fitness, her work has been published in outlets including Greatist, Shondaland, Women's Health, Reader's Digest, Stylist and Hello Giggles. Away from her computer, she enjoys reading, going for long walks, visiting new countries and drinking too many matcha lattes. You can find her on @journochantelle.   Read more Read less

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17 Podcasts That Are Refreshingly Honest About Anxiety & Depression

10 Podcasts to Listen to If You Have Depression

Now, perhaps more than ever, we need to look after our mental health. Whatever that means for you, be it talking, walking, therapy or various other coping mechanisms, the pandemic has highlighted that mental health is a priority right now. And as we enter the UK's national lockdown 3.0, we'll need all the mental health tools at our disposal.

Mental health charity Mind reports that 60% of adults and over two thirds of young people have said their mental health been negatively impacted by the previous lockdowns. We complied mental health resources for the second lockdown, which are a good place to start.

And here, for some lighter relief, we have put together a list of podcasts to help with anxiety and depression.

At the end of 2020, Prime Minister Boris Johnson acknowledged that social distancing restrictions and lockdowns put in place as a result of COVID-19 have a «big impact» on mental health, per the Mirror.

Speaking at a Downing Street press conference in November, Johnson said: “It’s the loneliness, I think.

The sense of not being able to see other people that’s been caused by some of the lockdown measures, alas, all sorts of anxieties that people are prone to and have been prone to.”

Feeling that you're part of a conversation is something that podcasts are really good for.

Whether you're out for a walk alone, or in the house solo, listening to familiar voices talk about interesting topics, or sometimes just their day to day, makes for comforting company.

The podcasts that specifically focus on mental health go one step further, providing real help, empathy and connection when you might need it most.

The uncertainty of what we're facing in 2021 can fuel feelings of anxiety and depression, and make you feel stuck in so many ways. Listening to people share stories about their own experiences with mental health, and how they got unstuck, is not only eye opening but vital. Here's our list of the podcasts that might help.

Mental: The Podcast To Destigmatise Mental Health

Mental: The Podcast To Destigmatise Mental Health

Hosts Bobby Temps, Danielle Hogan, and Annie Harris are aiming to destigmatise mental health with this podcast series. The trio are always accompanied by a special guest, and together they dive into a different aspect of mental health every Thursday to discover its origins, and how to better manage it.

Download it here.

Griefcast

Humans have a tendency to avoid talking about death and grief at all costs, but this podcast does exactly that, and so much more.

Winner of three Gold prizes at the British Podcast Awards, host Cariad Lloyd speaks to comedians and celebrities about their experiences with grief, which often results in surprisingly cheerful conversations that will leave you feeling more positive that you might expect.

Download it here.

Grounded With Louis Theroux

Grounded With Louis Theroux, BBC

If there’s one motto that you should stick to throughout the third lockdown, it’s that you’ve gotta get Theroux this. With that firmly in mind, what better accompaniment than the reassuring sound of Louis Theroux’s voice as he spends his lockdown speaking to celebs in his Grounded podcast series for the BBC.

16 episodes in, the documentarian has spoken with the s of Sia, Michaela Coel, Rose McGowan, and Helena Bonham Carter about how they’re holding up and what's helping them to get through the pandemic.

Download it here.

Braincare

A series dedicated to helping you understand the body’s most important organ, Braincare sees host Dan Murray-Serter sit down with experts and celebrities to discuss how to optimise your mental health. From tips on overcoming anxiety, and understanding grief, to how certain diets can change and improve your mental makeup.

Download it here.

Made Of Human

Comedian Sofie Hagen chats with a whole host of notable figures about how to navigate life, especially during these tumultuous times of lockdowns and social injustice.

Recent guests include actor Daphne Maxwell Reid, aka Aunt Viv on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, who speaks to Hagen about racism and life lessons; and model Rain Dove, who discusses visibility and accountability in the industry and wider world.

Download it here.

Mental Illness Happy Hour

Mental Illness Happy Hour

Hosted by Paul Gilmartin, this is a funny and honest collection of conversations about the ups and downs of mental health.

Comedians and mental health professionals both feature, and the blurb states that «Paul’s hope is that the show and this website will give people a place to connect, smile and feel the return of hope. The biggest myth about mental illness is that you are alone and there is no help».

Download it here

The Struggle Bus

The Struggle Bus is a weekly advice podcast that is hosted by two BFFs who describe their credentials as having «lots of feelings and opinions.» OK so basically your BFFs.

Every week, listeners climb aboard the struggle bus as the hosts Katharine Heller and Sally Tamarkin discuss problems and questions that have been submitted by their dedicated listeners. They do their best to suggest answers, and give advice that could be applicable to all of us. This one is ideal for those who are missing regular chats with pals during lockdown.

Download it here

Happy Place

Fearne Cotton's podcast considers what makes people happy, speaks to people who have overcome mental health struggles, unveils food to feed the soul, and much much more.

With previous guests including Davina McCall, Stephen Fry, and Lena Headey, it is a lovely, light, happy podcast that will bring a little sparkle and lots of perspective into your life, even through lockdown.

Download it here

Happier

This podcast is co-hosted by Gretchen Rubin, who is a successful writer on the topic of happiness, and her sister Elizabeth Craft, who is a bit of a skeptic, but willing to try out the various ways to feel happier suggested by Rubin. The combination of a happiness expert, and a not-so-into-it type is perfect. The reluctant Craft reminds us that while we might not feel it, it could be worth switching things up to improve our mood.

Download it here

Bryony Gordon's Mad World

Bryony Gordon's Mad World

Bryony Gordon made this podcast with The Telegraph, and it is an excellent exploration of all things mental health.

Each week, Gordon talks with a different guest about how their mental health has been affected by their life experiences. It really helps to show that feeling weird is the most normal thing in the world.

Download it here

Mentally Yours

This podcast by Yvette Caster and Ellen Scott, in collaboration with Metro, sees them chat to a different guest each week about all the tricky, weird and wonderful stuff going on inside our brains.

It's a great example of the shift towards people taking their mental health more seriously.

Download it here

The Hilarious World Of Depression

The Hilarious World Of Depression

This podcast is a chance to take a step back from feelings of depression, if and when you're able, to look at what's going on with a light-hearted sense of perspective.

Actors and comedians who are struggling with depression, or have done in the past, come on to talk about their battles, while finding humour and a few laughs along the way.

Download it here

Therapy For Black Girls

Therapy For Black Girls is a weekly podcast from the mind of psychologist Dr Joy Harden Bradford. It's an important addition to the mental health podcast genre, which looks at the unique mental health experience of Black people, who tend to be less well represented in this arena.

Atlanta-based Bradford talks about all things mental health, positive personal development, and the decisions that you can make to move forward.

Download it here

Oprah's Super Soul Conversations

Oprah's Super Soul Conversations

Oprah Winfrey. I mean her name alone boosts your mental health. Or should I say «Mentaaaaaaaaaal Heeeeaaaaaaalth!»

This is Winfrey's personal selection of her favourite interviews with authors, spiritual experts, thought-leaders, and health and wellness experts.

The idea of this podcast is to light you up, get you feeling positive, and help you become your very best self.

Download it here

Anxiety Slayer

This podcast is for anyone with PTSD, panic attacks, stress, and anxiety – which might be quite a few of us given the impact of the pandemic, and its related lockdowns on our collective mental health.

It is a really beautiful mix of supportive chats, meditations, breathing methods and techniques, designed to help you feel calm and centred during more difficult moments.

Download it here

Not Another Anxiety Show

Health and wellness coach, registered nurse, and former agoraphobe Kelli Walker is here to help all ends of the anxiety spectrum. From those who occasionally feel a little overwhelmed, to those who feel on the brink of a panic attack on a regular basis.

Walker speaks to different experts, discussing methods that have been proven to help with anxiety, for useful ways to navigate through life when it throws up all the feels.

Download it here

Terrible, Thanks For Asking

Terrible, Thanks For Asking

Nora McInerny really zones in on the fact that when people ask how you are, you almost always say fine. Even if you feel completely awful.

This show is funny/sad/happy/real/uncomfortable, and an honest look at mental health struggles in all their forms. One for those who are ready to throw their hands up to not feeling ok.

Download it here

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