Podcasts accompany people during long commutes, workouts at the gym, and downtime in the bathtub, among other places. If you’re wondering if that’s a good thing, it may help you to know that podcasts interact with your brain in the same way stories do.
A 2016 study found that listening to podcasts stimulates multiple areas of both the left and right hemispheres of the brain. Accessing information via the human voice can generate activity in parts of the brain responsible for memory, sensory activity, and emotion.
If that’s not enough to get you listening to podcasts, we’ve compiled a list of some great ones. These mental health podcasts were chosen for accuracy of information, honesty, and content that promotes reflective dialogue.
Podcasts are a modern, efficient way to increase your knowledge base about virtually any topic, including those that affect the health and well-being of your body, brain, and spirit. These are ten previews direct from their publishers. If you’ve got 15 minutes or more to spare, check them out:
The Overwhelmed Brain
Anxiety, depression, fears, obsession, panic, or any relationship, marriage or family issues, this show will help you achieve less stress and more happiness. Become empowered and honor yourself so that you can make decisions that are right for you. Mindfulness, compassion and being in the present moment are only components of a bigger picture. Live authentically and strengthen your emotional intelligence to avoid emotional abuse. Get to the root of emotional issues with solid relationship advice and personal help. If affirmations don't work and you're tired of being told to "think positively!", start listening to this show for a better life.
Happier with Gretchin Rubin
Gretchen Rubin is HAPPIER, and she wants you to be happier too. The #1 bestselling author of Better Than Before gets more personal than ever as she brings her practical, manageable advice about happiness and good habits to this lively, thought-provoking podcast. Gretchen’s co-host and guinea pig is her younger sister, Elizabeth Craft, a TV writer and producer living in Los Angeles, who (lovingly) refers to Gretchen as her happiness bully. Part of the Cadence13 Network.
10 Percent Happier
Dan Harris is a fidgety, skeptical ABC newsman who had a panic attack live on Good Morning America, which led him to something he always thought was ridiculous: meditation. He wrote the bestselling book, "10% Happier," started an app -- "10% Happier: Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics" -- and now, in this podcast, Dan talks with smart people about whether there's anything beyond 10%. Basically, here's what this podcast is obsessed with: Can you be an ambitious person and still strive for enlightenment? New episodes every Wednesday morning.
By the Book
Half reality show, half self-help podcast, and one wild social experiment. Join comedian Jolenta Greenberg and culture critic Kristen Meinzer as they live by the rules of a different self-help book each episode to figure out which ones might actually be life changing.
The Struggle Bus
The Struggle Bus is an advice show about mental health, self-care, and just getting through the day. Co-hosts Katharine Heller (@spkheller) and Sally Tamarkin (@sallyt) answer listener questions about family, friends, work, mental health, love, and literally everything else — no topic is off-limits and no problem is too big, too small, or too weird. Climb aboard and get advice from two friends who have lots of feelings and lots of opinions.
The Hilarious World of Depression
A show about clinical depression...with laughs? Well, yeah. Depression is an incredibly common and isolating illness experienced by millions, yet often stigmatized by society. The Hilarious World of Depression is a series of frank, moving, and, yes, funny conversations with top comedians who have dealt with this disease, hosted by veteran humorist and public radio host John Moe. Join guests such as Maria Bamford, Paul F. Tompkins, Andy Richter, and Jen Kirkman to learn how they’ve dealt with depression and managed to laugh along the way. If you have not met the disease personally, it’s almost certain that someone you know has, whether it’s a friend, family member, colleague, or neighbor. Depression is a vicious cycle of solitude and stigma that leaves people miserable and sometimes dead. Frankly, we’re not going to put up with that anymore. The Hilarious World of Depression is not medical treatment and should not be seen as a substitute for therapy or medication. But it is a chance to gain some insight, have a few laughs, and realize that people with depression are not alone and that together, we can all feel a bit better. American Public Media and HealthPartners’ Make It Okay campaign are committed to breaking the stigma around mental health.
The OCD Stories
The OCD Stories is a show that offers hope and inspiration. Stuart Ralph interviews some of the best minds in OCD treatment and recovery to share their advice, to both entertain and educate listeners towards a healthier life. Hope it helps. Disclaimer - this podcast is not a replacement for therapy. Please seek treatment from a licensed mental health professional.
Award-winning psychotherapist Dr. Sheri Jacobson has sat on both sides of the therapist’s chair. In the TherapyLab podcast, she explores people’s personal insights into therapy, mental health and wellbeing. Through candid conversations with inspirational people including musicians, photographers and authors, the series is great listening for anyone who has ever wondered “What is therapy like and how does it help?”
Tiny Leaps, Big Changes
Tiny Leaps, Big Changes is a personal development podcast focused on exploring the day-to-day behaviors we all engage in that determine the results we gain in our lives. Hosted by Gregg Clunis, the show shares simple strategies you can implement into your life to start moving the needle towards your biggest goals.
Anxiety Slayer is an award-winning podcast for anyone suffering from PTSD, panic attacks, stress, and anxiety. Listen in for a rich collection of supportive conversations, meditations, relaxations, and breathing techniques to help you feel calm, centered and relaxed. Join us for weekly podcasts for your peace of mind and personal growth. Celebrating 10 years!