For those of us who are dealing with emotional problems, watching a mental health podcast can be surprisingly helpful. From providing useful tips to reducing the stigma attached to mental illness, podcasts are a valuable resource for people who might not be able to afford therapy.
But mental health podcasts are not dedicated exclusively to people who are going through an emotional crisis. In fact, each of us can learn something interesting and useful from these online educational platforms.
So, how exactly can podcasts facilitate recovery and personal growth, and which are the top mental health podcasts you can follow?
What is a Mental Health Podcast?
In broad lines, podcasts are video or audio files that usually come in an episodic series. It’s kind of like a talk show where one or several experts in a given field answer questions for the host.
According to an article published in BMC Medical Education, experts believe that online resources like wikis, blogs, and podcasts have the potential to revolutionize both clinical practice and education.
There are two ways in which podcasts can contribute to your overall health and well-being.
Self-Help and Self-Discovery
One of the reasons why mental health issues are often challenging is the fact that you don’t know what you’re dealing with. Yes, you might be feeling sad, frustrated, angry, disappointed, or just “lost.” But do you know why you’re feeling that way?
Fortunately, a mental health podcast can be a great source of inspiration and motivation. There are plenty of talented speakers and podcasters who can successfully encourage you to engage in the process of self-exploration and self-discovery.
But aside from that, a mental health podcast is also an excellent source of self-help tips. You can learn all sorts of strategies and techniques that will help you improve your overall sense of health and well-being.
Who Can Be a Podcaster?
Well… anybody, as long as you have the right equipment, a set of interesting topics, and guests who can offer real value to your audience. There are a lot of influential podcasters who started successful YouTube channels from their living rooms.
In essence, a podcaster’s job is to moderate a discussion on a given topic or provide insightful questions for his/her guest(s). As a result, his/her audience will gain valuable information about a subject that interests them. Furthermore, many podcasters often take questions from their audience. This means that you could finally solve that dilemma you’ve been struggling with for some time.
Different Types of Mental Health Podcasts
Depending on the topic and type of audience, mental health podcasts fall into several categories.
Psychology podcasts address general topics related to this field. It could be anything from fun psychology facts to tips on how to keep your mental health in tip-top shape.
Since people seem to be getting more and more interested in how the human mind works; you can imagine why psychology topics have gained massive popularity in recent years.
With a fun and engaging approach to education, many podcasters who tackle psychology topics can reach a large audience and deliver valuable content.
Self Help Podcasts
One of the most popular categories of podcasts is self-help podcasts. Nowadays, it seems like everybody is interested in becoming better people, better partners, better workers, and better leaders. As a result, many podcasters have turned to this niche, to satisfy the ever-growing demand for self-help content.
Whether you’re interested in personal, professional, or spiritual growth; you’ll find plenty of podcasts that offer quality self-help material.
For the first time in human history, it seems like education is beginning to slowly transition from a formal (academic) context into a non-formal setting, accessible to all of us.
As the name suggests, anxiety podcasts are dedicated exclusively to issues related to anxiety disorders.
From providing you with information on how anxiety works to different techniques that can help you manage this problem, podcasters who are in this niche can be real lifesavers for anxiety sufferers who might not be able to afford proper care.
When it comes to mental health, psycho-education plays a crucial role in getting people back on their feet. In other words, knowing what anxiety is and what the potential treatment options are can help you take the necessary steps towards recovery.
Mental health podcasts that address anxiety are a free and highly accessible resource for everybody.
Couples Therapy Podcast
Topics like relationships, love, and marriage have always been in the spotlight. Regardless of age, gender, cultural background, or social status; we all want to cultivate healthy relationships, find love, and maybe discover the recipe for a lasting marriage.
Luckily, there are countless podcasters out there who address these topics. In fact, many relationship experts and couples therapists have turned to podcasts as yet another channel through which they can provide valuable relationship advice.
Podcasts for Teens
When it comes to digital media, teens are probably the most receptive group. Since many of today’s teens are digital natives, what better way to appeal to a young audience than through online podcasts?
By addressing issues related to sexuality, relationships, and many other exciting topics; podcasts can be a valuable educational resource for today’s teens. It provides them with a place where they can ask seemingly uncomfortable questions and discuss issues they wouldn’t feel comfortable discussing with their parents or teachers.
Humor can be a powerful tool in the fight against mental illness. By showing us the funny side of our emotional problems, podcasters who take on a humorous approach can quickly put you in a better mood.
The key here is being entertaining enough to keep your audience engaged, without diminishing the gravity of mental illness and the importance of mental health.
Mental Health Statistics
According to the World Health Organization, there are over 322 million individuals living with depression and another 264 million living with anxiety worldwide.
Furthermore, only about 37% of the people who struggle with anxiety disorders receive proper treatment. This is despite the fact that anxiety is among the most highly preventable and treatable mental health conditions.
In the U.S. alone, roughly 1 in 5 adults (that’s 43.8 million adults in total) experience a form of mental illness each year. Plus, the overall financial losses generated by mental illness has reached a staggering 193 billion dollars per year.
Long story short, it’s pretty obvious that we’re dealing with a serious mental health crisis.
Mental Illness Stigma
One of the major roadblocks that prevent many people from gaining access to proper care is the stigma associated with mental illness.
People who are dealing with emotional issues are often forced to deal with criticism, unsolicited advice and a profound lack of understanding from their peers.
Would you be open about your problems if you knew you risked rejection or even unemployment? If you lived in a society where mental illness was a sign of weakness, would you feel comfortable talking about your depression or anxiety with your friends and colleagues?
Since mental illness stigma is still a major issue today, perhaps mental health podcasts can raise awareness, debunk popular misconceptions about mental illness, and create a culture of tolerance and inclusion.
5 Podcasts That Talk About Mental Health
Let’s take a look at some popular podcasts that talk about mental health.
Mental Illness Happy Hour
Mental Illness Happy Hour is a podcast hosted by LA comedian, Paul Gilmartin.
From anxiety and depression to OCD and alcoholism, his show offers tons of valuable information from both experts in psychology and people who’ve experienced mental illness.
He even invites fans to share their stories in order to inspire others to overcome their hardships.
The Hilarious World of Depression
As the name suggests, The Hilarious World of Depression tackles various topics surrounding depression, but in a fun and engaging way.
It’s hosted by public radio host and comedian John Moe who often invites other comedians to share their struggle with depression.
As you can imagine, bringing a bunch of comedians together to talk about depression can only result in loads of fun and a brighter perspective on what seems to be a “dark” and “grim” problem.
Hosted by Yvette Caster and Ellen Scott of Metro.co.uk, Mentally Yours is a fun podcast that addresses various psychology topics.
Using a light, humorous style, the hosts (along with their weekly mystery guest) manage to deliver quality content in a highly accessible format.
Who says we have to take mental health seriously all the time?
The Struggle Bus
The Struggle Bus is a weekly podcast hosted by Katharine Heller and Sally Tamarkin who focus on providing useful advice to people who are going through various hardships in life.
Along with their guests, they address listener-submitted questions and offer practical tips on how to deal with your day-to-day struggles.
Psych Sessions is among the most popular psychotherapy podcasts. It’s hosted by author and speaker Jimmie Morris who invites top experts to discuss topics related to mental health and psychiatry.
For someone who’s dealing with emotional problems, Dr. Morris’s podcasts can be a valuable source of inspiration and practical advice.
Mental Health Podcast Benefits
Mental health podcasts can have several benefits. Here’s a little info on what they may be.
Eliminating Social Stigma
By addressing the “uncomfortable” side of mental illness podcasters can play a significant role in reducing social stigma.
In fact, a lot of mental health podcasts focus on highlighting the fact that conditions like depression, anxiety, or PTSD are relatively common and highly treatable. Moreover, many popular podcasters that are in the “mental health” niche manage to create communities where their audience can talk about mental illness freely.
Once you get stigma out of the way, people can slowly start to take the first steps towards recovery.
One of the big pluses of mental health podcasts is that they provide a safe space for people who are dealing with mental illness.
Most podcasters are open to suggestions from their audience, and that gives you (the viewer) the chance to address a question that you might be ashamed to ask in a “real life” situation.
Overall, the fact that mental health podcasts allow you to interact with experts with the comfort of anonymity makes them a valuable clinical and educational resource.
Good for People Living in Remote Areas
For people living in remote areas, podcasts might be among the few sources of information available to them and a much-needed educational resource. Although the ideal solution, if you’re dealing with mental health issues, is to consult a professional; there are times when this option is not available.
If you’re living in a remote area, a mental health podcast might be the only way for you to get in touch with leading experts in the fields of neuroscience, therapy, psychology, and mental health.
The digital world can even grant you access to platforms that offer online therapy and counseling. That way, distance is no longer an issue.
Accessible for People With Physical Limitations
For people with disabilities, podcasts and other online resources might be the only means of gaining some understanding of the emotional problems they might be dealing with.
Since not all of them live in “disability friendly” countries or cities, having the opportunity to interact with experts and gain valuable knowledge without leaving their home is a huge advantage.
Convenience and Affordability
We live in a world where information is one click away. The fact that we no longer have to spend money on courses and textbooks to educate ourselves represents a considerable advancement for society.
In terms of convenience and affordability, mental health podcasts represent a valuable resource for people who might not have the time or money to see a professional.
All you need to do is go online, find a podcast that addresses the topics that interest you, and hit “play.”
Podcasts are Educational Tools
Overall, a mental health podcast can be a valuable educational tool for all generations. There’s much you can learn from our recommended podcasts.
You May Be Surprised!
Who knows? If you decide to listen to a mental health podcast, maybe you’ll finally have the answer to that question that’s been keeping you awake at night. Or perhaps you’ll gain new perspective that will allow you to overcome your emotional challenges.
- M. N. K. Boulos, I. Maramba and S. Wheeler, “Wikis, blogs and podcasts: a new generation of Web-based tools for virtual collaborative clinical practice and education,” BMC Medical Education, vol. 6, no. 41, 2006.
- World Health Organization, “Depression and Other Common Mental Disorders: Global Health Estimates,” World Health Organization, Geneva, 2017.
- “Facts & Statistics,” Anxiety and Depression Association of America, [Online]. Available: https://adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics.
- “Mental Health By The Numbers,” National Alliance on Mental Illness, [Online]. Available: https://www.nami.org/learn-more/mental-health-by-the-numbers.
- “Psychology, Therapy, and Mental Health Podcasts,” GoodTherapy, 13 11 2018. [Online]. Available: https://www.goodtherapy.org/psychology-therapy-mental-health-podcasts.html.