Here's a sentence that just about everyone with a pulse can relate to: My mental health has suffered a lot in the last year. Everybody is stressed out of their minds and stretched too thin. It's more important than ever to prioritize mental health, wellness, and self-care. But, uh…how, exactly? When you're already having a bad brain day, trying to get yourself out of a rut can feel impossible. Which is why I highly recommend turning down your thoughts and turning up a mental health podcast.
I'm definitely not a doctor, nor am I qualified to give medical advice (or trying to shrink you). But to me, listening to a podcast about mental health feels like going to therapy (in all seriousness, though, these aren't a *replacement* for therapy). It makes me think about topics like anxiety, depression, stress, grief, and trauma in unique ways. It offers thoughtful perspectives I hadn't considered. Hearing other people talk about their relationship and struggles with mental health can make you feel heard, understood, and infinitely less alone. Even if it's just for 20 minutes, witnessing someone else process and reflect on their own mental health can do wonders for you.
The next time you need to tune out the world, listen to one of these mental health podcasts.
Sobcast The Podcast
Why is the one-year mark of the pandemic making you feel like sh*t? Can astrology improve your mental health? Will a sound bath change your life, or give you a panic attack? Sobcast The Podcast is your candid, hilarious, generous best friend. Writer and comedian Christina Wolfgram gets super real about her mental health journey and will make you feel comfortable getting real about your own, too.
We Can Do Hard Things With Glennon Doyle
How many times did you read Untamed? Be honest. Glennon Doyle's new podcast, inspired by the unofficial mantra of her 2020 memoir, will remind you that you can do hard things. Along with her sister Amanda, they take a no-B.S. approach to talking openly and honestly about how freaking hard life can be. There are only a few episodes so far, so catch up now and start listening live.
Self Care IRL
People are quick to make self-care the punchline of a joke, but self-care is one of the most important practices you can do for yourself. Deliberately taking actions that support your mental, physical, and emotional health is vital. In Self Care IRL, Ty Alexander encourages you to have a positive, loving relationship with yourself. Recent episodes have covered everything from hidden habits that spark unhappiness, to how to avoid ghosting someone.
Remember when I said listening to mental health podcasts felt like going to therapy? Well, that's especially true when you listen to Dear Therapists, because you're literally going to therapy—just not your own. Lori Gottlieb and Guy Winch are therapists who invite you to listen in on therapy sessions with patients. The more you learn about others, the more you end up learning about yourself, too.
The Happiness Lab With Dr. Laurie Santos
By now, it's no secret that money can't buy happiness. But then…what can? What even is happiness, and how can you feel more of it? Dr. Laurie Santos studied the science of happiness and has some pretty shocking stats to share with us. Every week, she walks you through research, data, and facts about happiness. For example, did you know that most of us do the opposite of what would improve our lives? Yikes. She's just in time.
Brown Girl Self-Care
The Brown Girl Self-Care podcast is self-care in and of itself. Every week, host Bre Mitchell checks in about her latest health and wellness thoughts, habits, and discoveries. One day, she's discussing faith with a physician; the next, she's reminding you that 'no' is a full sentence.
No Feeling Is Final
Honor Eastly wants you to know: No matter what you're feeling right now, no matter how unbearably terrible it is, it will pass. How does she know? Because she's been there. Her podcast concluded in late 2018, but it's still one of the best mental health podcasts that have ever been made. After a year like this, that's the most important thing.
The Self Love Fix
When was the last time you channeled your inner child? And no, we don't mean the resurgence of beaded accessories and chunky rings. We mean how your experiences helped you develop your sense of self-love, self-worth, and self-esteem. Beatrice Kamau is an inner child healing coach and the host of The Self Love Fix, a mental health podcast about reflecting on childhood and getting reacquainted with your younger self.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.