For the past three years I have been enamored with downloading and listening to podcasts. They provide new and interesting perspectives on every topic imaginable and allow me to enjoy learning while I drive to work. I wanted to take time to share some of my favorite podcasts that address mental health with the hope that a few people might feel inspired to add it to their routine. If you’re new to podcasts, they consist of digital audio files that you can stream on any computer or download to your phone or other audio playing device at no cost.
Happier with Gretchen Rubin: http://gretchenrubin.com/podcast/ Happier features Gretchen Rubin and her sister Elizabeth Craft reflecting on ways to add to their overall sense of well-being. They provide research supported advice on simple things to try at home which can boost happiness from setting an alarm to go to bed at night to creating a “shrine” of things that bring you joy. The podcast provides a nice balance of the scientific with their own personal triumphs and fails in their quest to be their best selves. First time listeners might want to check out Episode 25 where interviewee A.J. Jacobs provides his own “try this at home” tips. Podcast 25: Hilarious Tips from A. J. Jacobs: Posture, Brainstorming, and Eat from the Fridge, Not the Pantry.
Invisibilia: http://www.npr.org/programs/invisibilia/ Invisibilia is a collaboration between Lulu Miller and Alix Spiegel which examines intriguing psychological phenomenon by interviewing experts and weaving this information into personal narratives that bring the topics to life. My favorite episode is called “The Secret History of Thoughts” which chronicles psychology’s changing views about thoughts over time and reflects on how these different conceptualizations impact our daily lives and how we see ourselves. You can check out this episode here: http://www.npr.org/programs/invisibilia/375927143/the-secret-history-of-thoughts?showDate=2015-01-09
The Hidden Brain: Shankar Vedantam explores current social psychology research and what it tells us about ourselves in this new podcast by NPR. If you’re a research fan, Shankar’s podcast provides a multitude of results from different psychological studies in a condensed and digestible way. He also brings the research to life by relating it to current tv shows and occasionally asks a friend to sum up the podcast with an original musical composition. New listeners may want to check out “Near Wins and Not Quites, How Almost Winning can be Motivating” http://www.npr.org/2015/09/29/439489290/near-wins-and-not-quites-how-almost-winning-can-be-motivating
The Mental Illness Happy Hour: Paul Gilmartin invites therapists, comedians, and listeners on to his show to talk about their own experience of mental health and their journey toward wellness. His show provides virtually no scientific research, but it sends a strong message about the empowerment that comes with owning one’s flaws and challenging the shameful part of ourselves that feel unworthy of love. If you listen with children present or you’re not a fan of explicit content, you may want to avoid this podcast as some themes are sexual in nature. To look at past episodes you can go to the show’s website here: http://mentalpod.libsyn.com/ .
The Checkup: Carey Goldberg and Rachel Zimmerman bring on experts to discuss a broad range of psychological and medical issues and health news. A recent episode centered around anxiety http://www.slate.com/articles/podcasts/the_checkup/2015/04/the_checkup_on_the_fear_of_flying_parental_anxiety_and_managing_your_relentless.html explores the host’s recovery from plane phobia and a new theory of anxiety based on hormones. The two women talk about health news in a way that is relatable, relevant, and surprisingly funny.
The TED Radio Hour: Guy Raz interviews experts on a broad range of topics encompassing Technology, Entertainment, and Design and destills these interviews into a gripping hour long radio show. I included TED Radio because some of its best programs center around mental health issues and wellbeing including an episode about the importance of quiet moments, interesting theories of emotion, and how we change when we listen to others. First time listeners might want to check out “Simply Happy” which explores ideas such as mindfulness and gratitude in the context of understanding happiness http://www.npr.org/programs/ted-radio-hour/267185371/simply-happy .