The 16 Best Mental Health Podcasts To Help You Cope With Anxiety, Depression, And More

by | Feb 2, 2022 | Health

Podcasts are incredibly popular these days, and there are so many to choose from. From politics to pop culture this type of audio entertainment covers almost everything you can think of and is a great way to pass the time and learn something new. But that’s not all it’s good for – mental health podcasts, in particular, can boost your emotional wellness and be an effective form of self-care.

Shelby John, a clinical social worker who specialises in addiction, anxiety, and trauma, loves mental health podcasts because they are not only extremely accessible for most people, but they are also free. “The freedom to be able to listen to episodes whenever and wherever you want is incredible,” she says. “This allows people who maybe otherwise would not go to therapy or hire a coach to access knowledge and practical skills from professionals.”

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The information you consume has a direct impact on how you behave, feel, and think, says Amy Morin, a therapist and the host of The Verywell Mind Podcast. “If you listen to podcasts that share stories, strategies, and tips that can improve your mental health, you can learn how to improve your psychological well-being,” she explains. “A podcast might affirm the information you already know, which can reassure you that you are on the right path. A podcast might also help you feel less alone. This is especially true if you hear stories and interviews with guests you can relate to. You might also learn new things or discover strategies you can try to reduce your anxiety or boost your mood.”

Most mental health podcasts feature experts in a specific field, such as behavioural scientists, psychologists, therapists, or other types of pros with unique and helpful insights to share.

How To Choose A Mental Health Podcast That Is Right For You

The host will be your constant companion, so look for one whose personality and voice mesh well with you. You should also make sure the podcast you’re listening to is produced by a licensed and legitimate mental health care provider, advises Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Licensed Master Social Worker Kayleigh Parent. “Even then, just because someone is licensed does not mean they are competent or using evidence-based practices,” she says.
Another factor to consider is whether you are part of the target audience. Of course, anyone can listen to any podcast, but you may be able to benefit more if you tune into ones that you feel a kinship with, whether it is because of the age group, ethnicity, gender identity, or mental health issue they address.

Know that many of the conversations that take place on podcasts are based on personal experience. The host and guests may touch on sensitive topics that trigger you. If you’re not comfortable with what will be discussed on a podcast (read those episode blurbs beforehand!), it may not be right for you.

Remember: Podcasts are not a replacement for therapy. If you struggle with issues such as addiction, eating disorders, domestic violence, self-harm, suicide, or trauma, seek help from a medical professional.

Ready to jump in? Here are the 16 best mental health podcasts recommended by experts.

1.The Anxiety Slayer

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This is one of the best podcasts for anxiety, according to John. The hosts Shann Vander and Ananga Silver tackle all things anxiety-related, such as panic attacks, stress, and PTSD. “They offer rich conversations, expert interviews, and incredible meditations to help you feel calm and learn to take control of your body and mind to heal anxiety,” John says. They also offer free resources like guided meditation on their website, as well as courses and coaching for calming your anxious mind down. Listen to it here.

2. The Anxiety Guy Podcast

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Dennis Simsek of the Anxiety Guy Podcast knows exactly how it feels to grapple with anxiety. A former tennis player who dealt with anxiety and panic disorder for many years before he was able to conquer them, Simsek teaches you how to recognise, deal with, and heal anxiety, says John. Bonus: There are over 300 episodes, so you won’t run out even if you binge-listen. Listen to it here.


3. Ten Percent Happier With Dan Harris

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Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris (yes, the same guy from that self-help book!) is Morin’s pick for anyone who wants to get a handle on their anxiety. “Guests often include experts on various mental health subjects, and they share tips on everything from meditation to setting boundaries,” she says. Actionable advice? Check! Listen to it here.

4. Black Mental Health Podcast

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If you’re looking for a podcast that gets what it’s like to be Black or BIPOC, check out the Black Mental Health Podcast hosted by Reginald A. Howard. This comes highly recommended by licensed clinical psychologist Jacquelin Darby. “This podcast not only talks about mental health within the Black community, but also views the impact the socio-political environment has had on Black mental health,” she says. Listen to it here.
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5. Therapy For Black Girls

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The Therapy for Black Girls podcast is hosted by a woman of colour (Dr. Joy Harden Bradford, a licensed psychologist) for women of colour, with the aim of making mental wellness accessible and approachable for this minority group. Susan Zinn, a licensed psychotherapist herself, likes how Bradford is an expert in the field and that she provides insights on mental health, personal development, and the small things you can do to improve your life. Listen to it here.


6. The Podcast

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Have a hard time saying no? The Podcast can help you build that skill and use it to live a more fulfilled life. The host Dr. Henry Cloud, is a talented mental health professional who has written several incredible books on boundaries and codependency, says John. “He features inspiring stories about the benefits to mental health, relationships, and well-being when you learn how to implement healthy boundaries,” she says. Listen to it here.

7. Where Should We Begin? With Esther Perel

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To unlock the secrets of a great social and love life, Zinn recommends Where Should We Begin? with Esther Perel. This podcast examines the differences between healthy and toxic relationships, for example. “It offers suggestions on what it means to have boundaries, healthy relationships, self-love, and taking the shame out of things we do and relationships we have,” Zinn says. Plus, Perel is a well-known relationship expert. Listen to it here.

8. Feeling Good Podcast

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For people who struggle with anxiety and depression, the Feeling Good podcast with Dr. David Burns shares science-backed tools to overcome them, says John. “Dr. David Burns provides real mental health strategies like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), habit-forming, and so much more,” she adds. Listen to it here.

9. The Happiness Lab With Dr. Laurie Santos

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The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos is another helpful resource for people who have depression. “Santos is a Yale professor and offers science-based strategies for enhancing happiness and well-being,” says Kim Foster Yardley, a clinical psychologist and the director of the Mental Game Clinic. “She gives practical advice on managing issues such as anxiety, grief, and dealing with negative emotions.” Listen to it here.
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10. The Mental Illness Happy Hour With Paul Gilmartin

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The Mental Illness Happy Hour with Paul Gilmartin is another great podcast for anyone struggling with depression, says Morin. “The show features a variety of guests who focus more on their stories, rather than specific strategies. The host talks about his own struggles and shares letters from readers who are battling depression. He helps listeners know that no matter what they are experiencing, they are not alone,” she says. Listen to it here.

11. On Purpose With Jay Shetty

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Jay Shetty, who has the fascinating background of being a former Hindu monk, interviews some of the most insightful people in the world about things like diet culture, mindset, personal validation, and so much more, says John. Although it is not marketed as a mental health podcast per se, many of the themes it explores are about how to cultivate a healthier state of mind, including how to break free from bad habits, letting go, and manifesting results. Listen to it here.


12. Therapy Chat

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Therapy Chat with Psychotherapist Laura Reagan sheds light on holistic and alternative treatment approaches to mental health issues. “She talks with other mental health professionals about how to implement things like boundaries, mindfulness, and self-care,” notes John. “It is a really great mental health podcast for those who like to hear from professionals.” Listen to it here.

13. Happier With Gretchen Rubin

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Lift your spirits with the Happier podcast by Gretchen Rubin, which serves up tips on how to feel better and establish good habits. “They are very encouraging and help to normalise some of the challenges of life so you feel less alone,” says John. Listen to it here.

14. Soberful The Podcast

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The road to recovery from addiction can be a bumpy one. Getting support and learning from others going through the same thing can make it easier to follow through. One way to get both is via the Soberful podcast. Veronica Valli and Chip Somers, who co-lead this podcast, speak to their own journeys and how to stick with it when the going gets tough. “It really does help anyone who wants to live an alcohol-free life,” says John. Listen to it here.
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15. Terrible, Thanks For Asking

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You can always turn to Terrible, Thanks For Asking with Nora McInerny for a dose of commiseration when you need it. It is a powerful storytelling podcast about the honest feelings we all have about different parts of our life but don’t share, says John. Examples include grief and betrayal. The stories are 100 percent real, with people telling the good and the ugly about who they really are. Listen to it here.

16. Unlocking Us With Brené Brown

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Unlocking Us with Brené Brown is for anyone who wants to become more self-aware and silence their negative self-talk. “I like this podcast for so many reasons. Brené is pretty well known, therefore I feel as though you can approach her podcast with a sense of trust and credibility,” Parent says. “With this in mind, Brené brings other professionals in to interview them about their expertise.”
She also likes that the host brings her own stories and struggles as examples. “She does a great job of providing education and normalising that everyone is human and therefore we all have areas of struggle,” she says. Listen to it here.
*This article was originally published on Women’s Health US

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